Overall this makes sense to me as an individually who personally enjoys it. The whole point of getting high is to be impaired (for me). So it's not really telling me anything new. Like drinking, I can't expect myself to be 100% functioning the next day so plan accordingly.
The question is how long is that persistence and how much does it affect? Permanent? Doesn't really seem to be answered in a way that I was hoping.
For cognitive benefits or "virtuous pot smoking", I need to have exercise, sleep, right intentions, a clean room and music. If I do it right, I have transformational ideas. If I don't write them down, they are gone.
The first hour is often a wash. I expect little. I often combine with coffee. Then, after an hour, I can work for 6 hours with true inspiration. It makes me care so much. Music is key. It's basically a spiritual work experience. Less is more-- if I smoke too much or too often (3+ times per week) I'm just stoned.
I've been working on moderate, prepared, virtuous pot smoking for years. It is still a challenge, but I know i'm not the only high functioning cannabis user.
There are plenty of people that are highly functioning and regular smokers of pot that don't go through this level of ceremony about their usage, and I am somewhat skeptical this level of preparation is even particularly helpful in making someone a high functioning cannabis user in general.
Not saying it doesn't work for you, but this sort of story is something of a shibboleth on HN where someone claims that they do X process with Y substance or even just mental attitude and produce Z results.
Preparation is usually important to have a good time.
e.g. I clean up my apartment, buy groceries, do anything that needs to be done.
This is sort of what gets me high already. It's a success and smoking after having everything done is a blast.
My head is empty and I have nothing on my mind.
The perfect mix to really enjoy it (for me).
To me, it's the distinction between "being stoned" and "virtuous pot smoking" and the connection being made between the latter being something that "high functioning cannabis users" do.
Lots of people just get stoned. That isn't what makes them high functioning or not - it's whether that impacts their ability to have a productive and fulfilling life. For me, and the many people I know that are regular users, the answer is not really. I imagine there are likely some trade offs, but I and the people I know have good careers, fulfilling personal lives, and do it because we enjoy it, the same way I partake in other hobbies I enjoy.
We value disruption in tech industries but our normative language for concentration, "focus" is lethal to creative thought. Reading math or daydreaming about research, one wants discursive ideas to intrude. This tool could be used for that... One wants to see with a generality not found in the source material, not be a good little "Simon Says" player.
Daytime consciousness is cognitive impairment. I wish the middle of the night could last forever.
There's the old trope that cannabis simply makes us believe we're being fantastically creative. So what? We're creatures who need affirmation. Interest, not raw technical reasoning ability, is the primary driver for creative research. Cannabis in moderation enhances interest.
I originally started doing this because I've got chronic pain and it helps replace the pain signal. The flow state is an added benefit.
a couple of years ago, in my first year of university, i had developed an unfortunate weed addiction (it really is quite convenient for those who want to escape painful lives into fantasy), but after a couple years of cold turkey, i found myself missing the refreshing change of perspective that weed can genuinely provide when used responsibly.
these days, i try not to smoke more than once a week, and when i do so i try to make sure it doesn’t bleed into the rest of my life in all the same ways you do. clean room, coffee, music, notepad.
i am wary of relying on psychoactive substances to be creative, but whenever i’ve hit a dead end with a project, weed has a way of inspiring me to find new ways to solve a problem — be that aesthetic or technical design.
music is godly when high, and i have had many genuinely transformative moments listening to new albums under the substance.
for those wanting to “microdose” weed (as opposed to smoking blunt after blunt to get blitzed), i can highly recommend the DynaVap, an analogue weed vaporiser. the extraction of THC is significantly more efficient than combustion, and because the chamber is relatively small, it promotes consuming the substance responsibly.
(semi-tangent, but microdosing LSD has also been life changing, and i think delivers similar benefits to “microdosing” weed but with less brain fog, more clarity and more reliability)
You can know pretty much exactly how much THC you're getting and adjust / repeat as necessary. I haven't smoked in years but I've been vaping (with a Pax) for the past couple of years and attempted to "microdose" but it was very unpredictable and sometimes I would get higher than I wanted which is not good when using it for "work" purposes (programming, music, video editing, etc).
I've also recently come to the conclusion that for me, Cannabis definitely falls into the "less is more" category, and I limit regular doses (ie vaping to get high) to once a week. I can use the oils multiple times (at doses of roughly 5mg) to get into the zone without negative consequences.
When I overdo it with vaping I have the usual issues with forgetfulness (struggle to find words etc) and my motivation definitely takes a hit. Also I've found that tolerance grows very fast the more you use it and it becomes quite unpredictable.
Oh and for me it helps to mix it with a bit of caffeine as well. Slightly off topic but as someone sensitive to caffeine, the perfect "delivery mechanism" for me is a small shot of espresso in the morning and then a whole bunch of Sencha the rest of the day. Calm focus and good mood and still able to fall asleep :)
espresso + a whole bunch of sencha = calm + still able to fall asleep
==/==> "sensitive to caffeine", at least to my eyes!
I can see how music can induce creativity. But even so I often find myself unable to get into the same intentional creative state that even green tea and natural motivation provides.
what tips do you have?
I keep a weed vape, as well as different sized pipes. The big, fancy one is great for extended/shared sessions, but the smallest one (called a bat, I think. It looks like a straight glass tube, with a small 'pinch' near one end) is my idea of a perfect single serving. It takes a bit of practice, but gives me between 3 to 5 light hits.
I'd only add to make sure you're drinking enough water and have some quality snacks nearby.
I definitely agree with doing it alone. I also use a fake cigarette "one hitter," as it is a minimal amount. It is always enough to work.
Also, yoga. Going to a Yoga class after a puff is just so healthy. Building health habits into drug use is a very good harmony of interests. Helps convince my wife that I'm not just getting stoned-- if I smoke, do work, work out, generate, etc—its hard to judge. (She also likes the sex—which Carl Sagan also talked about-- search for Mr x).
I believe Cannabis has a sort of state dependent memory. If you make an effort to fill cannabis experiences with lots of positive, productive, aesthetic events, it kind of "comes out" other times when you smoke. So, it takes practice! So, smoke before going to a museum, a concert or upon reaching the top of a mountain-- positive recreational use is another way to prepare for applied work-oriented use.
Never use it to escape. Use it to sensitize. And if you need it to solve your problems, that's a good sign that you might want to take a break.
I think your brain has a state dependent memory
Anything without lyrics.
Also, just listened to a few tracks from that, wow no way I could get anything done, I'd just drift off to sleep! (I've never used cannabis, but I imagine that would only make that more likely if anything, not less?)
I listen to much more 'up-beat' music while working sometimes; with lyrics but mostly that I don't understand. Ironically I started the playlist partly out of trying to learn the language (Hindi), but mostly it's too fast/advanced/niche for me to pick up much, so for this purpose it's roughly equivalent to not having lyrics I suppose. Except that I might mouth-along to particularly catchy bits even though I don't know what I'm saying usually.
If it was a teachable practice, I'm sure I'd have plenty of followers to boot.
It's still in the ideation stage, and we don't have anything other than a few 'what-ifs', but this is tech, so it's not like we need to be fully implemented before we start taking members.
Funnily enough I started to deal with ADD/ADHD in my family recently and learned from the doctor that this kind of behavior is symptomatic in adults.
Recently doc even shared this with me:
Not directing this at you particularly but starting treatment helped with my family life so hoping it can nudge someone to their own benefit.
The health benefits of the social contact almost certainly outweigh the negative health impacts of a tiny amount of alcohol.
Thomas Szasz has some books about drug history and the paths that turns a substance from legal to illegal. It only takes a high level guy to find the usage, made up some "facts", and illegalize it. Sadly, society is quick to buy those lies. E.g. someone claimed that some guys on LSD stared the sun for too long and got blind. It was a hoax, but so many media repeated the story that it got ingrained in the society that LSD is highly dangerous.
These are the people who claim "psychs" killed Kurt Cobain
The virus "wants" to infect more people so it can spread.
This article was written by a "professional" writer.
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.
__Stress is most likely super linear__
Not a doctor, but from what I know, the biggest negative effects of alcohol occur with binge drinking. From a logical perspective it makes sense that the negative effects are super linear, because that is the case with many forms of stress. When it comes to stress, there is always some threshhold value that you need to reach. When it is just over that threshhold value, you hurt, but you hurt a lot more if you reach 1.5threshhold value because there is 0.5threshhold value to wreak full havoc on your body while 1*threshhold value is being occupied with your body. Obviously, this way of thinking is simplified, but I think that's the intuition as to why many (but not all) forms of stress are super linear.
__Effects of alcohol in small and large quantities__
I think I've learned this particular fact about alcohol in my psych classes though, I can't fully remember so I can't cite sources (!). Another thing that I have learned is that alcohol is an upper at low quantities (1 to 2 standard glasses of beer), it gets your heart rate up, etc. It is a downer at larger quantities (e.g. drunk people at 10 standard glasses of beer). If you don't drink much alcohol, then you are most likely experiencing it as an upper, it doesn't continue that way.
I like to drink 1 to 2 glasses as well because of what you said, but also because it's an upper. When I was in my drug experimentation phase a few years ago, I've noticed I like uppers more.
__How to create upper effects without alcohol__
You don't have to drink alcohol to create an upper effect, when you go to a party, try this the next time: exercise beforehand, like a 3 to 6 mile run (if you have the stamina for that otherwise build it up). That will also produce a mild upper effect like alcohol. Another trick you can do is to present yourself as a hugger at the party (well maybe not with corona) and hug everyone you meet, that will also produce an upper effect. Also, dancing at parties will produce an upper effect (any aerobic exercise really).
My workshop on partying is open again in the summer, applications are open :P I guess I miss that time of my life. Partying sober is something to get used to, but it's possible (before I started experimenting with drugs, I started experimenting with partying sober, I've seen both sides).
> I like to drink 1 to 2 glasses as well because of what you said, but also because it's an upper.
This part of your comment reminded me of a very relevant and topical sketch from That Mitchell & Webb Look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTSCppeFzX4
More importantly, it's definitely not the case that that organization is real, it's merely fiction. And I definitely am not trying to thwart it by inticing people to drink one to TWO glasses.
However, if it were to be real, then one could say that my plan might be diabolical indeed.
This advice is not very productive for people who drink because they have social anxiety at parties though :-)
It's OK everyone. You don't have to endlessly add superlatives to your ideas to make them sound more exciting. Just say linear. It's SUPER effective!
super = above
supra = under
I looked for a source, here it is: https://grammarist.com/words/super-vs-supra/
Normally people say exponential, but I think that's a silly term as it is quite a specific term since it means that the exponent is a variable (e.g. 2^x, 3^x, for every n, so n^x). For example, x^2 is super linear, but it isn't exponential. Yet, I'm fairly sure that I've heard people say that something is "exploding exponentially" but what they meant is that it's super linear since they got the faintest clue how much faster their projections are going compared to a linear projection.
Like the parent, I don't find the reported results especially surprising - the part that would have been most interesting would have been how long after intoxication the observed effects last. Also, unfortunately, it's also clear that not everyone is as prudent with their cannabis consume as them, taking their performance even on the day after into account. I respect that sense of responsibility.
Unfortunately, a lot of research is focused on children and and not a lot of things are being tested (due to safety of children research I presume), however this start to change and more adult-based reasearch is being made. While there is no golden bullet most of the proposed changes are non-intrusive.
