Oliver Koslik

High rise window washer,

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Debating:The harm(s) attributed to Pharmaceutical v.s. Cannabis treatments of Stress, Anxiety, Depression, OCD, Etc etc...

SSRI's come with a long list of side-effects. The most severe being kidney damage, and severe depression. Although a vast number of people are currently medicated with such drugs.

Do you think doctors that are prescribing their patients SSRI's, should recommend a trial of cannabis? In replacement of pharmaceuticals?


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    Dec 12 2013: Having had a self harming OCD from an unheard of age, suicidal depression from around 14, then a pick'n'mix of addictions then finally overcoming all of these challenges without professional or pharma help, I'm going to take a risk and contribute to this discussion.

    On the day I was going to 'turn out the lights', I went for my last-hope interview with a specialist who was about to start a pilot programme for depression sufferers. After filling out the multitude of forms and then some, I went in for the interview then after all the questions, he finally said, and I quote..."I'm sorry Mrs Miles (my name at the time) but you're a little TOO depressed for this programme". I kid you not! He went on to offer me names of professionals who might be able to help me but I was too stunned to take any notice.

    I walked out into the carpark and surprised myself when I started laughing so hard that my stomach hurt and I was doubled over with tears and snot streaming out of my face. It was then that I realised that only I could dig myself out of the hole I called home.

    Having gone down the conventional path of professionals and their pharmaceuticals, I decided to opt for self medicating with minimal doses of LSD and marijuana. Because I changed the focus of my drug intake from escapism to healing and insight, I had spectacular results almost immediately. It was like a part of my brain opened up to show me things I normally didn't see(or actively blocked out).
    I could give examples but I've only got 437 characters to go!

    Over time I got really slick at knowing exactly how much of what to take and the most favourable conditions to maximise the learning potential.

    I've been Everything free for years now and I can say, without question, that it was because of the self managed use of illegal drugs.

    I'm not anti prescribed medication because I've seen it work on others, but some of us more sensitive 'thinkers' suit mind altering drugs for mind affected issues.
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      Dec 12 2013: Phonominal!

      Thank you for that story Eleanor!

      Thank you!
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        Dec 18 2013: A quick side note though Oliver...I participated in a Malaghan Institute study on the effects of cigarette and marijuana consumption and results showed I had the beginnings of emphysemia despite my never having smoked a cigarette in my life. However, because my marijuana consumption was so minimal, they couldn't be sure whether it was because of that or second hand cigarette smoke.
        • Dec 28 2013: your emphysemia migh not have anything to do with cigarette or marijuana use but from enviromental depending on where you live or use to live its just easyer to blame the other
  • Dec 7 2013: I grew, smoked and distributed Marijuana in Hawaii for 12 years and I must say it was probably the single biggest factor keeping me from destroying the planet. Instead, even though at the same time I was fighting the claws of alcoholism, I managed to keep enough sanity together to eventually get help. I stopped all drugs including alcohol over 30 years ago and live a simple life with no drama and will be content to accomplish two things: 1) Return the human race to a plant based diet and 2) Spread a new virus called "If you break it, you fix it"

    I do know a lot about Marijuana and other wonderful plants as well and I believe the sooner we return to plants as our source of food the sooner we will also get our sanity back. Here is a video I made about pharmaceuticals, I called it "Pushers".
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    Jeff z

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    Jan 6 2014: The problem with SSRI's are their poor toleration for much of the population as you have said. This doesn't mean that they have no value however. Paxil for example is notoriously known for causing problems for people however there are a lot of people who benefit from it as well. The problem lies with the relationship cannabis and the SSRI's have. The idea of the SSRI is to stabilize the patient and prevent major mood shifts such as panic, depression, and generalized anxiety. So to introduce cannabis into the mix would hide what the SSRI is accomplishing or not accomplishing. Cannabis is effective for these disorders because patients find immediate relief within a matter of moments but, there is no doubt you are left feeling lower after your high. This contradicts the stabilizing of mood that the doctor would most likely being trying to achieve. The best way as always is to work these issues out is without needing to grab anything at all. Much of our science books are filled with reasons why biological deficiencies are the cause of most mental health problems when that is not true.
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    Dec 7 2013: Funny how some people ignore decades of accumulated evidence warning against the long-term inhalation of smoke into the lungs once marijuana is brought into the equation.

