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  • Joanne Burke-Sherman

Why You Need To Stop Using THC Now!

THC: Its Effect On You


The Cannabis Playing Field

In recent times, #MedicalMarijuana and recreational marijuana have become legal and very popular. Although I jumped into the #cannabis movement early on, it was for CBD oil which, at best, may have trace amounts of #THC; but generally, it is thought to have no THC.

Often, medical marijuana will have higher levels of CBD and recreational marijuana will have higher levels of THC, meaning that the recreational is usually used more so for the high. That said, medical marijuana is still pretty potent and the THC will cause a high.


Medical Marijuana/Cannabis

In order to purchase medical marijuana, you typically have to be at least 18 years of age and you have to have a legitimate medical reason. So, even though most medical marijuana dispensaries have doctors on site, you still have to go to your primary care to fill out a form that says you have a condition for which you are seeking help.

It is possible to get a medical marijuana card if you are under age 18; but a parent and a doctor would need to be involved.


Recreational Marijuana


To buy legalized recreational marijuana, you have to go to a state where it is legal and you usually have to be 21 year old. Like the old days though, one can still purchase marijuana from a dealer off the street. The down side of doing this is that there is no regulation and you don’t really know what you are getting. There have been times when the plant is laced with other things. If you are not careful, it could be laced with things such as:

- Lead or other heavy metals/pesticides - dangerous for any body contributing to many disease

- Bacteria and fungus - usually from poor standards, storage - causes disease

- Heroin - an extremely addictive drug - slows heart, creates confusion

- PCP - angel dust causes hallucinations - feelings of detachment, aggression, neurological damage

- LSD - an acid which causes hallucinations lasting up to 12 hours

- Cocaine - stimulates and sedates - affects lung, heart and brains and sleep - can be fatal, cause heart attack or stroke

- Ketamine - anesthetic used in medicine - sedation, dehydration, overheating

- Methamphetamine - ADHD meds - can cause seizures, hallucinations…

- Laundry detergent - cheap and used for smell too causes nausea and breathing issues

- Glass - especially dangers in edibles, used to look like trichomes (part on top of bud) - used for appearance and weight

- Formaldehyde - a known carcinogen which can cause nausea, diarrhea, paranoia

- Fetanyl - cheap and 50 times stronger than heroin - opiod can cause death and overdose easily


If it’s not an added drug, then some of the above things can also be found in legal marijuana as well…. such as lead or heavy metals drawn from the soil; or fungus and bacteria.


Laced Marijuana

Marijuana gets laced for a variety of reasons. Sometimes dealers want to make their product more addictive. Sometimes, a cheaper product is added to increase profits and sometimes, the added toxin is by accident or from poor standards such as poor quality soil and storage.

Using marijuana that has been laced can have serious side effects. It can affect the central nervous system, causing many side effects such as anxiety, depression and more; hallucinations, feelings of lethargy, or as I like to say laziness and no zest for life; feelings of illness including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, changes in blood pressure; irritability; nervousness; insomnia; decreased appetite; and psychotic effects including delusions and confusion. The dangers are real. It is best not to use such drugs.


Synthetic Marijuana


There are synthetic cannabinoids/pot sold under names such as K2, AK 47, and Spice, Black mamba, Joker, and Kronic. These typically are plants that are sprayed with chemicals so that they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaped. This synthetic spray is very similar to the cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. But, like anything that is not regulated, it can actually be very unsafe and unreliable. You really don’t know what you are getting and the consequences can be dire…. including death.

Technically, because of the addictive qualities and problems associated with them, the synthetics are illegal; but vendors have found ways around it because they change the chemicals; they list them as not for human consumption, etc.

Synthetic marijuana can have many of the same side effects as listed above with laced marijuana. In addition, you ever know what the actual substance contains because it constantly changes. At one point, rat poison was being mixed in causing severe nose bleeds, vomiting and collapsing.


What Is THC Doing To You?

