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A serious discussion about Cannabis Sativa and Training.

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  • A serious discussion about Cannabis Sativa and Training.

    This is a bit of touchy subject given the legality of its use in the U.S. currently but people have been smoking cannabis sativa for various reasons for thousands of years.

    In china, there is a long history, particularly amongst taoists, of using marijauna as a meditative or ritual aid.
    Bruce Lee was also a big fan of moderate marijauna usage during training for various reasons which I will get into.

    I've personally noticed that I have much better fluid balance when training after smoking marijauna and I'm capable of manifesting a much greater degree of balance and grace in taiji quan techniques as well as soft White Crane techniques. I've also noticed it can be a potent aid in any internal martial arts training. Perhaps this is because of the relaxing effects of marijauna, or for other reasons.

    However there is always the danger of becoming a regular marijuana smoker and injuring the lungs as a result. As with all other things, moderation is the key to beneficial use in my opinion.

    So my question is, does anyone know anything they are willling to share about the history, or the physiology of marijuana as a training or meditative aid in the martial arts? If not, please feel free to share personal experiences if you have them. I look forward to reading what the rest of this community has to say on the topic.
    Show me a man who has forgotten words, so that I can have a word with him.

  • #2

    Quiet forum for weeks, and now we talk about illegal drugs.

    I love it.

    I'm gonna stay out of this one for a little bit, just to see what happens here, but, just for your information, cannabis grows wild around the Shaolin temple area.

    Let's see where you go with that....

    I don't inhale,
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)


    • #3

      Well, firstly, not all the old ways are good imho. Some knowledge was not readily known. Fifty years ago, there was absolutely nothing considered wrong with smoking. Now it's common knowledge that it's self destructive. An example I can think of in Shaolin is the head conditioning. Even before I asked Doc about it, I always thought it was a little strange, health risk wise. All respect to Shaolin, but I don't think I'm ever gonna be doing head conditioning. Not worth it for me. I've heard of plenty of drugs that've been used for meditational purposes. Is it advisable? I have no idea. As for whether they work in a spiritual/meditational sense - never smoked and trained , but according to my faith, the problem with drugs are not the health risks (although it's a factor) - it's said that it's the states of consiousness that one can attain in a drugged state that shouldn't be accessible too easily/frequently. The whys and hows I don't know yet. So I'm sure there's something to it affecting meditation and the like, but I don't really know much about it.

      Any added benefits of training while stoned I would guess are probably largely imagined. Anyway, bottom line is that it ain't a particulalry healthy way of doing things - everyone always seem to smoke 'in moderation' - weed affects more then the lungs, I heard something recently concerning how it affects your brain synapses.

      This leads me to a question of my own, Doc. I recall a couple of articles you wrote with the mention of monks smoking - Shi Su Goong or soemthing. How does that work? Chi and training is all about breath intake. Isn't this taken into account when it comes to smoking and living a life dedicated to training?



      • #4

        lol typical college student..the fun never stops

        marijuana for training..ok for one thing because some taoists were known to do this or that doesnt mean they all did in daos example of marijuana smoking

        not all of even close to all of them did it, through out there history, probably just 1 long or short period of time in random mountains or temples or whatever, i doubt seriously it was a large movement..espcially considering the stance most chan buddhists take on mind contorting drugs

        me personally ive always been a moderate ganja smoker but that doesn mean id go as far as to use it while meditating, i dont want to decieve my own mind..or anything like that

        i think if someone wants to smoke they should smoke smart and not make excuses like it helps my training or whatever lol

        and...long live weeeeeeeeeed
        "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus


        • #5
          Given, smoking marijauna is potentially quite harmful to the health, but its nowhere near as bad as cigarettes. Somehow I expect people to disagree with that statement......... Oh well doc can clarify it.

          As for benefits of training after smoking marijuana, I beleive the relaxing effects of cannabis drastically reduce tension in most of the antagonistic muscle groups as well as all the other muscles. This is what makes it effective in training internal martial arts. HOWEVER any time you're smoking so much that your ability to breath properly is impaired this will far more than outwiegh any benefits.

