Brain Health,
Sci + Society,
50 MINS

#022: Nicotine: The Most Interesting Drug in the World?

November 06, 2013
MP3

Dr. Neil Grunberg of the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology from the Uniform Services of the Health Sciences is one of the leading minds in the study of nicotine. He’s spent almost thirty years studying the effects of nicotine on the body and brain. In this episode, Dr. Grunberg shares his wealth of knowledge regarding nicotine, and why he considers it “the most interesting drug in the world.”

If you think of nicotine merely as “the bad stuff in cigarettes,” you will find Grunberg’s report fascinating and surprising.

This Week In Neuroscience: Good Cholesterol Linked To Better Memory

The cholesterol debate has raged on for years. However, a study reported in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (yes, that’s a real magazine) suggests that higher levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL, or High-Density Lipoproteins) might help protect your brain’s ability to store memories. What can you do to increase HDL levels? Avoid tobacco and trans fats, exercise, limit alcohol consumption, and eat healthier. Makes sense.

Read the original article here.

What You’ll Learn

  • A candid discussion as to whether addiction is innately “bad.”
  • How nicotine itself causes very little physical damage to the body.
  • The unique qualities of nicotine that make it such an unusual compound.
  • How physicians’ recommendations regarding nicotine have changed in the past 30 years.
  • Dr. Grunberg’s thoughts on the use of nicotine as a cognitive enhancer.

Key Terms Mentioned

10 comments

  1. ed west says:

    Great info on nicotine! Ecig activist here fighting the fda and big pharma for our right to vape! thanks

  2. Gabriel says:

    Very interesting podcast.

    I would like to try nicotine gum. I never smoked (I tried but can’t tolerate it). Gums come in 2 and 4 mg (same price). Which dose should I try? Is cutting the gum possible or practical? Is the gum supposed to release the nicotine slowly? Will cutting it affect that?

    Thanks.

    1. Jesse Lawler says:

      I’d start at the lower dose, see how that feels, and go from there. I’m going from my gut here, but I think the gum will release nicotine for the same amount of time you’re chewing the gum… – who chews gum that long, really? A patch, obviously, is a much longer/slower release, and is made to work all day.

      1. Gabriel says:

        Good idea, thanks.

  3. Gabriel says:

    Very interesting podcast.

    I would like to try nicotine gum. I never smoked (I tried but can’t tolerate it). Gums come in 2 and 4 mg (same price). Which dose should I try? Is cutting the gum possible or practical? Is the gum supposed to release the nicotine slowly? Will cutting it affect that?

    Thanks.

    1. Jesse Lawler says:

      I’d start at the lower dose, see how that feels, and go from there. I’m going from my gut here, but I think the gum will release nicotine for the same amount of time you’re chewing the gum… – who chews gum that long, really? A patch, obviously, is a much longer/slower release, and is made to work all day.

  4. Flightmedick says:

    Great pod
    I had heard Dave go on about it
    But this pod is was the catalyst to buying the biggest box I could find on Amazon
    I just bought a vile of nicotine (50mg/ml) & a kelo of freeze dried powdered blueberry (blueberries currently enroute)
    I have a 50 capsule filler, to make blueberry nicotine pills.
    Not heard of anyone doing this, so hope it works.
    I know much will be lost in the GI tract, I’ll adjust accordingly.
    On the dosing of the gum.
    Get the 4mg & cut/tear into size you want.
    I quickly went to full piece
    Wife still only takes half. (Due to getting sick from too much)
    Your also not supposed just chomp away,
    Chew it enough to taste/feel then put it in your cheek
    But after doing this for the last few months, I just chew it.
    I’ll put it in my cheek, but 10 seconds later I’ll realize I’m chewing it again.
    Btw
    Neither of us have ever smoked

  5. Flightmedick says:

    The nicotine in the gum runs out after 30-45 min…

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