What we're doing is changing our diet foremost. More Omega-3 acids, shifting toward protein diet and supplementing magnesium and vitamin D. We put a bowl with a lot of nuts (and small bits of chocolate) and it's disappearing astoundingly fast (we were eating nuts before, but by making it more accessible it's just "the stack" and because there are like 8 varietes in the bowls + chocolate chips no one complains about it being bland). ADD/ADHD has a lot of comorbidity with gut issues, so fibre is important too.
And there is more and more and more. Making sure that physical activity is present (as it's great dopamine booster), keeping track of sleep patterns (sleep deprivation is common as many ADD/ADHD are light sleepers), recognizing activities with hypnosis like effects, so to not get too drawn in and so on.
But in the end there's a lot of knowledge that is power itself. ADD/ADHD has ~70% (lately I heard 76% figure from one doctor) transmissibility, and thus being able to work with it better makes for better family life and parenthood. Family member had a burst of anger this year during Christmas like pretty much every year prior. Few years back? Everyone were scared of escalation and sat in silence for 2 days. This year - everyone shrugged it off as a brain explosion and we went on with holiday celebrations.
I would really recommend getting tested if you just as suspect that you or those close to you might be affected by ADHD. ADD/ADHD in adults (and women!) is somewhat new discipline so it might be hard to check oneself out (especially since in some countries it's trivialized by general practitioners as a simple gateway towards stimulants). Worst case you spend some money but the best case you get a portal to a wealth of self knowledge.
Perhaps, addictive is not the right word. But it seems to me (purely from a human nature perspective) its similar to obesity (Eating food is not "addictive", but there is a definite element of "craving" and inability to overcome that craving).
All in all, such substances are not natural and, with unchecked use, might put a whole society in danger. This is the reason I am ambivalent about the whole movement to legalize it.
But they are natural, aren't they? No less natural than the watermelon we are all eating (it might be cultivated), and I don't see anyone wanting to criminalize eating watermelon. Weed, tobacco, alcohol, coca leaves, poppy, they are all natural.
Also, even if it's natural, it has nothing to do with its dangerousness, so I don't follow your argument.
With regards to legalizing it, I'm on the side that if alcohol and tobacco are legal, weed should be legal, too. They are all bad for you in some sense, but we need to balance that with freedom and individual choice, and to me, they are pretty similar.
Alcohol and tobacco are extremely dangerous and detrimental to any society.
What blows my mind is young teens, barely out of education, harping and celebrating the ability to drink. To me, that's insane. Why does a young person need to drink alcohol? When studies after studies have show how it affects human life in general. From health issue to societal problems to relationship issues.
In my view, alcohol should be shunned and should never be glorified.
When you bombard a child with images, videos, movies and acts of drinking day in and day out, you normalize it. And that is terrible.
I think there is a cultural aspect. As a kid in Italy (>10yo), it was "ok" to have a glass of something like beer+sprite or wine+sprite during a meal. Maybe 1-2% of alcohol, it was cool and would obviously not get you drunk nor tipsy.
Having a glass of wine during a family meal, or a beer with your pizza with friends, was likewise pretty common and done mostly because of basic gastronomic pleasure.
This is _very far_ from the binge drinking/getting wasted culture which has been prevalent in the anglosphere for a while, and that has sadly expanded to a large part of the world since.
It's not drinking that should be shunned, but getting drunk.
Getting drunk though, used to be very not appreciated and shameful. Actually it is not very "macho" to be drunk because then you look vulnerable; out of control. The contrary of the cultural form of macho. This goes to the point that there used to be a thing where people who got drunk knew they should either quietly leave or just be very quiet. Hell even I still follow that. The downside of that is that alcoholism in Portugal is a very private matter and often not properly treated. Families break apart, but nobody from the outside sees it. When drunk, leave or shut up.
One thing I have a bit of a difficulty in Poland is that generally people have a very fast drinking rhythm that I know will lead me to drunkenness pretty fast and i come out as a wuss or not a jolly guy, because I reject such rhythm. On the other hand people look at me sideways when if I drink regularly a glass of wine or beer at meals. One of the things that got me a bit sad was losing the ability to drink a beer(20-0.33cl) beer at work break lunch as this is illegal here and very frowned upon. Another thing is the drinking and driving. In Portugal and quite a lot of countries in Europe(Germany for example) the blood-alcohol limit is 0.5, which allows for a single glass of wine or a 20cl beer, but in Poland it is 0.2 which means one is effectively banned from drinking at all if driving. Truth be told I believe the 0 drink and driving is the way to go. I know of too many situations where people start with good intentions and get carried away. Nowadays when i go to Portugal I feel be guilty if i even touch a drink at a meal and drive afterwards(very common due to the restaurant culture).
In Portugal, nowadays there is a normalization of the drunkenness in younger people as a way to signal one is having fun, but it feels an imported thing. Binge drinking is also on the rise, with day to day drinking falling.
Well Sapiens likely consumed naturally fermented fruits even 200.000 years ago, after all we evolved to produce certain enzymes to digest ethanol.
Alcohol have shaped human cultures for thousand years, hardly unnatural.
By what you say, if whole of humanity consumed only naturally fermented fruit, I would half-heartedly agree.
Humans also don't "naturally" need to be writing fictions, or draw pictures or make movies. And conversely, murder is pretty natural - take a look at how often it happens in nature!
Whether something is "natural" or not is a bit irrelevant - the big question is whether the action should be acceptable for humans to do. Drinking alcohol affects the person drinking it, but it gives them some comfort, or happiness. As long as they don't drink so much that it harms another person, i say they can do what they wish!
Same with pot and other recreational drugs.
A staple food is something that makes up a dominant portion of one's diet; it's beyond a mere common or everyday food.
A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a
food that is eaten routinely and in such quantities
that it constitutes a dominant portion of a standard
diet for a given person or group of people, supplying
a large fraction of energy needs and generally forming
a significant proportion of the intake of other nutrients
So you mean that if, for example, over 50% of the population was using a known mind-altering drug, society might go to shit?
Do prescription psychiatry medicines count?
You might want to take a look at what % of the western world has such a prescription. Between opiods, amphetamine, and anti-depressants, I think the US passed the 50% mark some time ago.
But why is it that the worlds richest country need to keep 50% of its population on drugs?
That is a societal flaw, and worryingly a self sustaining one at that.
I also attribute it to the hyper-velocity lifestyles, lack of stable marriages, excessive consumption of media in general and social media in particular. And most importantly, a materialistic point of view where the whole purpose of life is for pleasure, partying and enjoyment.
I bet people blamed excessive reading of books, or “a materialistic point of view” during the Romans, the Middle Ages… modernity… hey, who coined the phrase “o tempora! O mores!”
100% of humans on earth are on drugs. Everything we consume is mind-altering. Sugars are just as addictive as drugs if not moreso. This is not an exaggeration, it's a change in perspective; wrestling back control of our subjective experiences from those who would outlaw what they don't understand (or for more nefarious reasons...). We have to start looking at food especially food consumed for non nutritive purposes in this new lens too. Heck even singing and dancing have been used the world over to illicit an altered state.
We also need to stop pining for a perfect self that is drug free. What does one gain by keeping oneself "pure"? It's not even possible but many limit the scope of what they consider mind-altering until the goal post matches their current state.
Once you accept that and embrace the idea that our minds are simply faucets of sensory experience that we subconsciously keep at a slow trickle of manageable info, you can start enjoying the turning of the spigot. You can start to appreciate the different subjective experiences that all things provide.
As an added bonus, we can all collectively change our tendency to look down upon those who've used and this energy can integrate others and prevent abuse. You don't have to look hard to find stories of reduced or eliminated drug enforcement bettering society.
The fact that this research starts by calling it "impairment" tells you that they have come prepared with their rose-tinted glasses. I don't want to belittle their work but I fear they've already aligned themselves with the classic anti-drug ethos.
You mean like caffeine? (Or chocolate? Or even refined sugar?)
I've had them under control for a while now, but the emotional eating is a struggle sometimes. I need to trick myself into not doing it.
For weed it's less of a struggle because I genuinely notice the "persistent" effects (no more than a few days in me), which effect my mental performance and emotional state.
Also, after quitting the binge I had withdrawal (I'm told for weed it's very mild, but it's horrendous nonetheless). More details to this in this video https://youtu.be/7u_cm5b1s7Y
I now smoke weed when I plan/want to for fun, and it's very occasionally...
The most horrific withdrawal ensues (at least for me).
Now I'm retired. I drink one strong coffee in the morning, with occassionally a shot later, on te rare occassions when I pass my fave coffee shop.
None of these changes required any effort, or even any intention; they just happened. There were never withdrawal symptoms. By comparison, I have withdrawn from both alcohol and nicotine; nicotine calls loudly, but alcohol withdrawal is really horrible (and dangerous).
I'm not a big coffee drinker (and usually mix it with decaf, because too much makes me feel weird). So I'd probably be okay on that front.
How much coffee do you drink daily? I drink maybe one cup, and that's mostly for the taste (hence the decaf).
Occasionally you'll hear people talk about quitting this way with zero withdrawal. They may or may not be telling the truth. But I suppose outliers always exist. Definitely not the norm though.
I know a lot of people who say they that can't function with caffeine
Of course, there's really no need to suffer painful withdrawal. It's pretty easy (at least physically) to just taper it down to 0mg per day over the course of ~5-7 days.
The withdrawal journey that is published in the lying internet is not true (at least for me).
I get all sorts of diffuse pain in the legs and lower back area. Not to speak of the killing headache and depressed mood.
I drink coffee up to 2130. And I sleep like a baby from 0000.
For my part I tend to get maybe 200mg or so a day.
People will use it legal or not. If it’s legal you can charge taxes and spend that money on addiction prevention and treatment. Help people with addiction problems instead of putting them in jail.
Addiction is often a symptom of underlying mental health problems, you don’t solve those with punishment.
And that’s even disregarding the amount of crime and violence illegality creates.
Time and again I see so many stories of young people fucking up their lives, and wasting so much of their lives trying to correct mistakes. Something which should have been guided by elders and well-wishers. But US society is neck deep into "individuality" at their own detriment.
A society that is taught from day one to be "independent" will discover that generations after generations will keep making the same mistakes. Same debt traps, same drug problems, same unhealthy choices.
I do agree though that general change is needed.
Imo it comes down to education on drugs, facilitating safe use, and treatment of mental health issues and addiction.
"Don't do it, but if you do; do it as safe as possible. If you get into trouble; get help." is imo the only sensible drug strategy.
It's one thing to say "drugs are bad mkay" another to actually explain what the risks are and just provide basic practical tips on how you can reduce risk if you do take drugs.
Things like not using too much of anything at once, getting drugs tested, making sure you do it in a safe environment, not mixing drugs, clean needles (although really don't do those types of drugs), etc etc.
Also make sure people know the difference between weed and for example heroin, meth and fentanyl. Not all drugs are equal, weed is relatively harmless.
Lastly testing; It should be facilitated. Here it's quite common to get your pills and powders tested. It's free and facilitated. It saves lives as you make sure people don't OD on pills that contain fentanyl instead of whatever the user expected it to be. Same for legal weed btw, I believe in the US the quality is much better because of legalization. These things work, they literally save lives.
You can prevent so much pain and suffering by simply accepting the fact that people will use drugs and adjust your policies based on that fact.
It sounds like you've identified the thing that should be illegal. Unfettered capitalisation on any product that can harm the population is generally a terrible idea, and the product frequently has nothing to do with it.
Maybe where you live...
Eating food is not "addictive"
Also, unlike other addictions, you get bombarded with billboards and television ads for the thing you're trying to moderate.
