Smoking Marijuana Connected To Nicotine Addiction
Articles / Blog
04-24-13 Category: Addiction Treatment

Marijuana is constantly referred to as the gateway drug, but doesn’t that mean into the use of harder drugs? Not necessarily.

New studies show that smoking marijuana is connected to nicotine addiction. What are your thoughts?

Is this because marijuana is not physically addictive, but the sensation of smoking something leads to an enjoyment for smoking cigarettes? And since nicotine is addictive, marijuana smokers who like smoking cigarettes then become addicted to them?

It is an interesting discovery, isn’t it?

Studies have been conducted on mice. The mice that were given THC were found to want nicotine more and to work harder for a nicotine fix than the mice who were given the non-THC placebo. Nicotine seemed like a need for the mice who had been given THC, while the other mice did not want it and would not work hard for it.

The results cannot be applied to humans, but the behavior of these mice does raise the question: is marijuana a gateway drug for nicotine addiction? And further, since mice given THC did not have a higher desire for a cocaine or heroin fix as they did for nicotine, is there a neurological (brain) correlation between marijuana and nicotine? Can that translate to humans?

Additional research is definitely needed to even begin to answer those questions, but think about the people you know who smoke weed, cigarettes, or both. If marijuana was more physically addictive, would those people be addicted? Would the people who only smoke cigarettes take a liking to marijuana if they tried it? And do the people who smoke prefer one over the other, or did they start smoking marijuana and then start wanting nicotine?

Maybe the reward system of the brain receives marijuana and nicotine in the same way, so the pleasure of each seems similar.

Do you think smoking marijuana is connected to nicotine addiction?

Blog post by: Marissa Maldonado

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