At the risk of being rapidly less popular, I am going to blog about Marijuana. I hope you acknowledge my bravery. This is a “hot topics” issue in Portland Oregon – as it is in so many places – and comes up a lot with my patients, many of whom have Medical Marijuana cards due to chronic pain. A March 16, 2014 study based in the Netherlands has done some work on predicting developing dependence in marijuana smokers, who are essentially consuming the active drug component of the smoke, THC (Tetra Hydro Cannabis) or cannabinols. Basically, they say dependence is based on behavior of the smoker, not the potency of the drug or even technical knowledge of the agent. I provide this information only to be helpful.
Researchers have long argued that the smokers could control their intake by taking smaller puffs, or that by using higher grade marijuana, the user could “titrate”, or control the amount they were taking in. The research simply didn’t show that. It turns out the only factors that seemed to predict developing dependence were 1) how much of a joint/pipe/bowl was smoked at each dosage event, and 2) how frequently they puffed. You can read the article here.
And, as always, I wanted to remind you that if you are using Medical Marijuana, it is really very important that you provide that information to all your health providers when they ask you what medications you have taken today. Just because it becomes a part of your lifestyle, does not mean it’s not on your meds list. Read the article, and we can talk about it at your next appointment!
This comes to us based on a nice article in Philly.com, which was also referencing a nice article by C.E. Huggins, of Reuters Health. http://health.yahoo.net/news/s/nm/pot-smoking-style-linked-to-addiction-risk