The Real Effects of Marijuana

HJ: While I don’t personally agree with everything Dr. Cousens says in this article, I think its worth posting due to the fact that he makes important, valid points on the actual effects of marijuana on the brain.  There has been a slew of articles on the net lately praising marijuana (the drug, not the plant) as a cure-all miracle…  While it does have medicinal benefits to an extent, these are not without serious hazards.  Knowing this, I feel its my duty to at least raise people’s awareness about the true mental-spiritual effects of the drug.  Truth will prevail…

- Truth

By Dr. Gabriel Cousens | Tree of Life

Marijuana is currently a hot topic in the media.  Several states, including my home state of Arizona, will be voting on this issue in November.  I for one am opposed to the decriminalization of marijuana and its use for “medical” purposes for a number of reasons, physical, social, and spiritual.

In 1973 I published a paper in Psychopharacologia entitled “THC as an Hypnotic”.  This was a double blind hospital study showing that THC could be used successfully as a hypnotic in cases of insomnia.  It is clear in retrospect, that I was showing THC in marijuana as an element that puts you to sleep rather than elevating consciousness. In my 40 years of clinical experience, I am clear that the use of marijuana disrupts adrenal function and is associated with increased amounts of hypoglycemia.  The munchies effect of smoking cannabis is a sign of this adrenal disruption.


THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the active chemical in cannabis.  While THC and other chemicals in marijuana can reduce pain and nausea, they do this by destroying very sensitive brain cells related to perception and coordination.  The drug is highly toxic and literally destroys the brain.  Given the importance of brain health for concentration, meditation, and spiritual growth, marijuana use threatens the integrity of all aspects of our health and spiritual wellbeing.

The symptoms of THC brain damage include distorted perception, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and memory difficulty.  These are short-term side effects, but long-term marijuana use has been shown to increase activity of stress response and to alter the activity of dopamine containing nerve cells.  In short this diminishes motivation and perseverance in work, relationships, and on the spiritual path.  While some people mistakenly believe this to be a more evolved state on non-attachment or emptiness, it is, in reality, a numbness to life that inhibits our full expression.

In fact, many studies indicate a connection between chronic marijuana use and higher rates of anxiety, depression, suicide, and schizophrenia.  The younger a person is at first use, the more likely these unhealthy mental states are to emerge.  While development of the human brain, on average, continues until the age of 40, chronic marijuana use retards this development, creating socially and spiritually immature individuals.

Additionally, smoking cannabis, increases risk of heart-attack by four times, within an hour of its use.  Cannabis smoke contains 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke, and regular use has been shown to disregulate the growth of epithelial cells the lungs.  Regular pot smokers miss more work and are generally less productive than those who do not partake.  Considering that we are called to service to God, humanity, and the earth through our jobs, how can we justify consuming something that will negatively impact this service.



Regarding marijuana’s purported medical use for glaucoma, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, there is much misinformation being propagated.  The Glaucoma Foundation has stated, “Medical experts believe that marijuana only lowers intraocular pressure for several hours, requiring patients to continuously medicate day and night.  Failing to do so can lead to a rebound spike in eye pressure, which can be damaging.”  They also warn that marijuana decreases blood flow to the optic nerve, causing further damage.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society states on its website that it does not recommend marijuana use, because it is no better than existing medications, and it can worsen coordination and memory.  The medical benefits of marijuana use are being oversold.  Even the AMA, while supporting research to develop non-smoked cannabinoid medications, does not support smoking marijuana or the medical marijuana laws.

Summarily, marijuana use increases inertia, disease, social chaos (especially amongst vulnerable teenagers), car and motorcycle accidents (by 9.5 times), and crime.  Its negative impact on brain cells inhibits our ability to maintain consistent communion with God, humanity, and Nature.  In short it makes us physically weak, psychically suggestible, emotionally immature, and socially inept.  This is why a vote for legalizing marijuana is a vote to weaken ourselves and our society, physically, mentally, and spiritually.


