The herbal remedy: Teens use cannabis for relief, not recreation

Apr 22, 2009

When legal therapies let them down, some teens turn to cannabis. A new study, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy suggests that around a third of teens who smoke cannabis on a regular basis use it as a medication, rather than as a means of getting high.

Joan Bottorff worked with a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to conduct in-depth interviews with 63 cannabis-using adolescents. Of these, 20 claimed that they used to relieve or manage health problems. Bottorff said, "Marijuana is perceived by some teens to be the only available alternative for those experiencing difficult health problems when legitimate medical treatments have failed or when they lack access to appropriate health care".

The most common complaints recorded were emotional problems (including , and stress), sleep difficulties, problems with concentration and physical pain. The teens' experiences with the medical system were uniformly negative. The authors said, "Youth who reported they had been prescribed drugs such as Ritalin, Prozac or sleeping pills, stopped using them because they did not like how these drugs made them feel or found them ineffective. For these kids, the purpose of smoking marijuana was not specifically about getting high or stoned".

The authors emphasize that the unmet medical needs of these teens are of key importance in these findings. In contrast to the unpleasant side effects of prescribed medications and long, ineffective legal therapies, cannabis provided these adolescents with immediate relief for a variety of concerns. Of course, cannabis isn't completely harmless, but as one of the respondents noted, "It's not good for you, but then again, neither is McDonald's and a lot of other things".

More information: Relief oriented use of marijuana by , Joan L Bottorff, Joy L Johnson, Barbara M Moffat and Tasmin Mulvogue, Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy (in press), http://www.substanceabusepolicy.com/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

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User comments : 24

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Mauricio
3 / 5 (2) Apr 22, 2009
In other research they found a correlation between marijuana smoking and intelligence in adolescents. Who is more likely to have "experiences with the medical system were uniformly negative."? yes, the more intelligent ones.
ABCThePaddy
5 / 5 (4) Apr 23, 2009
Intelligence might be a precursor to disbelief of propaganda!
gopher65
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 23, 2009
I don't care if people use THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), but I do care if they smoke it. All forms of smoking should be banned. If people want to get high, then they should do it with the drug in a liquid or pill form. That way I don't have to breath the crap in.

Every time one person smokes (pot or tobacco or whatever) it stinks up my entire apartment building. Have some consideration for others please! Use a pill (and THC *is* available in pill form, and it is a more effective way of taking the drug, both for pain relief and as a narcotic... plus it doesn't give you cancer when you take it this way:P).
Egnite
3 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2009
What a ridiculous statement gopher! I don't care if people use THC but they should ban smoking... Get a grip man! Your as logical as the government are atm, here have one freedom at the cost of another. wtf? Let ppl do what they want, if they want cancer let em work on it, if they want a nice smelling flat, who are you to criminilize them for it? Nazi!
MadLintElf
5 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2009
Understand, most individuals consuming marijuana for medical purposes use a vaporizer.

Vaporizers release only the VOC's from the product, and do not produce smoke.

Remember, smoking anything will damage not only your lungs, but those around you.

Cheers

BB
robbycoats
3 / 5 (2) Apr 23, 2009
I don't care if people use THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), but I do care if they smoke it. All forms of smoking should be banned. If people want to get high, then they should do it with the drug in a liquid or pill form. That way I don't have to breath the crap in.



Every time one person smokes (pot or tobacco or whatever) it stinks up my entire apartment building. Have some consideration for others please! Use a pill (and THC *is* available in pill form, and it is a more effective way of taking the drug, both for pain relief and as a narcotic... plus it doesn't give you cancer when you take it this way:P).



Banned? How exactly do you go about enforcing these laws? Force is the only way... If anyone comes to my house to try and stop me from smoking a cigarette, they will be met with equal or greater force. Yes, we're talking firepower, it's what keeps us free.
Szkeptik
3.3 / 5 (4) Apr 23, 2009
@ Egnite : Do those other people not have the right to breath clean air if they want to? Just because people have a right to freely move around doesn't mean they can crap on your doorstep if they so please.
Arkaleus
3 / 5 (2) Apr 23, 2009
Three hearty cheers for affordable vaporizors. Never smoke again!
jsovine
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 23, 2009
Understand, most individuals consuming marijuana for medical purposes use a vaporizer.

Vaporizers release only the VOC's from the product, and do not produce smoke.

Remember, smoking anything will damage not only your lungs, but those around you.

Cheers
BB


While vaporizing is the most effective solution, it's also the most expensive solution. A quality vape will set you back more than 200 smackeroons. Most teenagers can't afford to spend that kind of cash on something that might get confiscated...
Honor
5 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2009
If you're worrying about breathing fresh air then you should take the bus to offset your carbon foot print. lol
Edylc
4.3 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2009
Vaporizers are really only effective on people that start that way from what I can see. My mom smokes marijuana because she was in a really bad car crash twenty years ago and is almost always in pain and has a hard time eating from stomach problems,

marijuana keeps her bones from hurting, and is the only thing that doesn't make her sick, but makes her hungry.
She bought a vaporizer because she wanted to quit smoking, but it didn't do the trick.
She invested over $1000 in vaporizers trying to find a good one and never found one that worked as good as smoking it.

As far as the pills go, complete bullcocky.
Something about infesting your lungs with smokey THC really does the trick. Unfortunately.
Edylc
1 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2009
Forgot so say this.



Banning smoking will never ever work, "they" got people hooked, now "they" (and you!) have to deal with it.

Besides, in a lot of places you can't smoke in bars, restaurants, cars (if you have someone under 18 with you), in some rare cases even while walking down the street! So can it!! If they make it so you can't smoke in your house every person that smokes will still do it, and all we will have is a LOT more really annoying neighbors that call the cops.

