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Can Cannabis Be a Gateway Drug?

Myth or fact? The word is that cannabis is an entrance drug that causes using more difficult drugs like cocaine. Is this true? Viewpoints on this subject greatly differ. Let’s take a look at some research study and truths to find out.

The Federal government and Marijuana

Cannabis is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Government officials believe it has a high potential for abuse. A report commissioned by Congress in 1999 says:
” There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.”

The exact same report states smoking and alcohol use typically precede cannabis use. Marijuana is not the most common gateway to illegal substance abuse. In that case, should we assume cigarettes or alcohol are a “entrance” to cannabis? The start course of more difficult drug use?

That said, it is true that the majority of users of harder drugs have actually utilized cannabis initially. But that’s because of its prevalent usage and schedule. They were more likely to have encountered it. In fact, in 2016, 24 million Americans were using marijuana.

Genes and Addiction: It’s a Dopamine Thing

Most people who use cannabis do stagnate on to utilizing other hard drugs. Those who do are more likely inclined to dependency to start with. Individuals born with restricted receptors or low dopamine production get addicted easier. This condition happens because of neurotransmitter and gene issues. Two such genes associated with the procedure are COMT and AKT1.

Without enough dopamine, depression, memory issues, impulsiveness, and lack of inspiration are common. The individual will seek activities or compounds to increase it. Some rely on food, others to drugs. Love, learning, shopping, alcohol, severe sports, or sex; whatever it requires to feel excellent.
Along comes THC. It connects to the cannabinoid receptors and stimulates dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is excellent. It’s the reason for the pleasure and joy that a person feels after cigarette smoking cannabis, consuming preferred foods, or being with an enjoyed one. When an individual first utilizes cannabis, dopamine production increases, and they feel great. For the person without a dopamine shortage, casual usage won’t send them in a downhill spiral.

The Domino effect

Too much of a great thing causes problems. According to a research study by Columbia University Medical Center, extended or heavy usage reduces dopamine. Like in the majority of “hard” drug users. The part of the brain affected handles short-term memory, decision-making, and attention.
When the “feel good” neurotransmitter stops producing like it once did, the user will search out a raised version of the dependency. Hence, resulting in increased use or a harder drug to get that exact same sensation.

It’s a vicious cycle. It will not stop as long as the individual keeps attempting to promote dopamine production synthetically. Overworked, the system gets broken, increasing the risk for mental health issue.

What’s the Bottom Line?

As you can see, the body is a complicated system; we do not understand it all. Many views on cannabis are hypothesis based on minimal research studies and observation. Learning more is a slow procedure, there are regulative barriers that hamper research.

However, with our existing details, it’s clear that cannabis can be a “entrance” drug for some individuals, but not everyone. Without understanding an individual’s genes and how their brain functions, it can be difficult to inform up until it’s too late. Use caution.

Take note of internal thoughts and habits; they are true indications of what’s going on within. And don’t hesitate to connect for assistance if required.

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