19 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. This article is full of fallacy and propaganda. And it figures considering that its very old.

  2. Why would you even post an article like this on your site? Especially if you don’t agree with it? This information is completely false. Any reference to the AMA should have clued you in to that.

  3. I am a 65 year old female that is healthy and I take no medications given by the AMA or never plan to. My experience over the past 45 years with cannabis does not confirm your beliefs regarding cannabis. I have seen people with serious diseases including MS that have benefited from cannabis when no AMA drug had a positive effect. One of the many things that Cannabis does is that it creates new neurons and neural pathways. It is not a toxic. It is a beautiful plant given to man for healing. Cannabinoids found in cannabis locks into the endocannabinoids found in our bodies from the womb to the brain. Please open your mind and heart to the positive aspects of cannabis. It is so much more then currently realized. If it is not your path to accept cannabis please get off this path and leave it for people who accept it as a viable choice for them. In all 16 states that had approved medical marijuana fatal traffic accidents went down. To me this a total propaganda article that does not serve the greater good. I am a spiritual person and find no fault in myself personally using cannabis. The medical community has destroyed health and I should listen to you? You are an expert based on information fed to you by those that want you to know only what they teach you. There is a myriad of medical research regarding cannabis that does not agree with your assessment of cannabis. The medical benefits have not fully been recognized by most of the medical community. Cannabinoids in cannabis activate cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, These endocannabinoids naturally occur in the body and are essentially identical to medicinal compounds found in cannabis. This is a website I go to daily for spiritual growth. I am seriously questioning how your article got printed on this website. Or maybe this website is not a reflection of the truth as I previously thought. As far as I am concerned the AMA is just another corporation with a bottom line of profit. cheryl

    • I smoked my first joint in December, 1967, at the tender age of 21.

      Now, a mere 45 years later, I still smoke pot. I have never ‘graduated’ to ‘harder’ drugs.

      I am living proof that prohibitionist propaganda is a fallacy…a blatant lie.

      The worst experience I had with marijuana was spending 5 years in Federal Prison for a pot offense.
      While I was there, I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 20 months.

      When I went to the parole board after more than 3 years ‘behind the wall,’ I pointed this out to the panel members. Their response: “You must understand that yours was a very serious offense.”

      I laughed about that for another 2 years (as I still sat in prison)…then wrote my book:

      Shoulda Robbed a Bank.
      No, it is not a treatise on disproportionate sentences.

      I wrote about the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved…there were no victims.

      We were Americans pursuing happiness in our own way. Harming no one…nor their property.

      That’s my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.
      I would be honored by your review.

  4. When I posted this article, I knew it would strike a chord with many people.

    While I respect your opinions and you are certainly entitled to them, there are a few points I’d like to make…

    1) Dr. Gabriel Cousens is one of the foremost researches and medical doctors promoting incredibly high levels of spiritual awareness and consciousness, especially as it relates to lifestyle and diet. He has written multiple books that are definitive guides to highere levels of awareness. While he is not the final word on any of this, he is an expert and his information is credible.

    2) Marijuana is a medicine, however, this does not mean it does not have detrimental effects as well, especially when smoked.

    3) 90% of the people using Marijuana are not really sick but are either abusing it or have minor ailments that could be corrected by other means, but they choose to self medicate for any number of reasons.

    4) There are legitimate reasons to use marijuana if you have terminal illnesses such as cancer, MS, etc. In those cases, IF NOT SMOKED, the benefits can far outweigh the negative aspects.

    5) Occasional recreational use of marijuana is probably harmless as well.

    6) Anyone who uses Cannabis daily or close to that frequency, whether smoked or eaten, will experience the negative effects Dr. Cousens speaks of. You can read as many articles as you want praising marijuana, but the fact is, it is a drug and does not serve a higher spiritual purpose outside of sacred ceremonies where it used for higher levels of self awareness and growth.

