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the addiction debate

Discussion in 'Vaporization Discussion' started by rozroz, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. rozroz

    rozroz Active Member

    Messages:
    207
    hi and hello to all elders ;)
    lately i was wondering with myself what would be my definition of being mentally dependable on "herbs",
    and also, maybe even more interesting, what is the difference between using the herbs to pass the time and for different hobbies, and using them for more creative artistic environment.

    just to be clear: the discussion is for using herbs to get high and creative.
    not as a medicine for pain, which obviously has to be taken to live properly.


    about myself, i am kind of an artist, mainly musician, and i'm having 2-3 evenings a week using Cannabis, mainly to help a bit with my focus and creativity.
    this definitely a good thing, which really makes me getting many different ideas and angles i would probably dismiss otherwise, or regard them with too much criticism, etc.

    the thing is, i am a bit on the depressive side, regarding my life mostly as a failure, and at 43, trying to work my way into looking at things differently.

    so when i'm under the influence (very light session is enough for me), i feel i can dive into my own "playground",
    and do my stuff, enjoy and escape from the harshness of living.

    that brings me into the whole mental addiction thing.
    when i feel medicated, it's like a sort of bliss, a breath of magic air, being a child, and all that.

    as a sensitive and too much of a thinker, i immediately feel the "consequences" the day after.
    the brain wants it again, moodiness.. symptoms of mental dependency that i recognize and prefer to avoid.

    so i wanted to hear your thoughts on this kind of delicate struggle, that prevents me form just being medicated at least every evening.
    you may ask why - why won't you just let loose and be medicated all the time?

    well, because it's depressing! that's why. it's a magic world that invites you in and basically you poison your brain with the herbs, and i KNOW it's not the way i wanna live daily.

    so feel free to discuss your angle on the subject.

    thanks! :leaf:
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
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  2. Farid

    Farid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    I wouldn't call that being medicated. It sounds like you are using cannabis as a recreational drug, the way many people use alcohol or other drugs. People who need cannabis for medical issues don't have a choice about their use often times. I wish I could be drug free. I wish I could have a glass of wine with dinner. I wish I could be weed free, and smoke once a month, and get absolutely wasted.

    But I use cannabis to treat my seizures and my side effects of seizure meds. It only works as a medicine if I use it every day (like every other medicine for epilepsy). I cannot drink alcohol. I cannot get intoxicated in any form, as it increases my seizure threshold.

    Am I addicted to cannabis? If I asked myself that question I would have to ask myself if I am addicted to my prescription drugs, and that is a road that leads nowhere (well I shouldn't say nowhere, in the past it has led me to the ER and a 6 day hospital stay).

    People like to throw the term medicated around, but when I say medicated I mean medicated. My seizures are controlled, but just 2 days ago I had a breakthrough partial "petit mal" aura, and I found myself stuffing vaped bud into my mouth, and praying for things to subside.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  3. rozroz

    rozroz Active Member

    Messages:
    207
    deeply sorry, added correction in OP
    of course real medication for various pains is a totally different subject.
    apologies!
     
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  4. Farid

    Farid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Before I knew I had epilepsy I used to smoke a lot. This was in highschool when I had discovered cannabis, and so had all my friends. We used to smoke together, and of my friends, I smoked a lot less than many of them. That said, I smoked way more frequently. Where my friends preferred to smoke a blunt or chief bong rip after bong rip, I preferred to micro dose with a 1 hitter or my MFLB. I'd still smoke with them, but on my own I was always extremely conservative (I used to be good, not quite lwein, but I was conservative as Ayn Rand with my bud lol). When I'd ask my friends why they didn't smoke the way I did, it was because they didn't get much effects from it. They preferred to get blasted.

    What I'm getting at is that I didn't realize it at the time, but my smoke habits were the way they were because I was self medicating. It wasn't until I got older that my seizures became too much for me to deny any more, and I realized I wasn't like the others.

    I agree it is depressing to have to be on medication every day. If I was totally healthy I probably wouldn't choose to use cannabis every day. I don't think I am a depressed person or prone to depression, but I think that if I had to face the realization I had epilepsy without cannabis as a grounding factor, I would feel much worse about my condition. So I can see how cannabis acts as a guiding/grounding force for others who may not have a specific condition, but are just dealing with life's general hardships.
     
  5. natural farmer

    natural farmer in transit...

    Messages:
    2,870
    Location:
    Fucking Greece
    We live our life through our addictions. Our addictions are the salt of life. Without our addictions we would cater only for our basic needs and without even getting any pleasure while doing it.

