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Science suggests smoking pot raises risk of testicular cancer, Schizophrenia and infertility - and lowers IQ

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Science suggests smoking pot raises risk of testicular cancer, Schizophrenia and infertility - and lowers IQ

Forbes Online

Here in California, marijuana is now treated as a minimal vice, with legalization inevitable and decriminalization for possession amounting to a tap on the hand. Medical marijuana cards are so easy to obtain, they’re the butts of endless popular jokes.

On the famed Venice Beach boardwalk, booths tout on-the-spot “evaluations” and customers walk out the door with newly minted photo ID cards in under an hour. High schools across the country celebrate April 20th as “420 Day”, a fact I know because my daughter’s high school, San Rafael High, is nationally famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) as the birthplace of the term 420. (Coined, supposedly, because 4:20 pm was the time at which kids would meet after school to light up.)

So, as we move towards viewing pot with the same tolerance with which we view alcohol (in other words, it’s bad for your health if you become addicted, but casual use is harmless), let’s look at the evidence. Is it really relatively harmless for young men — and women — to get high?

Pot Smoking May Double Risk of Testicular Cancer

Today’s headline was pretty bold: Smoking pot leads to double the risk of developing testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is on the rise, and experts have been trying for a while to figure out why. Now, after comparing groups of young men who smoked and those who didn’t, there’s a possible answer. Those who smoked pot recreationally were twice as likely to develop testicular germ cell tumors, or nonseminomas, the most common kind in men under 35, says a study in Cancer. Nonseminomas are faster growing and harder to treat – a deadly combination – say researchers at the University of Southern California.

This study, though small, is actually the third study to link nonseminomas to pot use; the first two were also published in Cancer. The first word of the connection came out in 2009 from research out of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. The pot use researchers studied was described as “once a week or more”, and it’s important to note that many smokers toke up every day. No studies have contradicted the link, experts point out. It’s important to note that the risk of testicular cancer is relatively low, slightly more than 1 percent, so even when the risk is doubled, it’s still extremely small.

Pot Smoking May Lower IQ

Last week’s headline was at least as alarming as this week’s. Researchers followed a group of youngsters from age 13 to age 38, and found that the IQs of regular pot smokers fell up to 8 points during the 25-year period, compared with the IQs of those who didn’t smoke pot, which stayed the same. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also found an increase in memory and attention problems among those deemed marijuana-dependent.

Pot Smoking May Trigger Schizophrenia

There should have been headlines, “Marijuana May Make You Psychotic” at least a couple times over the past few years, but somehow the studies documenting this issue haven’t gotten as much attention as you might expect. Maybe it’s because this link is much harder to prove, which it is. That’s because the association could work backward: Those who smoke pot could be self-medicating for symptoms of schizophrenia that hasn’t become full-blown yet.

However, there have been several studies, and they’ve controlled for a backwards causation pretty well. In a German study that followed a group of teenagers for ten years, those who smoked pot at least 5 times were more than twice as likely to develop schizophrenia. The biggest and probably best known study followed 45,000 young men in Sweden starting when they enlisted in the military. As I reported in a previous article, synthetic marijuana, also known as “Spice”, has also been linked to psychosis as well as to paranoia and violence.

Fifteen years later, those who smoked pot at least once were more than twice as likely to develop schizophrenia. A third study followed young men whose family genetic history predisposed them to develop schizophrenia. In these kids, who are considered to have a one in ten chance of developing schizophrenia, pot use doubled that risk to one in five.

Pot Smoking Lowers Fertility and Causes Genetic Damage

The health risks of marijuana for women are much less well known, as of yet. But what is known is that pot smoking decreases fertility for both men and women, and appears to have the potential for genetic damage to future children. Though a complex mechanism, cannabinoids — the chemicals in cannabis — affect the production of sperm and the ability of the sperm and egg to join together. The research on pot and testicular cancer has implicated the endocannabinoid system, which is the cellular network that reacts to cannabis, the active ingredient in pot. The endocannabinoid system also plays a central role in sperm production.

