Wednesday November 21, 2018

Smoking marijuana may lead non-smokers to cigarettes

As cannabis use is much more common than cannabis use disorder, its potential impact on cigarette use in the general community may be greater than estimates based on studies of cannabis use disorder alone, the researchers said

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Cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Pixabay
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If you only smoke marijuana there are higher chances that you may end up smoking cigarettes too, a new study suggests. According to the researchers, cannabis use is associated with an increased initiation of cigarette smoking among non-cigarette smokers.

While cigarette smoking has long been on the decline, marijuana use is on the rise and, disproportionately, marijuana users also smoke cigarettes, the researcher said.

Marijuana use can increase cigarette use too. VOA

“Understanding the potential links between cannabis use and cigarette initiation in youth is needed given that recent data suggest that cannabis use is more common among adolescents than cigarette use,” said co-author Renee Goodwin from the Mailman School of Public Health.

The analyses for the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, were based on data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005, and responses from 34,639 individuals.

Also Read: Stop smoking and eat healthy to avoid obesity

The results suggested that marijuana use — even in the absence of cannabis use disorder — is associated with increased odds of smoking onset, relapse, and persistence.

They also found adults who smoke cigarettes and use cannabis are less likely to quit smoking cigarettes than those who do not use cannabis. Former smokers who use cannabis are also more likely to relapse to cigarette smoking, the researcher said.

Cigarette smoking can be increased in youngsters due to use of marijuana. Pixabay

“Developing a better understanding of the relationship between marijuana use and cigarette use transitions is critical and timely as cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease, and use of cannabis is on the rise in the US,” Goodwin said.

As cannabis use is much more common than cannabis use disorder, its potential impact on cigarette use in the general community may be greater than estimates based on studies of cannabis use disorder alone, the researchers said. IANS

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Here’s How Cannabis Affect Women

However, the human data so far is consistent with the idea that oestradiol regulates the female response to cannabinoids

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Why cannabis affects women different, Read here. Pixabay

Hormones could be the reason why cannabis affects women differently than men, brain studies on animals and humans suggest.

The studies showed that sex differences in response to cannabis are not just socio-cultural, but biological too.

The findings showed that men are up to four times more likely to try cannabis and use higher doses, more frequently.

“Male sex steroids increase risk-taking behaviour and suppress the brain’s reward system which could explain why males are more likely to try drugs including cannabis,” said Liana Fattore, Senior Researcher at the National Research Council of Italy.

“This is true for both natural male sex steroids like testosterone and synthetic steroids like nandrolone.”

But despite lower average cannabis use, women go from first hit to habit faster than men.

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An employee inspects the leaf of a cannabis plant at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel. (VOA)

In fact, men and women differ not only in the prevalence and frequency of cannabis use, pattern and reasons of use, but also in the vulnerability to develop cannabis use disorder.

“Females seem to be more vulnerable, at a neurochemical level, in developing addiction to cannabis,” Fattore explained, in the paper published in the journal Frontiers in behavioural Neuroscience.

“As a result, the interactions between the endocannabinoid system and the brain level of dopamine — the neurotransmitter of “pleasure” and “reward” are sex-dependent.”

The inconsistency of conditions in these studies greatly complicates interpretation of an already complex role of sex hormones in the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid sensitivity.

However, the human data so far is consistent with the idea that oestradiol regulates the female response to cannabinoids.

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As in animals, human males and females are diverse in their genetic and hormonally driven behaviour and they process information differently, perceive emotions in different ways and are differently vulnerable to develop drug addiction.

“Blood levels of enzymes which break down cannabinoids fluctuate across the human menstrual cycle, and imaging studies show that brain levels of cannabinoid receptors increase with ageing in females — mirroring in each case changes in oestradiol levels,” Fattore said. (IANS)