Weeducation: Long-Term Marijuana use in Adults

Hey hey people, it’s Friday, we’re all looking forward to the weekend now which means for a lot of people coming in and picking up some cannabis for store wide discount here at your House. Today what I wanted to write about is an older study, this one from 1997, about long-term use of marijuana and what the people who actually consume the product think about its effects on their life rather than the scientific viewpoint this time. The study was carried out by: A J Gruber; H G Pope Jr; and P Oliva in their book “Substance Use and Misuse Volume 32, Issue 3.

art by Kyle Heiderich (me 🙂 )

In this study, 37 Americans were selected who were between the ages of 30-74, who were diverse in ethnicity, educational backgrounds, occupations and annual income, and had smoked cannabis on over 5000 occasions. What the study found was shocking (truly). Firstly that there were no distinguishable physical features to separate the subjects of the study from non consumers, which we all knew, of course. Unlike with abuse of most other drugs, marijuana causes no negative effects on the body as seen by others.

The subjects typically began smoking marijuana in the 1960’s or early 1970’s and then continued to smoke heavily into middle adulthood. They felt that marijuana relieved unpleasant feeling states such as anxiety or depression, which is common amongst users to this day. I personally am I’m sure many of you do as well, know someone who uses marijuana to self medicate these conditions as well.

From a social aspect, a majority of the subjects felt that their social life was either propelled by or unaffected by marijuana consumption, while four subjects expressed that they became focused on their own perceptions and felt increasing isolation. Personally I fall into the latter, when I smoke and get really high, I can zone out and fall away from the conversation of my friends and just focus on what I’m doing. From what I observe of others though they tend to get very sociable, especially when around other consumers. It breaks the wall of social anxiety that everyone feels to certain degrees.

A majority of subjects also stated that they felt their careers were not affected in any way by marijuana, and a majority did not use marijuana while working, as they were concerned that the acute effects of marijuana would affect their ability to work efficiently. Those who did use marijuana while working, however, claimed that it made them feel more relaxed and creative. On the other hand five claimed that when smoking regularly they felt a lack of ambition and motivation for work.

Well in the end, nothing really jumps out at me as revolutionary in this study other than this observation. A majority of these subjects directly oppose the scientific studies that have been coming out about marijuana’s potential negative effects on the brain especially when used in the long term. When searching for a study to write about today I was constantly finding articles about the negatives of marijuana especially when used from adolescence, though at no point have I ever heard this from an actual consumer themselves.

A lot of older adults 40+ that I’ve known in my life including parents, grandparents and their friends have never expressed a lack of memory or general cognitive function like some of these studies are claiming. Next week I’ll be taking a look at one of these articles discussing some of the claimed negative effects of marijuana and displaying to you the lengths they go to to claim some of these things. Until next time though, enjoy your weekend thoroughly, and stop on by your House of Cannabis for some of that chronic.

-Kyle Heiderich
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