Is Marijuana Addictive?

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Marijuana may seem like a drug that’s harmless and even good for you, but the truth is that, just like with any other drug, regular marijuana use can lead to addiction. Marijuana users who want to quit but are struggling to do so may need to consider marijuana addiction treatment.

How Marijuana Affects the Brain

Because marijuana has a similar structure to anandamide, a brain chemical, the body can recognize it and change the way the brain typically communicates with it. THC alters the way in which the brain functions; specifically, the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex. These areas are responsible for focus, learning, and the formation of new memories.

THC also affects the areas of the brain responsible for regulating balance, coordination, and reaction time.

Marijuana Use Carries Higher Risk Than Before

Thirty years ago, marijuana samples contained only around four percent THC, but current samples were found to contain 50 percent, and even up to 80 percent THC.1 Why is this concerning? Because higher THC amounts mean that more of the drug enters the body at each use.

The result is more risk of damage to the brain and a much higher chance of needing rehab for weed addiction. Unfortunately, because the potency of marijuana is higher now than it’s ever been, no one can really know what the long-term consequences of high THC consumption will be.

Are You Dependent or Do You Have Marijuana Use Disorder?

There is a big difference between being dependent on marijuana and having marijuana use disorder. Being dependent on marijuana means that you need to feel better physically. For example, you may use marijuana for pain control and, as a result, it’s important that you always have a supply on hand.

However, if you are craving marijuana, constantly thinking about using it, or using more of it, and getting the drug has become more of a priority than anything else, these are all signs of marijuana use disorder. The same is true if marijuana use is causing you to make decisions that are not in favor of your well-being and if use has caused problems with your family, job, or school.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

In addition to the signs of addiction, there are also several withdrawal symptoms that indicate addiction to marijuana. These include:

  • Irritability
  • Inability to sleep
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite

It’s estimated that half of those who engage in daily high-potency marijuana use will experience the above symptoms. Although most withdrawal symptoms resolve within a week of stopping marijuana use, they can be intense enough to cause a return to the drug for relief.

Stop the Cycle of Marijuana Addiction

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The only way to recover from marijuana addiction is to stop the cycle. The Botkiss Center for Recovery uses a holistic approach to recovery that addresses all aspects of addiction. When you’re ready to explore the benefits of San Diego rehabilitation for marijuana use disorder, Botkiss is ready to help; call 619-980-2615.

Sources:

1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive

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