Pot-smoking style linked to addiction risk

Comments (37)
fakeat wrote:

William Burroughs, a heroin addict for over thirty years, coined the concept of “The Drug Industry” and it is alive and well. The failure to understand what drugs are and how we respond.
Billions spent, many salaries paid to many people and a structure that is pure capitalism. After all, there is about 50 billion involved and there are many studies that show many things and
yet…..This study shows some of the lack of any meaningful purpose. You see, in the little town where I live, in a 5 mile radius there are 25 places you can buy alcohol. Surely, by now , we could concentrate on the real “Hard” drug problem.The study showed that potheads are just like any other group. Some smart, some not so smart and pot is going to affect them in various ways. WOW!!!
I would love to have my four years back (Almost three in San
!Quentin)for violating the “Health and Safety Code in California for
13 ounces of pot. Why don’t they treat the alcohol problem that kills tens of thousands every year. Heres one for the “Scientists”:

Q. What is the difference between a man high on pot and a man who is drunk when they see a stop sign while driving?
A.The man high on alcohol does not see the sign and
runs it. The man high on pot stops and waits for it to change.

Mar 28, 2014 4:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Sometimes… it just becomes clear, I am in the wrong field of science.

“To simulate real-world conditions, smokers were asked to bring their own cannabis and to roll their own joints.”

That Peggy, is just classic.

Mar 28, 2014 7:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
3957bc wrote:

What about methods of smoking other than joints?

Spliffs (mixing with tobacco) definitely are more addictive because of the combination with nicotine. When users smoke out of a pipe or bong they usually smoke the same amount of marijuana continuously over a longer period of time rather than in burst intervals, as with joints.

Also joints are smoked more in social situations than pipes or bongs, which are easier to smoke alone.

These are all important figures to consider in such a study, not everyone smokes joints (and believe me most young smokers don’t even know how to roll one)

Mar 28, 2014 7:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Marijuana is NOT physically addictive and the worst withdrawal symptom users experience when they quit is being grumpy.

At most, some people can become psychologically dependent, the same way people can become dependent on coffee. Even that’s going too far because quitting coffee can initially cause headaches for some people, where marijuana has no physical withdrawal symptoms.

I really wish the people studying it would make that distinction, especially when they’re talking to the media.

Mar 28, 2014 8:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bachcole wrote:

There is no freaking addiction with marijuana other than a social addiction and perhaps a psychological addiction. I did in for 2.5 years on the late 1960′s, hard toking every day all day long, and I quite merely by changing friends. I had no withdrawal WHATSOEVER. I get more withdrawal from Hershey Kisses than I did with marijuana. So, in my opinion, the entire study was a waste of taxpayer’s money. And I say this as someone who reluctantly accepts the legalization of pot. It is just no damn good, just like alcohol. Only tiny, weak people depend upon intoxicants to get high. There are much healthier ways to get loaded, like yoga, meditation, tai chi, selfless service, prayer, exercise, etc.

Mar 28, 2014 8:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Politicalzoo wrote:

Dependent and addicted are not interchangeable…
I smell an alternative motive here.

Mar 28, 2014 9:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fakeat wrote:

Another waste of time and money. I have been smoking for 55 years and now that I have Prostate Cancer and Hep C I use it for medicinal purpose and it works very well. My background include 18 months in Korea (Remember that war? It was in the papers.) and Law School and 4 years in prison for Possession of 13 ounces of pot.Leave us weed heads alone and worry about stopping the harm that alcohol does-over 20ver 89, thousands deaths in 2013 according to the Center for Disease Control.

Mar 28, 2014 9:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Frangelico wrote:

Looking forward to your article about the addiction of babies to milk.

Mar 28, 2014 9:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Georgia_Jim wrote:

That is why Pot should be legalized, it can be control much better than it is now. Also, we would get tax dollars to help solve the problem, unlike now where the tax payers foot the bill for a hopeless war on drugs.

Mar 28, 2014 10:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BostonPaul1 wrote:

I Like Sugar; I think I’m addicted to sugar; Ban Sugar?

