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Is Marijuana Addictive?


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Does marijuana have an addiction potential?

 

I have to confess that sometimes I am so disgusted and turned off by some aspects of the medical marijuana community that I wonder whether or not I should just get out of all involvement with it. One of the biggest turnoffs is self-appointed leaders who demonstrate very ineffective communication skills and, though doing some good, have no clue how much of a disservice their sloppy, wild, thoughtless use of words and ideas negatively affect many persons who swallow whatever they say and thereby damage the overall mmj cause.

 

Another thing that really turns me off is the general ignorance some advocates display about medical marijuana science and the false ideas that come from that that they spread. The following statement is taken from an article about a compassion club that got some very good press in their local paper. (By the way, let me make is very very clear that I do not have anyone in mind from this club that I am referring to in the first paragraph above. The minor flaw I am about to point out in this press article is small compared to the damage caused by the unbalanced, antagonistic attitudes, such as against ALL law enforcement, of some advocate leaders.)

 

In the press account the interviewer asks, "What are some of the myths you still hear about marijuana?" The answer given is, "One of the myths I've found to be very false is the alleged addictive nature of cannabis. I've been medicating with this over a year now, and I could stop right now and have no side effects, no withdrawal symptoms, unlike with narcotics."

 

This answer demonstrates both the most common wrong argument against the idea of marijuana addiction and the most common misunderstanding of what constitutes science: I can quit anytime, and I have no problem whatsoever in controlling the use of marijuana; therefore, I conclude that it is not addictive for anyone else either.

 

It is a complete misunderstanding of the nature of scientific research to base a generalized medical fact you have concluded on the evidence of your own personal experience. It is a characteristic of many people to assume that the world inside their own head is the exact same world that everybody else lives in too. Not so. Just because you yourself may never have experienced problems controlling the use of marijuana does not mean the rest of humanity conforms to your little world and limited experience. Anybody who cares to demonstrate some real interest in the science of marijuana by doing their own research on the technical literature will soon discover that among research experts there is no disagreement that marijuana definitely has an addiction potential. The right question is not, is marijuana addictive? The right questions are, how addictive is it compared to other drugs; what percentage of the population is susceptible to marijuana addiction; and, how severe is this addiction compared to other drugs? Without going into great detail, the risk of addiction to marijuana--which consists of not being able to control its use, despite severe negative life consequences--is far less than narcotics and alcohol and in some respects is even less addictive than tobacco. About 10% of all people who ever try it become addicted. The addiction rate for regular users is higher. Of these persons, some--but not all--will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. However, these symptoms are far less severe than for almost all other drugs. Still, they can be severe enough to cause short-term disruption in a person's normal life functioning, usually about three days but for some persons much longer. (By the way, a distinction needs to be made between addiction and dependence. It is possible to be physically dependent on marijuana but not addicted. That is, you might experience mild withdrawal symptoms upon quitting, but that does not automatically mean you’re addicted and can’t control its use. This point raises an even more contentious claim than addiction itself that I am not going to get into here: addiction to marijuana is not just phychological in nature but also partly physical.)

 

It is true that marijuana opponents sometimes wrongly distort the severity of marijuana addiction and its consequences. However, I have found that this same problem of distorting the truth to favor one's overall view of an issue plagues the mmj community too. If opponents overplay the severity of addiction, advocates tend to downplay it more than warranted. It is completely false to claim that marijuana is not addictive whatsoever. The truth is that marijuana does have an addiction potential, but it's very low, and its severity mild. Please do not attack me for making this statement, attack the research data, if you need to attack something.

 

As in so many other instances, what is ultimately at stake regarding this issue is the image of the entire mmj community. If the medical marijuana community does not demonstrate a higher sense of ethical rigor and moral sensitivity than our opponents, then pretty much the cause is lost.

