01 Jul Marijuana a Gateway Drug to Nicotine, Rodent Study Finds
It has been said that because of its addictive properties, nicotine is a gateway drug for other types of substance abuse. But little has been conveyed about how ingesting marijuana may lead to an increased susceptibility to nicotine addiction.
A new study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that THC, the main ingredient in marijuana, may impact how a person reacts to nicotine found in tobacco.
According to an article posted by Medical News Today, people who smoke marijuana may have a higher chance of becoming dependent on nicotine, elevating their risk of certain types cancers and heart disease, which have been tied to the chronic use of tobacco.
Additionally, investigators from the University of British Columbia have uncovered that those who partake in both tobacco and marijuana smoking elevate their chances of developing COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Steven Goldberg and colleagues from the National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted tests on two groups of lab rats – one group received shots of THC twice daily while the control group received placebo injections. A week later, researchers taught the rats how to self-administer injections of nicotine.
Results showed that the rats exposed to THC took in nicotine faster and more often than the control group. Findings suggest that nicotine sensitivity was heightened after consumption to THC.
So far trials have been limited to lab rats. More tests would need to be conducted to find out if humans who smoke marijuana might be more susceptible to the addictive effects of tobacco.
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