Mar 28, 2014 10:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
talkinghead52 wrote:

What this article leaves out is something that is heavily weighed in prescribing psychotropic drugs to chronically mentally ill patients. And that is how fast the patient metabolizes the drug and clears it from their system. Their are “rapid metabolizers” who sometimes require very high doses to control their symptoms and behavior and “slow metabolizers” who sometimes require exceeding low doses of the same drug to avoid being over medicated and developing severe side effects. Whether you are a slow metabolizer or a fast metabolizer is strictly genetic to the best of our knowledge; psychotropic drugs and other medications are cleared through the liver and/or kidneys. People’s reactions to drug dosages vary enormously. If this fact is taken in to consideration the findings of this study become essentially meaningless. Another limitation is that the population was largely young adult males in addition to the small N. The generalizations that are drawn are rather amazing and I am neutral on the subject of legalizing marijuana and do not use it myself.

Mar 29, 2014 1:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Blacklungz wrote:

Actually, it varies with people, I have been smoking for 30+ years, but have never had any issues stopping, it sucked, but I have stopped 100′s of times, sometimes for years at a time, most likely months though. However, I get withdrawal symptoms, mostly diarrhea and mega dreaming for a few days of not smoking when smoking everyday for months or years at a time. But what this article fails to mention is: what’s wrong with THC? article continually speaks as if THC is bad for you. Has there been recent evidence claiming THC causes addiction? or death? NO. So this article is irrelevant to begin with. For the last time, it’s not the pot, it’s the person. If pot caused laziness or whatever stupid stereotype’s weed gets, then everyone would be that way………and we’re not.

Mar 29, 2014 1:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Blacklungz wrote:

Only weak tiny people get high? Do you mean the 70 percent of NBA basketball players? or Michael Phelps? maybe Bill Gates? or 1/2 of the NFL football players? Maybe you mean George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, or better yet, Albert Einstein, all smokers and supporters of both weed and hemp. OH, and yeah, it’s re-legalization, people keep forgetting weed was legal in America all the way up until 1937, in which it was made illegal.

Mar 29, 2014 1:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
alwaysskeptic wrote:

Many years ago there was a distinction between psychological dependence and addiction. The difference had to do with severity of withdrawal, i.e., addiction causing delirium tremens upon withdrawal. Now-a-days, sadly, everything is labeled as addiction.

Mar 29, 2014 6:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Barbd wrote:


Mar 29, 2014 9:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
DavidAer wrote:

People with personalities that are prone to addictive behavior are more likely to display addictive behavior. This study could have been repeated with leisure activities like gambling, gaming or even sex and shown the same results.
This is not so much a study, more like a technique for linking things together that have no natural link.

Mar 29, 2014 9:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gandalf420 wrote:

This is probably the most poorly written article I’ve read in a good long while. Most of it could have been said in a single paragraph.

Was the editor and/or author taking part in the experiment?

Mar 29, 2014 10:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
markavelli69 wrote:

Smokers acquire a high tolerance to the drug quite easily. Its very common to stop for 5 days to reset your tolerance level. This FACT, in itself shows that higher potency leads to more use.
Not sure why they needed a study….

Btw, very Funny reading everyone’s denialist comments about addiction. “psychological” or “social” addiction is still an addiction. Either you can stop cold turkey or you can’t.

Mar 29, 2014 11:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
markavelli69 wrote:

Do I see some fungus on one of those buds???

Mar 29, 2014 11:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:

markavelli69 – It would appear so. Poorly cured. Time to change coffee shops.

Mar 29, 2014 12:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rikfre wrote:

the same can be said of alcohol, caffeine,nicotine…and sugar…

Mar 29, 2014 12:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BatRastardson wrote:

markavelli69 – “This FACT, in itself shows that higher potency leads to more use.”

I question that nuance. I read your assertion to define “more use” exclusively as larger quantities, counteracting the effects of tolerance. The other variable here is frequency of use; i.e., how many days of use per given period of time.

Those two facets do not have a direct correlation to each other, so each is interesting in its own right.