    I am diagnosed with OCD, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, and have taken several of the SSRI agents as part of my treatment. I can and have managed the side-effects very well, thank you, and have no need to risk lung cancer to justify my infantile participation in the cannabis counterculture.
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      Dec 7 2013: While smoking it is a conventional method, more often medicinal treatments are baked goods. Cooking and vaporizing are both smokeless methods of consumption.
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        Dec 11 2013: {wipes sweat off brow}

        Thanks for pickin up the slack
      • Dec 23 2013: Raw cannabis (juicing) is also a very safe method, and has led to what some feel may be the discovery of a disorder known as cannabinoid deficiency. Some people, through juicing, have found they don't need any of their medicines.

        Also, there is no link that can actually show cannabis causes cancer. (especially when many studies show it actually KILLS cancer) The most successful medication for asthma is actually to vaporize cannabis, as it acts as an immediate bronchodilator. The effects can be achieved through edibles and tinctures, but aren't as fast, effective, and generally have more potent side effects.

        Personally, I don't think managing side-effects means it's working, it just means you're still having to work harder for it to kind of work. So who's infantile about their counterculture?
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      Dec 9 2013: Funny how many people ignore checking the facts that they claim...
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      Dec 11 2013: Thank you for your comment Lawren!

      Its was 100% valid.
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    Dec 29 2013: There are people who have had success with SSRIs and other psychiatric medications, but this is not proof that they work as treatment. Personal anecdotes cannot be equated with scientific evidence. Truth is, there is no evidence that SSRIs cure depression. There may not be hard evidence that marijuana does either, BUT the fact that it is natural lends me (and many others) to trust it more. There is no way to separate SSRIs as potential treatment from the money that pharmaceutical companies make on a daily basis.
  • Dec 28 2013: just throwing it out there but usually the people who dont want something to change is the people who have something to loose bye the change right?. in this case it would seem to be the drug industry. i think it has less to do with what is the difference and more to do with the profit distrabution from there pockets the the growers. because where do you think the drug industry gets the chemicals in there pills that have the same effects as cannabis?
  • Dec 23 2013: To the question at hand, I was lucky enough to chose a rather efficient SSRI when I was 18. I had few side effects, and it seemed to work well enough to get me back into life. I watched my sisters not have such luck in their quest, ending up in jail, abusing boyfriends, abusing themselves.

    We all medicate with cannabis now. Some of us more than others, as needed. Personally, since learning of CBD, I feel that I've regained quite a bit of mental clarity and acuity that I could sense was slipping while on SSRIs and combined with a nasty drinking habit. That is one big thing, when I use cannabis regularly, it's wildly successful at calming other habits. The use of CBD has actually helped lower my recreational use of cannabis! It helps cure its own "addiction" lol

    I also use a cannabis lotion that is AMAZING for wrinkles... but that's another story.

    I believe that doctors, and patients, need to open themselves up to the idea of cannabis in addition to their meds, BUT ONLY with informative, tested material. Unfortunately, with so many options, lack of information, and the personalized approach needed, it's hard for many to adequately apply cannabis to their ailments.
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      Dec 29 2013: Nice comment Lisa thank you!

      Aside from the plethora of non-medical, non-official information/documentation, available in the internet. There is a definite Lack of solid, clear-cut information supporting THC & CBD benefits. Short term and long.

      It is partly the purpose of this conversation; to stimulate the discussion, and generate the energies needed in order to achieve the desired research and thus implementation of cannabis as alternative treatment.

