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Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: tkadm30 on 15/12/2016 14:38:19

Title: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 15/12/2016 14:38:19
The term "addiction" is loosely defined. For example, I think cannabis addiction is psychological. As far as I know, there's no scientific study which has demonstrated that THC dependence is physical. I can stop smoking cannabis for weeks without any physical effects. So I guess THC tolerance depends on the frequency of THC administration.

Quote
Although physical addiction has not been proven,[3] an estimated 9% of those who use cannabis develop dependence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_use_disorder
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: zx16 on 15/12/2016 23:25:37
I think tobacco is more addictive than cannabis.  I've tried cannabis occasionally, over the years, but didn't really like it.  It just made my head confused, and caused memory drop-outs.  Like you're pursuing some line of thought, then suddenly you can't remember what it was you were thinking about.

Tobacco has never produced an effect like that.  Smoking a cigarette just calms and soothes. And admittedly after a while, it does get addictive.

But cannabis isn't addictive.



Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 15/12/2016 23:32:40
Tobacco has never produced an effect like that.  Smoking a cigarette just calms and soothes. And admittedly after a while, it does get addictive.

I agree. The physical addiction to nicotine is nasty stuff. If I would have the money to always smoke cannabis instead of tobacco I would glady stop smoking tobacco.  ;)
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 16/12/2016 00:46:32
One more thing

I propose that the psychological addiction to THC is strictly a mental activity of the subconscious system. :)

The subconscious system and dopamine works together to increase cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the frontal lobe. ;)

The dopamine reward modulation by THC administration produces a neural synchronicity in calcium-dependent pathways. :)

In contrast, atypical antipsychotics induces dopamine hypersensitivity and increase dopamine D2 receptor availability.

The psychology of cannabis-addiction is correlated with brain connectivity and dopaminergic neurotransmission.

bubye! :)
 

Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: snorkfort on 16/12/2016 01:28:10
I have it on good authority that cannabis is highly addictive, and increased use encourages exponential increase. Excessive use of marijuana can cause severe mental illness. It is obviously not gentle on the brain, as it has immediate significant effects on information processing, speed of processing, working and long term memory, eyesight, hearing, coordination, balance, judgement, etc. On the other hand, it's much safer than alcohol, and the general population consumes alcohol like there's no tomorrow. Occasional use of cannabis shouldn't be too harmful as long is one is responsible and stays home while under the influence.
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 16/12/2016 01:35:17
Is THC-induced activation of neural synchronicity a Subconscious system hack to access subliminal messages decoded by dopamine and calcium-dependent (Ca2+) pathways? :)

eVil StOner

Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 16/12/2016 10:32:24
Does cerebral blood flow (CBF) is increased after REM sleep?


Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 16/12/2016 11:02:57
Is the psychological addiction to cannabis drives creative thinking? :)

eVil StOner
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 16/12/2016 11:28:42
I have it on good authority that cannabis is highly addictive

That implication is completely false for the overwhelming majority of users.

Addiction:  Defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.

Compulsive:  Resulting from or relating to an irresistible urge, especially one that is against one's conscious wishes.





 
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 16/12/2016 11:35:04
increased use encourages exponential increase.

So if I decide to use more today.... I'll want to use a larger amount tomorrow?

No.

~


 
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 16/12/2016 11:38:28
Excessive use of marijuana can cause severe mental illness.

Now let's see the body of scientific evidence that would support such a notion?
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: evan_au on 18/12/2016 21:26:19
I heard that cannabis use downregulates endocannabinoid production, and also downregulates dopamine generation.

This means that regular users will suffer a deficit of these neurotransmitters when they stop smoking, putting them into a slightly depressed state that can be relieved by "going cold turkey", or by smoking another reefer.

So what makes a cannabis user go back - is it because they think they will feel better (psychological addiction), or is it because they really will feel better (physiological addiction)? And how would they tell the difference?
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 18/12/2016 21:54:56
I heard that cannabis use downregulates endocannabinoid production, and also downregulates dopamine generation.

I'm pretty sure that exogenous THC administration stimulate endocannabinoid synthesis.

Quote from: evan_au
So what makes a cannabis user go back - is it because they think they will feel better (psychological addiction), or is it because they really will feel better (physiological addiction)? And how would they tell the difference?

