Although many marijuana opposers would like to see it, there is still no significant evidence that proves marijuana addiction is real. A community of scientists from Vanderbilt University believe they have found the secret to ending ‘Marijuana addiction’ by using new medicinal practices to create a ‘natural high’. When one comes across these, one should immediately put their bulls*it detector glasses on. Firstly, what is marijuana addiction anyway? Is it just a convenient but scary talking point for the prohibitionists against the growing wave of marijuana legalization? Or is it something real that demands public’s attention, such as alcohol addiction?
I am addicted to marijuana. Or am I?
In the New England Journal of Medicine, a new report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) claims that marijuana can be “addictive, harmful, and a gateway drug.” The lead author of the report is Dr. Nora Volkow, who is also the head of NIDA, which basically means she is responsible for things such as staffing and budgeting – all of which would be severely trimmed if marijuana were legalized nationwide. Just a thought to consider – would Dr. Volkow’s findings, when it comes to cannabis, have a different color if they were not in the middle of this conflict of interest? Would she even asked this question to begin with?
Back to the Vanderbilt University and its scientist, Dr. Sachin Patel, the leader of the research team, says they have discovered the cause of marijuana addiction, and you know how it goes, we have all seen the movies – once you know the cause, you are one step away from potential remedy. In a study published in a recent edition of the journal Cell Reports, researchers reveal a missing molecule in the brain that normally triggers cannabinoid receptors. Researchers found that replenishing the supply of a molecule that normally activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain could relieve mood and anxiety disorder and thus help some people to quit using marijuana.
What about anxiety and depression?
Researchers also believe that people who use cannabis to tame anxiety and depression come to rely on the drug more due to naturally low levels of a chemical that is temporarily restored with the use of marijuana. An analysis done by the university has tested lab rats with similarly low levels of the mood-enhancing chemical. The study found that after the rats had been injected with an extra dose of the chemical, they appeared to be less anxious and fearful in new situations.
Clinical trials on several medications are expected to begin within the next couple of years; however, we can’t help but feeling skeptic about this concept working on humans. There is absolutely no evidence for that. Even if the researchers find the “cure” they’re looking for, it seems as if they keep forgetting their concept is based on a premise of trading one addiction for another – providing people with “natural high” instead of cannabis high means exactly that. And how is taking a pill to get high natural, compared to smoking a plant? You decide.