Is cannabis a gateway drug?

Is cannabis a gateway drug?

Cannabis has long been described by both politicians and addiction experts as a gateway drug that would lead to stronger drugs (so-called “pacing”). This was mainly confirmed by the fact that many heroin users had previously used cannabis.

This notion still persists in certain segments of the population and often causes great concern among consumers’ family members. Scientifically, however, it is no longer valid.

Although numerous studies indicate a strong link between early cannabis use and later use of other substances, this is also true for alcohol and cigarettes.

It is also unclear whether the use of marijuana, alcohol, or cigarettes increases the likelihood of further drug use in adulthood. Some people simply have a stronger inclination and desire to use drugs than others.

Although cannabis is not a gateway drug, it is certainly not harmless

There are people who develop problems when dealing with cannabis. That is why caution and strict regulation are necessary, but there is no medical reason to ban marijuana and allow alcohol.

As with many mind-altering drugs, the dose determines the poison. The dangers of cannabis use depend primarily on whether it is occasional or regular, experimental or persistent.

There are some disadvantages associated with long-term use, including unpleasant side effects such as a dry mouth and red eyes, circulation problems, difficulty concentrating, panic attacks, and more.

Cannabis can trigger mania, but its use is not a necessary condition for mental illness. Cannabis-induced psychosis is possible. According to WHO, there is no direct scientific evidence of stand-alone cannabis psychosis.

How does cannabis actually work?

In the human nervous system, there are receptors to which the active ingredients of the cannabis plant can bind (endocannabinoid system). Cannabis causes changes in perception, reduces sensitivity to pain, and can lead to euphoria.

Headache, drowsiness, dizziness, slurred speech, dry mouth, drowsiness, muscle relaxation, and increasing hunger are all common symptoms. It is also quite typical that thinking is impaired and attention and concentration suffer. Occasionally, depressed mood or restlessness may also occur.

The effects of cannabis depend on both the amount consumed and the method.

Cannabis Research Association
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