What Teens Need To Know About Marijuana (From An Adult Who Uses Ten Grams A Day) by Russell Barth – July 9, 2011

What Teens Need To Know About Marijuana (From An Adult Who Uses Ten Grams A Day) by Russell Barth – July 9, 2011

CFN – Teens are getting a lot of mixed messages about marijuana these days. At school, the teachers, cops, and so called “experts” come in and tell them that marijuana is addictive, that it causes cancer, brain damage, and mental illness, and that the use thereof will inevitably lead to the spiral of addiction to hard drugs. None of this is actually true.

A quick scan of google, and any teen might get get the idea that marijuana is some sort of “miracle cure” for everything from cancer, to MS, to depression. This is also not entirely true.

Then there is the whole legal hypocrisy of deadly drugs like tobacco and alcohol being sold and used, while something that is substantially less harmful can get them suspended from school, kicked out of the house, or even criminally charged. Teens notice this, even the “straight edge” kids who have no interest in any drugs see that this policy is nonsensical.

Confused, and feeling – quite accurately – like adults are a bunch of insane hypocrites who can’t be trusted, teens often turn to their friends, their siblings, older teens, and very young adults for advice. There, they often try pot, and thus their misconceptions are reinforced, mixed ‘n matched, and soon, the teen has no clue who or what to believe. Or is believing the wrong thing. This also puts them in danger.

Some people who first try marijuana are left hating it, thinking that the mild rush of anxiety that often comes with the first few tokes was actually the onset of a full-scale panic attack. “Oh, I tried it once and I freaked out!” is a sentence I have heard often from teens.

Some users fall in love with pot immediately, letting it consume their thoughts even when they are not using it. They often change their hair, clothing, decor, and lifestyle accordingly, as it sometimes becomes a hobby, an ongoing pass-time, their new “thing”. Similar things happen when people suddenly get excited about a sport, a fashion, or a musical genre in a really big way.

Most fall somewhere in the middle, using pot only occasionally for fun, but not pursuing it any further than a passing fancy.

As a Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana user, I have been prescribed 10 grams of pot per day to combat the symptoms of PTSD and fibromyalgia. I have to use that much, or suffer with my symptoms. There is nothing fun about it.

I use a variety of strains, all of which have been carefully selected to meet my symptom needs, though, I must admit, they all fall short. A cannabis “strain”, is much like a pure-bred dog: Breeders select male and female plants (from popular breeds that already exist) to enhance or reduce certain traits in the final product. The names of the strains are arbitrary, but they help users and growers understand what they are using and growing.

I am unfortunate in that I have a nearly superhuman tolerance to cannabis and many other drugs. Even using ten grams a day, my symptoms are only half-way alleviated and you would not notice any lethargy or slowing in my demeanor. I am also confident that I could pass any sobriety test. Guests who watch me medicate are astonished that I am not getting stoned.

The potency of the pot I use has not been tested in a lab, but growing techniques and other pertinent data suggests that most of them are producing bud with a THC rating of anywhere from 12-15%, and CBD rating of about 1-3%. One strain that I use is 6 and 6 percent, which is unusual. As good as it gets, basically.

Cannabis has dozens of proven medical applications and the studies are well-documented and easy to find on line. THC is one of only several therapeutic agents found in cannabis. Cannabinoids are found in different ratios, depending on the strain and the quality of the growing cycle, and these agents work synergistically with THC to produce the health benefits – and buzz – that pot is coveted for. There are many different cannabinoids, and scientists are just beginning to understand what they do and how they do it.

Every morning, I melt 3.3 grams into 70 ml of olive oil (350° in the oven for an hour), and drink that down with my breakfast. I get no buzz from this huge dose, but do get symptom relief. I do the same thing just before bed and it helps me sleep and I feel much more rested and energetic in the morning.