      Funny I don't think a doctor would recommend smearing hash oil on ones face, as I do believe it would be grounds for dismissal at most work places. However, personally, perhaps your on to something: You should give Vichy a call ;-p

      But seriously once again thanks for your comment!
      Best of wishes towards any nasty habits!
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    Dec 13 2013: At the end of the day all it will be is a quick fix.....
    So how effective will its ingestion be??? short or long term....
    How does you concept of treatment differ from pharma???

    The only surging interest is no different to coca one and opium...

    Only thing is that; this "recreational" product, has HUGE potential at earning its name in the pages of medical textbooks, for superseding the effectiveness of pharmaceutically harmful drugs - THIS STATEMENT IS NOT TRUE /

    The only surging interest is no different: is when you start GM for the best strain....
    hydro is the perfect example, and then it goes down to cost, who can afford it, who will grow it

    i prefer cannabis to prohibited and out of the hands of pharmaceutical companies...
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      Dec 13 2013: My concept of treatment; is the substitution of pharmacological therapies, for viable botanical ones.

      I'm not sure, how "viable" Cannabis is as a cure, yet.
      But thats a different debate

      Thanks for your input!
    • Dec 23 2013: hyrdo? Hydro makes it look pretty, but if you want the best potency and medicine, grow organic, in the sunshine. It won't bring you the best bag appeal, in most cases, but it will give you the best results.
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    Dec 12 2013: You cannot monopolise the commodity and for rural people it is the only source of income...
    I work with indigenous plant medicine including cannabis...
    From a realistic view ... No-one cares about the medicinal property and there interest i More recreational... Because it's so easy to grow how you going to regulate, uses, quality, quantity
    While you growing can abus ... Natural plant environments are being destroyed and indigenous plant are being extinct...
    it's easy to grow, it's a weed..
    What would happen if cannabis cures???
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      Dec 12 2013: Au contraire mon ami~

      "From a realistic view ... No-one cares about the medicinal properties".

      I dunno if you've noticed or not...but there is a surge of Cannabis culture that has STEMMED from the medicinal use of Cannabis.

      Is seems as though the "cannabis product monopoly" is just... itching... to be taxed by the government. Just the same as alcohol & cigarettes (in Canada). Only thing is that; this "recreational" product, has HUGE potential at earning its name in the pages of medical text books, for superseding the effectiveness of pharmaceuticaly harmful drugs
      • Dec 23 2013: History will look back on this as a "dark age" against cannabis and proper health procedures. I completely agree. Anyone who doesn't should look into Charlotte, and Dr. Gupta's special WEED
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    Dec 7 2013: no...

    the next question??? which strain is better!!!

    you should research indigenous plant medicine.
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      Dec 11 2013: Could you please expand on why you answered "no".
      And why you disagree with doctors "trialing" patients on Cannabis v.s. SSRI prescriptions?
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    Dec 7 2013: Wow, this is the first time I've seen people on TED admitting to the use of cannabis, a big applause for your bravery Oliver and Keith!

    There's a related conversation going on that you might want to check "Why is marijuana illegal?" http://www.ted.com/conversations/21561/why_is_marijuana_illegal_1.html

    And yeah, I believe that cannabis would be a much better alternative then SSRI's in most cases.
    • Dec 7 2013: Wow Jimmy, thank you, I don't usually join drug conversations but since plants are literally saving my life I think I owe them more than I can ever repay. I'll hop over there and see if I can add anything.
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    • Dec 7 2013: Another trick for you Oliver.. you may want to put your link right after "In replacement of pharmaceuticals?"
      That way everybody can see the link before scanning all the way to the bottom of your comments of which there should be many. You can edit that area at anytime, and add more description or links as the conversation expands. If you get tired of it you can also cut the expire time back.
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    Dec 7 2013: Hi Mr. Henline!

    Thanks for your vow of confidence in my debate topic of Pharmaceutical v.s. Cannabis therapies in treating mental disorders (Specifically anxiety, and depression).

    I felt this too interesting to ponder alone, and would appreciate any insight in debating the viability of conducting research into which is better? But what got me thinking was the idea that society has "lost" a lot of its empathetic values, but whats more; apathy and complacency seemed to have filled the gap.