    Love is an addiction. Food is an addiction. Laughter is addiction. Sex is an addiction. A hug is anaddiction. We all do the things we like to do every day cause it makes us happier, it changes the chemistry in our brains.

    We can also choose our addictions. There are addictions we think are good for us and addictions we think are bad for us. Our cultures often dictate this. Our environment as well.

    I choose the addictions that I think they do me good. I think cannabis does me good. I like feeling "medicated, like sort of a bliss, a breath of magic air, being a child, and all that". Why wouldn't I? Because I want it again? I want everything that makes me feel good again and again. At some point if I overdo an addiction it might harm me. But I am free and that's a choice and I have to deal with the consequences.
    Cleobulus, an ancient Greek and one of the 7 sages of Greece, said that moderation is the best thing... Cannabis included I say. ;)
     
  6. rozroz

    rozroz Active Member

    Messages:
    207
    well, of course yours is a totally different story, you don't have an option..
    but you feel you could very well live without it if it was otherwise.
    i personally can live without it, but i learned to respect that "other world" i can visit and take creative advantage of (with the price of being moody and more irritated the days after).
    i guess that when you don't have a choice, at least you don't have a dilemma anymore.

    @natural farmer ,
    my problem with cannabis is, that fro me it immediately makes life pale in comparison.
    so micro doses 2-3 times a week is the only option not to let that feeling consume me.
    for me it's depressing to know i need a drug to feel good.
    maybe it's my inner self preservation telling me to keep away.
    i cannot see myself medicated all day long. it's like a failure.
    my personal feeling is that our brain is not supposed to work that way.
    and yes, that exactly what i mean that it's addictive and the brain immediately
    starts being dependent on it.

    Mod note: posts merged
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2016
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  7. natural farmer

    natural farmer in transit...

    Messages:
    2,870
    Location:
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    Our brain is sure not supposed to work that way but then again, life is not supposed to be such a bitch. Humans have really fucked up with this wonderful gift evolution gave us, the brain...

    We have to adapt, as we always did. Don't feel guilty about needing a crunch... Crunches are there to help. It's your own mind that tells you you're a failure... People around you maybe as well. But you are what you are, one way or another. If it helps you it's OK. :2c:

    Feeling bad in your life is like any other condition. If you need a medicine, even every day, all day to feel better and that medicine is not physically harmful for you then why not?

    I feel you buddy. I have been there for the last 8 years. I don't feel bad any more. I have accepted my brain is hurt from reality. I will keep helping it until I can change my reality and I am on the way to do it.
     
  8. Farid

    Farid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    But how are our brains supposed to work? If I went through life with the mentality that our brains are supposed to work one way I would have to see myself as broken. I won't go so far as to say my epilepsy is a gift, but on a regular day I feel like a regular person. I know this thread is about recreational use, but in my experience there is tons of cross over between recreational and medical use.
     
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  9. natural farmer

    natural farmer in transit...

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    Location:
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    Recreation is a medicine... :nod:

    And yes, how are our brains supposed to work??? Not one brain works the same with another. Some brains need their love, some their herbals... Damn, some even need their violence.
     
  10. invertedisdead

    invertedisdead Beware of Pizza

    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    Agrabah
    I would suggest microdosing psilocybin for existentialist depression.
     
  11. natural farmer

    natural farmer in transit...

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    Location:
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    Isn't that toxic

    EDIT: Well it is but very little... :)
     
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  12. HighSeasSailor

    HighSeasSailor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    147
    70% of Americans Take Prescription Drugs

    Sometimes when you feel that you come up short, it's useful to take stock of where you actually stand.

    Consider that on top of the above 70%, you have various numbers of people who regularly depend on alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, chocolate, etc. And of course, those especially unfortunate who employ truly harmful habits such as hard drugs and self-harm to get through their day. Do you know anyone who has not one psychological crutch to cope with the shitshow that is normal life?

    Using cannabis as needed to make you not miserable is frankly a pretty benign coping mechanism, especially if you've opted to vape. It's not for me to tell you how much is the right amount, never do what you're not happy with, but I also think you may be needlessly beating yourself up a bit.

    I agree with the above sentiment that while being stoned all day isn't quite "natural", neither is the rest of your life. We live deprived of the most basic natural pleasures that all our ancestors had for ages - sometimes as basic as seeing the clear sky, breathing clean air, and hearing the silence. Any wonder that we now feel compelled to escape inside ourselves, when escape outside has been rendered impossible?

