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In the Name of God بسم الله

The truth about weed

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Abu Hadi

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Respectfully.

I don’t intend to dismiss this; cannabis as a substance is certainly not without risks, particularly when you’re talking about heavy and long-term use. And particularly for young people there are potential dangers to be aware of. And clearly this lady has serious credentials and her perspective is among the sort that should be seriously considered by someone who is trying to get an objective perspective.

But I am going to point out the obvious fact that it’s generally not best practice to reach sweeping conclusions based on only one expert’s analysis. Seizing on one person who reinforces your preconceptions and writing off everyone else who has a differing take ad being part of some vast self-serving conspiracy is falling into a classic cherry-picking bias. It’s important to try to avoid this sort of approach. 

This is a subtle and nuanced matter that will be hashed out (no pun intended) by communities of research (not by one individual’s perspective) in medical research journals and conferences, not on a single YouTube interview. 

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I was under the impression that it is "addictive" in the same way as television and social media - that is,  habit but not physical addiction.  

No doubt intoxicants are haram, but I'd reserve scientific judgement for after I see published research, not one researcher's youtube video. 

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3 hours ago, kadhim said:

Respectfully.

I don’t intend to dismiss this; cannabis as a substance is certainly not without risks, particularly when you’re talking about heavy and long-term use. And particularly for young people there are potential dangers to be aware of. And clearly this lady has serious credentials and her perspective is among the sort that should be seriously considered by someone who is trying to get an objective perspective.

But I am going to point out the obvious fact that it’s generally not best practice to reach sweeping conclusions based on only one expert’s analysis. Seizing on one person who reinforces your preconceptions and writing off everyone else who has a differing take ad being part of some vast self-serving conspiracy is falling into a classic cherry-picking bias. It’s important to try to avoid this sort of approach. 

This is a subtle and nuanced matter that will be hashed out (no pun intended) by communities of research (not by one individual’s perspective) in medical research journals and conferences, not on a single YouTube interview. 

This is not her opinion. She is a scientist and speaks to the scientific research that has been done on the topic. I am going to get her book 'Dopamine Nation' and read it and look at the sources. As most of you know, Stanford is a well respected research university known all over the world. I expect her sources to be top notch. I will read though and post more

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2 hours ago, notme said:

I was under the impression that it is "addictive" in the same way as television and social media - that is,  habit but not physical addiction.  

No doubt intoxicants are haram, but I'd reserve scientific judgement for after I see published research, not one researcher's youtube video. 

Right. No one is having physical withdrawal from cannabis as with alcohol or opiates. No one is getting DTs or seizures or hallucinations or physical illness from stopping it. It’s more a behavioural dependence. If it’s become embedded as a habitual companion in life, particularly if it’s a continual coping strategy for challenges, it’s going to be behaviourally uncomfortable to try to remove it. 

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42 minutes ago, Abu Hadi said:

This is not her opinion. She is a scientist and speaks to the scientific research that has been done on the topic. I am going to get her book 'Dopamine Nation' and read it and look at the sources. As most of you know, Stanford is a well respected research university known all over the world. I expect her sources to be top notch. I will read though and post more

A summary of research ultimately involves a certain degree of subjective opinion. That’s why different researchers can summarize the same research and have subtly different takes on it. 

No one is questioning her credentials in the subject of addictions/dependencies. They’re obviously quite solid. But the fact is that in a field of inquiry, no one person has the unilateral last word on what a body of research means. 

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Salaam, so it appears that topical use isnt discussed unless i missed it.

I use a tincture that REALLY helps with the extreme pain in my hands, neck, elbows and elsewhere that is the result of having covid 2x...its a kind of neural inflammation. It's the only thing that I have found relief in as over the counter meds and even prescription pharmaceuticals do not touch the pain. My guess is it's the anti-inflammatory properties of it that help.

Using it topically is way different than ingesting it in any form, be it eating it, smoking it etc. So I'm guessing that's not where the problem is at, however, the fact that it is an effective anti-inflammatory shouldn't be negated. I don't think topical use produces the same issues as are being discussed here, but I could be wrong so I'm open to correction on that. 

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2 hours ago, PureExistence1 said:

Salaam, so it appears that topical use isnt discussed unless i missed it.

I use a tincture that REALLY helps with the extreme pain in my hands, neck, elbows and elsewhere that is the result of having covid 2x...its a kind of neural inflammation. It's the only thing that I have found relief in as over the counter meds and even prescription pharmaceuticals do not touch the pain. My guess is it's the anti-inflammatory properties of it that help.

