The most common way of using marijuana is smoking. Smoking is also the most expedient way to get the THC and other chemicals into the bloodstream. When the smoke from marijuana is inhaled, the THC goes directly to the lungs. Your lungs are lined with millions of alveoli, the tiny air sacs where gas exchange occurs. These alveoli have an enormous surface area -- 90 times greater than that of your skin -- so they make it easy for THC and other compounds to enter the body. The smoke is absorbed by the lungs just seconds after inhaling.
From "The Self-Repairing Body - Your body has a bumper-to-bumper
warranty on many important organs. Here's how to cash in before it
expires," by Matt Bean. Men's Health
"The lungs come equipped with a self-cleaning cycle, but overloading
them with smoke or smog will gunk up the works. The cilia, or hairlike
structures in your lungs, flagellate (that's move) upward, coaxing the
bad stuff out of the alveoli (little air sacs) and into the trachea,
where the gunk grows into a frightening reminder of why you should
have been better to your lungs to begin with. "It's like a mucus
escalator," says Norman Edelman, M.D., a scientific advisor to the
American Lung Association. "That's a major form of defense. Within a
few days to a week (after quitting smoking], you start feeling better,
and you start coughing up all that bad mucus you have down there."
What you can do:
"Exercise will help loosen the large chunks after you first come
clean. But you should be exercising already. Retinoic acid, or vitamin
A, could actually help your lungs rebuild. Rats and mice with
emphysema (they smoked tiny little cigarettes) given the compound were
able to restore alveoli, which swap carbon dioxide for fresh oxygen to
pre-emphysema levels, according to a recent study published in the
European Respiration Journal. You'll get several times the recommended
daily allowance (900 micrograms) in only one serving of carrots, sweet
potatoes, or mango."
Considering these points, is it wrong to think that by exercising we help our lungs take more THC per drag? If I'm right, and I realise I have no way of proving it, you can save alot of weed as a light/medium smoker by exercising. If your smoking extremely expensive/good bud, then this may even be a even more valuable method.
Some may think this isn't a weighty pay off for the extra time and effort needed to exercise, but consider everything else that comes with exercise...
A study published today in the journal Neuroscience, journal of the International Brain Research Organization, confirmed that exercise increases the chemical BDNF -- brain-derived neurotrophic factor -- in the hippocampus, a curved, elongated ridge in the brain that controls learning and memory. BDNF is involved in protecting and producing neurons in the hippocampus. Mice bred for 30 generations to display increased voluntary wheel running behavior -- an "exercise addiction" -- showed higher amounts of BDNF than normal, sedentary mice. "These mice are more active than wild mice," Rhodes said, referring to the mice as small and lean, and seemingly "addicted" to exercise.
This is the EXACT thing that weed inhibits chemically. If it's true that the hippocampus is really effected over the long-term by weed, then this is promising evidence that exercise does help the toker.
Oh, i'm not done yet, i've got lots to cover...
The blood flow velocity was significantly higher in the marijuana users than in the control subjects, both at the beginning of the study and after a month of abstinence from marijuana use. The marijuana users also had higher values on the pulsatility index (PI), which measures the amount of resistance to blood flow. This is thought to be due to narrowing of the blood vessels that occurs when the circulation system's ability to regulate itself is impaired.
A strong and healthy heart pumps more blood with each contraction and is working efficiently. Therefore, it does not have to contract as often. This increased efficiency results in a lower resting heart rate, a greater working capacity, and a lower blood pressure.
In the long term, exercise is beneficial to the brain by:
increasing the blood and oxygen flow to the brain
increasing growth factors that help create new nerve cells and promote synaptic plasticity.
increasing chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine and serotonin that help cognition
If the effect of marijuana on the brain increases blood flow due to narrowing of veins then exercise seems like it helps exclusively. This could mean more THC in larger amounts could reach your brainand body fasted. I can't prove this however, so it's only hopeful speculation.
Note the last part of the second quote, on the increase of brain chemicals:
Dopamine: THC signal cells to release the hormone dopamine. If exercise increase dopamine levels, would exercise increase the release of dopamine during smoking sessions? I fso, this may help weed resistance among heavy smokers.
Glutamate: I quote and bold the important stuff, "Glutamate is the most abundant swift excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian nervous system. At chemical synapses, glutamate is stored in vesicles. Nerve impulses trigger release of glutamate from the pre-synaptic cell. In the opposing post-synaptic cell, glutamate receptors, such as the NMDA receptor, bind glutamate and are activated. Because of its role in synaptic plasticity, it is believed that glutamic acid is involved in cognitive functions like learning and memory in the brain.
Norepinephrine: Nore benefits are mostly due through dopamine.
Serotonin: The psychedelic drugs psilocin/psilocybin, DMT, mescaline, and LSD mimick the action of serotonin at 5-HT2A receptors. The empathogen MDMA (ecstasy) releases serotonin from synaptic vesicles of neurons. Essentially by exercising your raising the levels of serotonin, which is the same exact chemical released during those drugs.
- Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs.
- Strengthening and enlarging the heart muscle, to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting heart rate.
- Toning muscles throughout the body, which can improve overall circulation and reduce blood pressure.
- Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body, to facilitate transport of oxygen throughout the body
As a result, aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of death due to cardiovascular problems. In addition, high-impact aerobic activities (such as jogging or jumping rope) can stimulate bone growth, as well as reducing the risk of osteoporosis for both men and women.In addition to the health benefits of aerobic exercise, there are numerous performance benefits:
- Increased storage of energy molecules such as fats and carbohydrates within the muscles, allowing for increased endurance
- Neovascularization of the muscle sarcomeres to increase blood flow through the muscles.
- Increasing speed at which aerobic metabolism is activated within muscles, allowing a greater portion of energy for intense exercise to be generated aerobically.
- Improving the ability of muscles to use fats during exercise, preserving intramuscular glycogen.
- Enhancing the speed at which muscles recover from high intensity exercise.
Personally, i'm always studying my own health. I love weed and positive effects it brings to my life. I don't like the side effects however, and i'm not going to simple accept them as an inevitability. Maybe I don't have to, maybe there are ways of curbing the negative effects of weed. There certainly are MANY benefits to the casual smoker, some known and some not so known.
Exercise is a well-known way of getting half-life THC from the system quicker. It helps muscles burn fat, prime holders of our beloved chemical, and flush it from our system. Effects of exercise help the single system that delivers THC to us, the cardiovascular system. It's the same system that gets wrecked by the smoke/carcinogens that come with weed smoking. Although I imagine many of us take for granted the skill of breathing...until we can't.
The brain is also extremely important. Exercise not only helps the brain function better, but also created new neurons and chemicals. Those same neurons are activated during different drug usage, including the subject of this study. A better, healthier brain can't be a silly effect of the burdensome activity of exercise. It's the single reason why you feel what you feel when you get high. Neglect it and your bound to suffer in more ways then one. But consider the benefits, the growth of those very same hormones that are released during smoking. If exercise truely helps with the release during bong hits, how can we avoid exercise? I believe it's entirely to our benefit.
I would like to point out that this was research done in the process of two hours. I'm not a doctor, scientist, or student of either. This whole article shouldn't be taken as fact, but it should be considered. I hope by reading this you can search deeper into this subject, maybe find something I missed or stated falsely, and even help the cause. This cause, which is the foundation of all my arguments, is the clear and concise effort to legalize pot through intelligent litigation. I don't believe it will be legalized without it.