Cannabis Use Disorders
Using cannabis is perceived by many as relatively harmless, but the adverse effects of problematic cannabis use are significant. Thirteen million individuals globally have Cannabis Use Disorders, with relapse rates comparable to those of other substance use disorders. Contrasting non-problematic recreational cannabis use, severe forms of CUD involve compulsive use despite significant harms to mental health; high stress levels (craving, withdrawal); cognitive deficits; academic and work absenteeism; and significant risky behaviors, such as driving and operating machinery while intoxicated. Worryingly, the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound driving the addiction liability of cannabis, has risen in cannabis products over the past decade.
Neurocognitive Mechanisms Underlying CUDs: What We Know and What We Do Not Know
Mounting (although mixed) evidence shows that regular cannabis use is linked to abnormal neurobiology in regions subserving reward, craving/urges, and cognitive control—key components of addiction. Neurobiological studies of CUDs specifically are sparse and limited because diagnostic assessments of CUDs are rarely performed. There is a strong need to study CUDs, given their high prevalence and treatment demands, and worldwide trends toward legalizing cannabis products.
Emerging evidence shows neuroadaptations in cannabis users with CUDs, which may be related to the development of addictive behaviors (i.e., reduced prefrontal control, alteration in reward systems, and increased stress, anxiety, and withdrawal). CUDs may exacerbate and expand the neurobiological alterations associated with pre-existing general vulnerability to drug use and recreational cannabis use, particularly in addiction-relevant areas. Neurobiological models propose mechanisms of addiction related neuroadaptations within distinct brain regions in the transition from recreational, non-problem, and reward-driven drug use (ventral striatum, medial prefrontal cortex) to compulsive and habitual drug use (dorsal striatum, lateral prefrontal cortex, stress circuit.
Specific aspects of severe CUDs (e.g., neural signatures of withdrawal, stress, craving, and compulsive use) may dissociate from the direct effects of cannabis exposure in milder forms of CUDs (e.g., possibly limited to brain areas high in cannabinoid receptors). This notion is yet to be tested. Neurobiological models of addiction and the transition from regular heavy use to compulsive drug use mostly rely on preclinical evidence from artificially induced drug taking of substances other than cannabis such as cocaine. Emerging evidence in human cocaine users has elucidated neural network changes involved in compulsive drug use at the level of frontal-striatal circuits and these neural changes have been linked to drug relapse, validating preclinical models of drug addiction. Supportive evidence for these models also comes from a study of alcohol dependent individuals and functional imaging studies in cannabis users implicating frontal–striatal pathways. Most human studies of cannabis users, however, compare groups of heavy cannabis users with varying levels of cannabis related problems to controls without assessing CUD severity with rigorous diagnostic instruments. As such, little is known about the neurobiology underlying cannabis addiction.
Addiction-specific neural alterations—rather than those associated with use per se—are likely to predict negative outcomes in cannabis users. Consistent with this notion, dependent users have worse mental health outcomes than non-dependent users. Moreover, severity of cannabis use-related problems—rather than quantity of use—predicts activity in reward-related brain regions in response to cannabis cues, which is a well-validated measure of craving. Uncovering whether CUDs involve neuroadaptations dissociable from those linked to recreational, non-problem cannabis use is critical. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00086/full
Insomnia and Nightmares:
Wow… and that’s not a good thing either. The crazy dreams and nightmares you will have when you stop smoking weed are beyond intense. Experts say heavy cannabis use blocks you from having dreams and when they come back they come back with a vengeance. You go through 5 stages of sleep a night and heavy weed usage stops your dreaming.
This is the start of the sleeping process which alpha activity recorded as small, rapid and irregular waves with EOG demonstrating slow rolling eye movements. It is a transition stage between being awake and sleeping. EEG will increase as sleep progresses which contain low frequency of voltage activity also known as Delta activity. A typical sleep cycle will be about 10 minutes for this stage. If one was to be awake from stage one sleep, one may feel as if he or she has not slept at all. Body temperature begins to decline and the alpha waves prior to sleep begin to change to theta waves. Brief muscle contractions before sleep, known as hypnotic jerks, generally occur in stage one sleep.
At the second stage, this will occur for about 10 to 25 minutes with delta activity increasing. It had been stated that 50% of sleep occurs at this stage. One will be disengaged to their environment and respiration rate, heart rate, body temperature and muscle tension will decline. Stage two sleep simply meant that body is preparing to go to deep sleep.
STAGE 3 & STAGE 4
The deeper stage of sleep in which delta activities will increase with slow waves of sleep. During deep sleep energy is regained and growth hormones are excreted while respiration rate, heart rate, body temperature and muscle tension will continue to decline. One will remain in stage four sleep on average for 30 minutes before the cycle repeats itself in a backwards fashion. Stage 3 last for an approximate period of 15 minutes prior to entering Stage 4 which will last approximately 90 minutes. Most of the Stage 4 sleep cycle is accomplished early in the night. Stage four is the last stage of NREM before REM occurs, when the cycle returns back to stage one, one will enter the fifth stage of sleep known as the REM .
STAGE 5 (REM)
This Stage is known as the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep as well as irregular breathing and pulse rate with the body immobilized and extremely relaxed. REM sleep is also strongly associated with ones dream as this is the stage where most dreams occur. Scientist suggests the reason for the extremely relaxed muscular activities is so one will not act out the dream physically. REM is important to daytime performance and may contribute to memory consolidation. EEG becomes desynchronized while EOG results stated that eye movement at this period will be darting back and forth, while muscles recordings from EMG demonstrates relaxation reflexes. This stage has been said to be ‘paradoxical’ of sleep where EEG recordings are similar towards a person being awake. Each of the sleeping cycle contains a number of REM sleep cycles. At a typical 8 hour sleep, each person will encounter about 4 to 5 bouts of REM sleep process.
By smoking weed, you suppress the REM sleep, and with that you also suppress a lot of important functions of that REM sleep. According to Dr. Hamburger, the body recovers from the rebound effect on its own over time. “It is a temporary attempt to catch up on all the dreaming you missed when you were smoking weed.
If this does not get you to relapse then nothing will. You may even dream in one of your many crazy vivid dreams that you are actually smoking weed. You’ve got to understand that the very first thing you do in the morning is wake and bake as soon as you wake up you get high, right? Craving weed is the same way you crave anything else you’ve ever had and enjoyed. Once you’ve experienced something and you’ve enjoyed it then you want to have that experience again. Cravings are a strong desire to use and a constant thinking about using. These thoughts and feelings can lead to obsessing and that can lead you back down the path of using again and relapse. Cravings are a common symptom of cannabis addiction withdrawal and one of greatest contributing factors that led us to introduce the world to VEJOVIS™.
The quality or state of being irritable. “symptoms include insomnia and irritability” synonyms: irascibility, testiness, touchiness, grumpiness, moodiness, grouchiness, (bad) mood, cantankerousness, curmudgeonliness, bad temper, short temper, ill humor, peevishness, crossness, fractiousness, pettishness, crabbiness, tetchiness, waspishness, prickliness, crankiness, orneriness;
Is caused by the brain compensating for the THC it received while having cannabinoids it its system. This may inhibit the ability to feel comfortable in social situations. Nervousness characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.
A mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness.
Is usually the result of intense anxiety and may result in loss of sense of self. Depersonalization can consist of a detachment within the self regarding one’s mind or body, or being a detached observer of oneself. Subjects feel they have changed and that the world has become vague, dreamlike, less real, or lacking in significance.