          I'm somehow not sure that smoking once or twice a week does as much damage as some might say to one's lungs. I grew up with chronic asthma and in the past year the condition has gone away after I moved into a drastically less polluted area and changed my diet to eliminate processed foods. I was smoking entirely too much during this time period (though I've quit smoking since then) and yet my asthma still went away to the point where I no longer need any medication whatsoever. To put that in reference, for the first 20 years of my life I never concieved it possible to live without an albuterol inhaler.

          But who knows, Doc I'd be happy to listen to your proffessional opinion. And if you have bad things to say about albuterol or anything else, hey don't hold back.
          Show me a man who has forgotten words, so that I can have a word with him.


          • #6

            actually a marijuana joint is 10x more powerful then a cigarette

            and cigarettes dont impare your judgement, or deplete memmory

            you got that twisted and im positive of for docs oppinions on pot well hes never smoked..

            but id like to here some medical crap about it to if he wants to tell us...
            "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus


            • #7
              Well, for starters most of the medical studies which claim that a joint is X times worse than a cigarette only compare the amount of tar in an unfiltered marijuana cigarette to the amount of tar in a filtered tobacco cigarette. In addition to the fact that they are comparing unfiltered to filtered, TAR IS NOT THE WORST thing in a cigarette..... by far. Then there's the consideration that most marijauna smokers I've known use pipes or water pipes.... and cigarettes do impair your judgement and cognition. Ok enough of that. Suffice it to say, its very very easy to lie with statistics and improper setup of experimentation. Medical studies rarely indicate truth.
              Show me a man who has forgotten words, so that I can have a word with him.


              • #8
                I agree.

                I've read so many variations of the harmful effects of smoking pot in comparison to cigarettes, all from 'medical professionals' or ‘official sources’, that the only conclusion I can come to is that they're all bullshit. I have yet to hear a reliable explanation...



                • #9
                  why bother training in a skill ike taijiquan that needs relaxation - if u can only get "there" when you are high? kinda defeats the purpose dont it?

                  simple and natural is my method,
                  true and sincere is my principle --Tse Sigung


                  • #10

                    lol bull shit maybe...

                    all i know is i know some dumb ****in pot heads..
                    "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus


                    • #11
                      Like all tools in training, smoking marijuana is only beneficial during the proper period of time, and once a person advances beyond rudimentary training it is no longer neccessary and even detrimental to training. Any tool has its use at the right moment, but we must know when to put the tool down forever.

                      Oh, and by the way, if you see the buddha kill him.
                      Show me a man who has forgotten words, so that I can have a word with him.


                      • #12

                        ok at first this convo was a little..interesting

                        but when it comes down to i dont think its useful for training and..

                        i think your defending it a bit to much

                        its like saying a taoist priest should go **** a porn star in some wierdo position to gain more golden elixir of immortality..and to increase the burning inferno in his firepot

                        your taking these minute details of taoist history way to far, way further then they did i assure you

                        as i have said before, no ones perfect..they realised what marijuana is why dont you?

                        now im not condeming anyone or anything, im just saying lets not call a cow a horse..or however that wierdo saying a dog or something?..whatever =)

                        "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus


                        • #13
                          If your all so concerned about the health concerns from the smoke, other options are available. Vaporizors(sp), while being somewhat expensive, remove almost all of the health concerns relating to smoke inhalation because you are only smoking thc, if your into that kind of thing. That might take care of the health concerns you have but, I still dont see the point. Why train in a state of altered consciousness. When I train I want to be right here right now and not let anything get in the way of the moment.


                          • #14
                            some taoists also drank teas made from ground up lizard dicks...ever journey into a chinese apothecary? Check it out.

