The number of youth (15-24) who have used cannabis within the last year is currently three mimes higher than that of adults (25 years +) 21. 6% vs.. 6. 7%. It is reported in some Canadian jurisdictions that 50% of students in grade 12 have consumed cannabis within the last year (Portal-Waller 2009). Not only is this a current issue but a growing trend amongst youth of poly-drug abuse can lead to unexpected dependencies. Even though cannabis and tobacco act on different systems, it is believed that they have synergistic effects and that nicotine can lead to profound and multiple addictions when administered in adolescents (M.Salinas 007). Nicotine diffuses readily across the blood brain barrier where it binds to nachos, which are aligned-gated ion channels. It is the desensitizing of these receptors that lead to craving and withdrawal symptoms. The channel opens, allowing the entry of actions that further activate voltage-dependent calcium channels, allowing further calcium entry. Nicotine causes, most importantly, the release of dopamine in the ventral testament area of the mandarin and the nucleus acumen’s, the two pathways most critical in drug-induced reward.
If administered in adolescence or before the age of 17, this desensitizing results in the over production of cannabis receptors resulting in high a density in the hippopotamus, pre-frontal cortex and ventral testament area; all important areas of goal-oriented behavior. An increase in locomotors response to cocaine and amphetamine as well as marijuana was seen in the test subjects with high density of cannabis receptors (Linda L. Wearing 2009). These results are not seen in adults who are exposed to nicotine.
The long term buses of nicotine can manifest itself through greater susceptibility to addiction. A better understanding of the interactions between the nicotine and cannabis system may help in the development of age-specific treatments for dependence on nicotine and/or marijuana. Currently there are multiple safe and effective ways of treating nicotine addiction such as nicotine replacement (proportion) and selective nicotine receptor Zionists (variance) but a program tailored for adolescents whose brains are still maturing has yet to be developed.