During the day, I use the remaining 3.3 grams through a Volcano Vaporizer. This device blows hot air (365°) over a screen chamber containing a level teaspoon (about 1/3 of a gram, or one joint’s worth) of ground bud. The vapors are collected in a bag, then inhaled from the bag using a mouth piece. Because the volcano does not destroy the bud the way fire does, it delivers four times the medicine that the same amount would if it were being smoked. Thus, it is much like smoking four joints in one short sitting, but with no tar or lung damage. None.

I smoke on occasion, usually when my asthma is bothering me or when I am particularly anxious, or when I am out in public. Just eating pot doesn’t do enough for me. Just using the volcano falls short most days as well. Smoking too. So I must constantly engage in all three methods to get the needed relief. And still, my symptoms are only half-way alleviated. Some people use cannabis in a balm, some even use balls of hashish as suppositories!

There are various studies – none of them conclusive enough for my taste – as to why some symptoms are better treated with edibles rather than smoked or vaporized cannabis, but they are still ongoing. There is not much data on why some people can get by on a gram a day while other people need over an ounce a day.

Okay, so one could easily get the idea that I am trying to get kids to try pot. Not so. There are several reasons people should avoid drugs – including pot, sugar, alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine – until they finish with puberty.

First off, until puberty is done, the brain is not yet done developing. The brain is still growing new tissue up until the ages of 19-25, so putting anything but good clean food into it is best avoided.

Next, the pot that most teens have access to is the “bottom shelf” stuff. Doesn’t matter if you are a rich kid, doesn’t matter if you think the guy who sells it to you is the coolest guy ever – take it from me: teens are smoking the dregs. By that I mean, the pot is usually weak, full of chemicals, and the money they spend on it eventually finds it’s way to some Very Serious People. People with guns. People who smuggle poor women from poor countries to work as prostitutes in wealthier countries. People who ship explosives and make meth and deal coke and who kill people.

These guys convert whole houses, steal hydro, and destroy property. They produce a product that is full of grow fertilizers because they are too lazy and greedy to “flush” the plants with water for the last two weeks of the flowering cycle. Fungus (live and dead), fungicide, pesticide, bugs (usually dead), and bug feces can all be found in abundance on “street weed”.

The smell is the give-away. Good pot should smell like potpourri – aromatic, like dried flowers. There should be a clean, fresh, herbal smell to the bud, and it should burn clean, leaving a white or grey ash. That chemical, skunky, acrid smelling stuff is the stuff you want to avoid. That black-ash and the burning headache behind your eyes should also give you a clue as to the low quality of the bud you just smoked.

Thing is, these chemicals are found in trace amounts in many of our foods, so it isn’t like they would be particularly dangerous if they were eaten. But the bio-availability of these chemicals when they are burnt and exposed to lung tissue is much greater than it would be in the gut. People can get lung infections and do permanent lung and throat damage smoking this stuff, never mind what those weird compounds might be doing to the rest of your body when it hits the bloodstream.

Then there is the nincompoop rabble who buy a book, a lamp, and a hand full of seeds from the local “head shop”, and try to finance their trip to europe by “selling dope”. What these guys usually end up with is a bunch of stringy plants with weak little buds – the pot heads’ equivalent of a tomato plant in a window box. By the time he factors in all the hydro, fertilizers, and hassle, the pot he grew in his dorm room (and smoked before he could sell any), probably cost him about $125 a gram.

Occasionally, a teen can connect with a clean(er) source of pot – like some “mom `n pop” grower who knows what they are doing, and they can worry less about things like chemicals and where their money will end up. But this is a rarity. Especially since most dealers are congenital liars who will tell people that the pot they sell is as clean as clean can be. Sometimes their suppliers are liars. Either way, teens are operating in an area where no one can be trusted, and everyone is looking to come out on top, and teens are the bottom of the totem pole.

Teens (and parents) need not worry about people “lacing” their purchase with anything like meth and cocaine, for a few reasons. First off, pot is cheap, and those drugs are expensive. No one is going to waste expensive product on cheap product, as it cuts into profits. In fact, we “legalizers” have been asking the police for years to show us even one lab report supporting the claim that pot is “laced” with anything, and they have not. But as I said, the pot they sell to kids is usually the stuff that adults turn their nose up at when offered.

