New Study: Marijuana Does Not Cause Psychosis, Lung Damage, or Skin Cancer

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I've performed a meta-analysis of various scare stories about marijuana appearing in major papers this week. The results of my research are as follows:

Hypothesis:

Alarmist reports about marijuana will turn out to be wildly exaggerated and in some cases completely fictitious. Obvious inconsistencies will be overlooked by the press and widely available contrary evidence will be ignored.

Methodology:

I read various stories about marijuana and used basic logic and reasoning to determine whether their conclusions made any sense. In some cases, I used Google and other sources to search for other information that contradicted seemingly dubious claims.

Findings:

Marijuana Increases the Risk of Psychosis by 40%
: This one turned out to be totally wrong. Apparently a correlation between marijuana use and psychosis doesn't necessarily mean that marijuana caused the psychosis. Many of the researchers made this clear in their findings, but reporters left it out. Furthermore, none of the stories on this topic explained that the risk of psychosis is small, so a 40% increase isn't that significant to begin with. Reporters also failed to observe that massive increases in marijuana use over the past century have not corresponded with increased rates of psychosis.

Smoking a Joint is as Bad For Your Lungs as 5 Cigarettes: This report also turned out to be almost entirely bogus. Shockingly, "air flow" was the only category (of several) in which marijuana was determined to be more harmful. Researchers stated that marijuana was 2.5 to 5 times more harmful than tobacco in this category, which reporters simply rounded up to 5 for the headline (behold the lofty journalistic standards of Reuters). Reporters also failed to mention conclusive research proving that marijuana does not cause lung cancer; a notable omission since "bad for your lungs" likely implies cancer for many readers. Finally, media reports failed to explain that marijuana users consume far less per day, and do not continue using for nearly as many years as tobacco smokers.

Marijuana May Cause Skin Cancer: I don't know anything about skin cancer, so I won't attempt to refute the findings of this Harvard study. The manner in which it was reported, however, leaves much to be desired. The FOX News headline reads "Study: Marijuana Use May Cause Skin Cancer." Only upon reading the article does the reader discover that only one extremely rare form of skin cancer has been associated with marijuana, and that the researchers claim that more research is needed. Furthermore, only people with weakened immune systems are even susceptible to this infection. A more appropriate headline would have been "Study: Marijuana May Cause Skin Cancer Under Very Rare Circumstances."

Conclusions:

Reading coverage of marijuana research in the mainstream press increases the risk of becoming misinformed by 50-300%. More research is clearly needed to identify further sources of flawed marijuana reporting. The risk of bad reporting remains stable despite concerted efforts to inform the media that hysterical claims about marijuana frequently lack scientific merit. Exposure to poorly researched news about marijuana is correlated with support for costly, ineffective, highly punitive marijuana laws.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Boobs in Washington, D.C.

It is always revealing to follow the trail of deception involved in the unending stream of bogus anti-drug propaganda that spews forth from the deepest, darkest recesses of a corrupted DEA.

I once investigated the origins of the 70s myth that claimed that marijuana causes adolescent male marijuana smokers to develop female-like breasts. The official medical term for this condition is gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a rare condition that is believed, but not conclusively so, to be caused by hormonal imbalances.

The pot-boob myth began when some scientists published a paper saying that the THC molecule contained in marijuana resembles, in some respects, the female hormone estrogen. This was an interesting observation for conducting future research, since similar molecular structures can sometimes have similar chemical effects.

The research was quickly followed by a letter sent by a single medical doctor, a general practitioner, and published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) which said that he had examined two male patients with gynecomastia who were also pot smokers. Two researchers, J. W. Harmon and M. A. Aliapoulis, published a research paper in 1974 in the New England Journal of Medicine that found no discernible link between marijuana use and gynecomastia. Despite their negative findings, the researchers concluded that some kind of link was likely. These publications became the total scientific basis for drug propagandist claims that smoking marijuana causes men to grow female breasts. There are still some idiots around today who claim the link is real.

Another oddity in the gynecomastia-marijuana saga occurred in a 70s episode of the TV game show “Hollywood Squares.” The question of whether marijuana causes men to develop huge breasts was asked of comedian and panel member Paul Lynde. Lynde said “yes,” and the show’s judges said that yes was the correct answer.

