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Biology Recent Thoughts On The "heavy Cannabis User"


President, M³ Technical & Regulatory Services, LLC
Dr. Timmen Cermak, an addiction specialist in California, and former co-chair of the Lt. Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, published a paper very recently on how to approach treatment for "heavy users." He repeated the conventional wisdom of the day regarding the rate of cannabis use disorder and the #1 public health protection goal of restricting access to minors:

"Marijuana, a potentially addictive drug, modifies brain
chemistry by strongly stimulating endogenous cannabinoid
receptors. Regular use downregulates cannabinoid
receptors sufficiently to produce structural changes in
the brain, functional changes in the mind, and changes
in temperament. Among adults, approximately 9% of
marijuana users exhibit lifetime dependence."

However, the author places this use disorder in context:

"Unlike the rubric commonly recited regarding alcoholism, cannabis dependence
is not necessarily a chronic, progressive disorder."

In addition, there are clearly physiological differences between the brains of alcoholics and the brains of heavy cannabis users as they operate through different biochemical pathways to cause adverse health effects.

~~ The CannaBiologist


Good technical information.
I regard Weed as an individual experience, based on an individual's biology.


Old Member
I often think people misrepresent "addiction" when they try to apply it to marijuana. There is a huge difference between loving the feeling it gives you and not being able to stop without withdrawals. People smoke every day in some cases because they have a love for it and want to do it on a regular basis. Addiction is something very different.

I think even a dependency is even a far reach, but that can be debatable. I know many people who tried it, liked it, and was able to afford the ability to do it on a regular basis. In many was I view it like coffee or tea, but caffeine is a hell of a drug :) Personally having ADHD it is very easy for me to walk away from long use of anything to include tobacco, alcohol, or caffeine. It's a side affect that I can appreciate.

I have no doubt that cannabis changes the mind in many ways. Those many ways seem to be positive which motivates users to continue repeating the action of using it.


I agree with Ted. I don't believe that Marijuana is addictive, but I do believe some people can get addicted to the benefits of it. Who wouldn't want to feel better; be more creative; feel relief from pain; get a good nights sleep; etc, etc. All these negative ninnies make me laugh. Most people I know are against it personally because they are scared, scared they might like it and get addicted due to the years of "getaway drug" indoctrination our society has undergone. I feel alcohol, caffeine and tobacco are the ones that should be categorized as addictive, detrimental substances that damage ones wellbeing.