    At the risk of sounding esoteric, you talk of how you don't want to live your life, but why not act on how you do? If you think something needs improvement, do it, then feel free to reward yourself without guilt however you see fit; if your inner self says you'd kinda like to get high without feeling bad about it, then I say do it. So long as you know you are doing good, rewarding yourself with proportionate indulgence is the adult version of positive reinforcement.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  13. natural farmer

    natural farmer in transit...

    Messages:
    2,870
    Location:
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    Oh, some people have their way with words... :tup:

    +1
     
  14. kimura

    kimura Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    299
    nobody can really claim that we "are not supposed" to consume chemical compounds available to us here on Earth, "naturally" or otherwise, since this is environment in which our brains and bodies evolved. documented production and consumption of "drugs" dates back to what may be the dawn of civilization, ancient Sumer. we've never as a species been "drug free." we were consuming/ingesting/absorbing mind altering chemical compounds accidentally before we started doing it on purpose!

    so definitely be safe, don't do anything that will have negative consequences, but spare yourself the moral agonizing and guilt... it's self inflicted pain based on total bullshit.
     
  15. darbarikanada

    darbarikanada Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    ecotopia
    I think I share a lot of what you wrote: artist, sensitive, tendency to depression, definitely prone to a mood 'dip' following use. for what it's worth, here are some thoughts:

    1. if cannabis helps you to be creative, that suggests that it's helping you allow some inner creativity, which is normally difficult to access, to be expressed, i.e. the creativity's 'in there' but a part or parts of you make it hard to access. somehow, cannabis gives you 'permission' to be creative. this is all innocuous enough - cannabis' downsides are pretty mild for most people (esp. if you vape instead of combust), but ideally you (probably?) want a sustainable way to be creative that doesn't require an assist. you've already figured out that your current pattern is a balancing act, controlling your tolerance through micro-dosing and not falling into the 'too much of a good thing' trap.
    2. contemporary western ideas of creativity center on the idea of 'genius' and 'talent', so the attraction of a drug that makes things seem more profound fit right in - vape some cannabis, get insights - voila. a lot of research in recent years (look up '10,000 hours') suggests that this idea isn't very true or very helpful; the truth is more like '99% perspiration, 1% inspiration'. I've heard art-making compared to a foreign language: if you don't devote a decent amount of time to it, you lose it. eastern cultures are more savvy (IMO), recognizing that it's all about how much work you put in (having a good teacher and a good practice routine - 'deliberate practice' - matter too of course). a friend of mine from India, after seeing a really good musical performance, said 'wow, that guy must have a serious practice' - he didn't say, like westerners do, 'that guy sure has talent'. my point: if you want your creativity to flow, there are no shortcuts - you have to 'get your hands dirty', 'do the work', etc.
    3. you're already paying attention to the downside of using (moodiness, craving the 'day after'). at the moment, you're getting some of what you want (creative flow), but at a price. if your brain has gotten accustomed to using cannabis as the 'freeing agent', it's unrealistic to think you can break this pattern easily. I think the only way you'll be able to at least get a sense of an alternative MO is to take an extended break, during which you actually force yourself to create, even if it's the simplest forms. a famous study had 2 art teachers instruct their students differently: one had the students work on a single painting the whole quarter, while the other had the students do a pile of work. in the end, it was the students who cranked stuff out who did better work. in other words, don't sweat every little mark - just roll up your sleeves, start making stuff, and the odds are that eventually you'll get stuff you like.

    and there won't be any moodiness or craving after.

    the last thing, which is kind of contained in what I already wrote, is that your brain will need time to change its neuronal pathways, so you should expect a bumpy ride - but it gets easier. I'd recommend keeping track of the moodiness and craving, see its patterns. a black and white record of what's going on might help you avoid deluding yourself - we humans are so good at self-deception! what I'm describing is a months or years long process.

    baring your soul here took courage. good luck.
     
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  16. herbivore21

    herbivore21 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,819
    Whoa, guys, cannabis helps depression. Both CBD and THC have been found to assist in depression. CBD even has an identified mechanism of action in the scholarly literature where it has been found to lead to hippocampal neurogenesis - the formation of new nerve cells in a part of the brain which atrophies with the long term experience of stress and depression.

    To the OP: Depression is a medical symptom - just like physical pain, just like any other health symptom! There are many serious health conditions that cause depression, not just psychological conditions, but neurological, physiological (even problems with your digestive tract will effect your mood). Depression is a legitimate condition to medicate and left untreated, is potentially LIFE THREATENING in more ways than just the risk of suicide!

    You also note that you get mood related symptoms when you stop using cannabis. If you are using cannabis to combat depressive symptoms (and it is working successfully as you say), then you should expect that you will experience mood symptoms when stopping cannabis treatment of mood symptoms! If you stopped taking a psychiatric medication for depression suddenly, let me tell you, you would be begging for these 'cannabis withdrawals'. Those are some much more serious discontinuation symptoms and withdrawals are just not comparable to what happens from cannabis.

