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How does cannabis affect alcohol consumption?

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Alcohol and cannabis: really strange companions. Often discussed (and shared) together, these sugary treats everywhere couldn’t be different. One is a toxin and the other is a kind of skeletal key to one of the body’s most important systems. However, the two remain closely related to culture, a job, and even public policy, with frequent calls To legalize marijuana by treating it like alcohol.

Over the decades, scientists have studied various aspects of their relationship, such as whether the use of one is related to the use of the other, its relative impact on society and human health, and how alcohol dependence manifests itself through the endocannabinoid system itself.

We now understand that even if cannabis and alcohol can play similar social roles — cheerleading college kids, soccer moms, and Executive DirectorBoth for relaxation – their biological modes of action and overall risk profiles are fundamentally different. To support policy and public health in this critical and rapidly evolving field, researchers continue to explore the fascinating links between two of humanity’s favorite mind-altering drugs.

THC & alcohol use

There is conflicting evidence regarding the effects of cannabis on alcohol consumption, the authors of a recent study wrote in the journal Psychology of addictive behaviors.1 Some studies suggest that cannabis is an alternative to alcohol, while other studies show that cannabis complements alcohol, thus increasing its drinking.

Conducted by lead author Hollis Karoli and senior author Kent Hutchinson, both from the University of Colorado Boulder. Multiple studies Designed to shed light on this relationship over the past five years or so, their latest paper goes a step further by attempting to define the relative roles of THC And Convention on Biological Diversity.

To do this, Karolyi, Hutchinon and two other colleagues at the University of Colorado designed an observational, naturalistic study in which 120 adults who consumed cannabis and alcohol were assigned to use one of three strains of (mostly) cannabis. THC, mostly Convention on Biological Diversityor balanced THC And Convention on Biological Diversity) freely over five days.

When researchers compared reported alcohol use before and during the five-day period, they found that Convention on Biological Diversity Users drank fewer drinks per day, had fewer alcohol use days and fewer alcohol and cannabis use days compared to the other two groups. It is interesting that it did not exist Convention on Biological Diversity That made the difference, but rather the absence THC, where there were no differences between THC And THC+Convention on Biological Diversity groups.

This result about the significance THC, and thus the high proportion of cannabis, in affecting alcohol consumption is consistent with a separate survey of 600 individuals recently conducted by Karolyi, Hutchinson and colleagues. His results were presented at a (virtual) meeting of the Society for Research on Alcoholism2 in June but not yet published. The researchers found that medical cannabis patients and users primarily Convention on Biological Diversity The products are said to have drank less alcohol than recreational drinks and higher-THC Cannabis abusers.

Using cannabis to reduce harm

A third recent study from the same University of Colorado team sought to assess the effect of cannabis use on total beverages consumed and the likelihood of binge drinking on a given day among 96 individuals undergoing treatment for alcohol use disorder.

The results are published in the journal addictedAnd3 It indicates an inverse relationship between cannabis use and alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers. On the days when alcohol use went down, cannabis use went up. Or, looking at it another way, individuals drank nearly 29 percent fewer drinks and were half as likely to binge drink on the days they used cannabis than on the days they didn’t.

From the perspective of prohibition or only chastity, this can be seen as simply substituting one vice for another. But seen through a damage reduction Lens, this can be considered real progress given the well-established safety picture From hemp to alcohol.

Interestingly, these findings may be relevant outside the context of alcohol treatment and across the general population. A study recently published in the journal gamma Pediatrics4 It found that between 2002 and 2018, cannabis use increased among young adults (without an increase in cannabis use disorder), while alcohol abstinence increased and alcohol use decreased, according to survey data from 183,000 18-22-year-olds nationwide.

Role CB1

So what is going on here? A lot, it turns out. over there prominent work body Sort out how alcohol affects the endocannabinoid system, and how the endocannabinoid system in turn leads to alcohol dependence. In particular, the above studies on THC proposed and additional papers proving that CB1 receptorsTHCThe main goal – it is believed that he plays a decisive role.

CB1 genetic polymorphism, or differences, have an association with alcohol dependence in a recent meta-analysis. While research into related pathways continues, this receptor and other components of the endocannabinoid system such as fatty acid amide hydrolase [FAAH], which is a key enzyme that breaks down CB1– binding endocannabinoids, already being targeted in developing new treatments for addiction not only to alcohol but also opiates and tobacco.

Nate Seltenrich, a freelance science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, covers a wide range of topics including environmental health, neuroscience, and pharmacology.

Copyright, Project Convention on Biological Diversity. It may not be reprinted without So.


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