When I caught the brief segment on Hollywood Squares, I remember thinking that Lynde appeared uncomfortable when he answered the question, giving nothing more than an affirmative “yes” while making no jokes about it. Considering the topic was breasts, some hilarious joke should have been no sweat for the wisecracking gay comedian and party animal.

Paul Lynde’s strange behavior on the game show made me suspect that the question and the answer had been staged, possibly at the behest of the drug warriors. And in fact, it later became common knowledge in the industry that the questions, jokes and answers on the Hollywood Squares were given to the stars of the show in advance. If Lynde’s question and answer really were planted by some drug warrior, then this would be evidence that an undue and surreptitious influence of the entertainment industry by drug enforcement has been going on for a very long time.

Paul Lynde's anwer

From what I understood, by the announcement made on Hollywood squares, that the panelists knew the right anwer, before hand--(briefed on the answers!). I thought they were given that to try to stump the players into believing a lie.

Be that as it may, the short answer may have relfected his attitude about his being forced to answer the question in the affirmative. I mean, being in entertainmnet, they saw plenty of indulgers. And were probably better informed, and more skeptical about this question, than many of the other people in the country.

Corrections

Thanks for the correction. You’re right about the game rules. I was confusing it with something else, and I never watched the game shows that much anyway.

And you’re right about Lynde’s acquaintance with drugs. Lynde was a serious alcoholic who was found dead from an apparent heart attack in his bed on January 11, 1982. There was a bottle of poppers (amyl nitrate) found nearby.

All for stopping the drug war...

I am ALL for stopping the Drug War and am a huge advocate for the legalization of marijuana, but you need to be careful to validate your facts and not further add to misleading statements. While there are no studies confirming that marijuana leads to the development of gynecomastia, there are still a group of medical proffesionals that see it as a possibility (whether this is based on facts or just past beliefs who knows). As far as the gynecomastia, it is NOT a rare disease. Gynecomastia occurs in nearly 1 out of 3 men and is directly caused by a chemical imbalance. When testosterone gets too high and the body needs to compensate, estrogen levels rise. Similarly, as testosterone drops with age, estrogen may become a more prominent hormone. When estrogen levels are elevated, the breast buds will enlarge and cause a female like appearance. Unlike large male breasts associated with obesity (which is mostly fat), gynecomastia is actually detectable masses that develop in the breasts due to a hormonal imbalance.

Just thought youd like to know more facts about that issue.

sorry

I think you're a bit mislead. the hormone estrogen is in females, not males...

No, you're the one who is misled

Both males and females have both estrogen and testosterone - just at different levels. It is the balance between the 2 that determine secondary sex characteristics (ie, breasts, facial hair, etc). A change in this balance can (and, in many cases does) lead to a development of female characteristics in males and vice versa.

i think you're mislead

While estrogens are present in both men and women, they are usually present at significantly higher levels in women of reproductive age. They promote the development of female secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts, and are also involved in the thickening of the endometrium and other aspects of regulating the menstrual cycle. In males, estrogen regulates certain functions of the reproductive system, important to the maturation of sperm and may be necessary for a healthy libido.  Learn a little something before you comment on a medical topic.

What facts?

Some anonymous person on the Internet does not constitute "facts".  What group of medical professionals?  Got some basis for this, or just random crap you're throwing out?  As for the rest of your rant... total crap.  Also, get some balls and put your name next to your rant, coward.

To use your words, I just thought you'd like to know more facts about what people think of you.

Reefer Madness

It seems the misinformation/diversion machine is in full swing. It is my belief that the drug warriors get busier when they see their way of life slipping away. May they choke on all their lies. Change is coming and I say bring it on. Stand up and be counted.
www.pissedoffpothead.com

Marijuana

Marijuana was not banned because of its drug properties. Marijuana was banned because it will bankrupt the USA cotton industry. Marijuana is a weed which grows in semi-arid regions with little water and virtually no maintenance. Cotton is a water hog and pesticide consumer. Imaging all the third world countries growing a Marijuana crop for the canvas industry. The pain killers in Marijuana are patent free. Imagine being able to manufacture medicinal grade painkillers. These third world countries will lift themselves out of poverty and be able to feed themselves. It will never happen. Too many greedy USA capitalists protecting their wallets.

was it not the timber

was it not the timber industry, versus the cotton?

Probably both.

