Author Topic: I went into medical marijuana long after becoming a skeptic. For the record.  (Read 1375 times)

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Offline Roman736

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Just made a video to lay out my beliefs and opinions, grounded in skepticism, while I'm early in my career as a medical marijuana specialist.
This is to set the record straight since I'm sometimes grouped together with alternative and complementary medicine (CAM) practitioners by those who don't know me.
I believe in marijuana but not CAM because that's what the scientific literature and now my clinical experience lead me to believe.

Check out the video! Let me know what you think!


Offline Gerbig

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I recently started smoking Cannabis for recreational and medical use. The industry seems wrought with potential sources of woo.

Areas that pink my skeptical alarms (without me doing much research to see if they actually are):
-The various purported different effects of different strains. Seems like it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy where people end up feeling what they have read/heard to expect to feel. General things like indicas making you relaxed while sativas make you feel more perceptively head high seem to have some medical backing, but the strains that claim "This high cerebral yet focused high this strain gives you and ability to be focused and energetic at the same time!", seems like a sunk cost fallacy or something of the sort.
-Trichrome claims. There are a bunch of different trichomes that apparently make up the flavor, taste, and various mental and physical effects of the different strains. Different categories of trichomes do different combinations of things. I am again skeptical, are these effects, tastes etc actually true or do people just perceive them that way and are swayed into experiencing what they are expecting to experience. Seems like some of these effects could be caused by the power of suggestion alone.


Offline Roman736

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I recently started smoking Cannabis for recreational and medical use. The industry seems wrought with potential sources of woo.

Areas that pink my skeptical alarms (without me doing much research to see if they actually are):
-The various purported different effects of different strains. Seems like it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy where people end up feeling what they have read/heard to expect to feel. General things like indicas making you relaxed while sativas make you feel more perceptively head high seem to have some medical backing, but the strains that claim "This high cerebral yet focused high this strain gives you and ability to be focused and energetic at the same time!", seems like a sunk cost fallacy or something of the sort.
-Trichrome claims. There are a bunch of different trichomes that apparently make up the flavor, taste, and various mental and physical effects of the different strains. Different categories of trichomes do different combinations of things. I am again skeptical, are these effects, tastes etc actually true or do people just perceive them that way and are swayed into experiencing what they are expecting to experience. Seems like some of these effects could be caused by the power of suggestion alone.

Yeah I'd like to debunk 90% of cannabis information in the future. Like the colossal difference between indica and sativa strains (relatively similar in properties, differences are primarily in taste and user preference), its effect on parkinsons disease (completely over exaggerated), and other common claims.

Offline daniel1948

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I found the video impossible to watch. The odd angle and all the crap going on on the screen were just too annoying. So I scrolled it off the screen and listened to the audio. You didn't really say anything about marijuana and you didn't offer any evidence for its efficacy. You just said you don't believe in CAM, and you support vaccination. I'd have much preferred to read what you have to say than have to listen to the audio of a flickering, oddly-shot video.

My opinion on marijuana:

Recreational use: It should be legal for adults. I voted for legalization and it's now legal in my state. It's clearly less harmful (if harmful at all) than alcohol, tobacco, or any of the popular illegal drugs. I tried it (after a hiatus of roughly four decades) when it became legal here, and didn't much care for it. It's too strong now. I used it again for about a month to help me sleep during the period when I was weening myself off of oxycodone after my broken arm, and then quit again.

Medical use: Like any herb, the raw plant is too variable for reliable medical use. Many herbs have medical properties, but the variation from one sample to the next makes them unreliable as medicine. I believe the components of marijuana should be isolated, rigorously tested, and if found to be safe and effective for any medical conditions, should be made available in strictly controlled doses by prescription.

Smoke it (or eat it) if you like it, but until there are proper double-blinded, peer-reviewed studies, I think it is unjustifiable to recommend it for any specific medical condition.

Note: In states where medical marijuana is legal but recreational use is illegal, I've got no problem if you want to game the system by pretending medical use in order to get your recreational dose. As long as you don't try to convince people that it has medical benefits that have not been demonstrated, and as long as you don't sell it with claims of medical benefits.

Just my opinions.

Daniel
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Offline Roman736

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I found the video impossible to watch. The odd angle and all the crap going on on the screen were just too annoying. So I scrolled it off the screen and listened to the audio. You didn't really say anything about marijuana and you didn't offer any evidence for its efficacy. You just said you don't believe in CAM, and you support vaccination. I'd have much preferred to read what you have to say than have to listen to the audio of a flickering, oddly-shot video.

My opinion on marijuana...

Just my opinions.

Great! Thanks for saying the video was impossible to watch, crap, oddly-shot an odd angle, annoying, and that you would have much preferred to read what I had to say. Especially poignant is the observation that the topic was not about marijuana but instead about me not believing in CAM and my support of vaccinations, amongst the other subjects discussed. That was the point of the video indeed. These remarks are just what I was looking for when I asked for viewers to share their thoughts.

Your opinion on marijuana, though, I don't really see how it is relevant or worth my time reading. Could you make a video about it? I'd much prefer to watch what you have to say than to read the words to the comments you had typed.  ::)

Offline daniel1948

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Great! Thanks for saying the video was impossible to watch

You're welcome.  ;D
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
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Offline stands2reason

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-The various purported different effects of different strains.