Using it topically is way different than ingesting it in any form, be it eating it, smoking it etc. So I'm guessing that's not where the problem is at, however, the fact that it is an effective anti-inflammatory shouldn't be negated. I don't think topical use produces the same issues as are being discussed here, but I could be wrong so I'm open to correction on that. 

Yeah, there’s no imaginable objection I can think of for a mode of application whose effects are purely pain relief and don’t include any psychotropic effects. That would seem entirely without controversy. 

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On 9/6/2023 at 5:37 PM, kadhim said:

A summary of research ultimately involves a certain degree of subjective opinion. That’s why different researchers can summarize the same research and have subtly different takes on it. 

No one is questioning her credentials in the subject of addictions/dependencies. They’re obviously quite solid. But the fact is that in a field of inquiry, no one person has the unilateral last word on what a body of research means. 

True, but that is why Sharia (Islamic) laws are necessary. Her book and her research are supporting evidence, and I think strong supporting evidence for a teaching which has been part of Islam for 1400 years. Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) in the famous hadith accepted by Shia and Sunni says 'All intoxicants are khamr(wine)'. Since khamr(wine) is specifically made Haram in the Quran. 

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِنَّمَا ٱلْخَمْرُ وَٱلْمَيْسِرُ وَٱلْأَنصَابُ وَٱلْأَزْلَـٰمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ فَٱجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants (khamr), gambling, [sacrificing on] stone altars [to other than God], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.

— Qur'an 5:90
 
 
 
You need both science and Sharia. Science uncovers knowledge and Sharia gives people the ability to enjoin good (get benefits) and discourage evil (avoid harmful effects and consequences) based on the ultimate source of knowledge, which is Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). 
 
Her research has simply shown that an intoxicant, other than khamr (wine), which is popular and legal actually has extremely negative effects on the individual and by extension society and the harms of this substance outweigh it's benefits. Science is an iterative process and never comes to the 'unilateral last word'. So if we were to follow science and not Sharia, weed would continue to be legal and popular and would keep having it's extreme negative effects on individuals and society. If we follow Sharia instead, we can avoid all those negative consequences which is actually what we want. Sharia has the power to do this, science doesn't. That is why it is necessary. 
 

It is not the plant that is haram, but when the plant is used as an intoxicant that it becomes haram at that point just likes grapes are not haram, but only when they are processed in a way that makes them an intoxicant (i.e. wine) that the end product of this process becomes haram. I haven't researched the subject but I am aware that there are other products (oils, lotions, etc) that come from the plant. As long as these do not intoxicate, they do not fall under the category of khamr. 

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2 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

True, but that is why Sharia (Islamic) laws are necessary. Her book and her research are supporting evidence, and I think strong supporting evidence for a teaching which has been part of Islam for 1400 years. Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) in the famous hadith accepted by Shia and Sunni says 'All intoxicants are khamr(wine)'. Since khamr(wine) is specifically made Haram in the Quran. 

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِنَّمَا ٱلْخَمْرُ وَٱلْمَيْسِرُ وَٱلْأَنصَابُ وَٱلْأَزْلَـٰمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ فَٱجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants (khamr), gambling, [sacrificing on] stone altars [to other than God], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.

— Qur'an 5:90
 
 
 
You need both science and Sharia. Science uncovers knowledge and Sharia gives people the ability to enjoin good (get benefits) and discourage evil (avoid harmful effects and consequences) based on the ultimate source of knowledge, which is Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). 
 
Her research has simply shown that an intoxicant, other than khamr (wine), which is popular and legal actually has extremely negative effects on the individual and by extension society and the harms of this substance outweigh it's benefits. Science is an iterative process and never comes to the 'unilateral last word'. So if we were to follow science and not Sharia, weed would continue to be legal and popular and would keep having it's extreme negative effects on individuals and society. If we follow Sharia instead, we can avoid all those negative consequences which is actually what we want. Sharia has the power to do this, science doesn't. That is why it is necessary. 
 

It is not the plant that is haram, but when the plant is used as an intoxicant that it becomes haram at that point just likes grapes are not haram, but only when they are processed in a way that makes them an intoxicant (i.e. wine) that the end product of this process becomes haram. I haven't researched the subject but I am aware that there are other products (oils, lotions, etc) that come from the plant. As long as these do not intoxicate, they do not fall under the category of khamr. 