    7) If you disagree with one article I post and think that the whole site is now questionable, then that is truly a pity, but I stand by my actions. Having much personal experience with marijuana and growing up in a community where it was in widespread use (read: friends, family, etc.) I can personally attest to the the truthfulness of Dr. Cousens words.

    8) Marijuana blows major holes in your aura and opens you up to negative entities that feed off your lowered vibration. Unless you are taking active steps to protect yourself and repair your aura, you are suffering major damage to your energetic body. There is lots of literature detailing this.

    9) I posted this article in the interest of giving all those habitually engage in recreational use a wake up call that it is not this magical wonder plant with no harmful effects. Just like anything in life, if you abuse it can be bad for you.

    10) You can still be a spiritual person and smoke marijuana (or eat it). I personally know many. However, it will definitely hold you back from reaching your full potential. And when you reach higher levels of spiritual awareness, the desire to engage in such activities vanishes. Nothing can compare to the high of true spiritual development and achievement.

    Enough said.

    - Truth

  5. as truth said, do not dismiss the entire information if it does not suit what you want to hear. the only thing i must say is that eventually we must break from these habits such as smoking because they serve no purpose besides material, it may be a step towards consciousness but just that, A STEP. Once you have became happy with yourself i believe you no longer need anything but your own inner divine light and love within.

  6. This article is totally absurd and is bias to serve a hidden agenda, Marijuana has been used for centuries by many cultures, even in the bible it states that Jesus used Marijuana

    Cannabis was used 12 ways: clothing, paper, cord, sails, fishnet, oil, sealant, incense, food, and in ceremony, relaxation and medicine. For so the Lord said unto me, “I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs. For afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.” (Isaiah 18:4-5)

    I am disappointing to see and article as this on this website :(

  7. Don’t know who is more biased, inaccurate, or misleading, HJ or Dr Cousens. I live in AZ too and he says we are voting on this in Nov? No we are not. That was over 2 years ago. No biggie but the article gives the impression of offering the latest research. Wrong. He says med m not a medicine. Wrong again. Ask any cancer patient who can’t eat and gets an appetite with pot. Talk to patients prescribed pain drugs like oxy contin, morphine, vicodin, or others and see how they have been helped by pot with less side effects than the drugs pushed by the pharma industry and prescribed by doctors who get kickbacks from them. He says yes it can help you sleep (better than the narcotic Ambien but ok’d by drs) but says it does not elevate consciousness. It’s for sleep not enlightment for Christs sake. All medicines have varying degrees of side effects – far worse than pot but the pharma industry does not sell it so demonize it? Blowing holes in your aura? You are really throwing all shit at the wall aren’t you. Anytime someone like Cousens writes an article on something like weed and finds NO benefits an agenda not truth is clear.

  8. I copied the below comment from another website. I think the American veteran who wrote this sums it up very well:

    “I am a disabled Army Veteran and smoke marijuana strictly for medical purposes. I never smoked before I broke my back in the military and it hasen’t been a gateway to anything. I started smoking because of my cauda equina syndrome.
    I had a herniated disk in my lower back that compressed the nerves at the lower end of my spine (cauda equina nerves). The doctors couldn’t prevent permanent damage, so I am left with permanent pain that is so severe that it leads to vomiting on a consistant basis without my medacine (marijuana). The doctors prescribed me morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, oxycotton, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, etc… All of the above named meda…
    cines made me useless, I hardly knew what was happening around me. On top of that, they didnt help with the pain or the vomiting from the pain. I felt like bugs were crawling under my skin.
    After complaining about this for a while, friends and family handed me cannabis. I was reluctant at first, due to the stigma that goes along with it. After I gave it a try, I realized that it was far and away a better solution than any of the above named DRUGS. I had none of the issues with cannabis that I had with all those other PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS. I can function and carry on with my life. Marijuana has made me a better person and a far more functional parent and husband.”

    I think anyone who would deny this veteran comfort should be beaten with an axe handle and ran out of the country.
    Just my humble opinion.