I ignore the aspect of how many hours of one’s waking life are spent seeking out or being under the influence, because – in my own experience – any use has some residual psychological effect on an entire day, regardless of amount. The count or percentage of affected days is more meaningful in that context.

Mar 29, 2014 12:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Element3 wrote:

Peggy needs to modify her thesis.
It’s interesting the author chose a mini-bong for the report’s image, considering this small study focused specifically on joint smoking. Most cannabis consumers know that, although convenient, smoking via joint results in a significant waste of precious stash. A more comprehensive study approach would include analyzing the chronic effects of more potent forms of ingestion like pipes, water pipes, and vaporizers and increasing the size of the test group (not likely difficult). She might even consider including hash and oil along with buds.
However, regardless of the study’s scope, it is a forgone conclusion that the potency of most homegrown and “commercially available” cannabis today is significantly more concentrated. But more importantly, much like alcohol, the long-term effects of the toxin THC (including addiction and associated rituals of consumption) will take a negative toll on a certain percentage of users and society (physiologically, psychologically, and economically) given it’s growing acceptance. It’s our ability understand those effects that may help us better cope.

Mar 29, 2014 1:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BatRastardson wrote:

The media and most proponents are happy to share the results of studies that claim there is no risk of addiction or harm. I am a proponent, but I’m experienced (old) enough to understand my history and that of other users I’ve been around.

Marijuana is an escape vehicle, as is alcohol. To claim that it enhances the quality of a natural life, other than the pain management aspects, is a seriously deluded argument that will never be supported by science.

While it does not hurt anyone to get a buzz once in awhile, there is no denying that it alters your outlook. It shields you from certain emotional interactions — call it personal intimacy — that contribute to the maturation process.

Restated: I know many people who ceased growing emotionally when they began routine (daily) pot consumption. In twenty years, they physically aged twenty years; emotionally, not at all. They were in their forties, and still had emotionally immature reactions to love and conflict relationships.

Fortunately I put it away for several years, and I’m beginning to catch up. I would no sooner think about hitting the bowl every day than I would having vodka for breakfast. I like both pot and vodka, but there is a time and place.

Mar 29, 2014 1:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RisingNimbus wrote:

This study is laughable. Puffing volume? Puff the magic dragon? BYOP and roll your own torpedoes? This whole thing sounds like Saturday night live or something from the Onion. Talking about blood levels with no blood level results… Pass me that thing… and after a little more “puffing” I may be able to stop laughing. OMG it’s Reefer Madness!!

Mar 29, 2014 1:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
patty1933 wrote:

i do not believe this is a way to stronger drugs if you do not take it withdrawal is simple you might be crabby it dose not make you sick i do not do other drugs and have no desire to do so , there giving it a bad rep .
i have quit it was not bad at all the truth is i want marijuana is to not go on stronger drugs i wish they would be better informed for me its life saver this way i dont have to take tons of pills i have no choice my conditione is progressive and very painful

Mar 29, 2014 5:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Aretino wrote:

Unless I’m not reading this right, the criteria for what constitutes dependence are never specified, so the whole thing is as clear as mud. It is my experience that smokers’ usage levels change over the long term, and are not determined by the first couple of years. Most of the smokers I know from the 60s have either decreased their consumption, become occasional smokers or stopped. After about 55 years of smoking MJ, I smoke daily, but not much. I don’t give a fig what the academic definition of dependence may be, it’s no particular problem for me not to smoke. I just prefer to.

Mar 29, 2014 5:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
arataranain wrote:

I like how it all the sources go BACK to reuters. This isn’t a loaded article or anything.

Mar 29, 2014 6:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
justamaz wrote:

Addiction is questionable, but loss of brain cells is a proven fact.

Mar 29, 2014 7:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Duh-Huh wrote:

SUUUUUUUUUFFFTT…..(cough,cough)..What???? Here….pass it on,Dude.

Mar 29, 2014 7:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sgreco1970 wrote:

A study no doubt funded by the right. Nice try.

Mar 30, 2014 8:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
sgreco1970 wrote:

A study no doubt funded by the right. Nice try.

