Question: I have read that using marijuana is less damaging to the body than alcohol consumption. – Anonymous.
Answer: I am happy that you have raised this topic. Sadly, the number of individuals regularly consuming this still illegal drug on a weekly or daily basis appears to be out of control. Despite its illegality, marijuana use in Canada puts it among the countries with the highest use in those ages fifteen and older.
Fortunately or unfortunately, we can find research to prove and justify or disprove just about any point. The comparison between long-term use of alcohol and marijuana you asked about nothing but proves this point. Both damage the body—just in different ways. Doesn’t really sound like a recommendation, does it?
From a natural medicine point of view (where health and overall wellbeing are our main concerns) there is simply no way to look at any drug use in a positive light—be it tobacco use, alcohol, marijuana, sleeping pills or other prescription and non-prescription meds.
Not prepared under controlled conditions, many toxic substances have been detected mixed in as dilatants such as powdered chalk, henna, glass, lead, turpentine, tranquilizers, glue, soil, engine oil, boot polish, animal feces… Today’s marijuana is not only easier attainable it is also many times more pure, concentrated and incomparably stronger than it was in the nineteen-sixties.
Let us take a closer look at how marijuana works in and on our body.
Research into its use for certain serious medical conditions shows its effect on the region of the brain that affects the brain’s ability to make good judgment calls. It, therefore, does not surprise that its side effects reach from sleepiness to decreased short-term memory (thus sensation of euphoria) to mood swings, paranoia, even hallucinations.
Dry mouth, red eyes and other (including intestinal) mucus issues may be traced to its same retarding actions on the body’s metabolism as does its action that impairs perception and motor skills.
Smoked, it first affects the lungs; taken orally, the gastrointestinal system where it interferes with the metabolic and digestive action of the body as well as the calcium metabolism.
Marijuana’s active components are highly soluble in lipids (fats) and thus can build up and remain in the body tissue for days and weeks. This accumulation in the body’s fatty tissue particularly affects all brain and nerve cells. And, since nerve cells control the function and performance of all our organs and mechanisms, there are few body cells and functions that are not negatively affected by marijuana use.
Links of regular use to cancer are strong, so are these to GI issues and mental disorders, even schizophrenia. From my clinical experience, I am also noting remarkably higher rates of low libido, erectile dysfunction and infertility among younger couples who use marijuana recreationally or daily.
However we look at it, feeling good comes from achievements and active participation in life not from sitting back and delving in passive brain stimulants or retardants.
Only you can make the decision about what will work best for you and your body. Raising relevant questions is important. Have your doctor help you make your decision or consult with a qualified natural medicine professional before you decide on your customized plan of action.