Marijuana addiction – Literature search results on marijuana facts

My recent post on marijuana’s addictive potential received some scathing comments from readers who seem to think that the scientists have already agreed that marijuana addiction (called marijuana dependence in the field) does not exist. So, I’ve compiled this little list of research articles. I’ve made certain to only use articles that have been cited often (in other work), meaning that their content has made an impact. Each of these papers has been cited at least 50 times (except for the very recent last review with about 40). Once again, I find it odd that only marijuana users are so insistent about their drug having no negative aspects whatsoever.

1. Laura Jean Bierut, MD; Stephen H. Dinwiddie, MD; Henri Begleiter, MD; Raymond R. Crowe, MD; Victor Hesselbrock, PhD; John I. Nurnberger, Jr, MD, PhD; Bernice Porjesz, PhD; Marc A. Schuckit, MD; Theodore Reich, MD (1998). Familial Transmission of Substance Dependence: Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, and Habitual Smoking. Archives of General Psychiatry, 55, pp. 982-988.

2. Budney A. J.; Novy P. L.; Hughes J. R (1999). Marijuana withdrawal among adults seeking treatment for marijuana dependence. Addiction, 94, pp. 1311-1322.

3. AJ Budney, ST Higgins, KJ Radonovich, PL Novy (2000). Adding voucher-based incentives to coping skills and motivational enhancement improves outcomes during treatment for marijuana dependence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 1051-1061.

4. William R. True, Andrew C. Heath, Jeffrey F. Scherrer, Hong Xian, Nong Lin, Seth A. Eisen, Michael J. Lyons, Jack Goldberg, Ming T. Tsuang (1999). Interrelationship of genetic and environmental influences on conduct disorder and alcohol and marijuana dependence symptoms. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 8, 391-397.

5. Aimee L. McRae, Pharm.D., Alan J. Budney, Ph.D., Kathleen T. Brady, M.D., Ph.D. (2003). Treatment of marijuana dependence: a review of the literature. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 24, 369-376.

4 responses to “Marijuana addiction – Literature search results on marijuana facts”

  1. Thank you for taking the time to compile this list. I have found similar backlash when talking about alcohol addiction. But, a list like you’ve posted here can help those who are uncertain or new to the discussion better understand the disease of addiction (whether it’s marijuana or alcohol or another drug, for that matter).

  2. Hello,

    I am no longer a user of marijuana, however, I have personal experience, and I have done much research on the topic, mainly out of curiosity of what the facts are of the business without a biased opinion. If you dig a little deeper, you may find that there is a lot of controversy on this subject, and a lot of it is provided by the NIDA, affiliated organizations, or those who have received grants for NIDA’s cause. You also must remember that the original reason cannabis (marijuana) was illegalized to begin with was because of fear campaigns due to hemp being a more cost efficient method of creating things such as paper. Therefore, you must rule that the sources that have been cited in the past may have been biased as well. If you search for the general consensus, you will find that it has been theorized (if not proven) that any cannabis addiction is merely psychological, and not physiological. As we all know, anything can be psychologically addictive, and that is not restricted to substances. Video games, movies, and random human behavior have all been known to be psychologically addictive to specific persons. Therefore, you must take this into consideration, as well. I’m not denying that there is a potential to be addicted to cannabis. HOWEVER, cannabis in and of itself is not addictive, but rather the user’s perception of it. I have not used cannabis for a year and a half, although I used to be a daily user. It was difficult for me, simply because I wanted to use it, however, I did not experience withdrawls from it, and it was not an extremely difficult struggle for me to stay away from it. There were times when a bowl was passed around directly in front of me, and I refrained from taking a hit. Does that sound like an addict?

    • Thank you for your contribution Shaldares,
      Unfortunately, specific examples do not violate rules, so the fact that you or I did not become addicted to marijuana does not mean that no one can or that others don’t. Also, I have to take issue with the NIDA comment – I have personally conducted NIDA funded research as have many of my colleagues and I can tell you that while they do control what is and isn’t funded they have no hand in the results of conducted studies and in the likelihood of their publication. I also disagree with the specific reason you give for marijuana’s legal status as the first law I know of the essentially banned its sale had much to do, as far as I know, with its psychoactive properties.
      Additionally, I would venture to ask you where the psychological and physical are separated – Is the brain not a physical part of the body and the source of our psychology? If you agree that it is than “psychological” addiction are actually physical addictions that take place in the brain.
      Lastly, marijuana withdrawal has been documented by numerous sources. Once again, just because you did not experience it does not mean it does not exist – I never suffered the depression many report when withdrawing from methamphetamine but I still believe others when they report it.

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