Medindia
Advertisement

Regular Cannabis Use may Trigger Addictive Behaviors

by Sheela Philomena on October 30, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Font : A-A+

 Regular Cannabis Use may Trigger Addictive Behaviors

Regular cocaine and cannabis users have high levels of impulsive behavior, finds new research. Published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, the results provide evidence for how drug use may trigger addictive behaviours.

In a study conducted in the Netherlands, 61 healthy regular cannabis and cocaine users took both drugs and a placebo in controlled conditions. They then took part in tests that challenged them to reflect before making an action. "If a person's tendency to be impulsive increases, they tend to make snap decisions and the error rate increases," says lead researcher Janelle van Wel from Maastricht University. The participants were also studied in situations where they were asked to perform an action, but then told to stop. In this set of tests, people with higher levels of impulsivity make more mistakes and have delayed stopping times. Tests also assessed critical thinking skills, divided attention challenges and aspects of executive function and planning.

Advertisement

Both cannabis and cocaine increased impulsive responding, but in opposite ways. Under the influence of cannabis, subjects were slower, but made more errors. Cocaine administration caused the participants to react more quickly, but if participants had to control their impulses they made more errors. "This increased impulsivity after drug use could increase the likelihood of developing addiction," says Ms. van Wel.

Taken together, the results indicate that long-term users of cocaine and cannabis were more impulsive under the influence of the drugs than when they were given placebos. "These findings contrast with previous reports that had claimed that these effects after cannabis administration only occurred in occasional users and not in heavy users," says Ms. van Wel. Regular cannabis users experienced impairments, but had about a 2-3 times reduction in the magnitude of the impairments in two of the tests compared with occasional cannabis users.
Advertisement

One hallmark of drug addiction is a disturbed relationship between the frontal cortex where decisions are made and the limbic system that organises emotional responses and memory. These results indicate that cannabis could decrease the amount of control the frontal cortex exerts over behaviour, while cocaine could increase impulsive responding from the limbic system. "Both of these options would cause the decrease in impulse control we see in our study," says Ms. van Wel, who believes that future studies using imaging techniques could clarify this hypothesis.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
World Alzheimer's Day 2021 - 'Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer's
'Hybrid Immunity' may Help Elude COVID-19 Pandemic
Stroop Effect
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cannabis Drug Abuse Screening Test Drug Abuse Marijuana 

Recommended Reading
Drug Abuse
The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse or ......
Recreational Drugs are not Completely Safe
Recreational drugs are commonly used in rave parties. Serotonin syndrome can occur in patients ......
Drug Abuse Screening Test
Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) is a screening test to find out if you need professional help with ...
Cannabis 'Scratch and Sniff' Cards: Dutch Initiative to Weed Out Illegal Marujuana Cultivation
The use of marijuana-scented 'scratch-and-sniff' cards, a Dutch initiative to combat illegal ......
Cannabis
Cannabis has a long history of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use and comes from a bushy pl...
Marijuana
Marijuana (cannabis) is a drug obtained from the hemp plant and often abused for its psychoactive ef...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use