 

And this returns me to the very very poor attitudes and careless charges that are commonly found in this mmj community regarding LEO. To be sure, there is a great deal of injustice against mmj users by LEO. No one disagrees about that. However, in fighting this injustice, advocates, especially its self-appointed leaders, need to be very clear in not suggesting in any way that all LEO is the ultimate enemy and all that they do. I find that there is an incredible lack of clear balance and many careless statements on this site about the wrongs committed by LEO. Someone has said on this site recently, do not believe everything you read in the media. I add, do not believe everything you read about LEO on this web site. Many charges are made against LEO on this site, some for which the factual truth is actually completely unknown--but this is never pointed out. Furthermore, statements that suggest a condemnation of all law enforcement is an injustice of a very serious sort. And it really turns me off. Many advocates complain of mmj users being misunderstood by the general public. Since we are sensitive to this problem, maybe we could extend this sensitivity to other groups who might feel the same way, like LEO. (By the way, let me say what some of your are thinking so you don't have to write it in a post in response, "Na, they’re just all muffin makers,")

 

For a more in depth discussion about marijuana tolerance, addiction and withdrawal go to hollandccc.org and see the “Michigan Medical Marijuana Guide.”

 

Kurt, Director the Holland Compassionate Care Community

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You're ignorant. I smoked for the last 8 years daily. I had to quit for legal reasons as of 3/9/2010, I have been waiting for my probation officer to approve my card and stop my drug tests so I can get off the addictive narcotics that I'm prescribed for my pain. I had no issues quitting, no withdrawls no addictive traits at all.

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Universal agreement that "marijuana" is addictive? :lol: Hell no!

 

 

 

 

Web Chat on Addictions with Dr. Allen Battle, UTMG Clinical Psychologist. (The following is an edited transcript of questions and answers from a web chat held on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 on News Channel 3)

 

Hello, I'm Dr. Allen Battle, a psychologist with UT Medical Group and professor of psychiatry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Today we are talking about addictions.

 

Q: Is marijuana addictive?

 

Dr. Battle: No, marijuana is not addictive. It isn't addictive because the active ingredient in it, THC, does not become a part of the body chemistry. So that then, that body, would be dependent on it just as it is dependent on water or food. That is the essence of addition; it is physiological!

 

Gambling, food, sex, are not addictive. To use the word addiction in connection with these activities is to pervert the meaning of the word addiction. These things can become obsessions, that is to say, thoughts that repeat and repeat in spite of the individual not desiring to have them. They can become compulsions, in which the individual must act upon those thoughts. They can become habitual. They may be used as a way of escaping from problems in the here and now. But none of these things are physiological.

 

Q: So then does an addiction become a compulsion after detoxifying oneself from the chemical?

 

Dr. Battle: The compulsion is more likely to precede addiction. As a matter of fact, an individual who has a very favorable response to that chemical being in the body uses it frequently and therefore may become addicted.

 

Q: Did you say that marijuana is not an addictive drug?

 

Dr. Battle: Yes, marijuana is not an addictive drug because it does not become a vital part of the user's body chemistry.

 

Q: So the long term treatment might be the same for addiction and compulsion?

 

Moderator: the doctor says yes the long term treatment can be the same depending on the psychological status of that particular patient. If there is anything we can say in this field, it is that broad generalizations can lead to serious mistreatment. All abusers are not same psychologically or physiologically.

 

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Sometimes people forget what this is all about and where this started.

 

Its about people, patients specifically, but more or less about PEOPLE. It has become an issue of politics, political image, social stigmas, community image, etc. This is much larger and encompasses more different types of people and viewpoints than most of us can even comprehend. There's good eggs and bad eggs in every bunch. The power of choice and perception is yours.

 

You choose which issues to focus on, and if you wish to focus on the negative ones, that's your choice. By all means, you have that right, and i fully support your right. However, in passing judgment on this group of "people" i would wish to remind you that we all succeed or fail together, and those would seek to separate the group can only bring harm to the people of to this movement.