Probably both.

both - and then some...

when 'marijuana' was prohibited there was also a push from the chemical industry (remember those pesticides and fertilizers needed by cotton) and racism was used as a fulcrum. These days, the vested interests go far and wide, to include, obviously, the pharmaceutical industry, law enforcement, and corrections as well... so let's recap: the reason prohibition continues is because of money... legal hemp and cannabis threatens the following global industries and their market-share

energy

textiles

paper

plastic

food

chemical

health & pharma

... it's no wonder that despite popular opinion that cannabis is mostly harmless it continues to be persecuted... 

lots and lots of information

Personally love erowids information, high graphs + effects lists - http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis.shtml

Dope grows man boobs? It did with me!

I had my first smoke of Pakistani black in 1969. I smoked about 7 joints in a week and got boobs right away. This is a rare side effect which I got. It does not happen with everybody but did with me.
Anyone who says it doesn't give some men boobs does not know the facts.

Pakistani Black?

What is "Pakistani Black?" I've never heard of it. Are you sure you weren't smoking opiated camel shit??

Be careful. That stuff actually is sold as hash in Turkey, Pakistan, etc.

I hear the Moobs, man...

I too suffer from marijuana induced man boobs...and there is nothing more turn-offish than a fine woman pushin' ur tits together during sex...

MARIJUANA DOES NOT CAUSE MAN BOOBS, EATING TOO MUCH DOES

Dude, I had man boobs way before I smoked a joint -- from Doritos .. I was a fat kid and that's why you got the boobies -- because you forget how much you eat when you smoke marijuana.

It's what u eat after u

It's what u eat after u smoke it that makes u have boobs. Get high and eat. That is why u all smoke it is to be fat....lol

"pakistani black"

I think he's referring to Black Hash, a low-grade level of hashish, and stereotypically 'da bomb hash' from Pakistan. It's actually the worst and cheapest made hash, good hash is blond (brownish) or green. There is a slight chance that smoking marijuana increases estrogen, but to be honest I think it's probably from eating too much. Keep in mind that marijuana (the preferred kind anyway) is a female plant, so many idiots claim that your body releases estrogen when you smoke reefer. It may not be the case. What IS true is that dopamine is released along with seratonin, causing the dreamy-feeling, followed by an appetite stimulant, which causes you to eat. If you do this on a regular basis, you will easily consume more food than is necessary without being careful. Most "normal" people who use marijuana are in effect increasing their dietary intake without really paying attention to it due to the stupor. So, take Tommy Chong's advice and work out while smoking to reduce your overall body mass.

I hear that...

Ya man, I once smoked some crazy white widow laced with cat steroids and my balls became 4 feet long and I could no longer wear shorts. Shut yer trap!

sounds lie that was some

sounds lie that was some serious shit. U have a problem. Better not smoke no more of that crap.. Shit like that can kill your dumb ass.

DIEEEEE

haahahahahahahah grow boooobs hahahhahaahahahhahahhaah man i bet u tooook LSD

Man boobs?

Dude you actually got that? That is just wierd. I doubt it was from 7 js

he said he smoked 7 j's a

he said he smoked 7 j's a week, not 7 j's total. Also he never said how long he smoked for (in years).

Read again

He said he smoked 7 joints in a week and suddenly got man boobs.

If that's the case, I'm sure there are quite a few medical journals who would love to publish this and ascertain there are no other factors at work. But somehow, I don't quite buy it.

I call BS

How would it cause man-boobs exactly? I call BS.

eating too many taco bell meals and snack cakes

stoners get man boobs because MJ causes hunger even when the body is not hungry. So the stoner eats and eats his triple steak burrito's and twinkies and poof like magic gets man boobs. Rasta's of course in Jamaica smoke all day but eat a more natural diet and are running around doing their island thing and get more exercise.

what an ignorant thing to

what an ignorant thing to say.

Food intake does not create tits. Obesity will in the long run, but smoking joints will not create tits in a week, or EVER, and neither will eating munchies. Tits come with fatness or a rare condition unrelated.

Dude, the munchies can make

Dude, the munchies can make you fat if you don't watch what and how much you are eating. So yes, the munchies can cause moobs.

Man Boobs

The Dea guys that busted me had man boobs...Haaaaa haaaaa www.pissedoffpothead.com

Marijuana/ Cannibus / Pot

Marijuana creating a problem with air flow? Without oxygen your cells die. You can never be healthy and smoke anything that obstructs air flow.