There’s also been considerable research on the issue of marijuana use causing genetic mutations that are then passed on to children. Of course most folks under 20 aren’t looking ahead to the health of their future offspring — or to the possibility of not being able to have said offspring — so this health issue is less influential with teens and young adults. But it’s something everyone should be paying more attention to.

by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 8:48 AM
Replies (101-105):
Citygirlk
by Gold Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 10:45 PM
I got.high off of nyquil once tried to fight the sleep and i ended up sounding like that boy who just came from the dentist.
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AMBG825
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Can you back that up?

Quoting PestPatti:

I know the defination and I still disagree.    

Quoting EireLass:

It does impair. As do the 6 prescriptions I take daily. If MJ and my scripts didn't impair, I wouldn't use any of them. (maybe she doesn't know the definition?)

Quoting AMBG825:

Can you back that up. Every paper I've read says marijuana does cause impairment.
Quoting PestPatti:

I disagree..

Quoting AMBG825:

But being high does mean impaired.
Quoting PestPatti:

  High doesn't equal incapacitated.    

Quoting gsprofval:

My students often want to use this as a topic for the persuasive argument essay. The questions I always ask them are: Do you want the brain surgeon doing your brain surgery to be high on pot? Do you want the school bus driver taking your kids to and from school to be high on pot? The answers to both questions is always no.


 






 

EireLass
by Ruby Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 8:59 AM

BUMP!

samurai_chica
by Bronze Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM
1 mom liked this

What have you seen in your practice (what practice)? And what is your experience with it?

It would literally take forever to sit here & explain everything i learned. "Very little negative side effects" is the best answer i can give without having to go into full detail & explanations...that would take forever. It would be easier for me to answer specific questions.

We did study sperm count. And the results were widely varied. I would definitely NOT say that lower sperm count is a common side effect of using MJ. There is a POSSIBILITY that it could in certain men. Why some men & not others??? That has not yet been determined. There could be another contributing factor there. Plenty of men who smoked daily, and did for years had normal sperm counts....and their sperm was healthy.

But yes, after working for Harvard and going to school there...I am %100 pro marijuana. I believe should be legalized...even for recreational use.

What i learned is that MJ is an amazing plant with minimal negative side effects.


Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Thanks for getting back to me. I recognize that studies and results are in the eye of the beholder, meaning, it all just depends on how the data is interpretted. Scientists can skew numbers to make those numbers go in their favor. I do not believe that studies are completly 100% un-biased- not even Harvard studies LOL!

"very little negative side effects" is highly subjective however, depending on what you are testing for KWIM? So, unless you specifically conducted studies on effect of sperm for example, motility of sperm, viability of sperm, etc........when using marajuana over time you would not necessarily know what effect varying amounts of pot have on sperm production, viability, etc.....

I find that one can not dismiss across the board as all studies, even those you were a part of, had some level of bias. But to say that pot has very little negative side effects ? That is not what I see/have seen in my practice.

Quoting samurai_chica:

Good questions.

It's impossible to to do tests on women who are carrying...which is why this post raised a big red flag to me. We could not conduct any tests that could have any affect on a fetus...so no...we did not do any studies on pregnant women. And none have ever been done to date as far as i know. It is very difficult to do, I'm sure i don't need to explain why. We have done tests on babies who's mothers smoked before pregnancy though. To which, no conclusions were made. At least not then. 

What i mainly did was grow it in a lab & test the difference effects on people. Some had smoked before, some had not. There are many different strains that have differing effects, and i had to help decipher which strains did what. 

Yes, longitudinal studies were conducted. In fact, Harvard has the longest running longitudinal MJ studies out there. I cannot say that i personally conducted all those studies, but i can say i was definitely part of some of them. Some are still going...

Yes, effects were tracked pre & post use. Some of the subjects have never used before, some have.

We also studied teens into adulthood. We never offered MJ to any minors, just worked with kids who we knew smoked. Most of them were tied into studies through their psychologists that worked for Harvard. Schizophrenia was never mentioned as a possible side effect, although there were many teens who used who already were Schizo...and sometimes MJ would magnify their schizophrenia. I definitely DON'T recommend MJ to anyone who already has psychological issues.