    To the OP, please man, you are second guessing yourself in a way that is probably not helpful for your mental health. It is sadly common, especially if we're around sheltered people who can't understand medical cannabis use. There are alternatives if you don't want to use cannabis to medicate your mental health symptoms, sure and man I'm not here to tell you what to do. If you can, it is worth trying some CBT. Seriously though, if you have depression and don't have access to this kind of ongoing psychological health care (that is a lot of us, that is expensive shit!), then you are better off with cannabis than the other shit doctors will give you! :2c:

    Try to find more CBD based products. This will take the edge off of some of the less tolerated THC symptoms (especially will take care of any anxiety that comes from too much THC taken in one go too quickly which is hell for those with depression and anxiety) and will give you effective relief without relying on THC. Also man, you are using cannabis less than half the days of the week. That cannot be considered a noteworthy dependency. It sounds like you get depressive symptoms fairly regularly, but not absolutely all the time and you have success medicating that with cannabis.

    The mainstream alternatives are CBT (or some variant) if you can afford it, medications that take months to start showing effect and which have troubling, in some cases more distressing side effects than the original mental health symptoms and which cause serious discontinuation syndromes upon cessation of use. Mindfulness (usually combined with CBT) is useful for some people, however in the case of serious anxiety and stress, mindfulness is useless. Any professional will tell you that if you cannot get yourself into a relaxed state, you are not going to get anything out of mindfulness. The problem with the mainstream media discussion of mindfulness is that they push it as the cure-all for depression and anxiety which it is NOT! In fact, there are some mentally ill cohorts for which it brings about negative reactions!

    Remember, depression makes us have low-self-esteem, poor self-image. We are liable to think of ourselves as helpless and 'less-than' in one way or another (isn't the mainstream view of addiction in the US just that, helplessness constructed through a lens of inferiority). That doesn't mean that every negative self-thought that you have is justified.

    Take care of yourself brother, whatever you do. :peace:
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  17. steama

    steama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,804
    @herbivore21 speaks good truth.

    Personally I do not feel herb is addictive at least in a physical sense. I do not feel one poisons their brain with the use of the herb either. I think that is just crazy talk.

    Because of a condition I have, there are drugs I take that I am in fact addicted to. If I do not take these medicines regularly I cannot sleep as in not at all. I used to take a drug called clonazepam that I became addicted to. When I stopped the drug, under doctors supervision, it took me four months to be able to sleep normally through the night - it was a real bitch physically.

    I feel what you are experiencing is a mild, early form of mental dependence on cannabis, after all you like it. I also think your concerns and views about addictions is causing anxiety and adding to the perception of addiction which it is not.

    If I were an herb witch doctor I would recommend you loosen up regarding your herb. If you want to puff a little and it is early in the day, when you do not usually puff - go ahead and have a little. It is not going to cause any addiction but it will relieve the anxiety of your resistance to having a little herb which is a stressor.

    Relax and enjoy your herb. If it ever gets too much it is not the most difficult thing to put down for a while. If you were truly addicted you would not be able to put it down without some help. Seriously, that's not how herb usually is.

    As with anything there will be individuals that feel they have a frustrating struggle or experience with the herb. Like anything you are always struggling with it is a sign it may not be for you.

    :peace:
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  18. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,733
    So, getting back to addiction....I am older and have lived what may euphemistically be called a checkered life. I rather like to look at it as I am an enthusiast with a malfunctioning governor. LOL

    To me, addiction is not a philosophical term to debate, although I do see where there is plenty to explore in that area. Just to me, just me personally, I don't need any stretched out definition of addiction...I have seen plenty of it and know it when I see it.

    I am not addicted to cannabis. I have habituated to it...that is, I'm used to taking it as a soporific before bed time...it let's me sleep with my injured back and I just like it. It also helps with my mood disorders and peculiarities (i.e. my sometimes "not as nice as I would want" attitude toward others LOL).

    But I have had, many times, needed to take a break from it for a long while and after a couple of days I'm used to not consuming and don't see any residual desires.

    I understand that there are people who do get addicted to cannabis. I can't argue with them...not my place to say. But then again, I can't believe that anybody can do a line of cocaine and not get strung out on that evil shit so I may not be a good judge here.