 

Leaders are born, not chosen. We can't choose what qualities happen to exist in those who rise to a position of influence within a social community. Your a leader of a Compassion club, so you understand what it takes to start something from nothing. In situations where we are dealing with others who aren't presenting reliable information, the best thing we can do is take the time to correct it, and point people in the right direction. This is especially important considering a large portion of our users "lurk" here and take the time to read the thoughts and posts from this community. Everyone who comes here is aware of turbulence caused by some of the people here. We don't need to pretend like it doesn't exist, we just need to demonstrate how to properly react to it.

 

Two things on closing:

 

Everyone loses patience at some point. I've watched many users come and go, and some come back. Perhaps its time for you to step away and take a breath, and refocus on the reasons that originally led you to became a compassion club leader.

 

Please remember that were all in this together.

 

TFB

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Guest Wayne

Cannabis can be addictive! Masterbation can be addictive! So if your diagnosed as obsessive/compulsive for constantly masterbating inform the psychiatrist he's crazy, your an addict. The guys in the black outfits with hoods and white lettering are your friends, welcome them and their weapons with open arms, as many know they will treat you with the highest respect.

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If my wife doesn't get her daily cola she gets a head ache & between you & me gets a little moody. Yes If I have to go with out maybeeeee I get the same way. Am I addicted .......

 

Point is we all get addicted to everything we do. Not just what we put in our bodies but the things we do. And its worse when it comes to the things that bring us pleasure. Its the reason its hard for some to come out of their house or meet new people. We get addicted to our lives and the people we know.

 

Its all about moderation & knowing you can become to dependent on anything. To use MMJ as the prime example of addiction may not be good science either but I do see your point. Alot of people have trouble with moderation & addiction. MMj is at the bottom of the list.

 

Please, I mean no disrespect, This is an intelligent post & I respect the topic, I think most here understand, even if some won't admit, we become dependent on anything that relieves pain & lets us live a better quality of life + the smile thing. Take it away of course that will change.

 

I do appreciate what your trying to say Kurt,...Don't worry so much were gonna be OK.

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There is a difference between physical and mental addiction. Marijuana can be mentally addicting, just like any other routine one incorporates in their life for years. When analyzing a substance, only the physically addictive properties are discussed. Marijuana has none. Going cold turkey on Heroin can kill you, because it is physically addictive.

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Alcohol withdrawl is actually the worst...it kills more often you than you might think

 

Marijuana withdrawl is uncomfortable...especially if its your medicine

 

of course the ailment will be back + its going to be less fun...

 

Its considered psychologically addictive not physically...probably because they had to come up with something...and they cant prove its addictive

 

Trustme...if they could prove it was addictive...it would be all over the place

 

Anything bad about marijuana that can be found has been found and emphesized to the max

 

But I was actually thinking about this last night...all the addictive pharmacutical drugs...all the chemically inhanced street dope

 

...speed...heroin...crack...coke...meth...even extacsy

 

All this stuff can permanentally mess you up...slowly kill you...overdose you

 

Instant death...build a hopeless addiction with tolerence built...not really fun

 

No fun...no good...no help

 

Cannabis is different :D

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There is a difference between physical and mental addiction. Marijuana can be mentally addicting, just like any other routine one incorporates in their life for years. When analyzing a substance, only the physically addictive properties are discussed. Marijuana has none. Going cold turkey on Heroin can kill you, because it is physically addictive.

 

I believe you can get mentally addicted to physical activity . Its still all about chemicals & brain stimulation........................

 

Withdrawals are different but still there. I took myself off the morphine they had me on for 2 yrs. I know what your talking about. Its all the same just to a different degree.........

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There is a difference between physical and mental addiction. Marijuana can be mentally addicting, just like any other routine one incorporates in their life for years. When analyzing a substance, only the physically addictive properties are discussed. Marijuana has none. Going cold turkey on Heroin can kill you, because it is physically addictive.

 

I agree.