This seems to the low-hanging fruit of skepticism in the cannabis community. At the end of the day, it is a marketing problem—different variations of the same product and all of the usual illogical thinking that goes along with consumerism.

There are dozens of cannabinoids, but only two cannabinoid receptors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinoid_receptor). I believe that the distinction between indica and sativa is real. The first has more CBD and more of a sedative effect, whereas THC is well-understood to have a psychedelic effect. From a mathematical perspective, this is an overdetermined problem. Any strain could essentially be projected onto a two-dimensional space describing the absolute affinity for each CB1 and CB2

It's easy to sound like a curmudgeon about this. It is likely that the aromatic oils and scent of the strain have a psychosomatic effect. However, it is also possible for the strain to have other chemicals that are active because they interact with receptors. From a skeptical perspective, we can imagine that this is unlikely, or at least the effect is very weak, because it would have been discovered by now.

Offline Gerbig

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I cant seem to find any double blinded tests of strain effects.
Do you know of any?

Online The Latinist

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Claims for medical marijuana activate all of my skeptical alarm bells.  Let me be very clear that this does not mean that marijuana cannot have medicinal effects, but it means that I am very skeptical of any specific claim for marijuana and I do not consider that there is adequate evidence for its widespread use and prescription any more than for most other herbal remedies.  Specific red flags include:

The vast number of unrelated conditions marijuana is claimed to be an effective treatment for.
The lack of a clearly understood mechanism for most of these claimed medicinal effects.
The reliance of proponents on anecdotal evidence.
The lack of scientific validation of claims.

To be clear, I understand that the last two go hand-in-hand and that legal restrictions make it difficult to conduct real studies.  But the fact that other evidence is unavailable does not make anecdotal evidence any more valuable or reliable.  Ultimately, I do not think acceptance of the claims made for medical marijuana is compatible with skepticism.  It can be your sacred cow, sure; but you can't make it into something scientific when it just isn't.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline SQ the ΣΛ/IGMд

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Great! Thanks for saying the video was impossible to watch

You're welcome.  ;D

There once was a member on here who posted a picture of her ass and asked what people thought. She was expecting all kinds of accolades on her derriere. When I criticized it she got all pissed off. My response, "If you don't want both positive and negative criticism, don't post it." In other words, you asked.

Check out the video! Let me know what you think!

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Offline Simon Jester

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Just made a video to lay out my beliefs and opinions, grounded in skepticism, while I'm early in my career as a medical marijuana specialist.
This is to set the record straight since I'm sometimes grouped together with alternative and complementary medicine (CAM) practitioners by those who don't know me.
I believe in marijuana but not CAM because that's what the scientific literature and now my clinical experience lead me to believe.

Check out the video! Let me know what you think!



I'm glad you have made this video because the kinds of people that do advocate for MM are usually the type of anti vax people you are speaking against, they need a Doctor who can act skeptically and speak against these topics.

You made no preposterous claims in the video about MM so I'm not sure why others in this thread are going out of their way to mention these things, if you had made some skeptical claims i mite understand them refuting them but you haven't.

The effects in your video would appeal to a younger crowd so I can see how it might get on Daniels nerves so just ignore him, he is not your target audience, in fact most of this forum is not so I would not get too upset If I were you. Keep up the good work sir!
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Online The Latinist

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You made no preposterous claims in the video about MM so I'm not sure why others in this thread are going out of their way to mention these things, if you had made some skeptical claims i mite understand them refuting them but you haven't.

He doesn't need to make preposterous claims for the healing powers of marijuana; by practicing unregulated herbal medicine based on anecdote he's behaving in an inherently unscientific way.  He can be as skeptical as he likes in other areas; that doesn't change the fact that in this one area he is not.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline wastrel

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Anecdotally, medical marijuana is just a way for recreational users to acquire it legally.  I would much prefer it to be made recreationally legal, and for medicinal aspects of the drug to be studied, extracted, regulated and applied in specific quantities as all other medications are. 

In the absence of generally legal recreational use, I am fine with "medical" marijuana to be used to backdoor a recreational, relatively harmless drug; I partake myself.  I condemn anyone that uses or advocates it as a panacea for true medial conditions that should be treated otherwise, using empirically proven medications and treatments.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 11:58:31 PM by wastrel »

Offline Simon Jester

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You made no preposterous claims in the video about MM so I'm not sure why others in this thread are going out of their way to mention these things, if you had made some skeptical claims i mite understand them refuting them but you haven't.

He doesn't need to make preposterous claims for the healing powers of marijuana; by practicing unregulated herbal medicine based on anecdote he's behaving in an inherently unscientific way.  He can be as skeptical as he likes in other areas; that doesn't change the fact that in this one area he is not.
So helping cancer patients with nausea or reducing pain levels or controlling Ibs just to name a few none of that means anything to you in a medical sense? It's all bullshit right? It's a drug that makes you feel better with very few side effects and a low if not nonexistent chance of overdose . How is this not medical? 

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Offline mindme

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"Legalize it" is justified on its own. There are many good reasons that pot should be legal (if you accept "it's not worse than this other stuff that's legal" is a good reason). I feel, however, the legalize it crowd overreaches with the medical benefits argument. And when you examine it, it's lacking actual evidence.
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