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Your Marijuana ‘High’ is a Natural Buzzkill
A new study has found that those seeking a high from marijuana could end up experiencing more negative emotions as a result of their pot use.
The report published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined how marijuana abusers reacted to methylphedinate, a stimulant used to treat both ADHD and narcolepsy. Researchers analyzed the brains of 24 people who smoked pot multiple times per day by using both brain imaging and personality tests.
Researchers analyzed the brains of 24 people who smoked pot multiple times per day by using both brain imaging and personality tests.
The findings showed the marijuana abusers had negatively impacted brain, behavioral and cardiovascular responses to the stimulant. This group also scored lower on tests of positive emotional activity, such as pleasure, and higher on tests of negative emotional reactions, such as stress and anxiety.
As a result of the study, researchers suggest that marijuana blunts the brain’s reaction to dopamine, which is the chemical directly responsible for positive feelings such as euphoria. They also concluded that cannabis influences the part of the brain associated with reward processing, and it could spark a greater risk for depression.
The Science Behind Marijuana and Dopamine
Other studies have also found similar correlations between marijuana use and impacted dopamine levels. Scientists at Imperial College London, UCL and King’s College London teamed up for a research investigation published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. They not only discovered lower dopamine levels for pot smokers in a part of the brain called the striatum, but that the lowest dopamine levels were recorded in those who would be considered pot abusers.
Their research also backed up previous findings that lower dopamine levels lead to a higher risk of mental illness.
Their research also backed up previous findings that lower dopamine levels lead to a higher risk of mental illness. “Although we only looked at cannabis users who have had psychotic-like experiences while using the drug, we think the findings would apply to cannabis users in general, since we didn’t see a stronger effect in the subjects who have more psychotic-like symptoms,” said lead researcher Dr. Michael Bloomfield. “It could also explain the ‘amotivational syndrome’ which has been described in cannabis users, but… is controversial.”
Is the ‘High’ Lowering Your Natural Euphoria?
Those who are abusing marijuana would actually achieve a greater high and more positive emotions from not smoking pot.
The latest study shows that those who are abusing marijuana would actually achieve a greater high and more positive emotions from not smoking pot. Since other research projects have concluded that the amount of dopamine released in former marijuana users is the same as those who have never smoked pot, the effects on dopamine production from heavy pot use could be reversed through an extended period of abstinence.
You’re Not Alone: If you are looking to quit smoking pot, seek out counseling or an outpatient support group in your neighborhood. Many cities and communities hold regular Marijuana Anonymous meetings.
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