Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Does all Marijuana Smokers have AUD?

The legalization of Cannabis sativa also known as marijuana is controversial as its fundamental role throughout communities fluctuate. In many cases it is a substance implemented for psychoactive drugs and medications. This plant contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other chemically related compounds that cause long and short-term effects to the brain. Within the first 30- 60 minutes of THC into the bloodstream, specific brain cell receptors are over-activated, which leads to altered senses, changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and or impaired memory.  Continual use of marijuana also affects brain development, breathing, and child development during and after pregnancy. 
                THC acts on numerous areas (in yellow) in the brain
Columbia University’s Mailman school of Public Health (CUMPH) reveals to us that marijuana smokers are 5 times more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD). This argument is supported by analyzed data from 27,461 adults enrolled in the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions who were first marijuana smokers before becoming alcohol use dependent. Their assessment shows that “adults who had used marijuana at the first assessment and again over the following three years (23 percent) were five times more likely to develop an alcohol use problem, compared with those who had not used marijuana (5 percent)”. CUMPH recommends further research dedicated to understanding the relationships between marijuana and alcohol. Will further research impact the legalization of marijuana for remaining states? Of course it will! Who would support a drug that further perpetuates the addiction of another substance?

Posted by Donisha White


  1. Very interesting blog post! I am a strong supporter of medical marijuana and marijuana research because of the many promising health applications for the drug, particularly in pain management and the treatment of seizure disorders. Much more analysis of the relationship between cannabis and alcohol usage must be done before I can be convinced that marijuana consumption directly causes alcohol use disorder. The study you've cited certainly shows a correlation between the two drugs, however correlation does not always mean causation. Studies of this relationship must adequately account for the many other potential variables which may also influence alcohol consumption. As marijuana becomes legal in more states, cannabis research will become much easier and more rigorous. Unless future studies can demonstrate a true causative relationship between the two drugs, I do not believe marijuana use will be implicated as a direct cause of alcohol use disorder.
    Bradley Sarasin (Group 3)

    1. Your absolutely right! "Correlation does not always mean causation". Correlation simply provides us with sparks for more question and research. It's also to important to remember that the individuals tested were all enrolled in one particular program. They may share similar characteristics that further perpetuate this alcohol/marijuanna correlation.


  2. This is a highly talked about topic in today's society, for sure. With the legalization of medical maijuana in certain states and majiuana research being re-considered comes many arguments of course that go against the revolution. I agree that much more research should be conducted before leading to the conclusion that marijuana consumption directly leader to alcohol use disorder. Although your post discusses a correlation between the two drugs doesn't necessarily mean causation.

    Stephanie Aboody

    1. Exactly, and as i mentioned before this relationship may be more "relatable" due to the pool of which they decided to research on. The article did not notify is of any demographics of the participants.