Is cannabis addictive? One of the most common questions people ask for cannabis smokers. There’s a lot of people who can throw down their joint or blunt without getting affected, and for some, they are offended by this gesture because they aren’t able to do it, and that’s one of the reasons why they say that cannabis can be addicting.
Is cannabis addicting? Just like for drug users who are dependent on drugs, are there any people who are weed dependent as well? Or is it just a stigma surrounding cannabis use? Will cannabis legalization be the root cause of cannabis addiction? You’ll soon find out. In this article, you will be learning a few things about cannabis, and whether it is cannabis addictive or not, you’ll quickly find out!
Marijuana Use Disorder
As the name suggests, Yes. If you’re asking how on earth is cannabis addictive, the answer to that isn’t as simple as you may think. For years, cannabis use is treated as a soft drug, and it has something to do with its classified Schedule-1 substance. Some people laugh at the idea the smoking cannabis can get them addicted to it. However, there will always be studies and research referring to cannabis, whether it is addictive or not. For the most part, there are a lot of people using marijuana without incurring any side effects.
Well, hardcore smokers will be baffled by this, but smoking weed can indeed lead to marijuana disorder. This disorder is often considered by the dependence on the use of cannabis, where users suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they don’t use cannabis. In most severe cases, this dependence on cannabis use will ultimately lead to cannabis addiction.
Data gathered suggests that almost 30% of cannabis users have forms of marijuana use disorder. Also, people who use cannabis right before they turn 18 years are more likely to encounter this type of disorder compared to adults.
When withdrawal symptoms occur for users, they often experience appetite loss, cravings, irritability, insomnia, restlessness, and other numerous forms of physical and mental discomfort. In most cases, these symptoms will go around a week to a month.
Is Cannabis Addictive: Developing Tolerance
Marijuana dependence happens when users build up a tolerance for the substance to take more of it to feel the same effects.
When a particular drug enters your brain, they overrule the brain’s natural practices; when this happens, it either boosts a specific function from a superior to inferior levels.
The brain builds resistance to this effect in an effort to protect itself from, so when a person uses the same drug and with the same amount, it doesn’t have quite the impact that it used to. Which, in turn, the user will have to take more of it; it may take bigger doses to feel those experiences again.
And when a user builds up a tolerance from cannabis use and results in using even larger doses of marijuana, it can lead to cannabis addiction.
Is Cannabis Addictive: Cannabis Dependence
To deeply understand how smokers get dependent on cannabis, it is crucial to know how cannabis works in the human body.
Cannabis reacts to your endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is a “peripheral” nervous system responsible for regulating mood, appetite, pain, and memory. And judging by the name of this system, it was named after the cannabis plant
Your body produces cannabinoids naturally, and just like THC, they interact with different cannabinoid receptors from the ECS to regulate bodily functions. So, when THC is activated through heat, just like smoking, the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is absorbed through the bloodstream and is in constant search for various cannabinoid receptors, and when they find one. They bind to it.
This is then sent to the brain, which will, in turn, give you the psychoactive effects and high. As you consume more cannabinoids from weed, your body begins to adjust and producing fewer and fewer endocannabinoids. In turn, you’ll end up using for cannabis to regulate bodily functions that should be naturally taken care of by your body. The amount of cannabis and quality you take will have an effect on your mood and appetite; hence you will be more dependent on it.
So, once tolerance kicks in, cannabis dependence will form. For example, if a cannabis user smokes daily, the brain will be adapted to it.
And when the brain attempts to get back to normal, the brain will compensate for what was left when cannabis was used. For example, when you smoke weed, the heart rate is lowered, and once the effect wears off, the brain raises the heart rate back again and turns it back to normal. Another example is, if you smoke weed, it will boost your mood, but once the effect wears off, the brain would reduce it and turn it back to normal again.
Studies are also stating that 9% of all cannabis users can get dependent on it. In worse cases, teenagers using marijuana have a higher chance of being dependent on it; that rate rises from 9% to 17%. So, is cannabis addictive? Yes, highly possible!
What are the signs of Marijuana Abuse and Addiction?
Some signs and symptoms can help determine how to analyze a marijuana use disorder. This include:
- The inability to reduce or control the use of marijuana.
- Using marijuana is large amounts and using it for long periods.
- Still continuously using marijuana even if it is causing psychological and physical problems.
- Having difficulties at work, school, or at home.
- Severe cravings for marijuana use
- Smoking marijuana in dangerous situations such as smoking weed while driving, or using operating equipment.
- Developing tolerance
- Exudes withdrawal symptoms when stopping the use of marijuana.
According to DSM, you’ll only need at least two of the signs mentioned above to be diagnosed with marijuana use disorder in one year.
Is cannabis addictive or not, the simple answer to that question is yes. Cannabis dependence is rampant among teenagers, and with the rapid legalization and decriminalization of cannabis use in the world, the case of cannabis dependence will skyrocket.
Still, using cannabis moderation is the key, and that’s what decides on how your story unfolds. Cannabis addiction happens when you use cannabis even though you know what’s coming for you, and when this happens, it will negatively impact your quality of life. If weed affects everything around you, your family, work, friends, and many more, you probably need to stop it and ask for help.