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How does marijuana affect the systems?


Good Afternoon everyone,

Firstly let me introduce myself, my name is Nicole and currently studying both Five Element & Traditional Chinese Medicine in the UK.

As part of my course we have to conduct 'full traditional diagnoses' on willing participant who come with a problem. It is then for me to diagnose and work out treatment plan etc. I find this a very valuable part of our learning process.

My question is, my 'patient' has a long history of marijua abuse, he has issues surrounding sleep (dream disturbed if he doesnt smoke marijuana) and motivation (does not follow plans through), i therefore would like to kindly ask either for some information regarding how marijuana affects the systems in accordance with Chinese Medicine or any pointers to where i can find this information out.

Regardng the above, i presume that the patients yang energy is affected and also his Hun but i am interested in the pathology behind smoking marijuan.

I hope this makes sense!

Any help rendered will be most appreciated.

Kind Regards

Nicole :)


It may not have much of an affect at all. But the important thing with Chinese Medicine and TCM diagnoses is that they are a discussion of relativity. So what may be hot for someone is warm or possibly even cold for someone else depending on all the other factors that make them themselves. So don&#39t try to look for hard and fast rules in Chinese Medicine and don&#39t let potential biases creep in and create a diagnosis where there may not be one.

For example in this case, to basically assume that marijuana creates an imbalance and presume it is "bad" where if he said he had been on tian wan bu xin wan for 5 years you would presume that&#39s "good" is an example of a bias that needs to be watched for.

Now, I&#39m not saying in any way that I agree with drug use, nor am I saying that marijuana use is only good (or bad) for people. Just that it&#39s one of many things you look at and then you treat exactly what you see. Once you come to a clear diagnosis, then you discuss with them things that are helping balance and causing imbalance to them as an individual - not as hard and fast rules.


What a great reply, Chad!

Learning Chinese Medicine is so much more than just knowing the rules (which is what I feel biomedicine is like - I speak as a nurse so, not knocking it). The whole &#39treat what you see&#39 sounds easy but, it takes a bit of a shift in understanding to actually do it. As Chad says, treat according to pulses/tongues, and use the 5E observations to guide you to the CF. Treating in that way will clear the path to giving your client, and then yourself, some insight on his life and how he can manage it effectively.

Good luck on the exciting journey that is acupuncture!


Nicole, this is a very uncommon question. I have made a personal survey and study. I can state some important findings. THC provokes heat due to a sistematic heart Yin deplete and as a consequence generating hiperactivity heart Yang. It strongly depends on the strain (sativa or indica). Prolonged use demages Hun and Shen communication cousing Jue Yin blood stagnation or deficiency. This approach may lead to Qi and Xue stagnation with depression (Yu Zheng or Bai He Bin syndromes). Here you should detect whether the patient is sad or angry. That&#39s to say, the offorts must be on emotions like grief, sadness and guilt.

The most significant impairment is the cominig and going of the Hun. The Shen may be flowing during nighttime (by heat) and that would explain the falling asleep difficulty. This way Hun cannot get to. Hence plans, creativity, ideas and strategy are not present. My personal experience is to apply the principle to tonify the Kidney Zhi to leverage will first if depression is present and release Qi and blood stagnation in whatver channel that is impaired: Lung and Heart if sadness and grief are present and spleen if too much pensiveness is present as well

I can say people that uses THC a lot, are sort of carelessly living their lives (young people mostly). They lose material connection and give importance whatever Shen is holding. Every case is different and way complex. Good luck and tell us how you develop with this case.


Thank you all so much for your input.

i do understand that we treat each person as an individual and therefore its hard to place people in boxes but instead treat the person as a whole :)

Patricio - thank you very much for your reply, it has helped tremendously and has allowed me to understand aspects that i was struggling to link!

Once again, thank you all!

Now back i must go to study!

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