Cannabis addiction is psychological and is partly modulated by the subconscious system. The subconscious mind is implicated in the emotionality and state-dependent memory related with the (positive) usage of the drug.
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 19/12/2016 01:33:50
I heard that cannabis use downregulates endocannabinoid production

Cannabinoids are actually endocannabinoid mimetics, so that would be incorrect.


and also downregulates dopamine generation.

Unless you're referring to adolescence.... cannabis use is not associated with striatal DA alterations.

~
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 19/12/2016 01:36:53
This means that regular users will suffer a deficit of these neurotransmitters when they stop smoking, putting them into a slightly depressed state

Ummm..... no.
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 19/12/2016 01:43:55
what makes a cannabis user go back

The lack of negative consequences....

And the plethora of positive ones.

~
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: evan_au on 19/12/2016 10:55:15
I heard that cannabis use downregulates endocannabinoid production

Cannabinoids are actually endocannabinoid mimetics, so that would be incorrect.


Quote from: tkadm30
Quote from: evan_au
I heard that cannabis use downregulates endocannabinoid production

I'm pretty sure that exogenous THC administration stimulate endocannabinoid synthesis.
I agree that cannabis mimics endocannabinoids, and cannabis locks into the same receptors as the endocannabinoids.

But the body strives to maintain homeostasis, so if something is locking up its endocannabinoid receptors, it will take a variety of actions to restore a balanced state.

And one of those possible actions is to reduce the body's own production of endocannabinoids to compensate for the external input. (Other possible compensatory reactions include reducing the sensitivity of the receptors.)

So rather than say "exogenous THC administration stimulate endocannabinoid synthesis", it would be more accurate to say that "exogenous THC administration displaces endocannabinoid synthesis".

Of course, if you suddenly reduce your external input, it takes a while for the body to resume normal production; in the meantime, the body suffers the biochemical imbalance of withdrawal symptoms from an addictive substance.
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 19/12/2016 11:11:48
Quote from: evan_au
Other possible compensatory reactions include reducing the sensitivity of the receptors.

Correct. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) downsensitivity occurs from chronic cannabis usage, but as the user stop from using the Drug, the sensitivity of the receptor returns to normal.

So rather than say "exogenous THC administration stimulate endocannabinoid synthesis", it would be more accurate to say that "exogenous THC administration displaces endocannabinoid synthesis".

Exogenous THC administration "mobilizes" endocannabinoid releases. :)
 
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 19/12/2016 11:27:40
Quote from: evan_au
I agree that cannabis mimics endocannabinoids, and cannabis locks into the same receptors as the endocannabinoids.

But the body strives to maintain homeostasis, so if something is locking up its endocannabinoid receptors

.... Then it's not a cannabinoid mimetic.
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 19/12/2016 11:40:41
if you suddenly reduce your external input, it takes a while for the body to resume normal production; in the meantime, the body suffers the biochemical imbalance of withdrawal symptoms from an addictive substance.

No.

Quote from: exothermic
Unless you're referring to adolescence.... cannabis use is not associated with striatal DA alterations.

"This is the first report to evaluate both D2/3 receptor availability and striatal DA release capacity in chronic cannabis dependent participants compared to matched controls. Unlike other addictions, such as to alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine [22], chronic cannabis abuse or dependence is not associated with alterations in either of these indices. We therefore confirm the absence of alterations in D2/3 receptors previously reported [37] in a larger cohort"

Biol Psychiatry. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013
Published in final edited form as:
Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 15; 71(8): 677–683.
Published online 2012 Jan 29. doi:  10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.12.018
PMCID: PMC3314125
NIHMSID: NIHMS346717
Dopamine release in chronic cannabis users: a [11C]raclopride Positron Emission Tomography study
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: evan_au on 20/12/2016 09:04:31
Quote from: exothermic
Then it's not a cannabinoid mimetic.
Please provide your definition of a mimetic.

In my simplistic understanding, a biochemical mimetic:
- Is not determined on whether it has the same chemical formula as a natural chemical, but whether it binds to the same biological receptor.
- Does not necessarily bind with the same strength as the natural chemical; it may bind more strongly (for example) and tie up the receptor

So the defining characteristic of an endocannabinoid mimetic would be that it binds to the endocannabinoid receptors.