Anyway, the need for intoxicating itself seems to arise in more animals that have high developed cognitive abilities, Dolphins get high on passing around poisonous fishes, monkeys rub centipedes over their body and there are many more examples.
Mushrooms, smoking, fermented fruits and grains have been part of human lives for hundreds of thousands of years.
It seems that animals with high cognitive abilities feel the need to turn it off at times.
I have adhs and I see my weed more like glasses.
Ever thought about that not every brain model/mode is as balanced as the other?
If I can't sleep properly for years, I get depressed. And yes of course I tried everything.
Also, from the things we surround ourselves with. It's probably the most natural.
In other words, it is a dishonest strategem which relies on the other party making the logical fallacy that the natural state of affairs must be good, or that a burden of proof lies with them, instead of recognizing this as the sleight-of-hand that it is.
So I think GP was just being polite by calling it a logical fallacy :)
“It grows from the earth”
Yeah so does hemlock.
I don't find it far-fetched to assume that an affinity to fire was selected for over the last millennia. Why, we even have a mutation that makes us less susceptible to carcinogens in smoke compared to other mammals. That would make smoking, and smoking indoors, an activity that replaces the open fires we're accustomed to.
Standard disclaimer for evolutionary theories: They are ill-suited to determine social policy.
Or maybe my drug-addled brain is just seeing pink elephants everywhere ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Sure, there are biological inventions we can copy and refine for possibly even better inventions - but those are useful not because they originated from nature but because evolution found a locally optimal solution to a problem.
Your comment reads to me as if the concept of logical fallacies is only useful or valid within the framework of rhetorical competitions – or alternatively that logically invalid reasoning is useful if you're only interested in making a decision, rather than making a correct or well-informed one.
Addiction isn't about willpower so much as psychopathology and genetics. It's a coping mechanism.
> getting used to a serene state of mind is [...] kind of counter productive
What is suspect about serenity? Is religion equally problematic as a source? How is it counterproductive?
> such substances are not natural and
A naturalist argument is usually invalid. We can't expand upon the rules of the universe. Plastics are just as natural as anything else. Cannabis also doesn't induce any foreign states in our brains.
Even using the narrow definition of "can't be found in the wild": cannabis is a plant, so it very much does exist in the wild. So do alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, psilocybin ("magic mushrooms") or ergotamine (LSD).
When applied to brain chemistry: to my knowledge, drugs don't do novel things to our brains. They promote infrequent states, but that doesn't make them unnatural. Especially not if you consider how alien dream states, meditative and transcendental experiences feel.
> with unchecked use, might put a whole society in danger
Adding a slippery slope to it doesn't improve your line of reasoning. It does tend to whip the masses into a frenzy, like its cousins "Won't somebody think of the children" and "Why should we help those who won't help themselves?".
It also doesn't conform to reality. Have California or Colorado collapsed because weed was legalised? Have the Netherlands?
> I am ambivalent about the whole movement to legalize it
Decriminalisation seems obvious to me as a solution, if coupled with a sorely needed investment in mental healthcare (across the West). The latter is necessary regardless of how we consider drugs - see homelessness, domestic violence, suicide, burnouts, etc. Decriminalisation works (cf Portugal's results), dries up income sources for the cartels, allows quality controls to be put in place, reduces stigmatisation for users, lowers the threshold for seeking therapy, keeps people out of prison for victimless crimes, creates a revenue source for the government through sales and other taxes...
The alternative to decriminalisation is telling the population "we know best". Looking at the so-called war on drugs globally, it's also an endeavour that's bound to fail, strengthen drug cartels, escalate violence and cause more damage than it prevents.
These are pretty heavy users though. I don't have any heavy user in my surroundings that was not affected like that, but the sample size is small enough that this could easily be coincidence.
I’m glad I didn’t bother with it at this point.
I have seen the same lack of association before as well. A friend’s relationship has broken down due to his paranoia but that according to him doesn’t come from the 25 years of smoking cannabis but her behaviour. She doesn’t smoke and is perfectly normal in any way and I feel really sorry for the poor woman.
I’ve tried living without it during the lockdowns since working from home saves hours. From eight months of not using it, I’ve found that I lose about 2-3 hours of sleep per day which drastically affects my performance. I’ve tried melatonin and I consistently workout every week, but nothing is as good as a sleep aid for me as THC
Melatonin to put me deep under and keep me from waking up 5 hours in and not being able to fall back asleep.
Best sleep of my life. Wish I'd found the combo years ago. Had trouble falling asleep since I was a little kid. Prescription sleep aids I've tried (or, god forbid, alcohol) don't work as well and make me feel shitty in the morning. That combo? Feel like a million bucks. It's great.
I worry about the long-term effects, but they'd have to be pretty bad to be worse than years and years of chronic bad sleep.
For them, drugs are a must because otherwise they will grow up without any spiritual life at all.
I think regular cannabis use attracts a certain type of person. That type of person can vary in their ability and intelligence, just like any type of person. This is also true of say, hardcore fans of fantasy fiction. They all have certain things in common, but you couldn't paint all of them as "creative" or any other trait.
I'm hesitant when hearing about long term effects, even on developing brains. Both Barack Obama and Carl Sagan smoked a ton of cannabis when they were younger. And they and others really turned out fine.
This paper seems to be a meta study that combines the results from other studies. Since there were multiple methodologies it's hard to get a sense of exactly what questions they were answering.
There is definitely some impairment long term. I think we can assume that even without this huge study. I don't think knowing that matters unless we have some scale that tells us how dramatic that impairment is.
If I compare someone who smoked all the time, but also had a rich and engaging social life with a lifelong abstainer who live a mostly isolated existence, who is going to be more cognitively capable?
There are so many inputs that feed into who we are and what we are capable of that, in all likelihood, cannabis use is likely only incidental to much larger factors like isolation, media preferences, home life, etc.
As an anecdote, the worse thing I think I've ever done for my brain, the thing that I immediately felt dumber after doing, was reading "Shadow Wolves" (Steven Segal's book). I had trouble communicating thoughts effectively for weeks after finishing it. It was like it had sucked vocabulary out of my brain. Maybe that's how cannabis leads to long term impairment. It makes you read "Shadow Wolves".
Edit: Since people are voting this, I want to add an extra warning that I was not joking about "Shadow Wolves". If you read it, you will feel dumber, and it will take time to heal the damage done. Seriously.
That is, we should assume they cause long term impairment without the need for any kind of study?
If a study comes back and says, with a high confidence, that isn't the case for this or that, great, but I think it's a safe assumption for most chemicals.
Edit: Just to be clear, I'm saying it's not enough to show something is bad, as pretty much everything is bad. It has to be bad enough to matter.
I think we are mostly in agreement - that any substance entering the body will have some effect.
The question is what effect, how much of an effect, and wether it is permanent/long lasting. Questions which require a study to answer.
Unless we're able to find twins that live largely the same lives absent the one factor, we are really only capable of sussing out the especially harmful things with long term lifestyle studies. If cannabis is as bad as sugar, then we have 40 years of back and forth to look forward to, and the answer will ultimately be: A little bit is bad, but not bad enough to matter more than how many steps you took today, or how sad or angry you were, or how late you ate dinner.
Alcohol is clearly capable of long term impairment, the debate seems to be about dose response. Nicotine is more questionable, but clearly leaves long term changes in the mind. People abstaining after long term nicotine usage will spend the rest of their lives experiencing cravings. Hell, it seems plausible long term consumption of food types has long term cognitive effects.
E.g. if someone in college does poorly because they got high all the time, maybe the reason they got high all the time was that they felt (rightly or not) that they would have done poorly anyway, and now they have the drug to blame. And maybe those who smoke a bit and still do well, do it sort of to have the excuse in reserve.
I've not much experience with cannabis, it's far less popular where I live than the US, but I can certainly see that alcohol is used as this sort of "flexible excuse", both short term and long term.
[some definitional text]
The purpose of self handicapping is to protect your self identity. “I could have x, but I didn’t because of y” is the narrative story. I could have gotten an A on the exam but I didn’t because I partied instead of studied is a classic example. For it to be true self-handicapping y needs to be a choice.
This matches my personal experience as well. I’m good friends with someone that holds a high-level FAANG position and consumes weed every day. While working. Attending meetings, coding, managing large teams, the whole she-bang. It’s unbelievable. They say it “calms their thoughts” and allows them to focus.
If I tried to code while high, I would end up wasting 3 hours just fiddling with the text colors in the IDE or just space out in a wormhole of deep introspection.
Marijuana really affects people differently.
Brains are weird.
It's better than smoking, but we need to be responsible and admit that it's not exactly without risk or harm.
> Conclusions: Single-dose inhalation of vaporized cannabis had no clinically meaningful positive or negative effect on airway function, exertional breathlessness, and exercise endurance in adults with advanced COPD. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03060993).
> The majority of studies suggest that vapourizers adequately reduce risk of pulmonary symptoms (5,14–16), although complete safety may require a regulated source of plant material, rather than ‘street’ samples, which produce ammonia (17).
> The findings suggest that vapourization reduces the delivery of toxic byproducts associated with the use of smoked cannabis. A subsequent experiment addressed exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) (14). The researchers found a statistically significant difference between the increase in CO exhaled following smoking cannabis versus vapourization. The amount of exhaled CO showed little to no increase following vapourization compared with large increases following smoking, which would be expected for inhalation of a combustion product. These findings give further evidence that vapourization reduces exposure to gaseous combustion toxins.
This isn't to say there is no risk, but if someone is going to consume cannabis it is amazingly clear that vaporizing it is safer than smoking it.
In most cases? Where in the world? In Canada at least, frequent cannabis smokers and frequent cigarette smokers are nearly disjoint groups.
No one laughed out their brains after drinking a pot of coffee.
Caffeine can have pretty "bad" effects - issues with sleep, headaches, panic attacks, and all sorts of cardiovascular issues (increased heart rate, sweating, etc).
Like David Lynch, I'll stick to the coffee and cigarettes (even if the latter will probably kill me eventually, at least I can think straight)
I also have anxiety and panic attacks triggered. Though when it's over and I can think calmly, I ALWAYS see those panic attacks are my subconscious' way of telling something wrong with my life/where I'm going etc. and I need to fix things. When everything's on track I never have panic attacks regardless of the amount of substance.
In that sense it's actually telling me, in a brutal yet true way, to fix my life, by facing me feelings or thoughts that I've been subconsciously running away from.
Might not be the same case with you, surely, but this is my 2 cents.
"Persistent" means up to one week. From the actual paper: "However, results were not significant for an abstinence period of more than 7 days."
Basically, science has proved that stoners behave like stoners. And if you stop it takes a few days for everything to wear off.
On subsequent days it'd become less severe, and on day 5 and later I'd only notice that I forget why I came to the kitchen more often than usual. After about a week I was not able to spot anything unusual. This was actually quite scare and was one of the reasons I eventually quite entirely.
Another reason by the way was that I don't really find the effect pleasant or relaxing like many do. I fact, weed induces paranoia, thought loop and other unpleasant effects in my mind. The same is true for alcohol and lots of other drugs, so maybe my case is a bit more severe than regular.
I find I get a bit paranoid when I take too much (generally I only ingest edibles, my days of harsh af smoking doobies are over).
However, I do see benefits because I’m the kind of person that let’s little stressors accumulate over time. My somewhat infrequent usage has always come with a reset of my stress. It would be nice if it didn’t also come with a bit of downtime the week after.