    My thoughts were conflicted in reflection of how SSRI's have been known to "numb" ones emotions. Furthermore considering: 11%+ of the U.S. population is being prescribed such therapies.

    Proper emotional clarity in order to make proper emotionally based decisions in life, is crucial to happiness & thus overall health. But the chemical therapies seem to have progressively negative consequences in many regards: Psychologically, physically, emotionally etc.

    I use Cannabis for treatment of my own social anxiety, and depression. And have never questioned its legitimacy in treating such conditions, even though I am well versed in its "possible side effects".
    (Which brings up a foot note question of THC / CBD treatment of psychotic patients).

    I believe that clinical comparisons should be run.
    Which could even be "grass roots" or publicly orchestrated.
    • Timo X

      • +1
      Dec 16 2013: Brain chemistry is exceedingly complex. Although neurological research has given us a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its workings, the science is still in its infant years. If you want to find out whether someone is depressed, you don't commission a brain scan, you ask a set of diagnostic questions. That's because the current scanning technology simply does not allow you to see depression in an individual's brain. And as with leaking pipes, if you can't even see it, how are you supposed to fix it?

      The complexity of the brain is the reason that anti-depressants are so ineffective, yet have so many side effects. Their effect is spread out and catch-all. Think broad-spectrum antibiotics instead of surgery. Perhaps in the future, when brain scans can pick out the finest details of brain topology, the biochemistry of the brain is much better understood, and pharmacologists can manufacture personalized pills tailored to an individual's brain, perhaps then pills will beat behavioural and cognitive therapy for psychological disorders.

      Notice that I haven't mentioned marijuana anywhere so far. Arguing that marijuana can heal mental disorders is like arguing sex with babies is the solution for AIDS. Marijuana can and does CAUSE psychological disorders. I've seen it first-hand. To argue that marijuana is a medicine is so out of reality that I cannot help but feel that the debate about 'medicinal' use can only be a mask for the debate about recreational use (which I support, by the way). So why not come out and say so? Is the stigma that strong?

      What's more, I'm fairly certain that your marijuana use has brought you nothing more than a temporary escape from your problems, and perhaps even exacerbated them. I urge you to confront your problems head on instead of fleeing in drugs, because drugs can make even the tiniest cage a comfortable nest. If you set your mind to it and get proper guidance, I believe you can beat both of your disorders within a year.
    • Dec 23 2013: Having been on SSRI's on and off throughout my life, and also having consumed cannabis for the duration of my adult life, and can 100% absolutely testify to the healing powers of cannabis, and, more importantly, the benefits of having targeted, applied medicine on an as needed basis in order to deal with certain mental issues (also anxiety and depression). I am no longer on SSRI's and am using cannabis as my only medicine, specifically high CBD and sativa dominant strains.

      Sativa dominant strains could agitate certain other mental disorders, though so can SSRIs when improperly, or half-hazardly prescribed. I've seen both sides, and I'll take the non lethal effects of cannabis any day.

      It starts like this, when something is responsible for triggering the body's healing process (endocannabinoid system) then logic must dictate that any application of this trigger will result in some healing. If you target the depression and anxiety with specific, personalized strains (by cannabinoid and terpene content/ratio) you will have much more success in managing these mental issues. You can't just go buy some weed and feel better. If you use an indica for a prolonged period, you can actually exacerbate your condition. (I only use it at night now, to help me sleep, and accompany all of my THC rich strains with CBD in order to protect neuron activity -and it works!)

      To a point made above. The combination of cannabis and positive thinking are the best tools to bring yourself out of depression. If I had more information on cannabis, safe access to it, from a younger age, I wouldn't have ever had to be on SSRIs, which led to a big drinking problem and that "numbness" I don't ever want to be like that. This way, I can medicate as needed, and don't have to when my chemistry is stable.

      also, smoking cannabis (correct strains) actually works as a bronchodilator and can improve asthma symptoms, when smoked, vaprized (no combustion) or eaten.

      Also, raw cannabis works, w/no high.