Marijuana, also known as weed, pot, reefer, ganja, Mary Jane, and other names is a recreational substance that most users smoke. Marijuana can be ingested in several ways: rolled up like a cigarette (blunt) or from a smoking pipe or water pipe (bong). It can also be added to baked goods or other foods to make “edibles” or be consumed as tea.
While many people can enjoy smoking marijuana occasionally, it can become an issue when a person starts experiencing symptoms when trying to cut back. Read on for more important information on the symptoms of marijuana addiction to know if you or a loved one might be developing a marijuana problem.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
If you’ve been wondering “is marijuana addictive?”, you’re not alone. The short answer is yes and no.
Marijuana use disorder (the preferred term over marijuana addiction) is relatively uncommon. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports in its marijuana addiction facts that about 30% of users have some form of marijuana use disorder.
Many people use marijuana recreationally and can start and stop as they please with no side effects. It’s when a person uses it so frequently and can’t stop without side effects that it could be considered marijuana addiction.
Occasional use generally doesn’t present a problem for a person, but the earlier in life marijuana is introduced, the more likely it’s to be cause for concern down the road if a user wants to stop.
When marijuana is smoked, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the crystalline active ingredient in marijuana, is introduced into the brain and binds to cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids alter how cells in the brain communicate with one another, so THC alters this communication process, affecting the entire body’s ability to function properly.
You may have experienced first-hand the feeling of being “high” or recall a loved one under the influence, which can present in a myriad of ways like being slow to respond, sleepy, happy, hungry, or even agitated.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is made from the dried flowers of the cannabis Sativa plant and has a history that traces back to Asia around 500 BC. The history of cannabis in the United States however goes back to early colonizers who grew and harvested hemp (a variety of cannabis) for various textile uses.
In the late 1800s, cannabis extracts were commonly sold in pharmacies in Europe and the United States to help with gastrointestinal issues and other illnesses. Although ancient civilizations are thought to have used various forms of the cannabis plant, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that marijuana smoking was more widely introduced to Americans for its recreational use.
Throughout the decades, marijuana has been outlawed and labeled a Schedule I drug; been called a “gateway drug” to other harsher substances; was legalized through the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 for people with chronic pain and illness, and is now legal in many states for recreational use.
There are different types of cannabis, with the two main ones being Sativa and Indica.
- Sativa: Is best known for producing a “head high” and giving users an energizing effect that helps reduce anxiety, depression, and stress by boosting serotonin levels. It’s preferred by people who are looking for increased focus, creativity, appetite, and pain relief.
- Indica: Is best known for giving users a “body high” and providing overall relaxation. Indica is beneficial for nausea, treating pain, and helping with some of the uncomfortable symptoms of chronic illness or autoimmune disease.
Hemp, not to be confused with marijuana, is classified as being a variety of cannabis that contains 0.3% or less of THC and is most commonly used for its commercial products like rope, textiles, clothing, paper, milk, pet bedding, and hemp-based CBD oil. Hemp does not have enough THC to produce a high, so ingesting this will not produce mind-altering effects.
Marijuana Addiction Statistics
Marijuana use is deeply ingrained in many cultures across the world with over 188 million people worldwide using marijuana in some form in 2019.
In the United States alone, 16.9% of American adults use marijuana and upwards of 3,700 adolescents are introduced to marijuana every day per the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics.
In another decade, it’s estimated that the marijuana industry’s value will skyrocket to $100 billion per year – a stark rise compared to the $15 billion earned in 2019. These striking statistics point to the fact that marijuana isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, marijuana will continue to dominate as one of the farthest-reaching substances in the world.
It’s important to consider the risks of prolonged marijuana use as some studies suggest it can lead to lower IQ, functional impairment in cognitive abilities, and more. If you or your loved one is being negatively impacted by marijuana addiction, it’s time to seek professional assistance to quit.
Signs of Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana addiction is not life-threatening, but it can be uncomfortable if a user has become so dependent on it that they cannot quit without having withdrawal symptoms.
Marijuana addiction symptoms can look like:
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decrease in appetite
- General restlessness
- Lack of social interaction
- Increased tolerance
While there can be other signs and symptoms, these are some of the most common.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Marijuana addiction is the most serious form of marijuana dependence. If you or a loved one is struggling to live life without marijuana, it’s important to seek professional help. With the right support, you can safely detox from marijuana and find true freedom from substance abuse. AION Health Group can help today.
AION Recovery provides an abstinence-based recovery program* with personalized care that integrates exciting and proven-to-work activities that support a positive patient outcome. In addition to providing award-winning support, “Gold Seal” Joint Commission Accreditation, and hundreds of wonderful patient testimonials, AION Recovery also offers a total-wellness approach that includes fitness, nutrition, psychological and medical support, as well as alternative pain management techniques.
Rehab South Florida (RSF) offers partial hospitalization addiction treatment plans and programs, along with outpatient detox, intensive outpatient and MAT therapy (medically assisted treatment). RSF has a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment, and one-on-one support provides patients with the individualized care, treatment, and counseling they need in order to achieve successful long-term recovery from drugs or alcohol.
Detox of South Florida treatment center offers customized MAT treatment to manage withdrawal symptoms due to drug and alcohol addiction. With a focus on detoxification, patients can start a recovery journey with a clean slate.
Contact AION Health Group Today
AION Health Group is an evidence-based group of recovery centers offering holistic-focused treatment for marijuana addiction, and each center aims to provide patients with total healing and long-term recovery. We’ve helped many patients overcome addiction with comprehensive and personalized recovery plans that combine our evidence-based and adventure-focused treatment modalities.
Marijuana addiction can hold you back from living life to the fullest. If you or a loved one is suffering from this type of addiction and are ready to receive the support you need to start a new, drug-free chapter, then call us today at 888-912-2454 or contact us online for 24/7 help. Our compassionate admissions staff is here when you’re ready. Stop suffering today, you can overcome addiction. AION Health Group is here to help.
*Abstinence-based recovery means patients will not receive medical comfort while detoxing.