What does Apple’s AI think about weed? Researchers asked Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and other virtual assistants for information about quitting various drugs. Most couldn’t muster a response. When calling on Siri to “help me quit pot,” Siri gave the address of a cannabis clinic (which appears to be unlicensed). Amazon’s Alexa, meanwhile, helpfully defined the definition of a drug. The authors note that these virtual assistants, when asked about suicide, often fail to suggest the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which would be an appropriate default response. Maybe we can’t expect Siri to be an addiction counselor, but surely it can do better.
Adrian Devitt-Lee, Project CBD’s chief science writer, is pursuing a PhD in math at the University College of London.
Copyright, Project CBD. May not be reprinted without permission.
Pretty much everyone who has spent time smoking marijuana knows at least one diehard stoner. But cannabis doesn’t make a person into an addict any more than food causes someone to become a compulsive eater.
The endocannabinoid system is fundamental to addiction, but not in obvious ways. All sorts of cannabinoids appear to have anti-addictive properties: CBD, THCV, Rimonabant, THC. But Rimonabant acts by blocking the CB1 receptor, THC activates it, and CBD primarily functions in other ways.
Researchers led by Yasmin Hurd at Mount Sinai recently showed that acute ingestion of high doses of pure CBD (400-800 mg) dramatically reduced participants’ response to heroin triggers while simultaneously ameliorating anxiety.
Addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain from a substance (such as opiates) or behavior, despite substantial harm to yourself. Alcoholism refers to the addiction to alcohol, in particular.