 

Silverblue

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Cannabis can be addictive! Masterbation can be addictive! So if your diagnosed as obsessive/compulsive for constantly masterbating inform the psychiatrist he's crazy, your an addict. The guys in the black outfits with hoods and white lettering are your friends, welcome them and their weapons with open arms, as many know they will treat you with the highest respect.

 

 

he he he said obsessive/compulsive masterbating!! tongue.gif

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From the 58 page michiganmedicalmarijuanaguide:

 

The most habit-forming drug is nicotine with 33% of those who try cigarettes becoming addicts. For cocaine about 17% become addicted, for heroin

25%, for alcohol about 15%. Developing severe addictions to opiate based painkillers, such as Vicodin, Oxicontin and Percocet occurs for about 10% of patients who are prescribed them. In comparison, marijuana addiction occurs for about 9% of all persons who have ever tried it.

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Cannabis can be addictive! Masterbation can be addictive! So if your diagnosed as obsessive/compulsive for constantly masterbating inform the psychiatrist he's crazy, your an addict. The guys in the black outfits with hoods and white lettering are your friends, welcome them and their weapons with open arms, as many know they will treat you with the highest respect.

W,

I enjoyed the read and the humor...

thanks

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Universal agreement that "marijuana" is addictive? :lol: Hell no!

 

The female perspective...

 

This is about the most basic of explanations i have read, written by Dr. Theresa Crenshaw, a well-known endocrinologist and hormone expert, of what affect marijuana and other influences have on our body chemistry:

 

PHENYLETHAMINE, OR PEA

 

also known as 'the molecule of love", PEA is a natural form of amphetamine, that our own body produces. High PEA levels have been found in the bloodstream of lovers, probably accounting for the limerance that consumes them both. Chocolate also contains high levels of PEA.

 

What is PEA?

 

PEA is a formidible substance with a distinct personality and considerable influence over us. It occurs naturally in our system and fluctuates according to our thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

 

Most people don't know that PEA:

 

-rises with romance

-increases in response to nice weather

-can cause depression, at low levels

-can cause psychosis, at high levels

 

PEA:

 

-works as an antidepressent in both sexes

-is similar to amphetamine and works like a diet pill

 

We can influence PEA by:

 

-MAO inhibitors/antidepressents

-chocolate

-diet soft drinks

-artificial sweeteners

-romance

-marijuana

 

so i guess if im gonna be 'addicted" to cannabis the way i am to sunny days, falling in love and eating chocolate...so be it

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No. It is NOT addictive.

 

However, all the pills (opiates) your doctor prescribes you are.

 

Whoever, this person is that started this thread obviously has an axe to grind with some club or some person.

 

Why not just be up front about who you have issues with?

 

Mizerman

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The female perspective...

 

This is about the most basic of explanations i have read, written by Dr. Theresa Crenshaw, a well-known endocrinologist and hormone expert, of what affect marijuana and other influences have on our body chemistry:

 

PHENYLETHAMINE, OR PEA

 

also known as 'the molecule of love", PEA is a natural form of amphetamine, that our own body produces. High PEA levels have been found in the bloodstream of lovers, probably accounting for the limerance that consumes them both. Chocolate also contains high levels of PEA.

 

What is PEA?

 

PEA is a formidible substance with a distinct personality and considerable influence over us. It occurs naturally in our system and fluctuates according to our thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

 

Most people don't know that PEA:

 

-rises with romance

-increases in response to nice weather

-can cause depression, at low levels

-can cause psychosis, at high levels

 

PEA:

 

-works as an antidepressent in both sexes

-is similar to amphetamine and works like a diet pill

 

We can influence PEA by:

 

-MAO inhibitors/antidepressents

-chocolate

-diet soft drinks

-artificial sweeteners

-romance

-marijuana

 

so i guess if im gonna be 'addicted" to cannabis the way i am to sunny days, falling in love and eating chocolate...so be it

GREAT POST!!!

 

Mizerman :)

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