Painfully relevant given the current fiscal policies.
> Cannabis appears to continue to exert impairing effects in executive functions even after 3 weeks of abstinence and beyond. While basic attentional and working memory abilities are largely restored, the most enduring and detectable deficits are seen in decision-making, concept formation and planning.
The study includes many more cognitive functions.
Why do you quote this phrase from the middle of the text, out of context?
Read results in the abstract.
I've searched for the words day, week, month and year and there is absolutely no clear cut result to the end of persistency of THC/CBD effects.
What the study does clarify though is that the cohorts in most studies were small and that more research is needed for more tangible results.
The one positive advise, well hidden, is to counsel youth about unhealthy usage patterns, i.e. chronic canabis abuse.
A lot of fluff around no solid findings.
Which is a statement in and by itself.
Weed is really high on THC nowadays, which can easily make you panic or make you paranioac. As for most people it's bought illegaly, it is hard to know exactly what you're consuming, and even a cautious guy like me can make errors (I took several kind of drugs before that, and mostly which people consider stronger stuff).
I don't think it should be illegal, but be careful with what you're smoking, which quantities, where, and please don't talk about it like it cannot be dangerous and it's the perfect solution to relieve stress/relax.
What concerns me are the vials that they now offer which contains highly concentrated thc oil contents.
I can tell you honestly that I was offered some and over did it one day and I was probably experiencing a psychotic episode.
My reality was distorted for half an hour. Like if I didn’t fold the towel a certain way, something bad could happen.
Getting too high has turned me away from using cannabis as it’s no longer enjoyable.
If not addiction, what would you call spending money, time and health you can't afford on something? I only managed to quit about five months ago and I've already lost 18 kg in body weight and saved over £2,000. If that's not addiction I don't know what is.
My personal opinion is that legal states are making a mistake at treating concentrates (and edibles to a degree) as being as benign as their flower counterparts.
I'm sure I would have been far more successful in life had I not smoked at all, but at the same time, I'm guessing I would have been much more narcissistic and judgemental towards people who struggle with mental illness. Win? Idk.
Had it been opiates instead of weed I probably would've died already.
On behalf of all my friends that are 100% addicted to cannabis, I disagree.
It's not a physical addiction, but you can totally be mentally addicted to cannabis.
On the other hand, I know people also gainfully employed at top companies who code while high and claim to have no issues. Your mileage may vary, I guess. Maybe they’re a lot smarter than me and can afford the slack, or maybe we react to it differently.
I sometimes feel I code better when I'm slightly mentally impaired, because my mind stops getting in the way of getting things done and over analyzing problems.
But then I'm very rarely mentally impaired, as I normally neither drink nor consume cannabis or anything like that, so idk.
EDIT: Oh, just realized the answer is probably simple => less stress.
"I code better when I'm high" is something that can only be judged by those around you. If somebody else judges your code to be better, fine. But your self assessment is fundamentally flawed.
Doing a bit of inebriated coding that you verify later might be just fine. I'm almost certain that the resulting code won't be better, but there may be situations where a clear head would have produced no code at all due to mental blocks.
Debugging while inebriated is another thing altogether, that's no fun at all.
If those drunk drivers had to constantly re-live and review telemetry data for their trips they would change their tune?
There are things that make you faster, caffeine, prescription meds, Red Bull, blow, fast paced techno.
And things that make you slower, green tea, marry Jane, booze, different prescription meds, brainfm, chill beats.
I’m beginning to find slower and quieter is better for me.
I'm over 40 and have worked crap jobs most of my life. It isn't like my increasing my cognitive abilities being "best" - whatever the heck that actually means - is going to make a huge difference in my life. To tell you the truth, I'm much more worried about cognitive decline as a side effect of MS than I am the effects of getting high.
It isn't like it makes me stupid. I simply think differently and that isn't all bad. Cleaning house and other mundane chores are less bothersome, and my life is full of this mundane crap. It also isn't like being drunk and I can still participate in society (I personally don't drive and just use public transport, sober or not)
Few of the ideas are later dismissed as unrealistic or overly optimistic, but most of the best long term decisions in my life have been 'found' in Inception movie style while high, and expanded later. The perspective is really different, and I literally get a second, different opinion on my life and all the choices/duties.
I've handled tough breakups with this - the emotions were not suppressed or ignored or twisted to get out easily, rather I've got full exposure to all their sides which allowed me to process them remarkably quickly. The result was I got over it all and properly closed things for good in a rather speedy way.
The thing is, that's me - the next person might get a very different effect, sometimes rather negative and not helpful. Drugs don't work uniformly on everybody, even on alcohol some get cozy and some aggressive.
Its not about dumbing down at all - that's alcohol domain. Just shifting mindset to something alternative, in more than one way my mind is expanded. The next morning I am dumbed down, but in 1000x more pleasant manner than after alcohol, rather too-laid-back for some stressful annoying tasks.
No. Especially at bedtime, I want to be cognitively stopped. The fact that the cognitive is keeping me awake even though I'm physically exhausted sucks.
Sober, I’d be coding and a notification would pop up on my phone, taking great attention away from the work. My child would be crying in the next room over and my brain would be formulating thoughts to discern what the fuss is all about.
My washer is leaking and now I have to set up an appointment for someone to come look at it and due to my busy schedule, I’d have to find time.
Distractions takes away the drive and motivations to code.
On Cannabis, the answers are there in my head and what to do.
Phone notification? Not important, ignore it.
Child crying? She has her mom.
Washer broke? Handle it after work.
Easily said but I think like many on here has stated, any stress reducing solution can make a difference.
For all you know, GP is Einstein and he's working in the patent office, but with no chance of being recognized. Does he really have to be deprived of even one small joy in life so he can be at peak cognitive performance for shuffling patent applications around tomorrow? Who is he supposed to be performing for?
Totally off topic but this sentence of yours perfectly sums up my mental state currently. Being a technologist, I believed tech could solve everything and thing and dedicated my life to it. This was when I was a teenager teaching myself to code 10-12 years ago. Back then tech wasn’t mainstream and geeks weren’t cool.
But now, tech is the new wallstreet and a tsunami of people are hitting its shores every year. I’m not sure what I can bring to the table. I’ve learnt a lot of computer science just for the fun of it. I don’t think I’ll ever use most of that knowledge.
I’m in this weird state where I know how amazing technology can be but at the same time I don’t really have much to contribute to it. Sure, I could set myself up for some big moonshots. But for what? I haven’t found happiness or satisfaction in all this while. I’m not sure if it’ll ever come. I can certainly distract myself with a lot of challenges to keep me from contemplating suicide. Or I could smoke weed. No difference really. No reason to squeeze out all you’ve got just to hit some random performance metrics or criteria.
Good lord no, I want my cognitive best to be when I'm getting shit done. When I'm doing non-cognitive tasks I want my cognitive best to get back in its box and shut up for a bit so I can enjoy life without constantly over-analysing everything. I'm certainly in that category, though I suspect something like a meditation practice would probably be more useful as a long-term strategy than having a drink after work.
Some occasional drug use reminds me that my body doesn't exist solely to hurt me, that I can still experience pleasure, and that it's still worth trying to find things I might like/be able to enjoy since many of my previous physical pleasures aren't possible or are less enjoyable than they used to be. Without them, my physical existence is only pain, and that's depressing. Being depressed is way worse on my cognitive abilities than doing drugs once in a while.
This is true for most people who use regularly: The drugs are a harm-reduction measure. If weed fucks you up (-10 cognitive ability) but also gets rid of your anxiety (-20 cognitive ability), it's still a net win.
All that said, I think it is a good thing to not make anything that affects(increase or decrease) cognitive performance a habit.
smoking sativa strains increase work performance for me and i know a lot of other dev how performing well while smoking cannabis in the office!
- sorry they smoked at the rooftop terrace not in the office
“No. Resistance training is good for me long term.”
I used to be a daily smoker and was horribly addicted. Now, at least ten years after I quit, I find myself having trouble remembering things. I lose my train of thought a lot too, really annoying. I don't know if that was attributed to my cannabis use, or just my brain in general.
That said, my friend, 10 years of life make you forgetful sometimes.
That's just called living.
In terms of evolutionary biology, all forms of life develop memory first. Only once sufficiently resilient, an organism can begin to learn to forget things. Forgetting is an incredibly valuable tool. Don't diss it. Embrace the train of thought going off the rails every now and then.
If it was important, it'll come back. If not, congratulations, you've just made space in your brain for new memories!
Interesting, can you link to more info on this?
I have noticed that actually SMOKING weed makes me really stupid. Very similar to what is described in the article. My thought processes slow down, my focus decreases, and I am unable to be "normal" for the rest of the day (and possibly even the next day).
What I have found is that vaping the weed (not a dab pen, but a conduction vape like the Pax or Volcano) is a lot better. You are able to get much better control of exactly how high you want to get, because each puff is nowhere near as strong. It's not nearly as bad on your lungs, you won't have a cough from this. And because it only vaporizes some of the weed chemicals, I find that it completely reduces the brain fog. This has become my preferred way to use marijuana. I can just load up a vape bowl and take a small hit or two whenever I want, and within 2 hours I will be completely sober and back to normal.
I have problems with other means of usage. In my experience edibles are too hard to find, and it's too easy to take too much. Dab pens, dabs, and concentrates are nice, but they seem too addictive, so I stay away. I knew quite a few people who moved on from dabs to other harder drugs.
In terms of the effects of weed, I find it greatly enhances my interest in computers. When I use weed, suddenly the computer becomes fascinating to me. This has a major positive impact on my motivation and productivity. I used to worry about whether or not smoking weed was keeping me from my true potential, but the results speak for themselves: I am making more money than I ever thought I would as a FAANG engineer in my early 20s.
I'd personally would rather have it as a leisure activity once a week or month and not something I need for my job 5 days / week.
It's a huge exercise in self-control if anything. And perhaps being in this situation is a good sign you should check if you're suffering from ADHD. But everyone is different.
To put it simply, if you get really wrecked on weed, the next day you're going to be stupid.
With that said, unlike with alcohol where hangovers are quite unpleasant, I suspect that a lot of cannabis users enjoy the next-day feeling. If you are like many people in technology whose minds are continually churning, problem-solving, absorbing and processing information, checking your phone, reading HN, obsessing over whatever idea and in general running on the mental hamster wheel that so many smart people struggle to take a break from, the feeling of being stupid and slow can be quite nice.
Cannabis use somehow helps me focus on things I wouldn’t normally do; it’s like having a burst of energy and the mental capacity to do almost anything I put my mind to. Things that seem hard, complicated or long, seems simplified, doable and ordered. I’m a programmer btw.
There is the high, which I don’t really enjoy. I prefer the energy and focus over the high. I’ve been recommended CBD before as well.
I could be completely oblivious to its permanent affects. However I only use on occasion and go months sober.
I want to believe that there may be certain chemicals in Cannabis that can help the human brain be more productive and efficient, however I know nothing about the science.
Keep it to a reasonable level, folks.
Larger amounts of weed tend to hyperfocus me but impair some processing abilities. For me, less is more here.
I'm smoking daily for over 20 years. I don't know how would my mind function without all those trees but I think I'm doing ok. Anecdotal but the single noticeable effect of daily cannabis smoking is the lack of so called "morning wood".
 Cannabis sativa ~19% THC <1% CBD, prescribed by a psychiatrist
Nit, but I believe that coffee is the most used psychoactive substance in the world. Even if it is not the most used, it is surely in the top three before cannabis.