At this point it seems you’re trying to turn the conversation into something it isn’t. 

We’re not talking about recreational cannabis and whether or not that qualifies as a muskir (reason-inhibiting substance) as the term is understood in the field of Islamic law. That’s a totally separate conversation. There are certainly arguments in favor of classifying recreational cannabis in that way, but that’s not what we’re talking about 

We’re talking about medical and medicinal applications, and ultimately, from that standpoint, the status of recreational use doesn’t matter, because it’s understood in general there is a principle of medical use exceptions for whatever substances. No one is going to disagree, for example, that recreational morphine or heroin or fentanyl are OK for a Muslim. But similarly, no one is really going to disagree about giving medical morphine or heroin or even fentanyl to a Muslim who has painful cancer or who has been in a traumatic accident. 

My objection here from the top is that you’re taking one YouTube interview, and using that to spin the idea that medical cannabis is blanket nonsense across the board and some sort of conspiracy. That’s not a grounded conclusion, and I’m pretty sure even without sitting through an hour of this interview that that is your own extrapolation rather than something this professor actually stated. There are a lot of data points that can be raised here, but just considering the fact that there are multiple cannabinoids, natural and synthetic, that are approved as meds by the FDA, that would become an odd claim. 

Your most recent post here, you talk about the benefit of “Shariah” as showing things the science doesn’t. But I think instead your original post illustrates a systematic problem in the community when lay believers try to mix up science and religion like this. All too often it becomes a matter of starting with a predetermined conclusion, and then hunting only for evidence to confirm/support that predetermined conclusion. Rather than the opposite, gathering all the evidence and seeing what naturally fits it, which is the ideal in science. 

If one wants to just believe something is wrong based on a priori text-based reasons, that’s certainly their prerogative. But if one wants to invoke science and research and natural evidence, they need to respect the standards of the scientific method and be objective and honest in following the evidence wherever it leads. Even when it seems to undermine ones preconceptions. That’s the deal with real science. If one is not ready to do that, maybe just better to be honest with oneself about one’s intentions and just take it on faith.  

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My personal opinion:

I don't condone cannabis usage, however there products that are made from active ingredients in cannabis that does bring health benefits, such as CBD oil.

It's quite amusing how some individuals brand cannabis as haram and that it's bad, yet they have no qualms about consuming opioids, amphetamine and other drugs that are far more harmful than cannabis, all because a medical professional in a white coat prescribed it to them.

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4 hours ago, kadhim said:

At this point it seems you’re trying to turn the conversation into something it isn’t. 

We’re not talking about recreational cannabis and whether or not that qualifies as a muskir (reason-inhibiting substance) as the term is understood in the field of Islamic law. That’s a totally separate conversation. There are certainly arguments in favor of classifying recreational cannabis in that way, but that’s not what we’re talking about 

We’re talking about medical and medicinal applications, and ultimately, from that standpoint, the status of recreational use doesn’t matter, because it’s understood in general there is a principle of medical use exceptions for whatever substances. No one is going to disagree, for example, that recreational morphine or heroin or fentanyl are OK for a Muslim. But similarly, no one is really going to disagree about giving medical morphine or heroin or even fentanyl to a Muslim who has painful cancer or who has been in a traumatic accident. 

My objection here from the top is that you’re taking one YouTube interview, and using that to spin the idea that medical cannabis is blanket nonsense across the board and some sort of conspiracy. That’s not a grounded conclusion, and I’m pretty sure even without sitting through an hour of this interview that that is your own extrapolation rather than something this professor actually stated. There are a lot of data points that can be raised here, but just considering the fact that there are multiple cannabinoids, natural and synthetic, that are approved as meds by the FDA, that would become an odd claim. 

Your most recent post here, you talk about the benefit of “Shariah” as showing things the science doesn’t. But I think instead your original post illustrates a systematic problem in the community when lay believers try to mix up science and religion like this. All too often it becomes a matter of starting with a predetermined conclusion, and then hunting only for evidence to confirm/support that predetermined conclusion. Rather than the opposite, gathering all the evidence and seeing what naturally fits it, which is the ideal in science. 

If one wants to just believe something is wrong based on a priori text-based reasons, that’s certainly their prerogative. But if one wants to invoke science and research and natural evidence, they need to respect the standards of the scientific method and be objective and honest in following the evidence wherever it leads. Even when it seems to undermine ones preconceptions. That’s the deal with real science. If one is not ready to do that, maybe just better to be honest with oneself about one’s intentions and just take it on faith.  

