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Chapter 22. Aftereffects PDF Print E-mail
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Books - On Being Stoned
Written by Charles T. Tart   
Sunday, 27 March 2011 00:00

Chapter 22.    Aftereffects



A FEW OF THE ITEMS dealt with possible aftereffects of marijuana intoxication, even though aftereffects were seldom mentioned in the pilot interviews.

 

MAJOR AFTEREFFECTS

Memory for Periods of Intoxication

Two questions (158 and 159), already discussed in Chapter 14, dealt with memory for the period of intoxication. Both improved and worsened memory were common effects, occurring with equal frequency, but worsened memory tended to begin at the higher levels of intoxication.
Memory for material read while intoxicated was discussed in the same chapter. Poor memory was a common effect, improved memory an infrequent one. Levels of intoxication did not differ significantly, although comments from informants suggested that the very lowest levels of intoxication were associated with improved memory, but all levels above this with worsened memory for read material.

 

Changes in Religious, Philosophical Values

In Chapter 19 we found that 25 percent of the users reported spiritual experiences that had had a long-term religious effect on them, and 22 percent reported that getting intoxicated with marijuana had acquired a religious significance. Other users indicated their dislike of the term "religious" but indicated that insights about themselves and the world during intoxication had greatly affected their philosophy of life.

 

Sleep

As discussed in Chapter 20, ease in going to sleep after being intoxicated for an evening is a characteristic effect, and having an especially refreshing night's sleep is very common. The converse effects were infrequent and rare, respectively, and occurred at much higher levels of intoxication.

 

Trembling

"I tremble a lot in my hands for a while after having been stoned" was added to the questionnaire as a validity scale item, as I had never heard of such an effect in pilot interviews. It turned out to be a rare effect in this sample (71%, 20%, 7%, 0%, 1%), associated with Very Strong levels of intoxication among the few who rated it (1%, 1%, 7%, 9% 7%).

 

Next Day's Activity

"I find it very hard to get organized or accomplish anything I want to the day after smoking grass. (Circle lowest level at which this occurs)" is an infrequent effect (39%, 27%, 23%, 6%, 3%), which mainly begins to occur at the Very Strong level for those who could rate it (0%, 6%, 15%, 19%, 15%). It is reported as occurring more frequently by older users (p <.05), and less frequently by Heavy Total users (p <.05 overall and Users of Psychedelics (p <.01). The College-educated indicate higher levels of intoxication for this aftereffect (p <.05).

 

LEVELS OF INTOXICATION FOR AFTEREFFECTS

Figure 22-1 orders the various aftereffects by level of intoxication. The overall ordering is highly significant (p <<< .0005).

FIGURE 22-1. INTOXICATION LEVELS, AFTEREFFECTS
Just Fairly Strongly Very
Strongly
Maximum

Type size code:
CHARACTERISTIC
COMMON
INFREQUENT
Rare


Tremble in hands after


HARD TO ORGANIZE NEXT DAY


DIFFICULT TO GET TO SLEEP

Sleep poor, restless




POOR MEMORY FOR PERIODS OF INTOXICATION



GOOD MEMORY FOR PERIODS OF INTOXICATION



SLEEP PARTICULARLY REFRESHING


WORSENED MEMORY FOR READ MATERIAL


EASY TO GO TO SLEEP...?.*

BETTER MEMORY FOB READ MATERIAL..?.*

*There is some question whether this effect is available at all levels above the minimal one.


At the lower levels, we have some aftereffects that can be characterized as desirable, namely, ease of going to sleep, particularly refreshing sleep, and good memory for periods of intoxication. Poor recall of material read is the major exception to this.
At the Strong level we have the only other common aftereffect beginning to occur, poor memory for periods of intoxication.
At the higher levels there are a number of undesirable aftereffects, all infrequent or rare.

 

MODULATING FACTORS

The relatively linear effects of various background factors on aftereffects of intoxication are summarized in Table 22-1.

 

TABLE 20-1
EFFECTS OF BACKGROUND FACTORS ON AFTEREFFECTS
BACKGROUND FACTORS EFFECTS
More Drug Experience More frequent:
Good memory for period of
intoxication
Good memory for read material

More Intoxicated for:
Sleep particularly refreshing
Less frequent:
Hard to organize next day



Older More frequent:
Less frequent:
Poor memory for read material
More Educated Less frequent:
Good memory for period of
intoxication

Less intoxicated for:
Hard to organize next day
Easy to go to sleep
Males Less frequent:
Good memory for period of
intoxication
Meditation More frequent:
Spiritual experiences while intoxicated
Religious significance to getting
intoxicated
Less frequent:
Poor memory for read material

Therapy & Growth More frequent:
Good memory for read material
Less frequent:
Poor memory for read material

 

 

SUMMARY

There are very few aftereffects reported for marijuana intoxication, and many of these occur infrequently or rarely.
There is nothing comparable to the hangover of alcohol intoxication, although finding it hard to get organized and accomplish things the next day infrequently follows intoxication at the very high levels. This occurs less frequently among more experienced users.
It is easy to get to sleep and sleep is usually very refreshing following periods of intoxication.
The aftereffect hardest to assess is the long-term alteration of religious and philosophical beliefs of the users. Insights and spiritual experiences occurring during intoxication initiate many such changes.

 

Our valuable member Charles T. Tart has been with us since Saturday, 25 December 2010.

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