Pharm Choice: Antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac increase levels of the vital neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain
Side Effects: Decreased libido, birth defects, increased suicide in those under 25. Can trigger potentially fatal “Serotonin Syndrome.”
Why Pot’s Better: Provides safe, controlled euphoria. Those switching from Zoloft to pot report improved outlook.
Pot’s Drawbacks: Improved outlook makes repeats of Friends actually seem funny.
Pharm Choice: Drugs from Anzamet to Zofran reduce activity of the nerve that induces vomiting and block receptors associated with nausea.
Side Effects: Constipation, potential arrhythmia, Parkinson’s-like symptoms. Bonus: Nightmares worthy of Freddy Kruger!
Why Pot’s Better: Cannabis quells nausea! Who need drugs!
Pot’s Drawbacks: You’ve got a new problem. The munchies have doubled the size of your ass.
Pharm Choice: Topical eye drops are commonly used to decrease the thick, watery substance that causes intraocular pressure.
Side Effects: A whole host of eye problems, from blurred vision to permanent change in eye color to brown.
Why Pot’s Better: Since the ‘70s, studies have shown that pot is highly effective in lowering intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.
Pot’s Drawbacks: With improved eyesight, you see what your significant other actually looks like. See “DEPRESSION.”
Pharm Choice: Scary-sounding hypnotics like benzodiazepines, plus good ol’ sleepiing pills and sedatives.
Side Effects: How can I overdose? Let me count the ways. Expect psychological dependence/addiction. You can’t sleep without your little helper.
Why Pot’s Better: A powerful indica puts you to sleep with no chance of overdose and no chemical/booze hangover.
Pot’s Drawbacks: You oversleep and miss your job interview. No problem — there were 420 other applicants.
Pharm Choice: Short-acting agents like Salbutamol relive bronchospasms. Agents like Salmeterol last three times as long.
Side Effects: Salbutamol is known to cause anxiety and tremors. Salmeterol can cause a bad case of death.
Why Pot’s Better: Cannabis opens up your lungs’ airways without killing you.
Pot’s Drawbacks: Now you know how bad patchouli actually smells!
Pharm Choice: Statins (drugs that lower cholesterol) are widely prescribed. Aspirin is effective for its anti-clotting properties.
Side Effects: Headaches, nausea, weakness, infections – plus they can’t be used by pregnant women. Aspirin can cause stomach bleeding.
Why Pot’s Better: Studies on mice show that pot reverses artery clogging and can protect the heart from further damage after heart attacks.
Pot’s Drawbacks: Your heart gets so strong that you become a fitness freak and bore the shit out of everyone yakking about “the burn.”
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROME
Pharm Choice: A cornucopia of antidepressants are on the market. MDMA has been tested in several studies.
Side Effects: Sexual problems, sleep difficulties, nausea. Some side effects worsen. Expect withdrawal symptoms if you quit dosing.
Why Pot’s Better: Pot regulates unpleasant memories that cause PTSD nightmares and flashbacks. Sativas induce euphoria.
Pot’s Drawbacks: The only stress you now experience is running low on God’s medicine.
Pharm Choice: Only four drugs are currently available, which may slow Alzheimer’[s by producing the key neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Side Effects: The efficacy of these drugs has yet to be solidly demonstrated. They can trigger anorexia and slowed heart rate.
Why Pot’s Better: Cannabinoids reduce the inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s in human brain tissue and prevent cell death by anti-oxidation.
Pot’s Drawbacks: Patients are now aware that the economy has reduced their 401Ks to nothing.
Pharm Choice: If you don’t know, then you don’t own a TV.
Side Effects: “For erections lasting four hours, seek medical treatment” pretty much says it all.
Why Pot’s Better: While pot doesn’t necessarily increase blood flow to certain body parts, it’s power as a safe, mild aphrodisiac is well known.
Pot’s Drawbacks: Your tongue has the texture of sandpaper. (Need we say more?) Toking in bed can cause “potholes” in your 400-thread-count, cotton/sateen sheets.
CHRONIC OR SHORT-TERM PAIN
Pharm Choice: Analgesics from aspirin to opiates work in various ways on the nervous system.
Side Effects: Painful constipation, raging addiction, possible overdose.
Why Pot’s Better: Pot actually augments analgesics by preventing the tolerance that users build up with traditional painkillers.
Pot’s Drawbacks: Well, you’re almost pain-free. You’ve developed arthritis in your lighter-flicking thumb.