Full disclosure here, in the past I worked for a group of medical clinics who were developing EHR (electronic health records) software and I was one of the devs on that project. I got acquainted with many MDs in that job and we had many conversations about medical marijuana because the proposal to legalize it was on the ballot in Michigan at that time. Of all the doctors that I talked to (there were about 5, 2 were Muslim, 3 were non Muslim) none of them disagreed that there are no medical uses for marijuana that have undergone rigorous scientific testing and were proven effective to treat a specific disease. They put weed in the category of 'alternative medicine' and none had ever prescribed it or thought of prescribing it as they told me although they could do it legally at the time

One of the non Muslim doctors strait out told me (she didn't know I was Muslim and later apologized) 'If u want to smoke a joint then smoke one but don't call it medicine because it's not'. She graduated top of her class from an Ivy League school and had been practicing for 10 years.

Opiods are a different issue. They do have proven medical benefits for short term pain relief and the doctors I talked to prescribed these on a regular basis to be used according to use as instructed. If someone used these without a prescription and without medical supervision they would be the same as weed. Btw I never brought up opoids in this topic. That was all u

So the video I posted is just more evidence for me. I know u were not there for those conversations so it is not evidence for u.

I will restate my previous point. Science isn't going to save u. It's just giving u information that's all it does. How u act on that information will save u if u bound your actions according to clear guidance from Allah as taught to us by Quran and Ahl al bayt i.e. the Sharia

 

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36 minutes ago, Abu Hadi said:

Full disclosure here, in the past I worked for a group of medical clinics who were developing EHR (electronic health records) software and I was one of the devs on that project. I got acquainted with many MDs in that job and we had many conversations about medical marijuana because the proposal to legalize it was on the ballot in Michigan at that time. Of all the doctors that I talked to (there were about 5, 2 were Muslim, 3 were non Muslim) none of them disagreed that there are no medical uses for marijuana that have undergone rigorous scientific testing and were proven effective to treat a specific disease. They put weed in the category of 'alternative medicine' and none had ever prescribed it or thought of prescribing it as they told me although they could do it legally at the time

One of the non Muslim doctors strait out told me (she didn't know I was Muslim and later apologized) 'If u want to smoke a joint then smoke one but don't call it medicine because it's not'. She graduated top of her class from an Ivy League school and had been practicing for 10 years.

How do you reconcile these perceptions with the fact that the FDA has approved multiple cannabinoids, both natural extract and synthetic, as drugs? I mentioned this in the previous comment and your most recent comment doesn’t seem to take that information into account. 

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-and-cannabis-research-and-drug-approval-process

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Did u see the Netflix series 'Painkillers'. You should watch it. That will probably answer your question. The FDA didn't approve oxycontin because it was safe or more effective than tons of alternatives that were already on the market that were proven to be safe. The approval was for 'other' reasons that have nothing to do with that. 

 

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57 minutes ago, Abu Hadi said:

Did u see the Netflix series 'Painkillers'. You should watch it. That will probably answer your question. The FDA didn't approve oxycontin because it was safe or more effective than tons of alternatives that were already on the market that were proven to be safe. The approval was for 'other' reasons that have nothing to do with that. 

 

This is not really an answer to my question. I asked how you reconcile. A Netflix doc won’t tell me about your personal thought process. 

I think you’re also mixing up some separate things. 

FDA approval is not, as I understand it, about something having to prove it’s safer and better than what’s already out there. That helps, but my understanding is that is not the standard. A drug maker just has to prove a certain reasonable balance of effectiveness and safety.

I’m reasonably familiar with many of the details about the Oxy debacle. I don’t think anyone with credentials is saying the problem with OxyContin was that it didn’t work as a painkiller or that it  wasn’t reasonably safe. The problem is that it was way too broadly prescribed, the prescriptions often weren’t sufficiently supervised by doctors, and there were prescription mills that gave out prescriptions way too easily. As I recall, a lot of the marketing from the manufacturer was problematic as well. 

So from your response am I to take it that you reconcile by choosing to just believe that the FDA is part of a conspiracy? 

I mean, you’re welcome to your conspiracy theories, but do you understand how that would look to an unbiased observer like you’re lacking in objectivity? You happily quote doctors who (allegedly) agree with you, but then find excuses to blanket dismiss any doctors (e.g. the ones working at the FDA) that don’t. 

