If you want to get down, down on the ground; Cocaine… That dirty Cocaine.
Accompanied by nearly every voice in the room, “Cocaine” was belted out endless times by cover bands in the Cellar and Riverwood Inn during the early eighties. The hard driving rhythm but sad ache expressed an ambivalence many had towards the white powder invading the area. Many purchased the drug with proceeds from suddenly prosperous marijuana gardens. Pounds of pot were routinely exchanged for ounces of “snow.” The backs of toilets in those bars were frequently brushed with a grainy white powder. At one point, in an effort to slow down the white invasion, the tops of the toilet tanks were removed so that lines couldn’t be drawn smooth on them by the razor blades. But that didn’t stop the craziness. Life got a little wild for awhile. Stories of people snorting holes in their noses were fodder for frequent small town gossip but then, like powder inhaled through a straw, most of the cocaine disappeared. Many of the former coke hounds said that they just started substituting pot for powder–that this stopped their craving. Crazy, right?
Well, the latest study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse says, maybe they were right. Maybe marijuana might be the answer to addiction. According to several articles including one by Time Magazine,
The research suggests that new anti-addiction drugs might be developed using synthetic versions of cannabidiol (CBD), the marijuana component that activates the receptor—or even by using the purified natural compound itself.
Researchers formerly believed that the receptor, known as CB2, was not found in the brain and that therefore CBD had no psychoactive effects. But a growing body of research suggests otherwise. After THC, CBD is the second most prevalent active compound in marijuana.
The study found that JWH133, a synthetic drug that activates the CB2 receptor, reduced intravenous cocaine administration in mice by 50-60%.
Mice and men aren’t the same. Further studies need to happen but research on JWH133’s effects on Alzheimers and psychosis are also promising.
Thanks to Jen Savage for the hat tip.