So if an external mimetic binds more strongly to the receptor than the natural chemical, it could "lock up" the receptor.
- I can see that the natural chemical, unable to reach the blocked receptors, may show an increase in concentration.
- In this scenario, rather than the external chemical triggering a release of the natural chemical, it is actually blocking the natural chemical from doing its normal function(?)
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 20/12/2016 11:04:07
Quote
The nature of the endocannabinoids are more similar in function to neurotransmitters, but structurally are characterised as eicosanoids in the family of signalling sphingolipids. These signalling cannabinoids keep track of metabolic systems throughout the body and this information is shared with both the nervous system and the immune system, so that any imbalance is corrected insitu. If the body is in a chronic disease state or is being subject to emotional stress, the immune system can lose control of any compromised systems. It is here that phytocannabinoids can provide much needed additional support to the stressed body in returning it to health. The cannabis plant provides exogenous analogues of the body’s primary signalling cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is mimetic to anandamide, and cannabidiol (CBD) is mimetic to 2-AG, and has the same affinity to CB1 and CB2 receptors, providing the body with the additional support for the immune and endocannabinoid systems. By way of explanation: a receptor is a protein molecule that receives a signal by binding to a chemical (its “ligand”). Affinity is a measure of the strength of attraction between a receptor and its ligand.

http://medicalmarijuana.co.uk/cannabinoids-vs-cancer-a-cellular-war/
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 21/12/2016 23:00:50
a biochemical mimetic:
- Is not determined on whether it has the same chemical formula as a natural chemical, but whether it binds to the same biological receptor.
- Does not necessarily bind with the same strength as the natural chemical; it may bind more strongly (for example) and tie up the receptor

So if an external mimetic binds more strongly to the receptor than the natural chemical, it could "lock up" the receptor.

That would be exclusive to a full and/or synthetic CB receptor agonist. Plant-derived endocannabinoid mimetics are merely partial CB receptor agonists with low micromolar range affinity, thus circumventing the receptor dynamics in which you were describing.

~
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: snorkfort on 28/12/2016 01:43:35
Excessive use of marijuana can cause severe mental illness.

Now let's see the body of scientific evidence that would support such a notion?

Please check these studies:
1. Effects of psychoactive substances in schizophrenia (2012)
2. Evidence that transition from health to psychotic disorder can be traced to semi-ubiquitous environmental effects operating against background genetic risk (2013)
3. Smoking pot shrinks the brain (2011)
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: snorkfort on 28/12/2016 01:45:59
increased use encourages exponential increase.

So if I decide to use more today.... I'll want to use a larger amount tomorrow?

No.

~

No, it happens like this: Imagine you use occasionally, then decide to start using once a month. Soon you will want to use twice a month, then once a week, then twice a week, and so on. If you plot the frequency of use on a graph, you will see a exponential curve.
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 28/12/2016 14:52:30
Please check these studies:
1. Effects of psychoactive substances in schizophrenia (2012)
2. Evidence that transition from health to psychotic disorder can be traced to semi-ubiquitous environmental effects operating against background genetic risk (2013)

Have any evidence that is not confounded by an existing mental disorder or genetic risk?

Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: Bored chemist on 28/12/2016 15:05:33

Tobacco has never produced an effect like that.  Smoking a cigarette just calms and soothes.

You might want to check on that with some schoolkid who has just smoked his first cig. Tell him how the coughing, puking and the pounding heart are all part of the way "Smoking a cigarette just calms and soothes. "
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 28/12/2016 15:39:50
3. Smoking pot shrinks the brain (2011)

If you're referring to orbitofrontal cortex shrinkage with long-term /heavy use, the brain compensates
for the OFC shrinkage by actively increasing connectivity between different regions of the brain, and increasing the structural integrity of the brain tissue.

~
Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: exothermic on 28/12/2016 16:03:17
Imagine you use occasionally, then decide to start using once a month. Soon you will want to use twice a month, then once a week, then twice a week, and so on. If you plot the frequency of use on a graph, you will see a exponential curve.

This would be a plausible notion.... [if] marijuana use was associated with low baseline levels of dopamine D2 receptor availability, and I've already demonstrated how this is not the case.

~

Title: Re: Is cannabis addictive?
Post by: tkadm30 on 29/12/2016 11:19:41
No, it happens like this: Imagine you use occasionally, then decide to start using once a month. Soon you will want to use twice a month, then once a week, then twice a week, and so on. If you plot the frequency of use on a graph, you will see a exponential curve.

I think your (lack of) imagination is a proof you don't understand the neuropsychology of chronic THC administration on the processing of saliency and creativity. :)