                            Having extensive dealings with a country in which the smoking of marijuana is prevalent, across generations, I can readily tell you it makes you really dumb. I mean, stoopid dumb. Dumberer than anything. Case in point- I found a guy whose family owns land in the Blue Mountains. BM coffee is amazing stuff. It is also very expensive here. There, you can get a deal. I had a deal for 7 bucks a pound. The day the guy hand roasted his beans, he came to my house to drop off 10 lbs. So he goes, "Yeah man, mi had to bun fiyah from early because you call fi di bean, so...mi cyan't take 7, mi cyan take 10."

                            I was like, no way man, we made a deal for 7! So he goes, okay okay, I'll charge you 8 dollars, but I'll give you 2lbs free. So you think about that for a bit and then tell me how awesome smoking weed is.

                            Maybe you *think* you are doing great. Tape yourself sober, tape yourself high, and see what you get. If you need anything other than yourself mentally you are deficient. This is not to say herbs or what have you are not used in training, but for myself, these things take on the aspect of being a crutch. I used to think I could not train without Gatorade. Now I am fond of fresh OJ- Just Pikt. It comes frozen, then you thaw it out. It rucking focks.
                            "Arhat, I am your father..."
                            -the Dark Lord Cod


                            • #15
                              Given, smoking marijauna is potentially quite harmful to the health, but its nowhere near as bad as cigarettes. Somehow I expect people to disagree with that statement......... Oh well doc can clarify it.

                              Oh, don't get doc started on smoking. Pot or cigarettes or cigars or shit rolled in toilet paper, it's all the same guys.

                              It's not good for you.

                              And don't believe the nonsense that goes around college communities, about pot being "safer' than cigarettes.

                              It's worse.

                              Let's take a bit of a journey here, before I start ripping into this subject. Let's look at the chemical contents of cigarette smoke. And, remember, second hand smoke can have higher concentrations of some of this stuff, because it's not filtered by the cigarette's filter. So, if you're near a smoker in an enclosed space, you're getting this shit, and some of it, you're getting worse. (This is an incomplete list, but it has the chemicals of significant concentrations)

                              Acetic Acid


                              Carbon Monoxide
                              Carbon Sulfide



                              Formic Acid


                              Hydrogen cyanide
                              Hydrogen sulfide


                              Linoleic Acid
                              Linolenic Acid

                              Methyl formate

                              n-Nitrosoethyl methylamine
                              n-Nitrosomorpholine n-Nitrosopyrrolidine
                              Nitric Oxide
                              Nitrous oxide phenols

                              Palmitic acid
                              Propionic acid


                              Stearic acid



                              Vinyl Chloride

                              OK. A good deal of these, in and of themselves, are carcinogenic. Some of them, in the proper amounts, can be fatal if ingested or inhaled. Just for giggles and shits, try looking up some of these chemicals, and tell the rest of the gang what they are, and what they do to the normal body; that is, what diseases they cause. (I'm not going to discuss each and every one of them, for one, I don't know them all, for two, there's too many disease states related to the chemicals that I do know. You guys should start investigating these, and let us know in this thread). In the small amounts that they are present in, in cigarette smoke, the effects that they have on cellular structures in the lungs, pharynx, nose, and mouth, (and, stomach, kidneys, urinary bladder, bone marrow, brain, heart, blood vessels, etc, etc; the deleterious effects of cigarette smoke are much more far reaching than just the lungs) can be devastating. Fortunately, the body is pretty good at destroying nascent tumor cells, but, with continued exposure to various carcinogenic chemicals, the body sometimes loses a battle here or there, and cancer is formed. But, let's forget cancer, because all you young studs think you're far too young to get cancer (Oh, by the way, you're not). And also remember, cigarette smoke causes MANY more diseases than just lung or mouth cancer. Many more. In fact, of all the thousands and thousands of patients that I've been exposed to during my career, I could easily say that ninety percent of them, had a disease which was either caused by, or worsened by, cigarette smoke. But, hey, you guys are young, it won't hurt you....

