What psychological needs are fed by drugs like nicotine and marijuana?

I was just wondering why people like these things...

Blessings, Jai

asked 09 Feb '10, 03:01

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 22 Mar '12, 04:52

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

Nicotine is a stimulant. As nicotine enters the body, it is distributed quickly through the bloodstream and can cross the blood-brain barrier. On average it takes about seven seconds for the substance to reach the brain when inhaled.

By binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, nicotine increases the levels of several neurotransmitters - acting as a sort of "volume control". It is thought that increased levels of dopamine in the reward circuits of the brain are responsible for the euphoria and relaxation and eventual addiction caused by nicotine consumption.

The active ingredient in marijuana is Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Effects of THC include relaxation; euphoria; altered space-time perception; alteration of visual, auditory, and olfactory senses; anxiety; disorientation; fatigue; and appetite stimulation (colloquially known as "the munchies"). The brain appears to have specialized receptors that "know" THC; this finding led many researchers to postulate that the body actually produces THC, although this has never been proven.

So why do people like them? Well, I believe that these plants have evolved to be what they are to entice humans to like them, and because of their natural effects on the nervous system, humans cultivate these plants. In other words, both man and plant evolved in a symbiotic relationship to aid in the propagation of the plant species.

Similarly, if psychological needs are being met (stress relief, perhaps?) then the plants are also providing a benefit, although for evolutionary purposes, all that is required is for humans to like them.




answered 09 Feb '10, 05:28

Vesuvius's gravatar image


What a great answer Vesuvius and thanks for the links Vesuvius.

(09 Feb '10, 12:29) flowingwater

I like your theory that we have evolved together with Cannabis, do you also believe that the same has happened with Dimethyltryptamine?

Did you know that breast milk has been found to contain endocannabinoids? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159678

(12 Feb '13, 09:52) lastplacefavourite

@Vesuvius Reading this makes me realise how little I know - I wish you would re-appear as I think your answers are amazing.

(13 Feb '13, 02:50) Catherine
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

I've never smoked nicotine, but have used medicinal marijuana. I've noticed that I feel much more relaxed which helps me deal with chronic pain. I had been told to discontinue use of ibuprophen by my Doctor when blood tests showed it was severly stressing my kidneys then I switched to Tylenol, but it is damaging my liver. Marijuana does not have those negative side effects. I also like some of the psychological effects such as a relaxation of inhibitions. I find I'm much more articulate if I have one small puff of marijuana. More than one or two I talk more, but make less sense. But with just one it seems to make me much more articulate. This is in spite of the fact that I am not aware of any inhibitions in my normal life.


answered 09 Feb '10, 10:16

Dreamtimer's gravatar image


Thanks for your answer from a personal stand point. Dreamtimer

(09 Feb '10, 12:30) flowingwater

i think it is a hole or a void we have in our souls because or lack of connection with the universe. we use drugs to make us feel connected and apart of something. it can mask loneliness or insecurities. and these problems that we have in the modern world are a result of our departure from nature. nature was our drug. but now we must feed this emptiness with something else. and sadly that is with drugs that pollute our body and drain our psychological strength. we have all seen how a walk in the park or staring at the coastline can calm the mind. let nature become our drug again.

please check out my blog ... www.takeasneed.blogspot.com

:) xo


answered 10 Feb '10, 01:16

vanessa's gravatar image


I believe the attraction of smoking grab the teenagers for he/she wants to appear grown, hip, cool, peer pressure. Once you make it to being grown I see around 21 or 22 than you are already grown than the pressure is off to be cool, be grown, be hip and also the peer pressure is gone. For the taste, the smell and the price will usually effect your decision not to start smoking.

Most adults if they have not started smoking in their teens years than that don't start once they get grown. Once you start smoking the nicotine makes it habit forming which makes it hard for you to quite.

Now Marijuana I have heard helps relax you from being stressed out, is good for glacoma, and nausa from chemo treatments. A friend of mind had colon cancer and she use it and it help the first time the doctor didn't want to give it to her but later on he came back with a pill form of it and she said she should have been taking it. It had helped her so much for she had been so sick from the nausa. I also heard that it helps with MS. The original name of marijuana is hemp.

Here is some information that I found to be very informative: http://www.sdearthtimes.com/et0199/et0199s11.html


answered 09 Feb '10, 13:35

flowingwater's gravatar image


edited 09 Feb '10, 13:58

Hemp is a male variety of cannabis, it does not produce THC and thus does not get you high. Only the female strains produce THC. Marijuana is the name they made up when they first prohibited it.

(12 Feb '13, 09:47) lastplacefavourite

Well i agree that people smoke to relax and remove some stress,but also it help not getting fat.Some people when they stop smoking get fat.Is it because they change the habit of nicotine for candy or more food,or a metabolism effect i cannot say.It could be a combination of all 3 factor.

As for marijuana i also agree with what as been said before,and some people take it for pain.That is why some place it is legal to a certain mesure as medication.

Those product like every other product have good effect and bad one.Good recommendation would be do not go in extremes consomate in moderation and not to often to not make a habit of it.


answered 12 Feb '13, 15:28

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

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