New Research Study Examines 'Brain's Own Marijuana'

By HandyMan81 · May 21, 2007 · ·
  1. HandyMan81
    A researcher at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) is investigating the "brain's own marijuana" -- called endocannabinoid -- in the regulation of stress, stress-related behavior and anxiety. A five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health is supporting this investigation.

    "It is widely accepted that one of the major reasons that people use and abuse marijuana is to relieve stress," according to Samir Haj-Dahmane, Ph.D., neuroscientist and principal investigator on the RIA study. "However, because marijuana can be addictive, it cannot be used to treat stress-related mood disorders such as anxiety. An alternative strategy may be to directly target the 'brain's own marijuana.'"

    The success of such a strategy requires a better understanding of how endocannabinoid moderates stress-related behaviors and how stress and stress hormones activate the endocannabinoid system. Haj-Dahmane and his co-investigator, Troy Wood, Ph.D., will examine the relationships between stress, stress-related behavior and addiction using a combination of electrophysiological, pharmacological and neurochemical approaches. They believe this study also may lay the foundation for better pharmacotherapy for stress-related mood disorders. Wood is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry in UB's College of Arts and Sciences.

    The Research Institute on Addictions has been a leader in the study of addictions since 1970 and a research center of the University at Buffalo since 1999.

    The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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  1. darawk
    What the fuck? Xanax anyone?
  2. schwing
    I don't think the article is referring only to anxiety but anything stress-related so maybe depression can be included as well... I don't think there's ever been a study to show that pot causes physical dependence but it can certainly cause psychological dependence when the reality seems harsh and being stoned seems like an attractive alternative... but "addictive" is such a harsh, misleading word...
  3. darawk
    I'm not disputing marijuan'a potential for some degree of addiction. But they're saying it can't be used to treat stress? Benzo's are about as addictive as they come, and they are the primary stress treatment right now.
  4. schwing
    Oops. I was skimming a bit and I guess the bold fonts caught my attention more than your actual post...

    Sorry about my irrelevant reply. :D
  5. HandyMan81
    E.T thinks mary jane is in fact a drug what can be addictive. E.T has been smoking for like 14 years now and from all addictions he has, mary jane is the thing that he really really needs. Probably its a psychic addiction but crack is too. Many of E.T's friends have the same problem. Mary jane can be a routine doing it daily. When you are in that pattern its difficult to get out. But Mary Jane is addictive
  6. podge
    Swim think's MJ is habit forming....not addictive.
  7. HandyMan81
    but when you do something every day, habit forming, its a problem to break that habit. Like gambling, like shopping and so on. these things are all called a addiction.
  8. lulz

    Actually your comment is relevent, it introduces a perfect illustration of the hypocrisy in the medical profession that has been created by pharmaceutical companies.

    These days, if you walked into 100 doctors offices and told them you were experiencing symptoms of serious depression, 99 of them would prescribe you an SSRI type drug like Prozac.

    If you did the same thing 25 years ago though, SSRIs weren't on the market yet. Instead, doctors prescribed either tricyclic antidepressants, or benzo-fucking-diazepines.

    This study's from 1985:

    They were prescribing them so much, there must be research showing that benzos help depression then right?

    Wrong. From the exact same study:

    If you search on pubmed you'll find a mountain of studies from back then about benzodiazepines and depression, you can rank the list by publishing date and search anywhere through the 70s - every study I could find said that benzos were useless as antidepressants.

    The reason they were being prescribed so much is because benzos made a LOT of money back then. Specifically Roche, which patented Valium. As far as I know, Valium is the first example of a pharmaceutical company realising they could make a fortune by marketing the hell out of a patented drug, marketing it to doctors as well as consumers.

    Fact - between 1969 and 1982 Valium was the best selling pharmaceutical in America:,,1583671,00.html

    Fact - in 1978 an estimated 20% of American women and 14% of American men were taking Valium

    The party lasted for Roche until the start of the 80s, but eventually the media started to publish stories about side effects (i.e. addiction), the Senate started looking into the matter, etc.

    But not to worry, because at the end of the 80s the industry came up with SSRIs like Prozac!

    It's the exact same rumble, the only thing that's changed is that SSRIs are no fucking fun.

    There is minimal evidence that SSRIs are effective at treating depression, although they also get prescribed for anxiety and various illnesses anyway.

    There is unreported evidence of major side effects, ranging from increased suicidal tendencies to school shootings.

    And the way that pharmaceutical companies "market" their latest drugs to doctors has developed into such a complicated artform that it defies summary. Here's a statistic to think about though - these days marketing representatives start to target doctors while they are still in medical school, and the representatives regularly contact the student 4 times a month on average.

    The only industry that is more profitable than pharmaceuticals most years is the oil industry.

    They're in the business of making more money than God, not helping people who are sick.
  9. darawk
  10. allyourbase
    again....theres a big difference between mental dependance and addiction. if someone is addicted to something they REQUIRE it. mental dependance is just a sign of a weak personality.
  11. darawk
    Agreed. The idea of "mental dependence" on activities or substances has been sold to people because they want to believe it. People want to believe they can be "addicted" to gambling, "addicted" to sugar, "addicted" to marijuana, etc..Because it takes the blame away from them. I mean, having an "addiction" isn't your fault, right?
  12. lulz

    I swear to God, I once came across a forum of people who were "addicted" to over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin and paracetomol. They were mostly talking about how it was "too painful" to stop taking NSAFs after taking them for extended periods of time.

    I've been trying to find the forum again for a while now because I didn't save the address, but it was priceless.
  13. podge
    As as allyourbase said:

    "theres a big difference between mental dependance and addiction. if someone is addicted to something they REQUIRE it. mental dependance is just a sign of a weak personality."

    True it is a difficult line to decipher at times but there certainly is a difference between being addicted and between having a habit. In the same way NEEDING something isnt the same as REALLY WANTING.
  14. schwing
    LOL. I googled "aspirin addiction" and the first result was this:


    Also, a summary of an article published in Addiction ( Volume 66 Issue 4 Page 289 - December 1971):

    And lastly just for fun... "An Addiction Simulation"

    I can just imagine a bunch of students going "omigod I can't believe I can actually be addicted to anything! Now I know what that that guy on the street is going through!"
  15. lulz

    OMG call the Power Rangers!
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