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I need my pot

Jan 16, 2011

Hello Dr. Fawcett. I have smoked marijuana daily for years. I use it to help my appetite and it literally saved my life in the past when I was very sick and couldn't eat. I now use it to cope with anxiety, it helps me to relax and it helps me sleep. I suppose I'm addicted, but I'm not sure that's really a problem for me. I am concerned, though, about what it is doing to my lungs. Can you answer this for me and also guide me in how to cut back if necessary? Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Marijuana is widely recognized for its medical benefits, especially to stimulate appetite and relieve pain and nausea. It has been a great help to many but, as you note, there are some downsides, not the least of which are the toxins in the smoke. Some studies report that marijuana smoke has higher levels of certain contaminants than tobacco smoke. One alternative would be to switch to a pharmaceutical-grade synthetic THC such as Marinol (dronobinol). This would provide similar medical benefits without some of the toxins, as well as give you a more controlled dose. The effects are more delayed than ingesting by smoking, and regular dosing may help you cut back and better control your use. Discuss your concerns with your doctor and continue to be alert to your use patterns.

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Re: "I need my pot"

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