    • Does the THC heals the disc, as in heals the disc bulge, herniation to before its pre condition? I have disc bulge and looking for a cure.

  9. I was in Federal Prison with Brother Love and several of his followers from the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church in the 1980′s. We had all been convicted of marijuana offenses…separate cases.

    The head of Brother Love’s defense team was former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark. Their defense was based on religious freedom.

    While in prison together, I read hundreds of pages of the transcript from his trial. Many are available on the web today.

    The panel of ‘expert witnesses,’ presented by his defense team, included the foremost authorities in medicine of that era. The overwhelming amount of evidence documenting the medicinal benefits of marijuana was staggering.

    And, that was in the early 1980′s. Now, fully 30 years later, the same lame arguments are still being paraded.

    How pathetic.

    I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for that marijuana offense. While I was there, I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 20 months.

    After 3 years, I pointed this out to the parole board. Their response: “You must understand, yours was a very serious offense.”
    How do you respond to that mentality?

    I laughed about the parole panel’s comment for 2 more years (as I still sat in prison), then wrote my book:
    Shoulda Robbed a Bank

    No, it is not a treatise on disproportionate sentences. The book details the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved…there were no victims.
    We were human beings, pursuing happiness in our own way. Harming no one…nor their property.

    That’s my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.
    I would be honored by your review.

  10. “THC and other chemicals in marijuana can reduce pain and nausea, they do this by destroying very sensitive brain cells related to perception and coordination.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Give me one piece of proof for this load of GARBAGE!”

    The propagandist who wrote this article can’t even tell us how this happens in scientific terms, all it says is marijuana destroys brain cells “related to” perception and co-ordination.

    HMM, let’s think for one second why the National Multiple Sclerosis Society does not promote marijuana use as medicine. Could it be because the Big Pharma has a big lobbyist agenda?

    Please don’t ever post such a fucking useless article in this site again/

  11. Hello, and thank you for the article.

    I find it very funny how people claiming to be spiritual or compassionate, use incredibly violent language, including profanity and blatant mockery, making unsubstantiated rebuttals… they actually serve to strengthen the credibility of Dr. Cousens’ words.

    For example, one commenter claimed that the human body produces the cannabinoids in marijuana. It produces anandamide, a chemical that degrades easily and gives a sense of peace with the same receptors THC works with. But the brain does not produce THC. THC is much harder to break down and get rid of and hangs around for longer in the system (for weeks, even months).

    Anyone who thinks they should have robbed a bank to the extent of writing a book about it, is operating based on bitter resentment… perhaps quitting weed could help with that. Yes, you will have to face and process your pain, but in the end you will be much clearer and able to accept the ups and downs of life (and life can have some big downers… it’s how we deal with them that matters).

    I voted for medical marijuana in my home state, because I have known terminally ill people who have needed it. I also have a medical condition that would allow me to be prescribed MM. But i will not take it, because I discovered, through my own path of addiction, that I was using my illness as an excuse to disobey God and abuse drugs.

    Yes, marijuana has been a gateway drug for me. Especially recently, when I have smoked, I became paranoid, and wanted to drink alcohol to numb those feelings and scary perceptions. In the past, after relapsing on marijuana, I have progressed to opiates and other “hard drugs” which led me to the medical condition I have now. But that’s me, and I have an “addictive personality.” Other people, who, for example, can take a drink without craving more alcohol, probably will not have the gateway effect. Or perhaps they’d be able to moderate other drugs.

    As a parallel example, I used to be prescribed adderall and ritalin (at different times), which turned me into a total tweeker, but I have heard doctors say that those meds, especially ritalin, have a low potential for addiction.

    Different strokes for different folks. Dr. Cousens does make some unsubstantiated claims in his article. The 4x heart attack statistic is ridiculous, because the probability of heart attack is practically zero anyway… so 4 times about zero is still about zero. Have you ever known anyone to have a heart attack after smoking marijuana? I’m guessing not.

