Is Marijuana a Harmless Natural Drug?

Is Marijuana a Harmless Natural Drug?

I post here an article by an M.D. who is also a genuine (he has truly studied, not just a one year fast course at USC) and very well respected Acupuncturist on the topic of Marijuana and Apathy. While Marijuana does not kill everyone's enthusiasm, it does have the effect of destroying motivation in some people.

My brother in law, who has an MBA from Yale and is a very successful business consultant and, what we would call a Liver type in Chinese Medicine and a Pitta dosha type in Ayurveda, is a weekend smoker. It helps him get the edge off of his hard driving controlling personality type. He is not the poster boy for the kid whose marijuana use damages his motivation.

I have observed that the kids at risk for this are one's who are either Vatta or Kapha dosha types: people who deal with risk, conflict, and stress not by dominating and triumphing, but by by running away and hiding or by freezing in the corner, Vatta or Kapha. If these folk are exposed to this drug when they have poor familial support systems, then it will often do a lot of damage.

This is not addressing the issue of Marijuana use for chronic pain or serious disease. That is another issue, and I am pretty sure in many of those cases it is a very good drug, especially when compared to the biomed drugs and all their deleterious side affects.

In any case Dr. Hammer's article is worth a read. 

 In my Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda practice I have definitely seen people with Kapha and Tamas elevation from habitual marijuana abuse, daily pot smokers who use the mind altering effect to deal with conflict by  fleeing or freezing in the flight-fight-freeze nervous system response that correlates to Vata-Pitta-Kapha dosha in Ayurvedic medicine, the equivalent to having 4 beers and sitting on the couch before the T.V. until you doze off. 

On the other hand I have seen people who use it on occasion to deal with blips in their Qi causing mild insomnia and tension headache. And then there are the type Liver types with excess Pitta that smoke pot to mellow out and stop fighting when they dont need to fight.. In the end whatever mind expansion/chage one get's from a drug, even a natural drug, whether its pot or Xiao Chai Hu Tang or  An Shen Wan, doesnt come close to what the chemicals in your own body/brain make when you have a regular Mindfulness meditation or Tai Qi or Yoga practice. 

If you deal with your stress with marijuana, there is no judgment, but you are, in the end not dealing, you are medicating. We can all benefit from observing the difference between stressors and the stress response and dealing with our maladaptive stress response with a drug vs. a healthy lifestyle.

Copyright Eyton J. Shalom, M.S., L.Ac. San Diego, CA All Rights Reserved, Use With Permission Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine in San Diego