If they all of a sudden discovered eating fast food made other people around you fat, I'm sure the only thing we would gain is more goddang vegans outside of kfc.
Egnite
3 / 5 (3) Apr 24, 2009
@ Egnite : Do those other people not have the right to breath clean air if they want to? Just because people have a right to freely move around doesn't mean they can crap on your doorstep if they so please.


If people want clean air, they head out to the countryside, away from smokers, cars, pollution and have a great big inhale. Are you going to stop driving so I can cycle to work in this fictitous "clean air"?? Lol at people attacking smokers coz its the governments latest craze. Do us non-gullable people a favour and stop regurgitating what crap you read in the news and form an opinion of your own.
gopher65
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 24, 2009
And if people don't want to get hit by drunk drivers, then they shouldn't go outside! That's one of the most moronic statements I've ever seen Egnite.

I don't care if people smoke outside. I DO care if I can't see the f**king walls in my apartment because the air is so hazy! You do NOT HAVE A RIGHT to FORCE me to breath that in, unless I have a right to slit your fraking throat in return.
Edylc
5 / 5 (3) Apr 24, 2009
And if people don't want to get hit by drunk drivers, then they shouldn't go outside! That's one of the most moronic statements I've ever seen Egnite.



I don't care if people smoke outside. I DO care if I can't see the f**king walls in my apartment because the air is so hazy! You do NOT HAVE A RIGHT to FORCE me to breath that in, unless I have a right to slit your fraking throat in return.


Close your windows. Turn on the AC. Get some febreeze.
Recent studies show that smoke does not and apparently can't travel through solid walls.
gopher65
1 / 5 (1) Apr 25, 2009
Dude... big apartment buildings have centralized ventilations systems. Otherwise you would suffocate during the winter when your windows are closed. In short, all the air on one level is pretty much shared before it gets sucked out.

Trust me, this smoke does not come in through my windows, and I don't use AC (I'm in Canada:P), and my heating system is water, not forced air.
Edylc
5 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2009
I can see how that would not be nice. Your neighbors must not open windows when they smoke. Or are you one those people that stands next to someone and can tell if they had smoked in the past two weeks? My aunt is like that. No sneaking it around her.
bmcghie
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2009
I'm sorry to hear about your situation, gopher65. As a hardcore biker and fitness geek, that would drive me frakking nuts.
axemaster
1 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2009
"If anyone comes to my house to try and stop me from smoking a cigarette, they will be met with equal or greater force. Yes, we're talking firepower, it's what keeps us free."

Wow that's actually pretty terrifying. So you're saying that if for some reason people came to you and told you to quit smoking, you would KILL them?
ecolo
5 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2009
The truth is, the amount ones needs to smoke for relief can be as small as a lentil. Yes. A lentil. Once a day.

Normal indoor air pollution, city pollution, and smoke from cooking or outdoor fires - dwarfs - the contaminates present in small amounts of cannabis.

If you smoke because you like to smoke - that is a separate choice with hazardous consequences.

It is difficult to find relief. Many adults need a drink at the end of the day. That is their legal relief with its consequences (alcohol is physiologically a poison). The tragedy is that we have taken drugs like cannabis and cocaine and put them together. To many of us the differences are obvious. But when youth try cannabis, and realize how benign it is, and that so many, many people in all stations of life use it in a responsible way, they think we are lying about cocaine as well. Drugs like Cocaine and heroine destroy peoples lives.

legonadir
5 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2009
I believe personal freedom is always a good thing.
gopher65
5 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2009
Again, I don't care if people use THC, or tobacco, or alcohol, or even heroine. I'm pretty much on the Libertarian side of things when it comes to not being interfered with.

But that is the key. Some people think that they want *freedom* in society, but what they actually desire is the *Right of Non-interference*. The difference between the two is far from semantic.

Freedom means that you can do anything you want, regardless of the consequences to other people. In a perfectly free society, no one would have a right to be angry at the 9/11 attackers, or at someone who raped a little kid. Because the people who did those things would be *free*, and they could do whatever they wanted. That is freedom, and it is a sick, sick thing. Look at Somalia. People have total and complete freedom there, and look what it has brought them.

On the other hand the Right to Non-interference is a quite different, even though it appears similar on the surface (which is why people mix the two ideas up so frequently). No one has a right to tell you that you can't use Cannabis, or drink alcohol, or own a hunting rifle, or whatever. But, at the same time, *you* don't have a right to interfere with anyone else.

As an example, if I'm walking along minding my own business, you don't have a right to get drunk, drive home, and in the process run over me with your car, because then you'd be interfering with me. Just like you have a right not to be interfered with, so do I.

In a perfect society, where government actually acts like it should, that is where laws come from. When the "Right Not to be Interfered With" of two different people comes into conflict, that is when a law should be born into existence. The core intent behind any law should be to minimize the interference that people cause each other (not, as some people would have it, to try and push some form of "morality" or "justice" on the population... that's a pipe dream).

This relates to the discussion thusly: You have a right to use marijuana, but I have a right not to breathe in the smoke. It doesn't matter if *you* consider the smoke a minor thing or not. The fact that I consider the smoke to be harmful to be means that you are interfering with me. If we couldn't settle the dispute between the two of us (and since this is a wide spread issue we couldn't), then it would be up to the government to try and figure out a method of minimizing the conflict between us through a law. (Of course since Cannabis is illegal that isn't an issue;)).
earls
5 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2009
"A quality vape will set you back more than 200 smackeroons."

Pure non-sense.
legonadir
not rated yet Apr 28, 2009
A quality vape will set you back 70 bucks or less if you buy online. Buy a good brand barley used for 20 bucks on ebay.

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