Marijuana Addiction

Since there is no “detox” or physically stressful period of time to get ‘clean’ from a consistent use of marijuana, many people do not consider it to be an addictive substance. There is no physical withdrawal. There is no chance of the body going into shock, or having a seizure due to lack of access to the drug. There is no sickness, no vomiting, or shaking and tremors.

This does not mean that a person cannot develop a psychological addiction to marijuana. Much of the public is misinformed on the fact that just because marijuana is not physically addictive, it cannot be abused and that people cannot be addicted to it. This is false. Marijuana addiction is real, and it sneaks up on casual users quickly turning what can be a stress reliving activity into a substance abuse issue.

Marijuana dependency

maijuana addiction

This is not to say that all cannabis users become addicted. There are millions of people who smoke or ingest cannabis for several years on a daily basis that can quit in one day. But there are also very high numbers of marijuana users that become dependent on the drug to function in their daily lives. Often this arises from using marijuana to self-medicate against mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

In the short term, marijuana use can increase dopamine levels in the brain. With constant use, the brain becomes accustomed to this, and eventually will need marijuana to feel any levels of dopamine in the brain. Regular activities that cause dopamine in the brain like sex and exercise will not help addicts feel the same “dopamine high” that they get with the drug, and may become dependent on it just to feel normal.

Medicinal marijuana

Some states where medical use is still not allowed, the use of CBD oil. CBD is an ingredient in marijuana that can help patients feel the calming and therapeutic effects of marijuana without having to feel the high. Usually these are sold as gummies or vaped as oil.

Medical marijuana can be used in end of life care, and has been shown to effectively decrease the negative effects that someone who is reaching the point of death may feel. It can also be used to improve their mood and general outlook on their situation, as well as help with any pain or sleeping problems they may have.

Many states have chosen to legalize marijuana for medical use. Some have even chosen to legalize it recreationally for those over the age of 21. Medical marijuana can be used to treat a large list of disorders that vary by state but generally include:

  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Anorexia
  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Autism
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Spinal Cord Injury/disease
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

Legalization of marijuana

legal marijuana

D.C, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington are the only states that currently have legislation on the books that allows the use of recreational marijuana. States that allow medical cannabis include:

  1. Alaska
  2. Arizona
  3. Arkansas
  4. California
  5. Colorado
  6. Connecticut
  7. Delaware
  8. Florida
  9. Hawaii
  10. Illinois
  11. Maine
  12. Maryland
  13. Massachusetts
  14. Michigan
  15. Minnesota
  16. Montana
  17. Nevada
  18. New Hampshire
  19. New Jersey
  20. New Mexico
  21. New York
  22. North Dakota
  23. Oregon
  24. Pennsylvania
  25. Rhode Island
  26. Vermont
  27. Washington

Marijuana abuse

marijuana abuse

Marijuana is often abused when it is used by those who are underage. Studies have shown that constant marijuana use in young males can actually decrease sperm counts. When the drug is used constantly while the brain is still developing in young adulthood, developmental problem and stunts may occur. It can also cause legal problems because even if the state has decriminalized the drug, people underage still cannot possess it. Whether it be recreationally or medicinally, marijuana should not be used by anyone under the age of 21 unless a doctor says that it is okay. Medical marijuana is rarely used with children, but has been shown to be effective when treating some disorders in kids. Parents should never give medical marijuana to a child unless they have been told it is okay by a medical professional.

It is hard to tell when someone has developed a dependency on marijuana, but there are some signs to be on the lookout for in yourself as well as the people you care about. An addict may experience prolonged issues of concentration and memory loss, as well as paranoia and increasing feelings of anxiety or depression.

Cannabis addiction treatment

Treatment is a viable option for those who feel they have become dependent on marijuana. Rehab care centers all across the nation can provide specialized care for those suffering from an addiction to cannabis. Some care centers will more on coping mechanisms and ways to live holistically for those who have developed an addiction to marijuana since there is no “detox” phase.

Usually in rehab care centers, doctors have to provide constant care to patients who are going through withdrawal, but when a person is recovering from cannabis addiction, it is more important to keep their mind and body occupied to keep them away from thoughts involving the drug. Recovery from marijuana addiction can be as short as a few days, or span into several months in extreme cases. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, instead reach out for assistance in your recovery process from an addiction to marijuana.


One thought on “Marijuana Addiction

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