But sometimes the dealer shrugs and says “Sorry, dude. Just sold my last quarter. Got some other goodies here, if you like.” So the teen, who was, until then, in search of a light-hearted buzz, is now left with the choice of making the best of this weirdo’s inventory, having a sober weekend, or calling all over town for the whole night trying to get clean bud. “Well… what have you got…?”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how the “gateway” thing works. It isn’t that pot makes you want to chase a higher high, it is that dealers often have far more than just pot available for sale. Studies show that most people who use pot tend to use less hard drugs, less booze, and less prescription medications.

And don’t get the idea that there is some creep lurking in the park trying to ensnare your kids into the drug world. No one is out there trying to get your kid to try drugs. Get it into your heads, Canada: your children have an insatiable appetite for drugs of all kinds, and the dealers are barely able to keep up with the demand. And it is everyone’s fault.

Canadians smoke more pot per capita than any other country on earth. We smoke the most potent pot on earth, and admit to toking and then driving more than any other country on earth. We have had our population increase dramatically in the past few decades, and our roads are more crowded every year. Yet the per capita accident rate has been dropping. Some could conclude that all this pot use is actually making roads safer!

That said, driving high is just dumb. Pot is not like alcohol, and it does not impair every user every time. But it can impair. The slightest reduction in reaction time, the slightest distraction, can mean death. So people need to use common sense and, much like they should be doing with booze, give it some time to wear off.

Bringing drugs to school is as dumb as it gets. Schools are private property, usually owned by a community, and managed by hired specialists, but just like a restaurant or hospital, they are still private places. The people in charge can make the rules they want. If the school says no blue hats, then that is the rule. In my opinion, any kid dumb enough to bring their drugs to school needs to be held back a grade, because they are clearly not thinking straight.

Going to school high is also not cool at all. Imagine if you and your friends had a band. You have been working hard and have some songs together, and get a gig at a birthday party. If everyone pays attention and digs it, you will probably want to keep doing it, and do it well. If everyone is baked and non-responsive, or barely listening, then you are going to hate performing. Your teachers feel the same way, so show them the respect you would expect, and be sober in class.

If you are already a chronic user who wants to quit, you might notice a mild “withdrawal”. This usually consists of a few sleepless nights, restlessness, and some anxiety. I describe it to people as “an overwhelming feeling of boredom”. It will pass, as there is no physical dependance with cannabis use, just a sort of “re-adjustment” after the use is discontinued. Exercise and lots of water (and maybe finding something better to do with your time than getting high), will usually alleviate this feeling in a short while.

Now, about being “high”… the reason people have memory issues and reaction/motor problems with pot is because of how pot stimulates the brain. Areas of the brain that govern creativity and non-linear thinking are stimulated when cannabis is present, so, the imagination starts to broaden and wander. Many people mistake this for “added creativity”, whereas it is more like a person trying to carry a mattress. A single mattress is easy for one person to carry, but a double, or a queen, though still technically light enough to lift, is difficult to manage because it flops around and is cumbersome. This is what happens to the unaccustomed mind when using cannabis, and that is why it is a bad idea to drive or go to class high on pot.

Some people, like me, find the opposite is true. Cannabis focuses my anxious mind and allows me to keep my many responsibilities in order. Some teens say that they use pot to relax, to reduce stress, and to cope with the pressures of teen life. But how many other things are they doing that augment the problems? Maybe – just maybe – if they got more exercise, stopped drinking carbonated, sweetened, caffeinated drinks, and stopped playing 11 hours of intense video games every day, they would find it easier to relax.

There are some times when young people can use marijuana – like under the supervision of a health care providers and parents. ADHD, autism, and many other behavioral problems are being treated with cannabis in people as young as six, with resoundingly positive results. But that doesn’t mean that teens should be doing any self-medicating, it means the parents should be more educated and more involved.

