A new study found that smoking pot could actually lead to nicotine addiction. No need to put your medical marijuana away yet, Californians, but this information could shed additional light on how addiction works within our boides.
According to Fox News:
In the study, researchers first exposed mice to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in marijuana) or a placebo for three days. Then, they attempted to train the mice to self-administer nicotine, which was delivered into their blood when they poked their noses through a hole in the cage.
Reportedly, about 94% of mice exposed to THC effectively learned to self-administer nicotine, compared with only 65% of mice that were exposed to a placebo. That really goes to illustrate how addictive nicotine is in and of itself, if over half of the mice in either group both ended up addicted to nicotine. In addition, the THC mice were willing to work harder and perform more “nose pokes” to get the nicotine in comparison to the other mice.
Usually, people try smoking cigarettes before they try smoking pot. But there is some evidence that marijuana can be a gateway to tobacco use, as well. In the Feb. 6 issue of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology the researchers behind the study said:
“a history of cannabis exposure might have lasting effects that increase the risk of becoming addicted to nicotine.”
Since the study was conducted on mice, the applications for human aren’t clear yet. Personally, I’d like to know more about what was going on the bodies of the mice, chemically, and how THC and nicotine might interact once they’re in the system of a living organism. Still, this might be something to consider if you or someone you know is a marijuana user (if only to avoid looking like the insane person in the above stock photo. EEK.)