Treating Stimulant Abuse/Dependency – The Benefits of Medical Marijuana

There are indications that medical marijuana could treat addiction to stimulants. Of course, stimulant abuse is bad because it results in many health problems, including psychosis, hallucinations, skin sores and an obsession with one’s thoughts. According to research, there is an observed link between stimulant and marijuana use. 

Even though the researchers were interested in this relationship, they specially looked at the neurological systems implicated in stimulant addiction and how the cannabis-related portion of the brain overlaps with these regions. There are many different types of stimulant dependencies and the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating them greatly depends on the type of dependency.

Amphetamine/Methamphetamine Dependency


Amphetamines are stimulating drugs that treat certain conditions likes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity or narcolepsy. Even though these drugs are often prescribed by doctors, many people find a way to obtain them illegally. The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies amphetamine as a Schedule II stimulant implying that it has a high potential of abuse. Amphetamines may either come in powder or in the form of pills and users often use them to either boost their energy and confidence or to experience a sense of well-being. The most common non-prescription amphetamine is Crystal Meth. Prescriptions such as Adderall, Desoxyn, Dexedrine, Dextrostat, ProCentra, and Benzedrine are also known to be abused.

The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, revealed that an estimated 1.7 million Americans from 12 years old misuse amphetamines, whereas an estimated 648,000 people aged 12 or older have a methamphetamine use disorder. It should be noted that methamphetamine is one of the most common types of amphetamines. Even though amphetamines can make people feel energized, increase their confidence, heighten their awareness, boost concentration and make them more outgoing, it can as well speed up heart rate and lead to a heart attack. 

The long term use of amphetamines could also result in problems such as skin sores, insomnia, weight loss, tooth decay and heart problems. There is no known medication for the treatment of amphetamine dependency, but sufferers are often recommended group and cognitive behavioral therapies, as well as support from friends and family.

Research has revealed that the use of medical marijuana could help individuals overcome amphetamine addiction by relieving withdrawal symptoms, calming anxiety and providing a safer alternative to the dangerous and potentially fatal drug. According to a 2013 article, the endocannabinoid system is involved in the neuro-biological processes related to stimulant addiction. Of course, cannabinoids in marijuana can target the reward system that stimulants affect. This assertion, therefore implies that medical marijuana could replace more dangerous drugs.

A 2014 study also indicated that medical marijuana can reduce brain damage that is associated with the use of methamphetamine. This finding equally suggests that medical marijuana could help individuals experience less harm while using methamphetamines if they struggle with abstinence.

Cocaine Dependency


Cocaine is a type of drug that increases the availability of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is generally associated with euphoric emotions, the processing of reward cues as well as the regulation of movement. But cocaine, like most other drugs have a greater potential for dependence and abuse and this could result in psychiatric disorder, diseases like stroke, brain damage, kidney damage, heart failure and even death. Cocaine abuse is typically treated through behavioral and pharmacological therapies.

Several studies have suggested that medical marijuana is an effective treatment against cocaine dependency. According to a study that was conducted in Canada, there is a link between the deliberate use of cannabis and decreased cocaine use. It is imperative to note that this study aimed at investigating the intentional use of medical marijuana to reduce the use of crack cocaine among the participants.

In addition, another study that was published in Harm Reduction Journal indicated that patients with drug abuse issues or alcoholism use marijuana as an alternative to harder drugs like cocaine. The researchers of this study, therefore, suggested that marijuana is an effective treatment or at least a safer alternative to amphetamines.

Nicotine/Tobacco Dependency


Tobacco dependency, which is also termed nicotine dependency is an addiction to tobacco products caused by the drug nicotine. People suffering from tobacco dependency find it impossible to stop using it even though it’s causing them harm. Nicotine or tobacco dependency is often associated with medical conditions such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer. It is apparent that smokers are at higher risks of the aforementioned diseases than non-smokers.

There are indications that medical marijuana could be helpful in treating nicotine or tobacco dependency. According to a study that was published in 2013, CBD one of the components found in medical marijuana can help diminish tobacco consumption in smokers. The researchers of this study concluded that CBD shows a promising treatment option for tobacco addiction thanks to its anti-addiction properties.

Methylphenidate Dependency


Ritalin is the trade name for methylphenidate. It’s a stimulant of the central nervous system which is used to treat both attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Other types of methylphenidates include Concerta, Ddaytrana and Methylin. These drugs can be easily addictive when misused or taken through alternative methods like injecting or snorting. Methylphenidate abuse can lead to the tendency towards violence, paranoid, auditory hallucinations, repetitive actions, OCD-like behaviors, as well as grandiosity. Ritalin abuse is typically treated through behavioral and pharmacological therapies.

Scientists have been able to establish a link between medical marijuana and the treatment of methylphenidate dependency. The findings from a 2015 study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Toxicology goes a long way to buttress the point that medical marijuana is a safe alternative for treating methylphenidate dependency.


United Patients Group
Drug Abuse.Com
Journal of Clinical Toxicology

Marijuana strains reported to help with Stimulant Addiction:


How To Get Medical Marijuana


If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana, to get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.

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