Russell Barth

Educators For Sensible Drug Policy

Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana User

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

James Moak

 

Leave a Reply

101 Comments on "What Teens Need To Know About Marijuana (From An Adult Who Uses Ten Grams A Day) by Russell Barth – July 9, 2011"

avatar
400
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Furtz
Member

There should be an eleventh commandment:
Thou shalt not be a hateful pain in the ass.
Gawd screwed up badly with that omission.

Russell Barth
Guest

wow…… just, wow……

Freedom
Guest
Well written Russell! I would have to agree with pretty much everything stated as facts on cannabis use and the problems caused by prohibition. As for the preacher, well it’s obvious he’s found a new drug to be addicted to. I’ve known a few friends that ended up with the same addiction as Pastor Tom Newton. They always took things to the extreme, first it was the drugs and now it’s preaching the bible. These people seem to lack a true sense of worth, they can’t cope with their own deficiencies so they constantly look at everyone else, and try… Read more »
tnpreacher555
Member
Freedom – free agents, not free will. There is a difference, do you know that difference? As sinners outside the saving work of Christ, we are free only to sin and hate God. As slaves to sin and Satan, we have freedom only to serve sin, self, and Satan. As free agents we love are sins, therefore we are justly condemned before God. Eph 2:1 -4 ” In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power… Read more »
Furtz
Member

Freedom is a far kinder person than I could ever be. The explanation about the transition from drug addict to religious fanatic is something to think about. In this extreme case, I think the drug addict would be less harmful to the community than the religious fanatic. I don’t know any drug user, or addict who constantly and publicly preaches hateful crap.

Beadwired
Guest
Mr Barth, great article! thanks for speaking up against the evils of cannabis prohibition. >>> the time is now to make our voices heard ~ God bless ya! Mr. Preacher, get off your high horse. you call yourself a Christian Preacher? you give Christianity a bad name. you don’t need to defend the Bible, God’s Word. it will speak for itself. FYI: God created cannabis. it’s a wonderful non-toxic plant. it’s mankind that made cannabis illegal = cursing cannabis… and destroying people’s lives by incarcerating non-violent, no-victim cannabis criminals. cannabis IS NOT the devil’s weed! get over it & show… Read more »
Freedom
Guest
No preacher, it is free will. It is MY free will and I hate no one, not even the fictional characters you speak of like god and the devil. I love all, just as I love you Tom, for love is the only emotion necessary for a beautiful and fulfilling life. All other emotions are nothing more than an annoyance that cloud your judgment and impair your ability to truly love your fellow beings. These are MY thoughts originating from my own free will, not an interpretation of some book that’s been rewritten more times than anyone is really aware… Read more »
Furtz
Member

This should be good. A born-again arguing with a born-again!
Lord Jesus H Christ!!! Are their no sane people left on this planet?

tnpreacher555
Member

Freedom – “Let God be true and every man a lair” (Rom.3:4).

tnpreacher555
Member

No, Furtz, You have it all wrong – Freedom doesn’t sound like a “born again one” – Would a true “born again one” ridicule God’s Holy Word -“not an interpretation of some book that’s been rewritten more times than anyone is really aware of”? Not in a thousand years!

John 8:47 “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God”.

1Jn 4:5 “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them”.

Grimalot
Guest

Only the preacher could come up with crap scripture to spew back at someone wishing them well..

Roy Berger
Member
@ Freedom @Preacher Troll: One of you will understand the humour. Aren’t we lucky that the bible was written in English? http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm @Freedom and R. Barth – I was talking to BOB. He said there was room for you at the infinite table of poker, wine and weed. That you would be granted wisdom, that deception should come to an end. BOB says, thank you to your wife for giving a stranger a drink from her jar of water, in a bus shelter, in Ottawa, in April. BOB walks among us. On X-Day you will be saved (for a fair… Read more »
Russell Barth
Guest

and every man a LAIR?