    And it is understandable that the “holes in your aura” warning would generate hostility, based on the fact that most people cannot see auras… but in my own experience, when I have smoked, I have felt the presence of unfriendly forces, beings would would destroy me or eat away at me, often through my own indulgent or violent “choices.”

    “I think anyone who would deny this veteran comfort should be beaten with an axe handle and ran out of the country.
    Just my humble opinion.”

    How is that opinion humble in any way whatsoever?

    ““THC and other chemicals in marijuana can reduce pain and nausea, they do this by destroying very sensitive brain cells related to perception and coordination.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Give me one piece of proof for this load of GARBAGE!””

    True, I’d be interested in proof of that as well. But that doesn’t mean it’s propaganda. It could be correct and your mockery makes it seem more plausible.

    “For so the Lord said unto me, “I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs. For afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.” (Isaiah 18:4-5)”

    Wait, you’re saying this is evidence that Jesus used marijuana? Don’t you know that many plants have buds? Or maybe you think the “sour grape” reference implies Jesus was on a sour diesel / purple strain… come on!

    “Please don’t ever post such a fucking useless article in this site again”

    Don’t you understand that your hate is ultimately more useless (except to propel intelligent people toward good) than an article that may contain some distortions or misinformation but that ultimately can help elevate seekers’ consciousness? And what gives you the right to dictate the contents of this website? There are hundreds of billions of other websites out there for you, if this one does not suit your evolutionary preferences. Or perhaps the article hit you too close for comfort, and you are being called out, for your own cosmic benefit.

  12. Marijuana is NOT A DRUG, it’s an HERB…get it right.

    Oh…and if you can’t handle it, don’t use it and don’t go off trying real drugs just because you feel a bit paranoid…SELF CONTROL. @ Abiji

    For all spiritual people that believe in peace and love, what would you think would happen if most of the population on Earth would use marijuana?..I think it would be a GIANT STEP for peace and love on Earth.

    • My ex husband smoked weed since he was very young and he is one of the most anxious, angry, paranoid people that I have ever met. His issues with anger and hate become even worse when he has gone without smoking for any longer than one day. I can tell from his voice on the phone whether he has smoked recently or not. I would hate to see a world full of people like that. It would be a living hell.

  13. Anyone making an argument for the use of this plant should probably reconsider the reasons for doing so and all attachments as well.

  14. I have been smoking marijuana for 6years now, and I love it, it is my favorite ever. I am also a very spiritual person, and very intuitive as well. Personally for years I have not thought anything but great things about marijuana, but I must admit that lately something about it has just not felt right. I am glad I read this article because I too have read tons of articles where they say marijuana raises your vibrations, but I can’t say that I agree. During the time I’ve been abusing marijuana with no health reason just escape, I have been meditating less, and although I am constantly growing in intuition, I feel many times when I smoke that it misguided me. I also feel like it may be slowing down my spirituality, and also desire to learn more about it. I also agree with the part you said about “lowers your vibrations and makes it easier to be a target to negative entities” wow I really agree with this one. Marijuana does make you happy, while you’re high, while you’re not, you are more irritable, impatient, negative, etc. I have been trying to stop smoking, I had about 10days of success and now ive relapsed. But I find that my energy is more positive when im not smoking, and my breathing is much better when I’m running. So I guess what I’m trying to sum up, is while marijuana may be a fun feeling, we are blind and in denial to believe it is such a positive drug. Nothing that can heal you requires draining your energy. I will continue to struggle with this psychological addiction until I defeat this need, and I trust that I will. Thank you for this new awareness <3

  15. I read a similar article about how bad yoga is for people. Very similar. And I do think that pot is not good for some people. But Dr Cousens is not the expert on this topic. I would propose that i am more of an expert than he is. He thinks he knows.

2 total pingbacks on this post
Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message

The Healers Journal © 2014 All Rights Reserved