Pot and Lungs

While I am only one person, I can say I am 49 yrs old and have smoked pot for most of my life (untill my incarceration for growing which is dangerous). My lung exrays a couple years back came out exellent. I have no breathing problems. I was smoking alot of my own high quality pot at the time the exrays were done. The only harm here is the law.

www.pissedoffpothead.com

I do agree. I have smoked it

I do agree. I have smoked it for many years. Have had several ex-rays done on my lungs. There was no problems with any thing only the law.

My Uncle died of lung cancer

My Uncle died of lung cancer at the age of 38. He did not smoke cigarettes, but he smoked a lot of marijuana. Marijuana definitely killed my uncle.

You're an idiot

Marijuana has never been linked to lung cancer or death. If your uncle had lung cancer and smoked pot, then he was smoking blunts-Marijuana in a TOBACCO WRAP- wherein the tobacco caused the cancer, not the marijuana

Do you know what airflow

Do you know what airflow even means?

You do understand that you must suck air through rolled up burning herb to smoke, right? (includes tobacco)

The displacement of Oxygen by marijuana smoke is very minimal.

The NIDA (the ONLY authorized federal government research institute) published an article suggesting pot caused brain damage, as evident in monkey trials. They failed to inform how they reached that conclusion, and it was that they strapped a gas mask onto the face of a restrained primate, and forced highly concentrated marijuana smoke into its mouth/face of the chimp non stop until it eventually suffocated minutes later.

In fact, MILLIONS of people smoke marijuana habitually, and have done so for DECADES. So don't you think you would hear about all of this havoc being played on these people? I have yet to witness any of this damage occur, and there are countless subjects out there toking away, healthy as can be.
Think about meth. We've all seen the abuse pictures (teeth, brain, nose etc.). Where are the pot damage pictures? I've seen tobacco-ruined lung pictures, cocain scarred noses, rotten flesh /track marks of a heroin addict and the addiction stories we've all heard. But not once has there been a marijuana one. (excluding refer madness...non-fiction only)
The only reason statistics show an increase in marijuana-related drug treatment classes is the fact that people are being ordered to take those classes by the court.

Man all I have to say is

Man all I have to say is amen to that!!!!! I'm sick of all these people who have some twisted image that weed is bad. I have been smoking weed since I was 13 and I'm 25 and I still smoke on a daily basis. I was in the marine corps. 6 years and I'm a police officer now. So to all you dush bags out there who think every one who smokes weed is a loser kiss my ass because I'm doin my thing and livin life high and happy!!!!!

You're fcuking bullshit if

You're fcuking bullshit if you're in the Marines and smoke pot daily. I was in the Marines and we get drug tested every other week.

Government authorized research institute

I don't trust anything authorized by the federal government

Marijuana may increase psychosis risk, analysis says

^That was the title of the CNN article.

This is a quote from the CNN article: "The researchers said they couldn't prove that marijuana use itself increases the risk of psychosis, a category of several disorders with schizophrenia being the most commonly known."

I rest my case.

Exactly

Are we supposed to be grateful that they at least included this? I'm not. When the headline is super-alarming and you have to read the whole article to learn that it's a huge exaggeration, that's bad reporting.

This is like announcing that Slim-fast makes you fat, because there's a correlation between obesity and Slim-fast consumption. Then at the bottom of the article it says "researchers noted that it's possible Slim-fast is just more popular among people who are overweight."

haha

Well put, Scotty Mo.

It is just a media blitz for their eradication programs

They put all that stuff up for the big weed pulling going on. Turn in a marijuana user and win $1,000 was the big on the news this week.

Weed Pulling

Did everyone see the weed pullers that got disoriented and had to have rescue save their asses? Ha what a hoot!

