Marijuana Addiction



Marijuanais a drug widely used in the world. It is the prototypicalcannabinoid. The research of the cannabinoid decreased adamantlywhile it shifted to that of cocaine and opiates. Recent studies seemto be working on the Cannabinoids endogenous compounds and receptorsthat act on them. The study made the pharmacological story successbefore successes in understanding opiates. Thedelta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the active components of cannabis(Onaivi,2003).They have been useful in the 19th century as compared to thecrystalline salts in opiates. However, they remained elusive until1964. The paper seeks to answer three questions that relate tomarijuana addiction. They include:

  1. What are the biological concepts that lead to marijuana addiction?

  2. Does cannabinoid have any link on ?

  3. How can marijuana addiction be prevented or treated?

Qs.1.What are the biological concepts that lead to marijuana addiction?

Researchon active component of cannabis led to discovery of the cannabinoidligands. The ligands are the derivative of the arachidonic acids. Theresearch was much relevant to the field of neurophamacology. Cloningof the orphan G-protein coupled heptahelical receptor cDNA lead tothe discovery of the cannabinoid CB receptor. The receptorfacilitated identification of the CB2 receptor and its genes (Onaivi,2003).Cells with the CB2 receptor tend to undergo testing. Screeningprocesses made it able to identify the CB1 and the CB2 antagonists.The genomic characteristics facilitated identification of a knockoutmouse that relate with that of a brain system (Onaivi,2003).The brain system has various roles. They include controllinglocomotion, drug reward, motor coordination, and other features. Thecharacteristic also enabled identification of the role of the CB2receptor as an immune modulator. Cannabinoid has vast properties suchas being the constituents of marijuana (cannabis Sativa). Marijuanais one of the widely used and abused drugs in the entire world.

Cannabinoidresearch and the use of the cannabis products tend to attract moreattention. There has been advanced scientific studies on cannabinoid.The technology and molecular biology professionals undertake thestudy, which is aimed at improving the policy on medical use ofcannabis Sativa. The cannabinoid use in the clinics fortherapeutically purposes faces controversies (Zuardi &ampCannabidiol, 2008). They induce psycho activity and euphoria whenapplied therapeutically. Therapeutic elements include the appetitestimulant, anti-emetic, glaucoma, hepatitis, epilepsy, multiplesclerosis, and migraine. Euphoria induced by the cannabinoid neveroutweighs the overall quality of life in severe ill patients. Studiesare being undertaken on genes to determine the effects ofpsycho-activities produced by cannabinoid. In addition, the studyreveals on how the psycho-activity can be dissociated from themarijuana and cannabinoid. However, according to scholars it seemsthe substance cannot be separated from cannabinoid (Zuardi &ampCannabidiol, 2008).

Cannabinoid(Cnr) in the CNS has undergone extensive study. The CB2 receptor genehas been detected mainly in the immune system. Similarly, theexpression of its transcripts found in the tonsils, spleen, mastcells, thymus, and the blood cells. CB2and CB1Cnrs can beco-expressed in some related cells (Zuardi &amp Cannabidiol, 2008).In addition, the cannabimimetic effects are mediated by theircombination. The abundance of the endocannabinoids and the largenumbers of expressed cannabinoid receptors tend to allow thesesystems to influence biochemical systems. The identification of thelinks between the cannabinoid system and glutamatergic, serotonergic,dopaminergic, opioidergic and other important neurotransmitters canbe active. However, it is still a mystery when there is abundantcannabinoid in the nervous systems. Marijuana was previously linkedto clone, but recent studies demonstrate the existence of receptors.The receptors tend to modulate activities of calcium and potassium.Approaches are trying to clone the gene and receptors are on therise, but many have failed adamantly (Zuardi &amp Cannabidiol,2008).

Qs.2.Does cannabinoid have any link on ?

Cannabinoidtend to enhance CNS reward substrates to addictive drugs such asmarijuana. However, some laboratory findings that useelectrophysiological, behavioral and biochemical techniques haveopposed the move. Euphorigenic and cannabinoid seem to have addictiveliabilities in human. Cannabinoid share common neural actions withaddictive drugs. For instance, activation of CNS rewards substratesoccurs during acute administration. Similarly, CNS reward inhibitionsubstrates and have impacts on withdrawal. These properties areneuropharmacological and tend to have dysphoric state.

Cannabinoidused to be considered different from other forms of reward enhancingdrugs. However, it has proven that it activates brain rewardprocesses and the reward-related behaviors similar to other drugs.Two issues relate to cannibalism addiction. The first one relates todevelopment of phenomena tolerance and dependence state that occurafter chronic cannabinoid use. They experience withdrawal signs wheninterrupted. Secondly, there is a possibility that chronicconsumption of the Cannabinoid increases risks to consuming otherdrugs or even extra addictive power. Various studies are being madeto address these issues but have resulted to controversies.

