• JWH-018 Addiction Potential as a Drug

    Due to its pharmacological and metabolic characteristics, JWH-018 is addictive and its prolonged use habit forming. As common for cannabinoids, intoxication and withdrawal leads to a great variety of symptoms.  Out of 13 listed signs of dysfunctional behavior and perceptual abnormalities (12) correlated with acute cannabinoid use, JWH-018 users experience a mean average of eleven, segregated as weakness or an anxiety/ depression withdrawal symptom type, namely euphoria, loss of inhibition, anxiety, agitation, suspiciousness or paranoid ideas, impaired judgment, attention and reaction time, interference with personal functioning, auditory and visual hallucinations (13). Type and severity of JWH-018 withdrawal symptoms depends on the length of use, gender, age and family history (14). Studies indicate JWH-018 is habit forming in as little as one week. Withdrawal symptoms are more pronounced in short term than long terms users, due to sort-term users not developing JWH-018 tolerance response. Long term use and age is associated with both types of withdrawal symptoms, weakness and anxiety/ depression while gender is associated with weakness symptoms only, more prevalent in men than women (14). Particularly potent in adolescents and young adults due to high metabolic turnover, JWH-018 withdrawal is correlated with major depressive disorders (15).

    Despite the presented data, there is a general lack of targeted studies on long-term effects of JWH-018 in humans. More research is certainly up-coming but until then there is no way to accurately quantify the real extent of consequences of prolonged JWH-018 use. Due to this, caution is advised, JWH-018 use discouraged and made illegal in many countries worldwide.
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    References

    12)     The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Diagnostic criteria for research, World Health Organization

    13)     Synthetic marijuana, K2, Spice, JWH-018 and Dependence,   DrugMonkey, February 17, 2010 8:24 PM

    14)     Cannabis withdrawal in the United States: a general population study, Deborah S. Hasin, Ph.D., Katherine M. Keyes, MPH, Donald Alderson, M.S., Shuang Wang, Ph.D., Efrat Aharonovich, Ph.D.,and Bridget F. Grant, Ph.D., Ph.D, September 9, 2008

    15)           Cannabis Withdrawal is Common among Treatment-Seeking Adolescents with Cannabis Dependence and Major Depression, and is Associated with Rapid Relapse to Dependence, Jack R. Cornelius,* Tammy Chung,  Christopher Martin, D. Scott Wood, and Duncan B. Clark, July, 2007

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