Cannabis, or marijuana, is the most widely used illicit drug in the world. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 125 million people use marijuana. While many people believe that marijuana is not addictive, the reality is that some people become dependent on it. As with all substances, marijuana can have a negative impact on the user’s life if used irresponsibly or over a long period of time. However, just like with any other kind of substance, there are people who become addicted to marijuana.
If you are new to the idea of marijuana addiction, or if you just need a refresher, read on for four important facts you need to know.
- Marijuana is Addictive
One of the most common questions people ask about marijuana is if it is addictive. The short answer is yes, marijuana is addictive. While it is true that the vast majority of people who use marijuana will not become addicted, for some people, it can become a problem.
Like all addictive substances, marijuana triggers the same parts of the brain that are activated by addictive substances such as cocaine and heroin. This means that, over time, regular marijuana use can lead to a dependence on the drug.
However, just because marijuana is addictive does not mean that it is physically or psychologically harmful. In fact, research suggests that marijuana has many benefits and is even used to treat addiction to other substances, such as alcohol and other opioids.
- Dependency occurs with regular, heavy use
Like any other drug, heavy marijuana use can lead to dependence. However, the symptoms of dependency occur only when a person continues to use the drug despite negative consequences.
While it is true that some people will feel a strong craving for marijuana even after just a single use, this feeling is normal and should not be dwelt upon. It is not a sign of addiction, and the urge will pass after a few days.
A more serious problem, however, is when people continue to use marijuana even when it is causing negative consequences. This is when marijuana dependency occurs.
It is worth bearing in mind that marijuana is not physically addictive like other drugs, such as opiates. This means that, unlike with opiates, someone who is addicted to marijuana does not necessarily need to take the drug to feel normal or confident.
- Marijuana Withdrawal is Tricky
Another often-ignored fact about marijuana is that it is not easy to withdraw from. This is because marijuana affects the same receptors in the brain that are impacted by substance withdrawal as other addictive drugs, such as opioids and cocaine.
As such, just because someone is quitting marijuana does not mean that their body is free of the drug. It takes about three months for the body to completely rid itself of any narcotics, whether it be heroin or prescription opioids.
Similarly, it takes about one to three months for the body to completely rid itself of marijuana. As such, it is not uncommon for people to experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop using the drug, even if it is for a short period of time.
- Marijuana Can Be A Gateway Drug
Finally, it is worth noting that marijuana can act as a gateway drug. Like with other drugs, people will often start with marijuana before moving on to other, more harmful drugs.
This is often due to the fact that marijuana is legal in so many places, making it easier to obtain than other drugs. While a person may never become an addict after using marijuana, other drugs will often have stronger addictive properties.
This is why it is so important to be aware of the fact that marijuana is addictive and to plan ahead if you are planning on using the drug. If you do plan on using marijuana, do your research and be aware of the risks.
More Harm Than Good
Looking back at the facts above, it is clear that marijuana has the capacity to cause a great deal of harm. This includes the risk of physical and psychological dependence, as well as an increased risk of substance abuse and addiction to other substances.
While marijuana may have some benefits, these are far outweighed by the dangers posed by regular and heavy use. It is important to be aware of these risks so that you can make informed decisions.
Remember, marijuana is not harmless and does have the potential for being addictive. However, the good news is that it is possible to recover from marijuana addiction. With the right treatment, you could be free of marijuana in as little as 12 months.
Oasis Recovery Can Help
Addiction can affect anyone. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with addiction, help is available! We encourage you to reach out to the professionals at Oasis Recovery to learn more about our personalized treatment programs and mental health services. Oasis Recovery was founded from firsthand experience of addiction and recovery, with a mission of providing a space where people can heal from addiction in a compassionate, creative, open-minded, and heart-centered environment. We believe recovery is always possible. Our experts work with you to design a treatment plan that fits your needs. Common treatment programs include:
- Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
- Full-time Addiction Treatment on campus
- Aftercare Services
Contact us today for more information about how our programs and services can help you get your life back on track. You no longer have to struggle with addiction on your own. We are here to help.