Adolescentstage is period that brain experiences dynamic changes relating tomajor psychological, social, and physiological transitions.Individuals in this stage shifts from guided models to independentfunctioning. There are certain neural and behavioral profiles thatare likely to render youth into risks for substance use, and theircognitive effects to substance use. Adolescent brain tends to developa little during school age. However, it continues to undergomaturation. The brain becomes prone to unhealthy environmentalinfluences during the maturation. The situation occurs due to theprojection fibers, limbic systems, and prefrontal complex. They tendto lead to advancement of cognition and behavior.

Dueto these sudden changes, adolescents are vulnerable to experiencereward sensitivity (Bava&amp Tapert, 2010).They, therefore, engage in risk-taking behaviors and poordecision-making. Predilection for sensation and risk-taking duringadolescent tend to associate them with substance use and abuse. Theyare also prone to potentiality of long-term health problems.Marijuana is the second abused drug in adolescents while alcoholleads. The issue was supported from the research done in schoolswhereby more of 12th graders had once used marijuana as compared toeighth graders. Studies also show that early substance use tends tocontinue into adulthood. Adolescent marijuana use is linked to theadverse effects of social, physiological, and psychologicalfunctioning. They include aggressively, hazardous driving, riskysexual behaviors and comorbid substance use (Bava&amp Tapert, 2010).

Qs.3.How can marijuana addiction be prevented or treated?

Marijuanaaddiction is associated with the cognitive impairments. Theimpairments are not reversible once cessation with marijuana use. Italso affects treatment of addiction (Sofuoglu,Sugarman &amp Carroll, 2010).Therefore, targeting the cognitive impairments tends to solve theproblem of cannabis addiction. Studies suggest that enhancement ofmedication of cholinergic transmissions can dissociate cannabisinduces cognitive impairments. However, these cognitive enhancingmedications are not examined in the human controlled studies.According to studies from previous marijuana users, a computerizedrehabilitation cognitive seemed significant. Similarly, they wereproved to have some utilities in improvement of cognitive functionsin cannabis users. Previously marijuana addicts never soughttreatment, but recently, individuals seeking treatment have increasedtremendously.

Thereare no effective drugs currently for the treatment of marijuanaaddictions. However, behavioral treatments are proving to beeffective(Haughey, Marshall, Schacht, Louis &amp Hutchison, 2008).Scholars argue that the chronic exposure to marijuana is associatedwith the dose-related to cognitive impairments. Other studiesdemonstrate that once there is the presence of cognitive impairmentsin the brain one month after cessation of marijuana, use isirreversible. The need for effective treatment methods for cannabisaddiction is urgently needed. The cognitive impairments are the mainreason for difficulties in cannabis addiction treatment (Sofuogluet al., 2010).Several initiatives have been initiated to try to solve the issue ofcognitive impairments. They include neurobiological mediators and theuse of neurocognitive impairments.

Thereare other current treatments of cannabis addictions. They includebehavioral treatments and pharmacotherapy. There are severalpharmacotherapy treatments of marijuana addictions. They tend toinvolve the use of antagonists such as cannabidiol. The behavioraltherapies include motivational enhancement therapies (MET),cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and contingency management (CM)(Sofuoglu,2010).


Marijuanaaddiction is a widely faced disorder in the world. Most of the peopleaffected are the adolescents. During adolescent stage, brainundergoes various changes that make youths prone to risky activities.They are also independent and decide on their own. Cognitiveimpairments seem to be the main hindrance for the treatment ofcannabis addictions. The cannabinoid that acts as a constituent ofcannabis, once it interacts with the cognitive impairment, theprocess becomes irreversible. Currently, various methods are beingused to treat the addiction. They include behavioral and theneurocognitive approaches. Various studies are still being done totame the difficulties in treating marijuana addictions.


Bava,S., &amp Tapert, S. F. (2010). Adolescent brain development and therisk for alcohol and other drug problems. Neuropsychologyreview,20(4),398-413.

Haughey,H. M., Marshall, E., Schacht, J. P., Louis, A., &amp Hutchison, K.E. (2008). Marijuana withdrawal and craving: influence of thecannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH)genes. Addiction,103(10),1678-1686.

Onaivi,E. S. (Ed.). (2003). TheBiology of Marijuana: From Gene to Behavior.CRC Press.

Sofuoglu,M., Sugarman, D. E., &amp Carroll, K. M. (2010). Cognitive functionas an emerging treatment target for marijuana addiction.Experimentaland clinical psychopharmacology, 18(2),109.

Sofuoglu,M. (2010). Cognitive Enhancement as a Pharmacotherapy Target forStimulant Addiction. Addiction,105(1):38–48.

ZuardiAW. Cannabidiol (2008): from an inactive cannabinoid to a drug withwide spectrum of action. RevBras Psiquiatr,30(3):271–280.