submitted 10 months ago by btaf45 to c/science
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[-] paultimate14 160 points 10 months ago

For decades, weed’s deleterious health effects were exaggerated, experts said, leading to excessive criminalization

This line fron the article is exactly why I'm skeptical. I had to sit through tons of middle school and high school programs that lied to me about the physiological effects of marijuana. This article itself opens with an anecdote about one individual, but fails to identify any academic study suggesting physiological addiction because... There is none.

Psychological addiction is real. There's a reason that in most places any gambling advertisements have to include a warning and a hotline. The problem is that these sensationalist articles never make the distinction between psychological and physiological addiction. This article mentions when the case study first tried marijuana, but fails to detail the circumstances of her life, her personality, and other factors that can contribute to psychological addiction.

Add in that the medical marijuana industry is trying to replace the very physiological addictive (and profitable) pain medications... Add that to the years of lies in schools and media... Forgive me for not trusting this BS at all.

[-] [email protected] 44 points 10 months ago

I had hoped there would be a significant study I could read but it’s just the same reefer madness we’ve seen for decades.

It will be great when it’s finally fully legal and we can do real science on it.

[-] Lowered_lifted 27 points 10 months ago

You're right not to trust this BS at all. It's straight up reefer madness propaganda. It's widely acknowledged that anything pleasurable can be addictive, that doesn't mean we need to ban gambling or alcohol or weed.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 10 months ago

I’m not the biggest smoker, but still a few grams a day and withdrawal is real. There is a physical side to it, it’s pretty mild like with coffee but it’s certainly unenjoyable.

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[-] TurnItOff_OnAgain 9 points 10 months ago

Very anecdotal, but I know multiple people who are addicted. Could very well be psychological, but if they go more than a day or two without smoking they are terrible to be around. Which sucks because I'm stuck with

A) don't be around them

B) be around them while they are baked and smell

C) be around them while they are terrible

I've been sticking with A for the time being, but it sucks because I feel like I've already lost a few friends when I stopped smoking and it seems like that is their whole life.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago)

Crazy that you're getting downvoted for this. I smoke occasionally, but used to smoke daily and had to quit cold turkey for over a year. I now (almost 3 years since I first stopped cold turkey) refuse to have any marijuana on me and only smoke on the occasion that I'm out with friends and it's offered to me. That ends up being about one toke a month. Irritability and bad mood for chronic smokers when they haven't smoked enough to get withdrawals is common enough (anecdotally from my own experience quitting and seeing others around me struggling with it as well).

Especially if someone has quit and finds the smell off-putting or doesn't like to be around people who are either constantly baked or very irritable, this point of view is perfectly valid and adds to the conversation. Don't downvote just because you personally disagree.

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[-] [email protected] 9 points 10 months ago

This this this.

Also, rat studies indicate that environment plays a large role in the symptoms we see as addiction - the inability to stop, constantly seeking more of the drug, etc. These symptoms tend to stop when the rats had adequate engagement, weren't overcrowded, etc. Even when they continued to have access to the drug, they tended to stop.

We saw something similar in humans after Vietnam. The soldiers over there were doing any and everything to avoid the horrors of war. Even when they came back with PTSD, we didn't see a huge uptick in drug addiction. This requires a lot more study, but there are some pretty good indications that people get addicted when their lives suck and they don't see any workable options available to change their situation. Addiction may be a disease based in despair more than an innate status in the brain.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago)

The other thing that's kind of questionable was that she was able to stop during her pregnancy. Like, when she knew she really had to stop, she did. This is basically in the same level as video game addiction. It's not the drug. It's the situation. Sure, she should be able to get help, but it's not really marijuana specific help she needs

[-] [email protected] 5 points 10 months ago

Marijuana is considered physiologically addictive.

From UpToDate:

In a national survey of 1527 cannabis users who reported at least three times per week use, the most common symptoms of withdrawal were sleep difficulty (14 percent), irritability or anger (14 percent), anxiety (13 percent), headache (12 percent), and depressed mood (11 percent). Other symptoms such as restlessness, decreased appetite or weight loss, abdominal pain, shaking or tremors, sweating, and fever or chills have been described.

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[-] [email protected] 4 points 9 months ago

It’s a “gateway” drug is my personal favourite. Yeah marijuana may not be as bad a heroin but it leads to heroin so you know, don’t do it!

Hey don’t eat that carrot! Why? It’s a gateway food to candy!