> Ultimately, the question of how much is too much becomes a personal decision, just as we all decide as adults what level of alcohol, caffeine or cigarettes we’ll ingest. Enough evidence exists for us to consider sugar very likely to be a toxic substance, and to make an informed decision about how best to balance the likely risks with the benefits.
But yeah, my rule for meetings is that unless it's a meeting I'm running, complete sobriety is a must. The idea of being high around leadership is terrifying (same reason I don't drink when we have work conferences).
I typed this in jest but instead of closing the tab I realize that yes, this is a good alternative, perhaps the best, if you can do it. Not everyone can, and typically it’s not their fault if they can’t.
Marijuana alters your state of consciousness. It enhances certain senses (taste being famous) but also allows for socializing and empathy. As a person who’s extremely narcissistic, it has helped me gain a lot of empathy by allowing me to “step aside” and observe my actions and those of others around me. And if you’re high with your partner, you can have a very fulfilling bonding experience (emotionally as well as sexually).
The only thing I’ve experienced come close is meditation. But that takes a lot of time and effort.
To tell you the truth, I'm more likely to exercise and eat healthily if I'm stoned.
Taking a walk while stoned is pretty wonderful, and more taxing exercise aren't as bothersome. I think this is why pot is popular among some bodybuilders: Get stoned, lift weights and enjoy life. (I worked with a competitive bodybuilder, and this routine was pretty popular with non-steroid users). Food tastes really good while stoned, too, and this includes healthy stuff.
In my experience, the main reason to not eat healthy or exercise is because doing those things takes time, easily a LOT of time (e.g. cooking and cleanup easily account for 2-3 extra hrs/day and the numbers are similar for exercise [both active (dedicating time to it) and passive (walking around everywhere)]).
In the same vein, use of psychoactive substances is probably also a tradeoff between taking time to properly conduct mental maintenance v.s. a quick and dirty solution.
Instead they waste the time that would've made them healthier and happier on bullshit.
The cooking itself is not difficult, but you have surrounding activities that take significant time like prep, cleanup (dishes, cookware, table etc.), and extra time for grocery shopping (want fresh vegetables? you're probably going to have to shop every 3 days if not everyday. want diverse meals, you're going to need to spend time planning)
I have timed myself and the extra time cost here is definitely significant. I still cook my own meals because I think the trade off is worth it but I'm completely aware how much time (even the "invisible" time) I'm investing to do that.
> You can also just meal prep and cook for a whole week in lne session.
There's several points here: 1) prepping ahead of time doesn't suddenly make it cost no time... you're just shifting the time (likely into weekends, where a lot of people would probably want to spend that time doing other things!) and 2) pre-prepping means you either limit what type of food you can have (decreasing in quality the further it is from prep day) or it means you need to freeze, seal or can stuff, which negates a lot of the health benefits to begin with, potentially produces waste (sealing) and costs extra time!
For some of us, the way to deal with numbing stuff means changing our lives so there is less numbing needed.
Go to bed/wake up at the same time everyday: might be easy
Learn to cook: might sound more difficult, learn to make 3-4 healthy but easy "cant go wrong" dishes (pulled chicken and broccoli eg.) You'll love eating your own food soon enough.
Exercise: hardest for me as I hate exercise. No silver bullets, just gotta stick with it.
What that is will be different for different people: if you're a social person, you might try dancing(think salsa or other pair dances), or if you're the competitive kind, try some competitive sport that doesn't rely solely on physical fitness: anything where technique is as or more important as physical form will help you forget you're exercising and just focus on having fun/winning the game.
The perfect exercise is the one where you don't realize you've been exercising until you stop and smell the sweat!
If one has sorrows that need drowning, then the first step should be dealing with those issues and seek help if needed -- not trying cliché things that sound like they came from some mindfulness channel on Youtube.
but it's because alcohol and weed give me panic attacks, and interact with my meds. my body is slowly degenerating so I'm in constant pain and my exercise routine consists of rehab.
I feel like the pain and constant mental strife is aging me faster than weed would. heck, it'd be medical in my case.
God, I can't hear that stupid saying anymore.
Tell that the MD of a psychiatric hospital. He will have a good laugh.
Keep in mind that a psychiatric hospital is working on actual psychiatric disorders, i.e. super serious medical problems (where your brain is rewired in "interesting" new ways, possibly forever). We're not discussing about a psychologist here, who's working on what are comparatively mild conditions.
My friends who are addicts (those that have survived) are using serious drugs and most of them have complex issues to deal with.
But lighter drugs, whether analgesics or pot/alcohol aren’t of any use for serious illness. And those kinds of drugs are the ones under discussion.
It is though isn't it?
[Insert free will debate here]
I’ll take a hike in some beautiful nature anyday over depressing night in smoking weed. You have no idea how positive an effect being outside in nature has on you.
How do you think I’ve never been outside in similar nature? The reality is I’ve experienced both countless times so I literally do know exactly how much of an effect that has while the same can’t be said vice versa. I’ve been to many national parks, forests, beaches, campgrounds, ski resorts, mountains all over the western US for decades. Yes it’s more wholesome and serene, but it’s sadly not a comparison for the sheer euphoria experienced imbibing recreational drugs in a variety of social settings. Why do you think EDC, Woodstock, and other major concerts are so huge?
And while I tend to not imbibe much of anything while out in nature - largely because I'm already clumsy enough - I also know hikers, including thru-hikers, who smoke every night on the trail, and talk about how wonderful that experience is. Not so much on the drinking side of things, for the thru-hikers, but I expect that is more about weight than anything.
Obviously, everything we do has some sort of impact on our bodies, and I suppose you can make an argument about the objective relative health impact of any of them.
But to try and argue that someone's subjective experience is an objectively worse one? That's silly. People can enjoy different things than you, and that doesn't make them "depressing"
You're inserting your own disdain for weed here. That's fine if you don't like it, but it's not like he gave any of the gory details for you to actually make this assumption. If you said "I love eating salmon" it would be poor form for me to say "Your description of your eating habits sound horrible".
It isn't like being outside is lost on folks smoking weed. Do you have any clue how much smoking takes place while camping, on nature walks, in rustic cabins, and so on? You just do it sober.
The differences between us is what makes life worth living.
Your outlook has you on a bad road mon ami.
I do jest only somewhat. As a personal anecdote I find sparing to be a tremendously positive tool to get my mind off of work and daily troubles.
I would say probably the safest sport, and my current favorite, is Olympic weightlifting, although climbing is in many ways similar to jiu-jitsu, and much safer.
Fitter, healthier and more productive
In a cage
… by realizing there’s no way to zero risks and that trying to do so leads to a life perhaps not worth living
Who cares if a drink isn’t risk free or a joint makes your a little slower, live a little.
I’ve been finding it interesting how many more communities Ive found that abstain from alcohol and all the white powder drugs, but are cool with all psychadelics (with more than a few people only liking thc and shrooms because theyre “naturally occurring” compared to molecules “made in a lab”).
I wasnt looking for these communities but its predictable now.
I see the merit in it. I just drink other places.
But it does make me wonder if I will be a person that declines a drink and confuses someone’s entire worldview who expects an explanation or tries to push a drink on me. So far with active groups this big and easy to find it just seems like its not hard to go a long time without a drink without needing to consciously try.
Exercise and using your body
Seeing yourself as a whole, not "othering" others
Making time for family
Telling those you love, that you love them
Getting lost in a book
Learning to cook
Volunteering and activism
You know, everything that's wonderful about life before capitalism, or at least the most popular implementations of it, told us we don't have time for such things anymore, that both partners need to work 40+ hours a week each, and we've been finding shortcuts to fulfillment and stress relief since. Worse, the status quo has co-opted a lot of good things and turned them into tools for further capitalist oppression. See "learn meditation to be a better employee to help with stress" narratives pushed at so many companies instead of narratives about "why is our work so stressful and what can we do about it?"
I feel like I can't talk to a coder before the conversation turns into "So what drugs are you abusing to remain competitive in the workplace?" We're in such a sea of workplace oppression, its practically water fish swim in, and its often difficult to point and say "Look, the abuses of low-regulatory capitalism is the water here, do you see it?" Instead we just go back to talking about doubling up on ADHD medicine, microdosing exotic chemicals, getting high to 'get by,' low-key drinking problems, caffeine usage thats out of control, etc.
This stuff, if not real, would be unbelievable in a dystopian sci-fi novel just a couple decades ago, but here we are. We're becoming Mentats from Dune addicted to sapho juice to please our paymasters.
(also I endorse sibling's comment of exercise + healthy diet)
"Funding: None." - Well we got what we paid for!
The issue is that THC does have long term effects. Most of which can be countered by being above average prior to use. Even if it zaps a few IQ points, being productive is better than being even smarter but paralyzed by anxiety. But the positive effects only last as long as the euphoria.
Some people encounter worse anxiety in the long term. A drug doesn’t solve the problem, just alters brain chemistry. Often the problem is external, rarely completely internal. If the initial source of anxiety is external, THC is a poor long term solution.
THC also does mess with reward mechanisms. Why feel good for being productive if you can just feel good by getting high? Without external motivators it’s easy to lose your internal drive when happiness is just a puff away.
It can also hurt emotional control, which is more subtle that other issues. That inner voice that causes anxiety is similar to the one that says slow down and be a nice person. By shutting one off, you also shut off the other. The same inhibition commonly associated with creativity is also associated with being a dick. THC seems to be associated with love, but this is largely a fantasy. Euphoria is not love by default.
I think the story about the productive stoner is over inflated. It’s a lot of work to truly solve the issues that THC can address. So if you are already high functioning, it’s easy to use a drug than address them instead. The issue is that THC will erode you over time, and may exacerbate the same issues that THC is supposed to address. Moderation is well and good, but the people using daily are self medicating, not using it recreationally. It takes a lot of control to not let THC take over your life when used regularly. And if you have that level of control initially, couldn’t you exercise it to live an equally fulfilled life in abstinence?
It’s difficult to even be recreational now that everything is so high potency. It’s like every drink being high ABV, and it’s an arm race to make it higher. Edibles are about the only way to ensure a low dose. As someone who prefers to smoke I find it next to impossible to match an inebriation level similar to a light beer, unless it’s literally a single puff. A second can send you over the edge.
Yeah, that's what we use it for. Can't stand being so clever all the time...
It also seems rather strange to take one property of their lives and use it to explain their in your eyes loss of abilities. Not doing something for a long time also has this effect, so perhaps they for many years didnt need to do calculations in their head, or use their high school french and so on.
If you said you knew a twin, and one of them smoked weed daily and they had identical lives, and one of them lost cognitive abilities and the other didnt, i would be more likely to give your reply any credit.
The second guy I knew was a guy I met when I was playing backgammon in a café. I tried to explain him some things about the game that involved some very basic probability calculations but he stopped me and told that he had been smoking weed for 20 years and had lost capability to do calculations in his head.
Maybe he just wanted you to leave him alone.
But when they share a negative experience with cannabis, suddenly a bunch of stoners appear and try to discredit their story! Your friend got schizophrenia from smoking weed? Nah bro, he was already predisposed, and by chance it activated after smoking weed. You have memory problems after years of smoking? Nah, you might be just getting old, we may never know!
Don't be so insecure about your drug habits. Cannabis can be harmful, so what? Billions of people smoke tobacco, drink alcohol, eat sugary treats, all while fully aware that it can be harmful (but it might cause no harm to them!). You smoke cannabis because you enjoy getting stoned, even though it might be harmful. You're an adult who weighed the pros and cons, and came to the conclusion that the risks are acceptable for you.
