An Acupuncturist’s Perspective on the Marijuana Debate

My Perspective

My perspective is different from both the pro and the con sides. I’m an Acupuncturist and Herbalist. I’ve lived and practiced in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1984. I’ve worked with a lot of people who’ve smoked and/or eaten vast quantities of marijuana. Many of them have done so for years, some even decades.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine we recognize that every substance has its own particular nature. From my years of clinical experience and the wisdom of thousands of years of ancient physicians, I can say that marijuana is a powerful medicine. Because it’s so powerful, it also has powerful side effects.

From the standpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine, marijuana is what we call a hot poison. That means if you use it too much or in an unbalanced way, it can burn up the fluids in your body and even damage your ability to produce those fluids over time. With continued over use, it injures an entire progression of fluid-based systems and substances in your body. This progression includes drying up and irritating your respiratory and digestive systems, confusing and depleting your immune system, damaging the quality of your blood and sleep cycles, altering the functions of your liver, kidney, nervous and hormonal systems and reversing the polarity of your Jing sexual essence.

The question is, what defines over use? Any time you take an amount of marijuana that exceeds your body’s ability to cope with and recuperate from its hot and poisonous nature, you’ll engage the process I just described. How much is that for you? It all depends on the state of your health and your basic constitution. In general, the more compromised you are, the less ability you’ll have to handle marijuana in a good way. That’s the not-too-surprising bad news.

There’s also good news. It has two parts:

1) You can monitor yourself very easily for the side effects of marijuana. Just observe what happens to you when you get high. Each of marijuana’s effects tells you exactly where it’s going in your body and where the damage is likely to occur. For example, a side effect like cottonmouth tells you that the marijuana’s drying up your lung fluids. Another example is the munchies, which let you know the marijuana’s confusing your digestive system. Anything you experience when you’re high will give you a clear indication of marijuana’s path through your physiology. For a detailed map of this entire progression, click here.

2) The second part of the good news is that there are remedies for each level of marijuana’s side effects. These can include changes in the foods you eat, different forms of exercise and very specific combinations of acupuncture and Chinese herbs to address and balance marijuana’s hot poisonous nature and how it’s influencing you.

In conclusion, I want to reiterate that marijuana is a very powerful medicine. People use marijuana for medical reasons. They’ll continue to do so whether the law is on their side or not.

If you’re suffering from one of the illnesses that marijuana can genuinely help you with, it can become a totally gripping moral dilemma whether to use marijuana right now, or wait for a pharmaceutical industry approved version of marijuana that will be much more expensive, less convenient and effective and very possibly more harmful for you than taking the herb itself. Almost anyone who is in that very difficult position resolves this issue for themselves in 5 seconds or less. For others, it becomes more of a philosophical issue that can be carried on ad nauseum.

Marijuana isn’t a panacea. Abusing it can lead to some serious problems. Responsible use includes applying it for specific reasons, monitoring yourself and using available tools to balance its side effects. Whether the debate over medical marijuana gets settled for good or not is anybody’s guess. Whatever the decision comes to, I suspect that marijuana’s medical history will continue long past our time.

This article was some of the original material that went on to become

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine

Marijuana Debate Pro Side

Marijuana Debate Con Side

Important Marijuana Articles



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