By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Men. You May Want To Read This Before You Light Up Your Next Joint
I think we can all agree that as much as we want to stay informed on the latest news regarding COVID-19, it’s nice to have a break for the sake of our mental health.
So I want to share a story today. The story highlights an issue you should be mindful of especially if you are a man.
Reportedly, a man sustained a 12-hour long erection after smoking cannabis. There is actually a medical term for this condition - priapism.
“Priapism is a persistent, usually painful, erection that lasts for more than four hours and occurs without sexual stimulation. The condition develops when blood in the penis becomes trapped and is unable to drain. If the condition is not treated immediately, it can lead to scarring and permanent erectile dysfunction,” according to Cleveland Clinic.
Some of them very odd. Causes of priapism may include:
- Trauma to the spinal cord or genital area
- Black widow spider bites
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Having sickle cell anemia
- Improperly taking certain medications
- Using drugs such as marijuana and cocaine
“Marijuana, on the other hand, has a reputation for potentially contributing to erectile dysfunction... but not for the one unlucky guy detailed in a new medical case report,” according to the article discussing the man mentioned earlier.
The man, who was 32-years-old, apparently endured priapism multiple times. And each time was due to him using marijuana. He had no underlying health issues.
“Although the doctors are pretty sure it was indeed cannabis use causing the priapism, they don't really know why. They speculate that it could be due to one of the compounds in weed, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), interacting with the body's cannabinoid receptors, and stopping the penis from returning to flaccid,” according to the report.
“But it could also just be the cannabinoids directly affecting the vascular system and increasing blood flow. Or, the doctors suggest, it could be that the continued smoking of cannabis caused increased activation of platelets, possibly causing clots and stopping blood from exiting the penis.”
So if you are a man who smokes or ingests marijuana, I hope I got your attention!
I actually think this story is quite relevant now because due to COVID-19, so many people are being ordered to stay in their homes as much as possible. With this, people are getting “cabin fever” and may feel that the best way to pass the time away is to drink alcohol and smoke or ingest weed in some manner.
But abusing alcohol and drugs is pretty much a guaranteed way to wreak havoc on your immune system and make your body less capable of fighting off viruses and other infections.
And if you think marijuana is harmless (aside from possibly causing long, painful erections), think again.
One study showed that it could age your brain by almost three years. Marijuana can also have a very negative effect on the developing brain.
Now, I am not completely anti-cannabis.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis plants. CBD will not get you high like the better known cannabis molecule delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the one that gets you high when you smoke or ingest marijuana.
CBD products are everywhere right now. You can find it in lotions, oils, tinctures, sprays, candy, dog treats and more. Many scientists and medical professionals believe that the cannabinoid CBD helps fight inflammation and manage a wide variety of health issues such as chronic pain, sleep disorders, anxiety and even seizure disorders.
(What’s great is that you do not have to smoke CBD. Smoking inflames the lungs and suppresses the immune system).
To get a detailed explanation about the difference between CBD and THC, check out this older pH Labs blog.
We are living in stressful times right now, so CBD may help some people manage anxiety, however, it is imperative to first seek the advice of your doctor or a competent healthcare professional. This is especially important for people with medical issues and for those who are taking certain medications such as blood thinners.
To further help manage your anxiety and relieve cabin fever you can also:
- Eat healthily (now is the perfect time to cook and explore healthy recipes)
- Practice Yoga
- Spend time outdoors if permitted (while practicing social distancing)
- Listen to music
What are you doing to stay sane and healthy?
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.