But please, don't try to discredit other people's experiences!
Dear friend of mine, who i used to smoke with developed psychosis. So i know consuming cannabis can have negative effects. Cannabis has many compounds, and many studies show some of them have good properties others maybe bad properties. Some science says they cause mental issues other science and study show the opposite.
Again i just find the 'cant do math in head again' a weird statement or things to directly relate to smoking weed. There are plenty of people i know that have never smoked weed and can't do head math as well as they could when they were in high school.
Also to refer to your statement about weed & schizofrenia, there is plenty of research done, but nothing conclusive. e.g.
Anything can be harmful, if you use/eat/drink/smoke it enough. And surely not everybody just smokes weed because they 'like being stoned' as you write. Sure does not count for me.
It would be interesting if the people the OP talks about tried to simply retrain their abilities, which I'm sure most adults that are not used to doing these calculations anymore could.
Cannabis definitely is not the vanilla drug so many people make it out to be.
*EDIT: I get the selection bias now, sorry.
I smoke weed like others smoke cigarettes, and while I may find it trickier to do QM in my head while I’m high, and often lose my train, I still can. Some tasks, like coding, become easier - I gain a myopic focus, as it closes out past and future and makes me present.
On the other hand, I’ll also sign off client phone calls with “love you!” and will screw up trivial tasks like pouring a cup of coffee.
CBD is a natural antipsychotic , and I can say the one time I had a really bad prolonged psychosis episode with weed, it was when I thought the CBD was interfering with a medication I was on for Crohn's and decided to cut it out but still use high dose THC for potential immune suppressant effects  daily during my flare.
Bad idea. Definitely lost my grip on reality.
Ever since I never drop below a 2:1 CBD:THC ratio and over the years I haven't had anything coming even close to what happened before.
It's astonishing that the current trend is THC without CBD with so little demand for combined product. For everyone touting it as a "natural drug" they sure don't have any issue messing around with the natural balance to create some scary strains.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the current 'conspiracy' trend is in part due to increased THC usage. When I had used it nightly at high doses for only two weeks there was no way I could effectively discern what was plausible or implausible on the Internet. And it took a fair while after stopping to get back to a place of normalcy with that aspect too.
1 - https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/understanding-relation...
2 - https://www.livescience.com/9008-marijuana-suppresses-immune...
That said, this could also be selection bias.
I am currently living clean, but have had multiple periods of being stoned basically 24/7 beforehand, whilst always having a very healthy relationship to alcohol (a few drinks socially, once per week or less). It's possible that the people I attract into my life tend to be similar to me.
I've quit cold turkey multiple times for a variety of reasons, sometimes for 6+ months at a time. I've never noticed any withdrawal symptoms, thankfully. Or cravings on days/weekends/whatever where I don't smoke.
It's anecdotal experience, obviously, but it leads me to believe that there's not some near-universal withdrawal process that pot smokers go through that you would see with someone who is going through opiate withdrawal or similar.
If you're enjoying and it just becomes a (not super healthy-but not my point here) everyday habit, sure, you probably won't have withdrawal symptoms.
If you're using something to get away from some reality in life that is too unbearable, and that unbearable thing is still a matter when you want to quit, then it'll be hard. But it's not actually the substance (excluding hard/chemically super addicting class of substances like heroin or sugar) but the fact of facing the problems.
I'll bounce back but man does it suck going through the repair process. Nothing is enjoyable, life just feels dull and flat, and it's hard to get anything done.
They also reported the "bounce backs" as you do, but those were never permanent.
You have no reason to take this advice from someone random on the Internet, but I strongly recommend that you get yourself evaluated for depression or something related.
Hard disagree. Cannabis isn’t actually an anti-depressant in the same way that alcohol and other euphoric drugs aren’t antidepressants. Chronic cannabis use has also been correlated with increased depression scores over time.
But that’s beside the point: Cannabis withdrawal and rebound is a very real phenomenon. It’s another myth that you can’t get addicted to THC or that it’s okay because it’s not a “physical” addiction. The withdrawal effects described above are consistent with cannabis withdrawal syndrome and are well documented.
There are many caveats that go into posting a Google Scholar link - the quality of the research is unknown, there is the reproducibility crisis to worry about, etc. etc; However, the presence of this ample research means that "Cannabis isn't actually an anti-depressant" is far from settled, and you shouldn't be stating that with such confidence.
Edit: Also, I happen to agree with you that cannabis withdrawal and rebound are real, and I agree with you that it is possible to get addicted to THC, and, sure the effects described above are consistent with cannabis withdrawal. None of that contradicts what I wrote.
However, those effects are also consistent with anti-depressant self-medication, and, as I mentioned, I've known people who went on prescribed anti-depressants, stopped having those effects and have had a marked improvement in their quality of life. (Some continued using cannabis, some stopped; it didn't seem to matter afterwards). I thought it was important to share that anecdata. I was very careful in my message to not say "you don't have cannabis withdrawal"; I was trying to communicate that I knew people that sounded like basq and it turned out they were diagnosed with clinical depression. Basq could have either outcome.
So, yea, sorry - hard disagree with your level of confidence.
Your link doesn’t even begin to support your claims.
"Antidepressant-like effect of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L."
And yes, the majority of the claims are that CBD is the anti-depressant; self-administration of CBD comes primarily from smoking/vaping/ingesting cannabis, so I don't even understand what "cannabidiol, not cannabis" means.
I don't really get the impression that you are arguing in good faith here, especially the "Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize." part of HN guidelines, so I'm just gonna drop this thread now.
As someone diagnosed with depression long before ever partaking in cannabis, this doesn’t surprise me at all. People with depression seek relief, and cannabis can provide that to an extent.
Knew r/trees but didn't know r/leaves.
A bit like using painkillers to avoid having knee surgery. A crutch, not a solution.
Every single person who end up in EC/ER due to drugs/alcohol/jumping off roofs, are a drain on society. Yes it great that we can fix those people up when they hurt themselves, but where is the line when people get reckless etc? Someone is paying to get your broken leg fixed. We all need to acknowledge that and appreciate one another. Every hour that I work, someone in my country gets fed by a government grant, all I ask is that the person take care of themselves and not waste my money.
Having rights to one's own physical body has nothing to do with America.
If we don't have ultimate physical control over our own physical body, to do with it as we please, we can't really be said to have any meaningful rights at all. All other basic rights as an existing entity stem from the fact that we are ourselves, and others are not.
It's absolutely not individualism to say that every adult human being should have unrestricted rights over their own person-as-object, to enrich or damage as one sees fit. That seems plain as day to me. How can you even have the concept of a society of people if the societal group claims ownership rights over the bodies of the people that supersede those of the people themselves?
(If you think society shouldn't be spending money to repair damage caused by individual choices because it's unfair, we're in agreement there, but your broken leg case is a bad example, because you end up illustrating a point which I don't think you meant to make: that healthcare costs, something extremely variable based on individual choices, probably shouldn't be borne by society as a whole but by individuals themselves.)
Uh... how can you have the concept of a body of cells if the body claims ownership over the entirety of each one of it's cells?
Did you stub your toe? Well it's not actually, your toe, it's an independent living organism, and you need to respect it's God given right to run into hard objects every now and then.
Really though, I think if you explore the wide variety of human cultures that have existed over time, you'll find that historically speaking, the default level of organization has been the tribe, not the individual. Indeed, individualism as we know it is only possible in highly organized societies, with super-powerful governments that create a monetary system, common language, infrastructure, legal and judicial system to enforce contracts, and other things that enable one to live "independently" like Ebenezer Scrooge.
For a right-wing take on this, please see "The Rational Optimist" by Matt Ridley. If you prefer a more moderate view, I recommend "Better Angels of our Nature" by Steven Pinker. Finally, the book "Debt, the first 5000 years" by David Graeber touches on more than a few of these topics.
Granted, I may be misunderstanding your argument, so please clarify if this is the case. :)
Taking drugs doesn't affect anyone else. Getting cancer doesn't affect anyone else. Receiving cancer treatment doesn't affect anyone else. Using public funds to pay for that cancer treatment, that affects other people.
Those things should not be conflated, or treated as identical.
You are smudging cancer and substance abuse together but in many cases complete abstinence in an individual due to awareness of a pre existing familial susceptibility can help that person to never become addicted because they are aware of the danger and biological weakness in themselves. 12 step programs etc can help people abstain if they become addicted although it is a huge and heroic struggle back to the surface.
Sadly this is not the case with cancer.
First off, medications used to treat medical disorders aren't a crutch. Knock that off.
Second, this simply isn't true. "If it works well, it must be destructive" is the sort of zero-sum folk wisdom nonsense you find in backwaters. Stick to the facts.
Any thread about commonly used psychoactive drugs brings out all of these thinly-veiled attempts at moralization over others. :(
> My concern with modern (incredibly strong) Cannabis/THC is that some regular users seem to struggle with withdrawal if they don't smoke their bowls regularly, run short on weed etc.
That said, this is a very legitimate concern I have as well. It doesn't help that a lot of stoners seem like they're in denial over the fact that they gasp have a dependence on this substance like an alcoholic or smoker does.
> Scientists postulate that this
syndrome [Alcohol Withdrawal] represents the hyperactivity
of neural adaptive mechanisms no
longer balanced by the inhibitory
effects of alcohol
> Increased NMDA receptor activity
significantly increases the amount
of calcium that enters nerve cells.
Although calcium is essential for
nerve cell function, an excess of this
substance within neurons has been
reported to produce cell toxicity or
Anecdata, but for big smokers they'll notice more cognitive decline for a couple of months if they quit abruptly.
Alcohol is even worse for teenager cognitive abilities, I don't believe weed is as harmful that it would produce as much neuronal damage.
> making decisions,
> suppressing inappropriate responses,
> learning through reading and listening,
> the ability to remember what one reads or hears, and
> the time needed to complete a mental task.
I've no first hand experience here, but I can imagine there being tradeoffs. For example, I think creativity is somewhat negatively correlated with memory. Or, I'm often more productive when I'm tired because it's easier to focus. So going into an altered state of consciousness might still be beneficial or preferred even if it has tradeoffs.
Specifically, cannabis-induced creativity for me, while tons of fun, tends to be very myopic. I focus more on minutiae and more immediately rewarding things like satisfying textures than on a overall composition and development. How appropriate that is for any given creative task and whether it’s worth the downside described in this paper (which are pretty obvious and also very real) are difficult questions if you enjoy it.
Personally, the output of cannabis-induced creativity often ends up being less rewarding for me in the long run.
Other times I find myself in a "stoner revelation" moment, which is not some groundbreaking breakthrough into the underlying fundamentals of how the world works, but instead where I will have something that I know, and is generally well known, but because it's so well known, not something I ever give much thought. The impaired state I'm in will force me to think about it at a more-than surface level, and sometimes those things that I normally take for granted get that surface stripped away and I'll end up with a useful thought. I've definitely had some successful changes to both my personal relationships and work organizational processes that have come about because smoking pot put me in the right state of mind. And, obviously, pot was never a requirement for those thoughts to be possible - they just didn't occur to me in my normal mode of operation.
And, of course, I've had plenty of "stoner revelations" that upon further inspection while sober, were completely stupid.
For example performance on learning through reading could be a local maximum for that function but part of a local minimum for some type of larger scale thinking like creativity or imagination.
Where am I going wrong with this?