Mar 30, 2014 8:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:

justamaz wrote “Addiction is questionable, but loss of brain cells is a proven fact.”

Please provide a link to the peer-reviewed scientific research study showing that cannabis kills brain cells.

I’m confident that we’ll get nothing from you, because there are no such studies. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Just keep fabricating your “facts” if it fits your narrative, but understand that you’ll be asked for evidence every time.

Mar 30, 2014 12:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GanjaGrouch wrote:

Habit equals addiction now.

If I’m an avid consumer of coffee and I bump my dose up to a venti cappuccino, I’ll probably buy a similarly large or near large container each time I go. Even if I quit drinking coffee, I’m more likely to return and overdose. It’s human nature, not something related at all to cannabis. Go big or go home, it’s a mentality shared by a lot of consumers.

The ‘problem’ with cannabis is how harmless it is. Whereas an overdose of caffeine becomes more apparent on the body negatively(increased urination/stress on kidneys, dehydration, headaches, shakes, etc), it can’t compared at all to an overdose of cannabis(especially for an experienced user). The effect of caffeine on the body is more dramatic than cannabis when dose is taken into consideration. You can only feel so stoned or suffer so much from dry mouth — but with caffeine you can risk dying from dehydration. This allows users to abuse cannabis more frequently without suffering as many consequences as other chemicals(caffeine, sugar, salt, cholesterol, opiates, ethanol, etc).

Rather than focusing on the substance, which is completely inert without human interaction/consumption, we should focus on the addicts. It’s not heroin that makes someone a junkie, it’s a disease or frame of mind that put them in that predicament. It’s a human being seeking escaping from reality through substance abuse, a classic trope in society that we’ll see played out until we either eliminate all substances or embrace our addictions.

Mar 30, 2014 12:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Paulpot wrote:

Nothing here about pipe smokers.

Mar 30, 2014 7:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Nyom wrote:

Been an almost daily pot user for 15 years, and I can tell you I could live without it if I want to. Quitting cigarettes has been harder for me than quitting pot. When i used to smoke cigarettes, I couldn’t be more than an hour without having one of those cancer lollypops, meanwhile, I could be weeks and months without getting some THC into my body and no signs of anxiety, desperation, etc… We pot users fall in love with the lifestyle and calmness it brings us to our chaotic life, so that could be easily mistaken by non-users as addiction. I try to get Sativa mostly since it improves my concentration and makes me focus better on what I do.

On the other side, alcohol is harmful, addictive, makes you aggressive, dumb, stupid and it could kill you if you get intoxicated by drinking so much…. and is legal. But then why something so harmful is legal? $$$$, that explains it all. Alcohol pays billions in taxes. You need to drink several drinks or beers to get into a cool mood, and it goes away if you eat, so you must drink more to stay in the mood and if you do you may get a hangover the next day. On the other side, with pot you only need to take 2 or 3 puffs and you’re cool. It will stay if you eat (and you will eat!), and at the end is cheaper than buying drinks the whole night. You may get into a “bad trip” but in all my 15 years of pot smoking I’ve only gotten into a bad trip twice, both on my first month, but I discovered it was because I smoked a cigarette right after smoking pot, after discovering why i’ve never gotten into one again. BTW, have you ever heard of anyone dying from an pot overdose???? I guess not cause you cant overdose from it.

So in my humble opinion I bet theres millions of dollars running by lobbyists in the congress trying not to get it legal because it does a great harm to the alcohol industry. BTW, do you have any idea why and how got illegal in the USA? You will be amazed when you read the reasons, it all ends up in prejudice, racism and ignorance.
Theres many articles where you can read about it, for the lazy ones heres a link: http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/

Of course, accidents could happen if you smoke pot a lot, especially Indiga since thats the strain that “stones” you, but if you are a responsible user, know your limits and educate yourself, you may live a life using cannabis without anyone ever knowing or suspect you do. I try not to drive after smoking but I can do it with confidence if i want to.

Mar 31, 2014 10:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Paulpot wrote:

What about pipe smokers, bong smokers and vaporizers.

Apr 01, 2014 10:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.