As in the dragon’s lair?

tnpreacher555
Member

Sub – Do you mean BOB the Builder – wow, I impressed! BOB can not only build and repair houses, He has the ability to grant absolution.

tnpreacher555
Member
Yes, Russel, it is liar, not lair. Thank you for the correction. As to the dragon , the Lord Jesus says this about the Father of lies and those that follow in his footsteps: Joh 8:43 – 45 ” Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for… Read more »
Furtz
Member

What would it take to convince the preacher to get back to following the devil, or maybe taking up car-surfing?

tnpreacher555
Member
Bearedwired – why do argue for something you already have? “I use cannabis daily to ease my suffering. i also have a license from Health Canada since 2002. got a problem with that?” So your solution is to legalize pot for all? Whether or not someone has a real medical need? Sounds like you are using your medical need as a front to abolish all restrictions on pot? I am not saying you don’t have a medical need, else why would you be licensed, but you are using your liberty to corrupt the minds of many others, who in deed… Read more »
Russell Barth
Guest

“Tell me of a regular user of pot that doesn’t use other drugs and alcohol? ”
Me and my wife. Haven’t touched booze or drugs or caffeine or sugar or table salt in years. yeast, gluten, and dairy as well.
i bet preacher uses a lot of pharmaceuticals and store-bought drug-store fodder. aspirin kills tens of thousands of people every year!
peanuts kill more people than pot. let’s criminalize THOSE things….

Russell Barth
Guest

rambling morons is a good name for a punk band with an ironic christian-themed attire gimmick

Freedom
Guest
Never decriminalization Tom, only full legalization for all adults will be suffice for me. For legalization is all about the freedoms that I fight for all Canadians to enjoy and cherish. What I choose to put into MY body is MY decision Tom, as long as I hurt no one else in the process it is NOT a crime. As for me being the devil and a god hater, well that’s your opinion and I feel you’re entitled to it. And while you regurgitate all you read in your little book that appears to be sending a hateful message to… Read more »
Stan
Member

Careful Tom, I think he wants your body……

Furtz
Member

@ Freedom. Apparently I’m a “God hater” too! I’m still trying to figure out how I can hate something that doesn’t exist. I do hate hate mongers, and they clearly do exist.

tnpreacher555
Member

One day, Freedom – to – sin, you will be judged from that little book – by the Great Holy God who gave us that little book! Your love and peace is from a unregenerate human heart, a love and peace that God rejects!

Russell Barth
Guest

“The invisible giant in the sky is mad at you. I have deducted this, because of what this 2000 year old book – written by sheep-herders who knew nothing of science – told me so. At least, I think it did, and that is what gives me the right to call you names and disparage you. This 2000 year old book says I am supposed to.”

tnpreacher555
Member
The Holy Word of God says – ‘ all have sinned” and that the wrath of this Justice/Holy God abides on every sinner outside the saving/renewing work of God Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus said – “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him John 3:36). Also “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). The Bible’s revelation of the human heart (which includes… Read more »
The Watcher
Member

You’re all a bunch of bloody idiots. Why the fight over God and whether or not he exists?

No one can prove God exists. Equally, no one can prove God does not exist. So give it a rest.

In my opinion, Russell Barf is no better than the Pastor. Both of them should be locked up together in a small room, and the key should be thrown away so they can spend eternity together in their own company, without causing harm or distress to anyone else.

Stan
Member

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”. Now don’t that just sound like Barf & Pastor?

Russell Barth
Guest

watcher: again with changing the last two letters of my name. Gold. Comedy Gold. How you manage to come up with this stuff…….. brilliant.

Furtz
Member

@ Russell. I hope you continue to share your thoughts/essays on this site despite the three or four a-holes who comment with insults and/or bible quotes.

Russell Barth
Guest

yeah…. working on one about living with a pot license, and the myths that surround it.