If I was playing a game, and I was the general of an army, and I could tell my marines to "use stimpack", which would make them move faster and be more focused, or "use herion", which would make them move slower and be less focused. A general would never order "use herion", and plenty would order "use stimpack" daily.
But the human race is not an army, and you are not a general, or a king. You're looking at the world as an engineer looks at a problem with a set of objects. This is super common on this site - we're programmers, we love re-ordering complex systems.
Not only are people far, far, far more complex than inanimate objects, but it might turn out that issuing any orders, or banning any activity has a catastrophically different and more negative effect than you can possibly calculate. Who knows how much of our culture wouldn't exist if people weren't free to drown in their sorrows, or if people spent their lives resenting you for limiting them.
I'm not an absolutist, we should ban plenty of substances, but be very careful when considering society as a system to be optimized.
I am being a little frivolous but this is literally the kind of stuff I think about.
Maybe China is the best anyone has ever been at social engineering and maybe this time they'll get it just right. I'm not so sure.
Considering the level of social infrastructure in the former DDR exceeded that in the BRD at the time of reunification, they might have had a point there. More public hospitals, more research facilities, better public transportation, more affordable housing. Sure, none of it had the flashy elements of Western capitalism, but it mostly worked.
Note that I'm not endorsing the Stasi or the many other things the DDR did to keep its population oppressed. But real life is full of grey areas.
The Soviet space program comes to mind as well - the state can do plenty!
I do find it interesting that as cigarettes have waned in popularity and weed has gotten more popular, we're finding that people are less creative and innovative than ever before and there seems to be a persistent monoculture throughout the West that's extraordinarily drab. Might it have something to do with nicotine's cognitive-enhancing ability versus cannabis diminishing cognitive function? Probably not, and there's likely no way to do a cohort study on this subject, but it's an interesting question to pose regardless.
Some of my acquaintances have the paradoxical effect - they become less lazy.
Maybe similar to how amphetamines are used to treat ADHD - which seems perverse.
I heard a talk show host once speculate that one reason weed has been illegal for so long is it would make the various motivational sticks and carrots the ruling class uses with white collar workers less effective in aggregate.
Here is some context, I commented elsewhere on my work ethic: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29895639
He didn't say that most career-obsessed freaks are doing large scale evil.
Not necesssarily true. On the right Sativa strain it makes me incredibly productive.
most people aren't incapable of realizing their full potential because of their personal mindspace, but because they are confined to a specific economic survival role.
More than caffeine? Really?!
Stoners do bong hits until they are so stoned they fall asleep or run out of weed. I've never made a habit of that. I use a small pipe that holds about one bong hit and load the bowl just a few times a day and take tiny tokes off it when I take a break from coding.
I've been using weed like this since I was 12 years old in 1971, so for more than 50 years now.
During those years I learned how to design and engineer and build custom cars from the ground up. My father worked at "Barris Kustom" and I learned from him and others who worked there. From there I went on to work building advanced driving systems for C4-C5 quadriplegics, and the mod needed for wheelchairs they used.
In my late 20s I decided to learn how to use computers with the intent to learn how to code. I made my first "app" in the late 90's. Made my first website in `99, and my first web app for a single user in 2001 and released it as a multi-user app in 2002.
I'm 63 years old now. A couple weeks ago my wife asked me to go look at a friend's car. It had been sitting in their driveway for over a month because it wouldn't start. The car belongs to two guys who are a couple. Neither of them smoke weed. They like to drink on occasion but they're not everyday drinkers. They're both in the early 30s.
So I grabbed a few tools and went and looked at their car. When I got there the battery was dead. So I hooked up some jumper cables and after getting enough of a charge to get the gauges to work and the engine to turn over I tried to start it a few times and then told them what was wrong with their car. "It's out of gas".
I am sure there are those who'll dismiss it because I've been dismissed on this subject most of my life, but there's a point to found in that story that is relevant to this topic, which I've also seen come up over and over most all of my life.
Studies like these that attempt to find a link like this will most always conclude they found one because they're akin to wearing blinders to everything else that might also be a cause for the effect they cite.
If those two guys smoked weed the first thing most people who don't smoke weed would conclude is that is what caused them to not realize their car was simply out of gas.
Where did caffeine go?
I would like to know more about it but I just can’t find anything objective
I am very skeptical of my friends that make weed use their whole identity, Its not fun when they’re not doing it “recreationally” like the rest of us, but they seem decently functioning even though they use the term “microdose” quite liberally and abstractly. Not judging yet, I just know I wont consume weed that often. They all are suppressing anxiety or depression, from unrelated things theyve told me.
Emphasis on youth.
Tl;dr clickbait headline, don’t let your kids smoke a lot of pot, if that wasn’t already obvious.
Early use of cannabis was correlated with worse outcomes, but those who started later in life were still associated with deficits in the studies surveyed.
> To conclude, meta-analytical data on the acute effects of cannabis use on neurocognitive function have shown that cannabis intoxication leads to small to moderate deficits in numerous cognitive domains, most notably executive functions, verbal learning and memory and processing speed. These acute impairments are in accordance with the residual effects that have been documented in several meta-analyses suggesting that the detrimental effects of cannabis persist beyond the period of acute intake.
> Additionally, as youths remain particularly susceptible to the effects
Are both in their conclusion and paint a more complete tl;dr.
Everything in excess is bad for you. You only get one set of lungs, treat the well.
Btw, don't care about people doing what they want with their bodies, but smoking related sicknesses are something I wouldn't wish on my enemies (not that I have any.).
Speaking of Californians Speaking:
Q: How many Northern Californians does it take to change a lightbulb?
Q: How many Southern Californians does it take to change a lightbulb?
Hella Nor Cal or Totally So Cal?: The Perceptual Dialectology of California
Mary Bucholtz, Nancy Bermudez, Victor Fung, Lisa Edwards and Rosalva Vargas. Journal of English Linguistics 2007; 35; 325. DOI: 10.1177/0075424207307780
>This study provides the first detailed account of perceptual dialectology within California (as well as one of the first accounts of perceptual dialectology within any single state). Quantitative analysis of a map-labeling task carried out in Southern California reveals that California’s most salient linguistic boundary is between the northern and southern regions of the state. Whereas studies of the perceptual dialectology of the United States as a whole have focused almost exclusively on regional dialect differences, respondents associated particular regions of California less with distinctive dialects than with differences in language (English versus Spanish), slang use, and social groups. The diverse socio linguistic situation of California is reflected in the emphasis both on highly salient social groups thought to be stereotypical of California by residents and nonresidents alike (e.g., surfers) and on groups that, though prominent in the cultural landscape of the state, remain largely unrecognized by outsiders (e.g., hicks).
Extra credit question:
Can you locate the isogloss designating the "101" / "The 101" line?
Haven't decided how much I wanna smoke though, because I do have projects I'd like to work on, and progress is slow stoned. On the other hand, I have a philosophy of 'slow is good'; A deep-seated belief that there's no such thing as "wasting time". Advancing at one's own pace may be a fundamental strategy in creative pursuits. I'm an artist though, don't know if this would fly developing business software.
> "may continue beyond the period of intoxication"
that's a very different fact then "persistent cognitive impairments"
Like I think anyone can agree that cannabis during the time of consumption leads to cognitive impairment.
It's also not a secret that canabis can have residual effects if consumed too much. Which as far as I know decrease over time if you stop consuming it, i.e. "residual effects" not something I would call "persistent" effects.
What I can't tell is if the study fund long term effects besides this, or if it want to make it look like it found such.
Then it's a matter of probability, much in the same way long-term effects of Corona is discussed.
Perhaps the probability is mentioned in the actual paper, but i tend to lose interest whenever the wording include the word "may".
A play a few games of online chess most days, and you can tell if I'm smoking by my chess rating. There is obviously a big hit when stoned, but more interestingly is it takes a few days abstinence to fully recover and play at the previous level.
The Beatles used to ban weed from creative writing sessions where any kind of decision making was involved, but enjoyed it copiously during listening sessions.
I love practicing piano stoned, but if want to make any kind of progress, a clean mind is key.
So yes of course it can be enjoyed responsibly. But I highly doubt anybody who smokes doesn't take a performance hit, no matter how creative the activity is or otherwise.
"Addiction Journal" doesn't seem like a very impartial source. Like, "addiction" is a pretty loaded word. It doesn't strike me as the kind of journal that would publish a study that found great benefits from drug use.
Not sure that works.
People do take some naturally derived drugs to increase focus and work rate, however.
here is a video of a guy suffering from tremors due to Parkinson's disease. he is given medical cannabis and the results are highly visible.
There are people who I would regard as highly functional and productive throughout the day but who are drinking alcohol/smoking pot/using stimulants on a daily basis for decades. The dosages can be fairly high so as to clearly bluring the line between use or abuse but obviously low enough to ensure day-to-day functionality. For alcohol I'm talking about >70g daily (>5 standard drinks: >5 cans of beer, >1 bottle (750mL) of wine (12%)).
So with that edge example in mind it highlights at least two important factors:
1. physiological adaptations
2. social acceptance/functionality
[Anectode: From my experience in Eastern Europe I was struck by fairly many examples of decades of regular high dosage use but excellent mental and physical fitness at an age of >75, to a point in which this age group seemed even "healthier" on an average than wealthy European countries in the West.
Obviously from an epidemiological standpoint this "normal use" wreaks havoc but nonetheless the possible range of variation is quite remarkable.]
I find the model of a "Default mode network (DMN)" from neuroscience quite helpful to explain incentives in using "mind-altering" drugs like alcohol, cannabis etc.
People (from sometimes to usually) do not enjoy or even begin to suffer on wakeful rest (daydreaming, mind-wandering: remembering the past, planning for the future, thinking about others/yoursels) so obviously they are drawn in trying to modulate it in differnet ways. Given the culture there are many "tools" at hand. From acupunture to zazen.
Cannabis in itself has wide spectrum of effects as there are a great variety of active compounds in different concentrations depending on the strain and cultivation methods but to make the matter simple let's reduce it to CBD and THC.
CBD seems to be described as "bodily" reducing pain, anxiety, helping in falling asleep ...
THC is usually perceived as acting more on the "mind" at the right dosage and consumption (orally) moderately psychedelic and generally stimulating. The "dark side" being perceived as paranoid/psychotic/panic attacks.
So to say "Cannabis" produces acute cognitive impairments (more neutral: modulates DMN) that may continue beyond the period of intoxication for me is kind of a no-brainer.
If I regularly "consume" to modulate my DMN it going to change my brain in some way or another but as with the edge cases with alcohol highlighted above it is extremely difficult or outright impossible to isolate confounding factors to what causes actual permanent damage (social isolation, chronic abuse, physiological issues, genetics, upbringing (nurture), invidiual psychological vulnerability ...).
Instead of playing into fear a model like DMN for me puts things into context.
My personal romance:
I once overdosed on edibles it was the classical "horrible" experience but very insightful after I took the time to integrate it.
So I decided to exclusively use the THC-side of Cannabis to face my "demons" in living through my paranoias. This high dosage use of course limits itself to a maximum of 2 times a year. It still remains very unpleasant and a hard ride but I'm more in harmony with the plant so as to not fight with her. In this respectful dance I found it quite valuable as a teacher.
I became friends with one kid who was exceptionally talented as a musician, but also had a chronic marijuana habit. He was a better drummer than me at the time, but the drum camp was held every year. I attended the following year, and to my surprise, so did he.
