The Cannabis Chronicles: “Those Unintended Consequences…”


I’ve been monitoring some of the State of Arizona petitions for adding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression and Migraine to the list of accepted conditions for Medical Marijuana. The State denied the petition after the medical advisory panel at the University of Arizona College of Public Health could not find sound clinical studies to support these requests. We have no clear research that proves efficacy (good benefit with no severe risk considering the severity of the ailment) of cannabis in these disorders. That’s not even including all the problems caused by cannabis we often see clinically in those challenged with these illnesses, such as increasing depression and reactivating or initiating psychosis. This is a complicated set of molecules, this cannabis. There will likely be discovery of medicinal uses for specific forms in the future.  Hopefully, delivery systems will be safer than smoking.

Our brain is a very complicated neuro-network, so we need to take good care of it!   We now know it is ever developing and changing. Those changes happen most rapidly when we are young, so we don’t want our children impairing their ability to mature and take full advantage of what their brain can do for them as they grow. Too many times I have witnessed lower or lost academic performance, diminished motivation to take advantage of opportunities and not fulfilling life to the level of their capabilities due to smoking weed. It will be interesting to see how the legal, recreational use impacts frequency of “underage” use.  And, since most people inhale deeply, hold cannabis smoke in the lungs longer than tobacco smoke, and use it without a filter, there will be a price to pay in medical costs as use becomes more mainstream.  Those unintended consequences…