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2 minutes ago, kadhim said:

This is not really an answer to my question. I asked how you reconcile. A Netflix doc won’t tell me about your personal thought process. 

I think you’re also mixing up some separate things. 

FDA approval is not, as I understand it, about something having to prove it’s safer and better than what’s already out there. That helps, but my understanding is that is not the standard. A drug maker just has to prove a certain reasonable balance of effectiveness and safety.

I’m reasonably familiar with many of the details about the Oxy debacle. I don’t think anyone with credentials is saying the problem with OxyContin was that it didn’t work as a painkiller or that it  wasn’t reasonably safe. The problem is that it was way too broadly prescribed, the prescriptions often weren’t sufficiently supervised by doctors, and there were prescription mills that gave out prescriptions way too easily. As I recall, a lot of the marketing from the manufacturer was problematic as well. 

So from your response am I to take it that you reconcile by choosing to just believe that the FDA is part of a conspiracy? 

I mean, you’re welcome to your conspiracy theories, but do you understand how that would look to an unbiased observer like you’re lacking in objectivity? You happily quote doctors who (allegedly) agree with you, but then find excuses to blanket dismiss any doctors (e.g. the ones working at the FDA) that don’t. 

The series goes over the fact (this is backed by court documents) that oxy should not be prescribed broadly as a general use pain killer. It was already being used specifically to treat end stage cancer pain. The FDA at first did not want to approve it for general use as a pain killer because there was a high probability that people would get addicted to it. 

It was approved for general use anyway and most of us are familiar now with the consequences of that. It was approved because Purdue Pharma used specific influential tactics to influence those people who were in charge of the approval. The series goes into the specifics. If u want to call this a 'conspiracy' or whatever and accuse me of being a conspiracy theorist that's fine but what Purdue Pharma did is well documented. 

I haven't done a lot of research on the products your talking about. I will look into it briefly but I have a strong suspicion that the same thing happened. Selling drugs is a very profitable business and the sellers have lots of money to throw around. 

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1 hour ago, Abu Hadi said:

The series goes over the fact (this is backed by court documents) that oxy should not be prescribed broadly as a general use pain killer. It was already being used specifically to treat end stage cancer pain. The FDA at first did not want to approve it for general use as a pain killer because there was a high probability that people would get addicted to it. 

It was approved for general use anyway and most of us are familiar now with the consequences of that. It was approved because Purdue Pharma used specific influential tactics to influence those people who were in charge of the approval. The series goes into the specifics. If u want to call this a 'conspiracy' or whatever and accuse me of being a conspiracy theorist that's fine but what Purdue Pharma did is well documented. 

I haven't done a lot of research on the products you’re talking about. I will look into it briefly but I have a strong suspicion that the same thing happened. Selling drugs is a very profitable business and the sellers have lots of money to throw around. 

I’ll have to look up the finer details of the Purdue saga. But I’m happy to take what you’re saying as established. The Purdue story itself is not what I am referring to as conspiracy theory. What I am calling conspiracy theory is your reflex to selectively dismiss the validity of other drugs based on this specific history. 

You don’t have any evidence that there was anything nefarious behind the approval of cannabinoid drugs. You’re just sort of hand waving something vague about money. 

Second, the analogy of Oxy doesn’t really work in relation to your claims. You’re claiming that cannabinoids have no proven medical value. In the story of Oxy, no one claims it had zero medical value. It had proven medical value. But it was approved for a group that was broader than what the safety profile justified. That’s what you just wrote above. 

Look. I’m obviously not looking for you to convert yourself into a medical cannabis advocate. I’m just asking you to recognize that your statements were too broad for the evidence and to admit you need to walk it back a bit and recognize some nuance. 

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A bit of a tangent, but I think adds to the conversation. I find that this does a pretty good job of finding a nuanced approach that is grounded in both traditional Islamic principles and secular science findings. 

https://www.collectiveijtihad.org/blog/is-it-permissible-to-use-cannabis-for-recreational-or-medical-reasons?fbclid=IwAR2VOHMP-qRvU11IWAOYrC3A22Wq9pImacZQyA5pTcBBTg1IAUcnDO-WYvs_aem_AdgBTVcGkm17n8qZXKlGvI3DkcSoyk9vcz8EZogP9OZdB1NiIzrsbnT5FO_oH0lhpeo&mibextid=Zxz2cZ

 

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