People turn to medical marijuana, or even street pot, for many reasons. One reason is to reduce anxiety. Although many people turn to medical marijuana for anxiety, more often than not, long term use actually makes anxiety worse. It should be noted that there are different strains of marijuana, with differences in the cannabinoids, which are the part of the plant that attaches to the receptors in the body. So, not only do people respond differently to various drugs compared to other people, they actually respond differently to different strains as well. One of the reasons I like CBD oil is because it really can help with anxiety and a variety of other symptoms such as pain or even help with addiction; however, when you add THC, there is a whole other effect. THC is the part that creates the psychoactive effect, or the “high.”


Negative Impacts

Using #THC on a regular basis impacts your #immune system and your overall health! This is true for the younger generation who are using more than ever before as well as the older generation who feel like it has come back en vogue. here are just some of the potential effects…. #ImmuneSystem


- White blood cell count typically goes down and those are the cells that are a part of your immune system that help protect you against bacterial and viral infections.

- Pot smokers are #lazy. That’s not because they are lazy by nature, it’s because the THC causes people to become lazy through down regulation. Down regulation actually means your cells are being affected, which means they are not reacting appropriately to stimuli. This also means that it will make your depression and anxiety worse because your cells do not respond appropriately to neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin which are mood boosters.

- Smoking pot (or consuming in some form with THC) causes a down regulation in your neurochemistry. Although it temporarily makes you feel better, in the long run, it is actually messing with your hormones, your body chemistry, your brain development (yes, your brain is still developing before age 26 and sometimes after), and your overall zest for life. -

- THC ages your body sooner and hormones change at a more rapid pace.

- THC can cause your blood pressure to lower and your stomach acids to decrease causing digestive disorders. As acids reduce, your bacteria level increases causing illness and infection, and this can make you feel not hungry.

- Marijuana makes your immune system worse and if you are feeling sick, this may be the cause or it could just be making it worse even though you are using it to feel better.

- Listen up guys!…..It could actual cause you to be #impotent in the future; and I don’t think you want that to happen.

- THC can make you more emotional and more explosive and out of control feeling.

- THC can cause dehydration. You may naturally increase your water intake, but too much water can also affect your parietal cells, which means it’s affecting your gastric juices, your digestion and sending you more in a mode of not eating. This contributes to weight loss and feelings of sickness..............I am not saying don’t drink water, but maybe you can add lemon to your water or at least switch up what you are drinking - maybe a smoothie or juice? Get some nutrition!

- THC decreases appetite which also affects the gastric juices above and it becomes a vicious cycle. It is critical to keep eating to keep your proton pump working, which helps acid secretion in the gastric parietal cells. It can be very dangerous if this stops working! It can cause more immune issues, allergies, kidney disease, pneumonia and more.............Keep working at eating more foods - even just small amounts, which will help produce the gastric juices. Make sure to chew well to jump start the juices.

- Clinical research also shows how it affects your ability to learn, your concentration, your memory, your focus, your motivation, your organization. .........For parents who are sending their kids off to college, It will completely mess with their ability to succeed in college. If studying, doing well and finding a future career are important to you, then you need to stop THC use.........This is also true for adults who are using. it will affect your career or any classes you may be taking!


Is It A Gateway Drug?


There are many people who say that marijuana is not a gateway drug, but IT IS! In fact, it can make your more apathetic towards life and make you “just not care,” and therefore you become open to other drugs. Any mom would cry at the thought of this happening to her kid. More drug use becomes SUPER DANGEROUS!


One of the reasons it is thought to be a gateway drug is because of the reduced neurotransmitters which help boost moods. Once you can no longer achieve this on your own, you are now looking for other drugs to boost your mood. Plus, THC is thought to enhance the repose to other drugs. #GatewayDrug


Are There Alternatives For Anxiety?

Pharmaceuticals


In my profession, I do try to help people get off pharmaceutical drugs if they want to. That said, I have seen pharmaceutical drugs help people for various reasons. Certainly short term use can even be an option. You may want to talk to you doctor about trying a low-dose anxiety medication. It does not have to be forever. Of course, if you do the medication, you absolutely cannot do marijuana because that will make you sick with vomiting, nausea, etc. Many successful people are on meds. These won’t interrupt your ability to succeed the way THC can.