                              Yea, right. Some diseases take years and years to progress and form. Cardiovascular disease is one Some lung diseases are others. I could tell you about the forty year old black guy with bladder cancer, who died. Another close friend, who's dying of lung cancer, in his early fifties. Other people who've had heart attacks and died in their early and late thirties. Smokers with asthma (now, that's not exactly the best thing to do, but, it's prevalent), who end up hospitalized more frequently, who end up worsening their pulmonary function and bronchospastic disease. I could go on and on, but I won't. I just don't have the time. Let's just leave it at this: most disease that you will find in any hospital unit or doctor's office, has either been caused by, or worsened by, the act of smoking. Anyone that has any interest in taking care of their bodies, and you'd think that martial artists would be of that group, in my opinion, would be ****ing stupid and ignorant, to smoke. Anything.

                              Marijuana is safe? Bullshit. It's worse. For not only does marijuana have the above listed carcinogenic chemicals, it has THC, which, from my observations of many, many drug addicts, college students, and patients, over many, many years (in my professional life and otherwise), causes people to suffer from various debilitating mental conditions. For one, as Arhat states, and I really have to agree with him on this, heavy duty pot smokers are incredibly stupid. Do you lose brain cells and processing power with this shit? No doubt in my mind. Even in small amounts; remember, just read my little treatise on head conditioning and brain damage. Lose a few with this joint, a few with that, and you just don't notice the difference. After continued use, other's notice, but you won't. A little loss here, a little loss there, it all eventually adds up. And as for marijuana's ability to lead users to other drugs, don't deny that possibility. Every drug addict that I've dealt with, (and being a paramedic in NY for many years, and an ER doc for a few, I've dealt with many), they all started with pot. Does THC, as a chemical compound in and of itself, make you want to use other drugs? Not necessarily, but, THC may contribute to a mental condition where one may want to continue with other, more stronger, drugs, or, those with mental conditions who might find themselves "needing" the effects of THC, might eventually weaken and deteriorate to the point of getting into worse shit.

                              In a nutshell, pot is worse than cigarettes, both chemically, and with respect to its destructive ability on brain cells. The use of illicit drugs is a process, just like stealing or embezzling; you do a little here and there for fun, and after a while, as you keep getting away with it, you keep getting into it deeper and deeper. Until, you get "caught".

                              You always get "caught". One way or the other.

                              The use of marijuana to relax, or to improve one's ability in the martial arts or qigong, is something that I've never thought about before. Interesting concept. But, in my mind, I see no reason for it. The martial arts, at least to me, are relaxing. They are my method of escape. They are my method of improving my mental condition, of "opening my mind", of improving my mental state. The use of THC, in my opinion, would be terribly counterproductive. I see no reason for it.

                              And, quite honestly, I've never used it. (But then again, I don't drink alcohol either). Never smoked either. Absolutel abhor the concept. But, then again, if you've seen some of the people I have, who have smoked one thing or another, far too much, you'd hate it too.

                              Here's an interesting and entertaining little ditty on the history of cigarettes that I found. There's a lesson to be learned from it:

                              1832 In the siege of Acre, the Egyptian's cannon crew had improved their rate of fire by rolling the gunpowder in paper tubes. For this, he and his crew were rewarded with a pound of tobacco. Their sole pipe was broken, however, so they took to rolling the pipe tobacco in the paper tubes. The invention of the cigarette spread among Egyptian and Turkish soldiers.

                              1860 Manufactured cigarettes first appear in the United States. A popular early brand, Bull Durham, commanded 90% of the market.

                              1861-1865 Tobacco is given with rations to Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, and many Northerners are introduced to tobacco this way. During Sherman's march, Union soldiers raided warehouses in search of the mild, sweet "bright" tobacco of the South. Bright tobacco becomes the rage in the North and eventually replaces the heavier Turkish tobacco in cigarettes.

