Long-term marijuana use changes brain’s reward circuit

“We found that this disruption of the reward system correlates with the number of problems, such as family issues, individuals have because of their marijuana use,” Filbey said. “Continued marijuana use despite these problems is an indicator of marijuana dependence.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160607151239.htm

Any dose of alcohol combined with cannabis significantly increases levels of THC in blood

Cannabis plus alcohol is one of the most frequently detected drug combinations in car accidents, yet the interaction of these two compounds is still poorly understood.  A study shows for the first time that the simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis produces significantly higher blood concentrations of cannabis’ main psychoactive constituent, THC, as well as THC’s primary active metabolite than cannabis use alone.

https://www.aacc.org/media/press-release-archive/2015/alcohol-combined-with-cannabis-significantly-increases-levels-of-thc-in-the-blood

What twenty years of research on cannabis use has taught us

In the past 20 years recreational cannabis use has grown tremendously, becoming almost as common as tobacco use among adolescents and young adults, and so has the research evidence. A major new review in the scientific journal Addiction sets out the latest information on the effects of cannabis use on mental and physical health.

More: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/PressRelease/pressReleaseId-112762.html

Cannabis as addictive as heroin, major new study finds – Telegraph

Cannabis can be as addictive as heroin or alcohol, causes mental health problems and can lead to hard drug use, according to a major new study led by a leading British expert on addiction.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11145094/Cannabis-as-addictive-as-heroin-major-new-study-finds.html

Estrogen increases cannabis sensitivity

Craft said other researchers, like Margaret Haney at the Columbia University Medical Center, have shown that women are more susceptible to cannabis abuse and dependence than men. Haney has documented a cannabis withdrawal syndrome of irritability, sleep disruption and decreased food intake that Craft said tends to be more severe in women. Women also have a greater tendency to relapse when trying to stop using the drug.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/wsu-eic082814.php

As Pot Smoking Rises, So Do Addiction Concerns (and Denial ain’t a river in Africa)

Marijuana-leaf_sized

New research indicates that MJ is far less benign than advocates would have us think:

In the study, which looked at 127 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 19 being treated at an outpatient substance abuse clinic, 90 percent said marijuana was their drug of choice. All were assessed and surveyed — both right away and at 3, 6, and 12 months later — on aspects including whether or not they thought the drug was causing problems in their lives and various psychiatric symptoms. Eighty-four percent met diagnostic criteria for cannabis dependence, with 40 percent reporting withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, depression and difficulty sleeping. Interestingly, Kelly said, of those who experienced withdrawal symptoms, the ones who were unconvinced that any of their problems were related to the drug had the toughest time quitting.  Read the whole article>>>