    Cheers
     
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  19. steama

    steama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,804
    Definition of Addiction from the American Society of Addiction Medicine

    Public Policy Statement: Definition of Addiction

    Short Definition of Addiction:

    Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

    Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death. I dunno, not too worried about a cannabis death.

    http://www.asam.org/quality-practice/definition-of-addiction

    Addiction is a huge forest with many different trees. My tree is the cannabis nut tree.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
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  20. darbarikanada

    darbarikanada Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    ecotopia
     
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  21. steama

    steama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,804
    ...yet there was so much more in the very first post and all subsequent posts. This always happens when addiction is brought up. It is a complex maze with overlapping situations and perspectives regardless the context. You could say it's kinda creative and yes I am high.
     
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  22. herbivore21

    herbivore21 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,819
    It is important to realize that even the formal psychiatric diagnostic criteria do not speak of cannabis addiction. Even the research looking at withdrawals is thread-bare and controversial among researchers (this does still remain within relevant diagnostic criteria in the DSM-V as we see below!).

    Cannabis use disorder (the main formal diagnosis that replaced the old 'cannabis dependence or cannabis abuse' diagnoses in the DSM-IV) requires at least two out of the following twelve criteria to be met:


    A problematic pattern of cannabis use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least 2 of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
    • Cannabis is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
    • There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control cannabis use.
    • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain cannabis, use cannabis, or recover from its effects.
    • Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use cannabis.
    • Recurrent cannabis use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
    • Continued cannabis use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of cannabis.
    • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of cannabis use.
    • Recurrent cannabis use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
    • Cannabis use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by cannabis.
    • Tolerance, as defined by either a (1) need for markedly increased cannabis to achieve intoxication or desired effect or (2) markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
    • Withdrawal, as manifested by either (1) the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for cannabis or (2) cannabis is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

      Let's stop and consider the final criterion, withdrawal:
      • Cessation of cannabis use that has been heavy and prolonged (ie, usually daily or almost daily use over a period of at least a few months).
      • Three or more of the following signs and symptoms develop within approximately 1 week after cessation of heavy, prolonged use:
        • Irritability, anger or aggression
        • Nervousness or anxiety
        • Sleep difficulty (ie, insomnia, disturbing dreams)
        • Decreased appetite or weight loss
        • Restlessness
        • Depressed mood
        • At least one of the following physical symptoms causing significant discomfort: abdominal pain, shakiness/tremors, sweating, fever, chills, or headache
      • The signs or symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
      • The signs or symptoms are not attributable to another medical condition and are not better explained by another mental disorder, including intoxication or withdrawal from another substance.
    Note that points 2 and 3 of the withdrawal criteria here are very relevant in the OP's case. If you stop using cannabis to treat depressive conditions that existed before the use of the cannabis, then there is an obvious differential diagnosis that should be made here that the underlying depressive symptoms were caused by something pre-existing and hence are not withdrawal symptoms, but simply the results of cessation of treatment of a symptom with medication!

    A number of other DSM-V diagnoses relate to cannabis, with diagnoses relating to cannabis related anxiety, psychosis, delirium and sleep disorders. However, these all have the same exclusionary criteria suggesting that if the titular symptom existed prior to the cannabis use, that the diagnosis of the cannabis disorder is precluded.

    I hope this clears up where clinicians stand on this topic! Of course, philosophically we can talk about addiction too, but the above are the criteria by which medical professionals, insurers etc operate!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  23. steama

    steama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,804
    amen...that was beautiful :cry:
     
  24. herbivore21

    herbivore21 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,819
    It really makes it clear how significant the barriers are with medical cannabis for mental health doesn't it?! There is so much confusion in the community about addiction and cannabis. There is so much more confusion out there about cannabis and mental health.

    There is less confusion in the letter of the literature as quoted above (although I really want to see studies demonstrating that there is a statistically significant number of people with 'cannabis withdrawals' as described above that are not explained by pre-existing symptoms that justifies including this criterion!!!), but even so, there is still great confusion among practitioners who IME are still inclined to hastily make cannabis-related diagnoses without paying attention to the exclusionary criteria (this is a big problem throughout clinical psych practice when applying the DSM and is not limited to drug related diagnoses!).

    This is where we need to see progress. It starts with more careful undergrad education of psych professionals and it is especially important that the best practice in the field and new research is effectively communicated throughout clinician's careers, even long after they have left college!
     
  25. steama

    steama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,804
    Good point. No real traction will be made until doctors learn how to use cannabis. Stoners are not going to be the key to the lock that answers any of these questions.

    One positive result of the current cannabis struggle in America is that science is finally beginning to be allowed to take a 'pseudo' look at the monarch of all herbs. Crazy that this is just happening and it is 2016 and all we really get is a sniff with our science. George Carlin was right.
     
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