                              1864 First American cigarette factory opens and produces almost 20 million cigarettes annually.

                              1875 Allen & Ginter cigarette brands, Richmond Straight Cut No. 1 and Pet, begin using picture cards to stiffen the pack and protect the cigarettes. The cards, with photos of actresses, baseball players, Indian Chiefs, and boxers are enormously successful and represent the first modern promotion scheme for a manufactured product.

                              1898 Tennessee Supreme Court upholds a total ban on cigarettes, ruling they are "not legitimate articles of commerce, being wholly noxious and deleterious to health. Their use is always harmful."

                              1900 Washington, Iowa, Tennessee and North Dakota outlaw the sale of cigarettes.

                              1901 Strong anti-cigarette activity now exists in 43 of the 45 states.

                              1902 Tiny Philip Morris sets up a corporation in New York to sell its British brands, including Philip Morris, Blues, Cambridge, Derby, and a cigarette named after Marlborough Street, where its London factory is located. Marlboro is one of the earliest woman’s cigarette, featuring a red tip to hide lipstick marks. It does not catch on with the public.

                              1909 Baseball great Honus Wagner orders American Tobacco Company take his picture off their Sweet Caporal cigarette packs, fearing it will lead children to smoke. The resulting shortage makes the Honus Wagner card the most valuable baseball card of all time, currently worth close to $500,000.

                              1910 Most popular brands: Pall Mall, Sweet Caporals, Piedmont, Helmar and Fatima.

                              1913 RJ Reynolds introduces Camel, considered by historians as the first ‘modern’ cigarette.

                              1917 There are now 3 national brands of cigarettes on the US market: Lucky Strike, Camel and Chesterfield.

                              1921 RJ Reynolds spends $8 million in advertising, mostly on Camel. Inaugurates the highly successful "I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel" slogan.

                              1923 Camel captures 45% of the US market.

                              1924 Philip Morris re-introduces Marlboro with the slogan "Mild as May," targeting "decent, respectable" women. "Has smoking any more to do with a woman's morals than has the color of her hair?" the advertisement reads. "Marlboros now ride in so many limousines, attend so many bridge parties, and repose in so many handbags."

                              1927 A sensation is created when George Washington Hill blatantly aims Lucky Strike advertising campaign at women, urging them to "reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet." Smoking initiation rates among adolescent females triple between 1925-1935, and Lucky Strike captures 38% of the American market.

                              1930 Most popular brands: Lucky Strike, Camel, Chesterfield, Old Gold and Raleigh.

                              1933 The Journal of the American Medical Association publishes its first cigarette ad, a practice that would continue for 20 years.

                              1936 Brown and Williamson introduces Viceroy, the first national brand to feature a filter of cellulose acetate. Advertising increases the use of physicians to counter the claims that cigarettes are a major health problem.

                              1940 Most popular brands: Camel, Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, Raleigh and Old Gold.

                              1942 Brown and Williamson claims that Kools keep the head clear and give extra protection against colds. Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, and Camels all promote the health benefits of their cigarettes, including the prominent display of physicians. This practice continues into the 1950s, when it is abandoned in favor of silence on health issues.

                              1950 Most popular brands: Camel, Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, Commander and Old Gold.

                              1952 Kent introduces the ‘Micronite’ filter, which Lorillard claims "offers the greatest health protection in cigarette history." It turns out to be made of asbestos. Kent discontinues use of the Micronite filter four years later.

                              1954 RJ Reynolds introduces Winston filter cigarettes, but promotes the taste benefit, not health. Winston dominates the US market for the next 15 years.

                              1954 Marlboro advertising taken over by the Chicago ad agency Leo Burnett. "Delivers the Goods on Flavor" ran the new slogan in newspaper ads. Design of the campaign, which features ‘Marlboro Men,’ is credited to John Landry of Philip Morris. Prior to initiating this campaign, Marlboro had <1% of the US market.

                              1963 Marlboro dispenses with tattooed sailors and athletes as the Marlboro Man and settles on the exclusive use of cowboys. For several years, Philip Morris research had shown that sales increased whenever they cowboys appeared in their campaigns.