There were very little negative side effects in our findings...this article made me laugh.

I am out of the loop these days though...i will admit. It's been a while since my lab days....

But, there is no doubt in my mind that this article states biased research.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Harvard? I'm impressed. Curious though- did you conduct longitudinal studies? did you track effects pre and post use? effects inutero and throughout the lifetime?

Quoting samurai_chica:

the lowering of IQ i can totally see...

But the rest is total bullshit....i could go on explaining for days. But, i will just say that i majored in psychopharmacology at Harvard university...i grew MJ in a lab & personally worked on studies.

I can GUARANTEE that this study is completely biased and aimed to help keep MJ illegal.

 


 


pvtjokerus
by Platinum Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Interesting conversations ladies......

Quoting samurai_chica:

What have you seen in your practice (what practice)? And what is your experience with it?

It would literally take forever to sit here & explain everything i learned. "Very little negative side effects" is the best answer i can give without having to go into full detail & explanations...that would take forever. It would be easier for me to answer specific questions.

We did study sperm count. And the results were widely varied. I would definitely NOT say that lower sperm count is a common side effect of using MJ. There is a POSSIBILITY that it could in certain men. Why some men & not others??? That has not yet been determined. There could be another contributing factor there. Plenty of men who smoked daily, and did for years had normal sperm counts....and their sperm was healthy.

But yes, after working for Harvard and going to school there...I am %100 pro marijuana. I believe should be legalized...even for recreational use.

What i learned is that MJ is an amazing plant with minimal negative side effects.

 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Thanks for getting back to me. I recognize that studies and results are in the eye of the beholder, meaning, it all just depends on how the data is interpretted. Scientists can skew numbers to make those numbers go in their favor. I do not believe that studies are completly 100% un-biased- not even Harvard studies LOL!

"very little negative side effects" is highly subjective however, depending on what you are testing for KWIM? So, unless you specifically conducted studies on effect of sperm for example, motility of sperm, viability of sperm, etc........when using marajuana over time you would not necessarily know what effect varying amounts of pot have on sperm production, viability, etc.....

I find that one can not dismiss across the board as all studies, even those you were a part of, had some level of bias. But to say that pot has very little negative side effects ? That is not what I see/have seen in my practice.

Quoting samurai_chica:

Good questions.

It's impossible to to do tests on women who are carrying...which is why this post raised a big red flag to me. We could not conduct any tests that could have any affect on a fetus...so no...we did not do any studies on pregnant women. And none have ever been done to date as far as i know. It is very difficult to do, I'm sure i don't need to explain why. We have done tests on babies who's mothers smoked before pregnancy though. To which, no conclusions were made. At least not then. 

What i mainly did was grow it in a lab & test the difference effects on people. Some had smoked before, some had not. There are many different strains that have differing effects, and i had to help decipher which strains did what. 

Yes, longitudinal studies were conducted. In fact, Harvard has the longest running longitudinal MJ studies out there. I cannot say that i personally conducted all those studies, but i can say i was definitely part of some of them. Some are still going...

Yes, effects were tracked pre & post use. Some of the subjects have never used before, some have.

We also studied teens into adulthood. We never offered MJ to any minors, just worked with kids who we knew smoked. Most of them were tied into studies through their psychologists that worked for Harvard. Schizophrenia was never mentioned as a possible side effect, although there were many teens who used who already were Schizo...and sometimes MJ would magnify their schizophrenia. I definitely DON'T recommend MJ to anyone who already has psychological issues.

There were very little negative side effects in our findings...this article made me laugh.

I am out of the loop these days though...i will admit. It's been a while since my lab days....

But, there is no doubt in my mind that this article states biased research.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Harvard? I'm impressed. Curious though- did you conduct longitudinal studies? did you track effects pre and post use? effects inutero and throughout the lifetime?

Quoting samurai_chica:

the lowering of IQ i can totally see...

But the rest is total bullshit....i could go on explaining for days. But, i will just say that i majored in psychopharmacology at Harvard university...i grew MJ in a lab & personally worked on studies.

I can GUARANTEE that this study is completely biased and aimed to help keep MJ illegal.

 

 

 

 


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