www.pissedoffpothead.com

Weed VRS The World

Why Doesn,t some goverment or group of people take a stand and make pot legal to grow, smoke, ETC, with all the third world problems, like the poppie problem in afgaini, the world would be a safer place and the poor would be able to eat and the sick have meds and so forth, tear down the poppy fields grow weed its better than the world being supplied with herion.
Cnn reportally aired a report that up to 90% of that drug comes from afgani the whole world supply thats just nuts, with all the reasearch done for so many years and doctors stateing the benifits, whats the problem, ill tell you for you people that dont know by now, its called greed and controll and money,its as simple as that, why you ask ...How can anyone controll pot its a weed thats been on earth since the time of weeds being born, its not some new or old manufactored drug, Canada has always talked about makeing it legal from time to time, but like usual they are scared to make that stand i guess and rather be a follower,,,in all what i have said useing and exercising my rights of freedom of speech,,,, Its so sad to see the world in the state it is in and all the problems that people and goverments just dont seem to fix... That so called bad weed (POT) could change the world and peoples lifes forever, like 500% better afterall people wake up and smell the coffee we have make tabacco and booze legal and they are the 2 most worst drugs out there on the market today no one can dispute this sad fact.. So my conclusion is whoever made those 2 drugs legal please make weed legal so the people can benifit not for drug dealers to make money selling weed, dont ya think we owe it to ourself... What do ya think god would do??

Cannabinoids, schizophrenia and mad cow disease prevention

My explanation about these connections;

1. Cannabinoids are antagonists of the NMDA receptors- so neurodegenerative diseases prevention
Excessive activation of glutamate receptors, particularly of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subtype, leads to neuronal degeneration and death. Since NMDA receptors are one of the most harmful factors in excitotoxicity, antagonists of the receptors have held much promise for the treatment of conditions that involve excitotoxicity, including neurodegenerative diseases. Cannabinoids are known to inhibit calcium channels- glutamate release in schizophrenia and to inhibit progression of certain neurodegenerative diseases (by reducing intracellular calcium release). It was found that glutamate toxicity was reduced by both cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive constituent of marijuana, and the psychotropic cannabinoid- THC.

2, Cannabinoids are antagonists of the NMDA receptors- so schizophrenia development
Evidence from histological and pharmacological challenge studies indicates that NMDA receptor hypofunction may play an important role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. So, marijuana can be a serious problem, because according to the science studies it seems that cannabis use can precipitate schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals (alkoholism, undernutrition…), especially. However, there are other studies about the opposite marijuana effect, so scientists say; „One possibility is that there are good guys and bad guys within cannabis… Maybe the cannabidiol ameliorates some of the effects of the THC and maybe it actually might be good for you if you are psychotic“. I would like to show that there can be a "nutritional theory" (different „body calcium status“ in good and bad guys…) about the cause of schizophrenia based on "calcium deficiency"...

3. The link between the NMDA receptor hyperfunction (neurodegeneration) and hypofunction (schizophrenia)The goal of my comment is to show that cannabis use can be a proof about this link. See my website www.bse-expert.cz , and my opinion- articles in Medical News Today http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/youropinions.php?opinionid=17968 and http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/youropinions.php?opinionid=18538. Because of their central role in neurodegeneration, NMDA receptors have been considered prime therapeutic targets for the development of useful neuroprotective strategies. However, one could imagine that these receptors might be less sensitive to glutamate, and, perhaps, more sensitive to Mg2+ block . So, NMDA receptors may differ in their sensitivity to voltage-dependent Mg2+ block, agonists, and antagonists as a function of their subunit composition.
Josef Hlasny,DVM, PhD

Validation

How can we be sure if Marijuana smoke does not cause lung cancer. Also, what about the studies done on Marijuana and Alzheimer's. I have read in some past studies that in fact smoking for a prolonged period of time can prematurely induce diseases like Alzheimer;s. Is this in fact true. Thank you for your resonses.

Rick,
Texas

And what if it did

Dont do it every single sec just a waist and smoke on the weekends every few weeks or months way less likely to get than a cigarette smoker like to see one of them do that they got cravings if smoked very long every 15mins to 2hours damn thats additive stuff or what its like fat people cant stop stuff there faces or just to lazy to more around a bit or work. Its like alot of stuff thats is good for u but u do it to much its not so good for u.

Ciggerettes VS Marijuana

I just found out that I have some emphysema in my lungs but no cancer. The doctor says if I quit smoking my lungs will get better and I will be ok but I did not tell the doctor I smoke weed. I have been off of cigs for about 4 days and really don't want them anymore but I still smoke some weed about a joint or joint in a half a day I can go without if I have to or want to. Will my lungs heal if I continue to smoke weed and stay off of the ciggerettes? I have been smoking both since I was about 13 and am now 43. I have smoked more cigs though because there have been times over the years that I did not smoke weed reguarly but have been the last few years.

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