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Can Marijuana Help Cure Cocaine Withdrawel Symptoms

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Cannabis BrainDopamine Burn Out

New research surfaces on how marijuana can help cure cocaine withdrawal symptoms

 

By Jasen T. Davis

 

Cocaine addiction is corrosive to the health of both the body and the mind. A person trying to quit cocaine faces withdrawal symptoms that can include headaches, body pains and depression. A cocaine addict can feel like a dog wearing an electrical shock collar. If they wander too far from their last fix, they get zapped.

The reason this is so is that positive life experiences–like a good conversation or a job promotion–cause your body to release a chemical called dopamine. This chemical binds to a specialized receptor in your brain, inducing feelings of euphoria. Later, a transporter protein recycles the chemical back into your body and you come down from your high.

Cocaine interrupts this binding process, creating a dopamine build-up, which amplifies feelings of euphoria as the receptors are constantly stimulated. Since cocaine also prevents the recycling of the dopamine back into the body, the receptor stays activated and eventually burns out, which is why addicts need cocaine just to feel normal.

In a study performed by Dr. Zheng-Xiong Xi, a research scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, laboratory mice that were addicted to cocaine were given JWH133, a synthetic cannabidiol derived from cannabis.

JWH133 stimulates CB2 receptors located in the brains of both mice and humans. According to the results of the study, mice that ingested the cannabis compound needed 50 to 60 percent less cocaine than mice that were not given JWH133.

Additionally, mice addicted to cocaine tend to stay in the same spot in their environment, to be closer to the site of their last (and hopefully next) fix. The mice in the study on JWH133 didn’t hang out near the cocaine dispenser, and instead wandered around their cage, like normal mice.

Dr. Zheng-Xiong Xi doesn’t believe that JWH133 stimulates the same dopamine receptors as cocaine, but instead theorizes that, in laboratory mice, the synthetic cannabidiol serves as a substitute “high.” But the research still supports the theory that cannabis can be highly effective at helping a recovering addict resume a normal life.

Other studies performed by research scientists seem to suggest that JWH133 not only has an antipsychotic effect (as any medical marijuana patient fond of sativas might tell you), but it can also prevent Alzheimer’s disease by somehow preventing plaque buildup in the brain.

As the legalization effort continues to sweep across America, medical cannabis use has gone up as patients discover that the plant is a healthier and cheaper alternative to many modern medicines. For cocaine addicts, further research into the medical use of cannabis might be the cure for their illness (Cannabis is also considered to be a far superior alternative to that truly harmful drug: alcohol).

More and more scientists around the world are conducting research in the long-neglected field of cannabis study, and are learning that the most potent weapon against damage and disease might just be a plant that can grow right out of the ground in your backyard.

Street Research

National ethnographic research studies conducted by scientists at the John Jay College of New York determined that cocaine addicts on the streets in America often resort to smoking marijuana to kick their habit. Recovering addicts also report that the marijuana high they experience is also far less disruptive to their life style.

Courtesy of Culture Magazine

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4 Comments

  1. For more great medical marijuana facts check out CannaCenters Medical Cannabis blog entries written by their Medical Director. All of the most accurate and up-to-date information on Medical Cannabis is posted regularly so that you can educate yourself, your family and friends. Get your information from a medical professional. CannaCenters website has the most comprehensive collection of entries concerning the therapeutic use of Medical Cannabis. http://bit.ly/n1nnuB

  2. I don’t think the research referred to in this article can be trusted – alcohol and other drugs will produce the same result. The idea is nothing new. It is called substitution. Many cocaine addicts are addicted to cocaine and cannabis and it does not improve their lot in life. In fact cannabis exacerbates the problem.

    The actual problem of quitting cocaine is not dopamine levels or receptors in the brain – it is the wrong methods being applied to help addicts to quit.

    This article will add further damage and brainwashing to an already confused situation. The article does not even supply how many mice were involved in the study or over what period of time and if the research has been independently verified.

    The US Government in particular is guilty historically at least of telling lies for propaganda purposes and in this modern era the pro-marijuana movement is guilty of the same, trying to tell us cannabis is a healthy beneficial miracle drug.

    It is important not to be sucked in by either side.

  3. Chris, the article refers to research involving synthetic cannabinoids, not whole-plant cannabis. It is a real study, you can make of it what you will:

    http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v14/n9/full/nn.2874.html

    Time has a decent article on the research, too:

    http://healthland.time.com/2011/07/26/marijuana-derivative-may-offer-hope-in-cocaine-addiction/print/

    You don’t have to think that cannabis is a panacea to recognize that someone would be better off using it regularly than cocaine.

  4. billy vanderwoude on

    I was a cocaine addict for the last 20+years and a drug addict for 39yrs.Im 52 yrs. old.I smoke weed daily and it has helped me emmensly since cocaine is by far has been the hardest drug ive ever tried to beat.Without the weed,I would be using opiates daily,which is not a good thing.But none the less,ive been clean from cocaine for the last year and a half.So i do believe that maijuana helps cure withdrawel symtoms from cocaine abuse.

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