                              1964 Marlboro Country ad campaign is launched. "Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro Country." Marlboro sales begin growing at 10% a year.

                              1968 Philip Morris introduces Virginia Slims with the slogan, "You’ve come a long way, baby." Five yeas later, Billy Jean King, wearing Virginia Slims colors, defeats Bobby Riggs in the televised ‘Battle of the Sexes.’ Virginia Slims continues to promote tennis matches to this day.

                              1970 Most popular brands: Winston, Pall Mall, Marlboro, Salem and Kool.

                              1971 TV cigarette advertising banned. The ban was scheduled to begin on January 1, but was delayed for one day to allow a final glut of Super Bowl ads. Fairness Doctrine anti-smoking ads also disappear. Cigarette sales begin rebounding from their four year decline. RJ Reynolds' top-selling Winston brand, which had been challenged by Philip Morris' Marlboro for most of the 60s, is particularly hard-hit. While the Marlboro cowboy translates into print advertising beautifully, Winston's only identifier was the jingle, "Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should." Winston focuses on promoting car racing, but steadily loses market share to Marlboro.

                              1972 Marlboro becomes the best-selling cigarette in the world. It remains so today by a wide margin.

                              1980 Most popular brands: Marlboro, Winston, Kool, Salem, and Pall Mall.

                              1987 Joe Camel's USA Debut. A North Carolina advertising agency uses Joe Camel to celebrate "Old Joe's" 75th anniversary. Four years later, the Journal of the American Medical Association publishes two reports on Joe Camel and kids. One study finds that 91% of 6 year olds recognize Joe Camel, similar to the percent who recognize Mickey Mouse. The other study finds that since the inception of the Joe Camel campaign in 1987, Camel's share of the under-18 (illegal) market has risen from 0.5% to 32.8%, worth >$400 million per year.

                              1988 After a 15 year decline, the incidence of teenage smoking increases.

                              1989 During the 93-minute broadcast of the Marlboro Grand Prix, the Marlboro name appeared on the television screen 5,933 times for a total of 46 minutes. Sponsorship of televised sporting events becomes the principal means by which cigarette companies subvert the 1971 ban on TV advertising.

                              1990 Most popular brands: Marlboro, Winston, Salem, Kool and Newport. However, Marlboro actually outsells Winston by a 3-to1 margin.

                              1990 The US realizes a $4.2 billion trade surplus from tobacco products. Despite 2.5 million deaths worldwide due to smoking, Vice President Quayle remarks, "We ought to think about opening up markets."

                              1992 Dying of lung cancer, ‘Marlboro Man’ Wayne McLaren appears at Philip Morris’ annual shareholders meeting in Richmond, Virginia, and asks the company to voluntarily limit its advertising. Chairman Michael Miles responds, "We're certainly sorry to hear about your medical problem. Without knowing your medical history, I don't think I can comment any further." The Marlboro Man died of lung cancer three months later.

                              1993 Cigarette promotional expenditures reach $6.03 billion, an increase of 15.4 percent over 1992.

                              1995 Marlboro cowboy, David McLean, dies of lung cancer at 73.

                              1997 In response to pressure by the Federal Trade Commission, RJ Reynolds abandons the ‘Joe Camel’ ad campaign.

                              1998 Camel, Winston and Kool introduce youth-oriented ads, many of which mock the anti-smoking movement.

                              Sources: Richard Kluger, Ashes to Ashes (Knopf, 1996), Gerard S. Petrone, Tobacco Advertising: The Great Seduction (Schiffler, 1996), and Gene Borio, Tobacco Timeline (

                              No doubt, there's gonna be lots of dissension about this topic. Almost two hundred years of smoking, and we know for certain, that it is responsible for a great deal of health problems, at all ages. It is the most widely used disease causing agent in existance. And yet, people still smoke.

                              And, invariably, when you take them to the operating room, they always blame something else.

                              Time for your comments,
                              Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                              "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                              (more comments in my User Profile)


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