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[-] ren 79 points 10 months ago

Not too surprising. A good rule of thumb is, anything that gives you joy, happiness, or helps with pain & sadness, can be addictive. It can definitely be used as crutch vs. dealing with the underlying issues (such as anxiety).

However, there's a difference between that kind of addiction and chemical addiction which I don't see mentioned in the article. It seems to focus on the crutch aspect, not things like physical ailments from withdrawals and that sort of thing. It's hard to tell.

Generally, moderation should be the key and if you are using it to avoid things that maybe therapy would help with - that's not ideal.

[-] [email protected] 34 points 10 months ago

For some opioids withdrawal can be life threatening. There's a distinct contrast between chemical and psychological dependence.

[-] ren 7 points 10 months ago
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[-] [email protected] 28 points 9 months ago

People can get addicted to literally - as in really - everything.

Stop selling soda, people get addicted. Stop selling McDonald's, people get addicted, etc

People need to learn self control. Period.

[-] girthero 19 points 9 months ago

I've always looked at 'marijuana addiction' as more of a symptom of bigger problems such as depression. if you're not depressed quitting weed should be no problem. If they weren't going to self medicate with weed they'd likely do it with something much worse anyway so we should stop blaming weed for people's problems.

[-] PutangInaMo 5 points 9 months ago

It's definitely self medicating and as long as it doesn't disrupt your life and goals, have at it. I started consuming again recently due to depression and it has helped me immensely.

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[-] atticus88th 5 points 9 months ago

The only thing that TLC has taught me is that people can get addicted to anything.

[-] Alteon 26 points 10 months ago

I don't know how I feel about this. I regularly smoke/use edibles, and I get that it can easily become habitual. You get home afterwork, smoke a bowl, and get on with your life.

But not once have I ever felt that I NEED to smoke. I've been using for over 4 years now. I grow my own. I make my own oils and edibles. I've never felt that it's something that I need to do. For example, I can very easily stop for a few weeks and suffer literally zero withdrawal from it. So, I don't really understand what's so "addicting" about it.

[-] thorbot 11 points 10 months ago

You can be addicted to the feeling of mellow and high that marijuana gives you, that’s psychological addiction. It’s the same as how you can become addicted to eating oreos. You can stop eating oreos or smoking weed and physically be fine, no withdrawals. But psychologically, you may feel the need to go back to it.

[-] Alteon 18 points 10 months ago

If you can be "psychologically addicted" to anything, then why label marijuana specifically as "addicting"? We don't label wintergreen mints as psychologically addicting, even though some people will routinely crush a bag of them in one sitting. It seems that we're misattributing the human, habit-forming parts of ourselves (or possibly our need for pleasure) as a negative-characteristic of marijuana, and I don't think that's being genuine to the problems.

Articles like this only further the demonization of marijuana and give cause to ban it.

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[-] [email protected] 8 points 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago)

the same that leads to the harder to beat parts of nicotine addiction: A mixture of having a habit and using it as a coping mechanism. If putting the green glasses on becomes how you deal with negativity in your life, cutting the stuff loose will be incredibly hard. If you always dealt with shit that went on by making yourself chemically happy, how are you supposed to know how to deal with shit that goes on without that? This is the main issue with most mind-altering things, be it nicotine, caffeine, or even fitness exercises. The other part is that an addiction is often just a habit that has gotten too far. This can make an addiction out of literally anything.

[-] Alteon 11 points 10 months ago

By your argument then, it's not the weed thats addicting. It's a human, habit-forming mechanism. You said it yourself, that you "can make an addiction out of literally anything."

So, I'm still at the same impasse. Why blame weed for what is clearly a human issue? It seems to me that we need to figure out better coping mechanisms, and how to break bad habits. Articles like this will only demonize cannabis, especially in a time when things are about to change for the better.

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[-] [email protected] 7 points 10 months ago

Nicotine addiction isn't the same. That's physiological. Same with alcohol. It's literally changing your body chemistry and that creates the addiction. This is emotional/psychological addiction. It's like video games or sex. You can become addicted to it, but it's the exception, not the rule.

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[-] AncientFutureNow 23 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

So, where's the science in this article? I just read a bunch of fear mongering and feels. ...and a whole lot of stories and sources from red states.

[-] [email protected] 16 points 10 months ago

Why would you post such a bland panorama piece on a science channel? There was nothing scientific in that drivel.

[-] paultimate14 11 points 10 months ago

Are you suggesting that the scientific method involves more than an anecdote about Courtney's feelings?

