Is cannabis addictive ??? was Re: Poitical abuses...

Dr E. Buxbaum EB15 at le.ac.uk
Wed Nov 6 14:11:16 EST 1996

Matt Jones <jonesmat at ohsu.edu> wrote:

>At any rate, I did exactly as you suggested. I looked up "cannabis" AND
>"addiction" on Ovid-Medline 1992-1996. I then read the abstracts of these
>papers (not the whole paper, so of course my interpretations are sketchy.
>I have assumed that the abstract accurately reflects the content of the
>paper itself). Here is a summary of what I found. You may or may not be
>interested in this:

>Here's my analysis of this (admittedly cursory and partial) reading of
>the last four years of research into "cannabis" AND "addiction":
>1)      There is hardly any research into "cannabis" AND "addiction".
>2)      By far, most studies don't even directly address whether cannabis
>is addictive or not. 
>3)      No obvious or unambiguous definition of addiction exists.
>4)      Studies that explicitly discuss addiction assume from the start
>that cannabis has this property, but do not test this hypothesis. 
>5)      If cannabis is addictive (which has not been demonstrated or
>experimentally supported in the last four years), it is less addictive
>and harmful than alcohol, cocaine, or heroin. 
>This is not my main field of expertise, so undoubtedly I'm sure to
>irritate a lot of people by posting this. I hope that it doesn't escalate
>into a flame war. But according to *your* suggested medline sources, Dr.
>Buxbaum, there appears to be insufficient modern experimental evidence to
>conclude that cannabis is addictive (whatever that word means). 

Well, now get those papers, and read them carefully. Get the literature 
cited in those papers, and read those too. If a paper works on a 
assumption, that assumtion will be documented by relevant literature, but 
in the reference section, not the abstract. Scientific work is 90% 
perspiration and 10% inspiration. There are no shortcuts.

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