As I am a huge nerd, I spent the entire year obsessively practicing. My friend spent the whole year smoking marijuana and being complacent. We were excited to see each other and catch up, but it wasn’t long before we started showing off our skills on the drum sets. His heart sank when he realised how dramatically my skills had surpassed his. I think he had a bit of an identity crisis, and likely as a consequence of the frequent substance abuse he developed a deep and blatant paranoia. He tried to commit suicide in his room the following day, and had to be removed from the camp.
I didn’t speak to him much after that — kids weren’t quite as connected as they are today back in 2005 — but to my surprise he did manage to contact me a couple of years ago. I asked him how he was, and he said he was doing better now after rehabilitation, but that life got much worse for him since we last met, explaining that he had been addicted to heroin.
I recognise that this is an extreme case, but I grew up with a lot of kids like this, and marijuana is scary as shit to me, despite some nerds today being adamant that it’s excellent and certainly better than alcohol.
It’s a drug like alcohol. Addiction can have consequences.
I started my drug usage in my mid-20s (including alcohol) and I highly recommend it. My brain was done cooking and I had enough self-confidence + self-awareness to not make dangerous decisions.
I have similar experiences with losing friends in a similar fashion. It is a sad thing.
nerds today being adamant that it’s excellent
I really wince when people talk about weed as some kind of magic cure.
I'd view the problems with marijuana (and heroin) as symptoms of mental health issues; not the cause.
And that's fine, because anecdotes aren't data!
But it's just hard to separate correlation from causation here. Not all people who drink or smoke or do other drugs are depressed, but plenty of depressed people will drink or do drugs.
Plenty of people that have natural talent or skill, or who worked long enough to get to "the top of their game" get complacent even if they do not regularly engage in any of the vices we're talking about here. Arrogance and complacency are hardly unique to drinkers and smokers.
Even from an anecdotal perspective, assuming that marijuana was a contributor to the person becoming complacent, it seems unlikely that the marijuana was a strong causative factor in the suicide attempt. There are a lot of people that smoke pot regularly, and by definition, most of them are not the best person at their hobbies or professions, and they're not committing suicide. There's obviously some deeper issues in play here. (And I think it might be totally reasonable to say that people that have those deeper issues should avoid mind-altering substances)
You can look in the comment section for this very article for multiple examples - I replied to someone who indicated that another person must have "depressing" nights because they stated that they sometimes enjoy having a night with friends listening to music while high, for example. Subjective opinions of how to enjoy an evening are greeted with being told they're wrong - a bit beyond even skepticism, even!
If us potheads start posting anecdotes about how smoking took us from being unsuccessful and contemplating suicide to successful and having wonderful personal happiness and contentment - basically the reverse of the original post in this thread - I'm sure we'd see similar levels of skepticism. As it is, the positive anecdotes are basically "It's fun and helps me relax", "I feel more creative while high", "It sometimes helps me approach things from a different perspective" and similar.
I think it's just the result of a cultural perception shift swinging hard the other way from the decades that drugs were demonized to now people looking at many drugs (mdma, marijuana and psilocybin especially) as miraculous substances that will solve all our issues. This happens with most shifts - it starts on one end of the extreme, then gets a reaction which swings the pendulum to the other extreme. In a decade I'm sure it will even out and we can have open conversations without reactions being so dogmatic.
Kids growing up in dysfunctional families (who might actually look OK from outside), or with some mental issues often desperately seek any kind of escape in whatever comes around. For many Alcohol, cigarettes and MJ are most accessible but sooner or later they find these substances don't work as they thought, the ugly reality is still there. So they move up the ladder for stronger escape.
Its false to paint MJ as cause of this, taking perfectly fine and balanced young individuals and bending them on path of addiction. Yet this is how it has been sold to public for past 60 years all around the world.
If I told a story about a kid who showed back up at band camp and had become 50 pounds heavier and hadn't progressed as a drummer, then went on to become a heroin addict etc. you wouldn't be blaming cookies. You'd stop and wonder what the hell was going on in his life.
Marijuana on the other hand…
As I mentioned, I grew up with several kids like this. Most didn't attempt suicide (as far as I'm aware, anyway), but the possibility of confirmation bias aside, I certainly feel as though I recognised a pattern of paranoid delusion among young stoners that I knew.
I'm not discounting the possibility that MJ can cause such things, but even the studies put the risk fairly low, and it's hard to separate environmental and genetic risks in the population they have available to study.
This is the part that doesn't follow. We have no actual indication that smoking pot had anything to do with his lack/loss of ambition.
I could give plenty of anecdotal studies where people became complacent because they got a promotion, or made it to a certain landmark, or realized that they were the smartest person in the room at the time, or a million other things. Complacency is not something that requires smoking pot to feel.
Like, I don't want to denigrate the person in the anecdote - but if your sense of identity is so tied up in being the best drummer among a certain peer group that when you lose that title you are going to attempt suicide, you have more fundamental psychological problems to deal with.
If pot was causing people to want to kill themselves because they weren't the best at something, we'd have a lot more suicides in the world. It's a massive claim, and one that requires proof beyond an anecdote.
This is what follows, or at least strongly implied, from OP’s post;
“ My friend spent the whole year smoking marijuana and being complacent”
We can only argue from what is in the story. Not what is not in it or what we’d rather wasn’t.
The OP shared a story, admitting its anecdotal.
But this whole line is a canard. The question is, would prohibiting any or all of those help anyone? Does prohibition help or not?
Because prohibition is the one part of the equation that a debate could actually have any affect on.
But I think it is quite clear why so much time, energy, and dubious argumentation is spent avoiding that question.
My point, as I wrote, is that it may or may not be true that marijuana is a gateway drug even if few marijuana users actually go through that gateway.
The "gateway drug" argument is that any amount of cannabis is sufficient for becoming a skin-popping fentanyl junkie, but it is not necessary.
That's an extreme, and not representative of what most people mean when they say "gateway drug".
My understanding of the gateway drug argument is this: someone who starts with a seemingly-innocuous mind-altering substance is more likely to end up wanting more and going for harder stuff than someone who has never used any drugs at all. By normalizing the light drug, some percentage of the new users will end up addicted to hard drugs that wouldn't have otherwise.
I'm not familiar enough with the evidence to have an opinion on the accuracy of this argument, but it's not helpful to take the most idiotic framing of it and attack it, even if it is the framing with the greatest meme value.
Perhaps the correlation is a result of cannabis being illegal in your country: if you break one law (cannabis use), the barriers are down and you may as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb and explore stronger remedies for your troubles.
So the questions that need to be investigated are these. Is there in fact any kind of correlation? If there is a correlation, is it causative? Of course, no true believer needs these questions answered, which is why the research into these things in not legal in countries where prohibition enforcement and punishment is big industry.
The fact that most heroin users have used caffeine previously does not mean that caffeine is a gateway drug to heroin, or at all correlated with hard drug use. The same applies to cannabis.
I'm so glad that the effects of cannabis persist beyond the period while I'm consuming it. If they stopped as soon as I stopped vaping, I'd have to find some other substance to abuse, that lasts at least an hour or so. Maybe something safer, like alcohol or smack perhaps. /s
* tobacco (completely banned, I don't think there's any reasonable amount of tobacco its users could use where its positive aspects outweigh the negative)
* sugar (this is a super complicated thing and it would have to include controlling how much added sugar each food has, what kinds of food are even allowed to have sugar in them - sauerkraut isn't supposed to have any sugar, US! - plus probably some active measures both positive and punitive against morbid obesity)
* all recreational and non-recreational drugs
* coffee/caffeine and all associated beverages
* probably vaping
Yes, this will probably take all fun in (current) life, we'll need to find new ways to have fun without these substances. We're quite smart, I'm sure we'll find a way. We'll just need to re-architect our societies, ergo "social evolution"/"50+ years from now").
But otherwise I don't think it's feasible to live 120+ years and to have everyone fully functional. It would probably also help those fallen on hard times (this would also require that everyone becomes much better at exercising their empathy, which is probably the <<really>> hard problem here).
Again, just because this doesn't sound like a fun world or a world you'd want to live in, it doesn't mean it couldn't be. Just like with everything about the future, it could just be a failure of imagination: <<you>> can't see how that could be, but people in the future might be able to make it work in new and interesting ways.
I imagine that 200 years from now we might look back at using all these substances as something as dumb as drawing blood with leeches for a migraine or something.
The reason to take those substance is to get a modified state of mind. In that effect, they are successful. It's not comparable to something that was just doing 'nothing' toward its stated goal. The goal is not to live to 120+ years. No one takes coffee thinking 'this will help me live an exceedingly long life'.
On the other hand, it's not so much imagining a society with this list banned that is difficult. It's to imagine a government capable of enforcing such banning.
I think it is infinitely more likely that in 50 years, it will be recognized as a folly to have spent so much money into trying to ban those substance. If the goal is to effectively reduce consumption, outright banning is not the way to go. Also, I have a personal belief that mental health is on the verge of revolution, and psilocybin in particular will be made more available, possibly even for recreational use.
I have not seen a good reason for now to reduce my caffeine consumption. I drink two cups per days, one of which is decaffeinated. I try to read regularly to see if new info arises there, and so far nothing. The only justification I might have to stop this consumption is the work condition for the producers and having to import it from afar.
We're discovering that due to increased aggression (alcohol), increased aging rates and increased cancer risk (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, vaping, etc), these substances as a whole contribute to lower life expectancies. For alcohol and tobacco it's usually the worst kind, their users reduce life expectancies for <<others>>.
It's not super clear cut and research is still ongoing. Plus a government ban without popular support was the Prohibition, which everyone considers a dumb move these days.
This whole thing would need popular support, even more than that, <<consensus>>. People need to realize these problems and find solutions for them, and only then ban them, to formalize this decision.
People need to come to a general consensus that alcohol is bad and it needs to go on its own. And you need to come up with alternative supporting measures. For example people use alcohol to work around social pressures, so we would need to find a way to diminish those.
This is not something you let extremists enforce.
I am aware that I'm asking for something close to impossible in the current climate.
I think people would do it.
Take the Covid vaccine: it is clearly shown to reduce the risks compared to getting Covid without it, and still there is no consensus about getting vaccinated, and there never will be. Getting to 100% vaccination rate will be a social trauma.
Another example, climate change: the science is clear and easy to understand. The root cause is known for more than hundred of years, and the effect has been clearly measured since the 1960s. The scale of the issue has been made clearer and clearer these last decades. And yet, even beyond people holding interest in the current status quo, there are still people resisting this consensus, attributing any attempt to make society change there a polarizing and partisan issue.
So no, people would not do it.
There is general consensus on many things (for example murder is banned across the world). There is rarely consensus on the "hot topics" of the day.
General consensus in my eyes doesn't mean that you have absolutely everyone agree, just a super high majority that gives you legitimacy. For example any vote above a super majority (67%, but for big stuff like this I'd say 80%+ )in a referendum could work.
There will always be extremists and for things to move you can't count on 100%.
For example even today, you couldn't pass a law for seat belt usage with 100% support. Even though any sane person in the last 20+ years would say that's ridiculous.
People have always wanted to: a) live forever, b) live forever in good health, c) do whatever they please throughout their hopefully healthy and immortal existence.
a), b) will require advanced medicine and healthier lifestyles while c) kind of requires that we get off the planet if we want close to infinite resources.
We have a million songs and movies and books and we've had tons of people dedicating their existence to the things I've listed above. We've had plenty of people killing and starting wars for them (or at least a hope at getting them).
If anything, I'm underestimating how much they want those things.
A general failure of imagination and empathy, that we need to lean on these abuses to remain functional.