[-] liontigerwings 15 points 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago)

I feel like the pendulum of how safe or dangerous weed is has spun back in the opposite direction. At the end of the day weed is a drug. There's worse things out there's but it's not harmless. I know potheads who look at it like it's another green leafy vegetable that also cures cancer.

Edit: I just realized this is the science community. This article is not science. It's news or maybe an editorial. There's plenty of legit studies to post if we want to have this discussion.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago)

I mean, l-theanine is a drug. Caffeine is a drug. So tea and coffee are drugs. Would you approach them with the same caution you do marijuana? Alcohol is a drug.

At the end of the day, the threshold of "is a drug" is fairly low and meaningless on its own.

This article isn't even that persuasive to make it sound like marijuana is bad.

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[-] kinther 15 points 10 months ago

Having smoked cannabis for over two decades, I can certainly tell you there were times where I smoked a lot tougher then I do these days.

Back when I was at my peak usage, I tried to quit by going cold turkey. I went through periods where I would wake up in cold sweats. While I didn't have gnawing urges like an alcoholic, I definitely had some physical withdrawal symptoms that weren't super pleasant.

[-] Llamajockey 13 points 9 months ago

Like most people pointed out, you can get addicted to anything. But people need to understand that there are drugs that are more chemically addictive and cause larger issues like meth and nicotine and people labeling marijuana with those other drugs is dumb and ignorant.

[-] theangryseal 6 points 9 months ago

I was definitely addicted to marijuana when I was younger. I came home from work one night to find my roommates had smoked the last of it and I literally physically attacked them and then cried myself to sleep.

I have a personality built for addiction though.

I spent a decade as a heroin addict and I would have killed to cry myself to sleep when I was without. There was no sleep, just ungodly pain.

I’m currently taking a third of my normal suboxone dose right now because I lost several and someone picked them up (don’t blame them). I’m handling it well. I have to deal with this until the 17th. So far 3 days in and I’m just coasting. All this time worrying about tapering off and then this happens and I’m thinking maybe it won’t be so bad. I have to do it like this or go some time without, which is scary af. When I tried to taper I’d experience topical withdrawal symptoms. Constant yawning, chill bumps, fatigue. I swear I think it was all in my head because I could choooooose not to do it.

The addict in me keeps trying to talk me into making it a problem for future me, but I’m not doing that.

As a matter of fact, I’m thinking of sticking with it if it’s not worse by the end. After that I’ll either taper off or go to the shot.

Fuck it. I’m done worrying about it. I’m done being afraid that if I lose my medicine I’m a cripple and the system won’t help me. I’ll have to break the law to be ok. Fuck that.

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[-] [email protected] 10 points 10 months ago

I quit smoking for a bit over a year at one point, and it was difficult. It definitely took the development of new coping skills and it was hard not to reach for something in those moments when I wanted to sort of fill the gap not smoking left behind. It was also super disorienting.

But probably the hardest part was deciding to quit and finding support for it that wasn't full on anti-weed. I did find a substance abuse recovery discord that helped in a non-judgemental way, but most of the people encouraging me to stick with quitting were pretty black and white about it.

It didn't make me feel sick the way quitting tobacco did, though, or leave me with that strained feeling of chemical dependence.

Eventually I started smoking again, deciding I liked the positive effects more than I didn't like the occasional negative effects. It's nice to know that I can quit, though, if I decide it isn't worth it.

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[-] NounsAndWords 9 points 10 months ago

A lot of the comments here are great examples of exactly what this article is about.

[-] hyper 6 points 9 months ago

You can literally get addicted to anything.. even a habit can be addictive.

As with anything you do, do it in moderation. Even too much bananas can kill you.

[-] nunzilla 5 points 10 months ago

It's a shame that studies on marijuana and its effects on users were blocked and considered taboo subjects for so long. The reason we have these types of conflicting messaging about the safety/danger of marijuana use, is because there has not been enough research or longitudinal studies in those regards.

Can you become addicted to marijuana? Maybe. Does marijuana cause cancer? Maybe. Does it cause this or that or the other thing? Maybe.

For now we have to make assumptions. If you're worried about getting addicted, you should probably stay away. If you're worried about it being a carcinogen, you should probablt stay away. We're probably a long ways away from having conclusive evidence to show either way.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 10 months ago

Of course is real. As any other things, like even sugar, we live in a wheel of addiction everyday.

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this post was submitted on 31 Jul 2023
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