Furtz
Member

Looking forward to it.

cory
Guest

russell hats off to you great story i smoke for pain waiting for back surgery i am not on any pain killers other than my weed pain killers make me hard to be around bitchy miserable and they rot your insides out i am much easyer to be around makes it so i can get through each day with some dignty i cat wailk to the corner as it is with out the smoke i would be completely screwed great story from cory sudbury ontario peace

Dominque Seidler
Guest

As I was reading over What Teens Need To Know About Marijuana (From An Adult Who Uses Ten Grams A Day) by Russell Barth – July 9, 2011 | for the day I noticed there were a handful of places I tend to argue on. I don’t argue on the subject, but on how the pattern this time. Somethings improper, almost like this post was written without care or any kind of trouble at all like normally. I’ll continue to keep reading but I pray it gets back again to exactly how it always had been. Dominque Seidler

Brytnee
Guest
@Preacher Troll: you really need to get off that 10-story high horse of yours, mister. I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s really not that impressive to blather on and quote from a book. It’s funny how you’re doing nothing but making yourself look like an arse. All you’re doing is picking apart the things that you’ve been told are “bad”. What if you were the one with a debilitating disease and had an extremely high tolerance to pharmaceuticals? Just gonna deal with it and pray to g_d that he relieve your pain? No, you would go to any… Read more »
Furtz
Member

@ Brytnee. No point in trying to talk to someone who is so totally consumed by, and pumped up with hate.

tnpreacher555
Member
Brytnee – your advice, opinion, in sight (if you want to call it that – I would not) is purely from the eyes of a lost, unregenerate person. The wisdom of the this world in God’s is foolishness. Of course you don’t understand such Bible terminology, so I will do my best just to give you what the inspired, preserved, authoritative word of God has to say about your advice: Isa 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them”. There are many other… Read more »
tnpreacher555
Member

Correction – The wisdom of this world in God’s eyes is foolishness!

Furtz
Member

As I said., Brytnee, there’s no point in trying.
Correction #2…Isn’t insight one word?

Russell Barth
Guest

Stephen Fry vs Ann Widdecombe: Catholic Church Debate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fN3zDtfivc

Russell Barth
Guest

@admin
Meh. Too hot and too windy and too crowded in Ottawa. Especially the market.
So we tend to stay home.

Jinxed
Guest

Wow, how did you get licensed? I’m 50% service connected for PTSD, and have had fibro for years as well. On complete disability, and symptoms are under control in a low stress environment. I also use on occasion, to relieve extreme symptoms. For PTSD, I was fortunate to get into an excellent Cognitive Behavior Therapy group, and my depression meds also help my fibro. About to try IV vitamin therapy and Recuperat-ION drink.

This article is excellent. Thanks for taking the time to write!

chris_miller
Guest
why is it that religion has such a strong stance on pot tnpreacher555 but not alcohol is it because god has a bac of at least a 7 percent now most of us don’t really care about what u want to do with your free time if it is repeatedly posting bible verses, or smoking pot. god is said to have a plan for us all and it is also said he know what we are going to do before we do it so is it your assumption god put u on this earth to go on websites and preach.… Read more »
tnpreacher555
Member
Chris writes -“why is it that religion has such a strong stance on pot tnpreacher555 but not alcohol… ‘”. All alcohol consumption should be banned as well as keeping pot restricted. The move to let local mom/pop stores sell beer, liquor, etc is wicked, and differently bad news, and should be opposed in every way! In the states, for example in Ohio, were I grew up local stores were allowed to sell – what a mess. Society will not be better for this, for sure. Another reason to make those guilty of drunk driving pay dearly for their drunkenness, and… Read more »
tnpreacher555
Member
In fact, God sends drunkenness upon a society to punish it for not taking heed to God’s Word: Jeremiah 13:13 ” Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness”. Why? Jer 13:10 tells us “This evil people, who refuse to hear My Words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart and walk after other gods to serve them and to worship them, shall even be… Read more »
Furtz
Member

@ Chris. With no punctuation, it’s really hard to make sense of your post.

Cornwall Harry
Member

er…whats punctuation?

Furtz
Member

Funny!

Russell Barth
Guest

Jesus Goes To Ottawa’s Pride Parade

Read the story: http://russellbarthhasablog.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/jesus-goes-to-ottawas-pride-parade/

see the video and the pics gallery on facebook (both links are in the story).