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|On Being Stoned, by Charles Tart|
On Being Stoned
Charles T. Tart, Ph. D.
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.
Memory for Periods of IntoxicationTwo 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 ValuesIn 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.
SleepAs 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 AFTEREFFECTSFigure 22-1 orders the various aftereffects by level of intoxication. The overall ordering is highly significant (p <<< .0005).
MODULATING FACTORSThe relatively linear effects of various background factors on aftereffects of intoxication are summarized in Table 22-1.
SUMMARYThere 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.