CBD Oil

CBD is #cannabidiol. It is an extract from the cannabis plant which is known to attach to receptors in the brain. Our body has an endocannabinoid system, which exists within us whether we use CBD oil or not. Your body produces them as needed and are thought to help with #mood, #sleep, #appetite, #memory and the #reproductive system. THC is a cannabinoid; but the oils I recommend exclude that from their product. In fact, you may learn more about that here: https://www.jbsholisticnutrition.com/cannabis-and-hemp. Using CBD without the psychoactive THC has been shown to help anxiety, PTSD, sleep disorders associated with anxiety and much more. The endocannabinoid receptors in our body are primarily associated with the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, including the immune system. THC may bind to these receptors, but it is not tough that other cannabinoids do. In some research, it is thought that they help with anxiety because some people have reduced production of naturally occurring cannabinoids; but no matter the “how,” many people are being helped. It should be noted that you should always consult with you doctor when adding any new food, supplement or treatment.


Hypnosis

Everyone is different in how they respond to any treatment; but hypnosis has been a very promising treatment for people who do not want to use supplements or medication. #Hypnotherapy puts a person in an altered state of consciousness without any help from a drug. it is said that in this relaxed state, our subconscious mind is more open to changes in our thought patterns. Affirmations are often used and better absorbed in this state of consciousness. Like anything, you may have to find the person that best suits your needs, but with the right help, many people see improvement in just 1-2 sessions.


The Science on THC Effects


For those that like scientific studies, here is a little bit of a study by NCBI. Please think before using THC on a regular basis. Although there are certainly medical benefits for some reasons such as #seizures or #epilepsy, for the average person, it will certainly be detrimental.

"Heavy cannabis use is associated with impaired educational and occupational outcomes117. Factors that may underlie this include cognitive impairment, including involving executive dysfunction118, working memory impairments119 and amotivation120, defined as reduced motivation for goal-directed behaviour121. These functions are susceptible to mesocortical dopaminergic manipulation122 including prefrontal D1 receptor blockade123, for example. Whilst a preclinical study reported that D2 receptor antagonism blocks THC-induced working memory deficits124, this was not replicated in humans125. Nonetheless, there is recent evidence that THC-induced working memory deficits are moderated by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), a key enzyme in the dopamine metabolic pathway126, which also modulates the effects of THC in adolescence on dopaminergic cells size87. Heavy chronic cannabis use produces apathetic behaviours in rhesus monkeys127 and a study in humans76 found that reduced dopamine synthesis capacity observed in heavy cannabis users was inversely related to amotivation. An overlapping feature of the amotivational syndrome associated with cannabis use disorders is negative emotionality128, such as reduced reward sensitivity and negative emotionality was also found to be inversely related to methylphenidate-induced dopamine ventral striatal dopamine release70.


The dopamine system is involved in risk for psychosis129. An early case report described increased striatal dopamine following cannabis intoxication associated with the exacerbation of psychotic symptoms in a patient with schizophrenia130. Furthermore, cannabis users with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and those at clinical high risk for schizophrenia displayed blunted striatal stress-induced dopamine release131. Although dopamine release was blunted in cannabis users with schizophrenia, it was nevertheless directly related to the induction of psychotic symptoms132. Supersensivity of post-synaptic D2 receptors65 could explain this apparent paradox, or it could be due to impaired endocannabinoid regulation of dopamine signal transduction. Supporting the latter explanation, patients with schizophrenia using high levels of cannabis show reduced anandamide levels133, and cannabidiol, a compound that elevates anandamide levels, has been shown to reduce psychotic symptoms134. Alternative post-synaptic mechanisms include CB1R-D2R heterodimerisation135 and downstream intracellular mechanisms including the neuregulin 1-erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase-phosphoinositide 3 kinase-protein kinase B (NRG1-ERBB4-PI3K-AKT1)pathway136.”

Other sources for this write up are professionals in various fields as well as drugabuse.gov, American Addiction Centers, USA Today, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Medical News Today, Healthline, Verywell health

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