What is marijuana addiction? Many believe it isn’t possible to become addicted to marijuana. However, this idea is not necessarily true. If you use marijuana and start feeling like you need it, you may have a marijuana addiction.
Are you concerned about your child’s marijuana use or your own use of the drug? If you or a loved one needs marijuana to cope with everyday situations, you may want to seek addiction treatment.
How Is Marijuana Used?
While most marijuana users smoke the drug, it can also be consumed as edibles. Brownies, candy and cookies are popular foods used for cannabis infusion. To smoke marijuana, users may utilize the following methods:
- Bongs, or water pipes
- Blunts, or emptied cigars
- Dry pipes
- Joints, which are hand-rolled cigarettes
Marijuana vaporizers are also used for a smokeless option. Marijuana is placed in cartridges and vaporized by heat. Because marijuana can be used in a variety of ways, marijuana addiction rates are on the rise. In fact, one in 10 users will become addicted.
Is Marijuana Medicine?
The FDA has approved two medications containing cannabinoids for the treatment of medical illness. However, marijuana itself has not yet been approved for medical purposes. Still, claims are often made about marijuana, CBD oil and related products about their ability to manage a wide variety of conditions and ailments.
Can Marijuana Become Physically or Psychologically Addicting?
Can marijuana be addicting? Abuse of marijuana can lead to dependency. If you use marijuana to relieve chronic pain, for example, you may grow reliant if you do not address the underlying cause of the pain. Because marijuana stimulates the brain’s reward center, you can also become psychologically reliant on marijuana. The drug can make you feel good, and abuse of the substance may lead you to want more of the feeling.
Health Risks of Marijuana Use
Though many argue that the use of marijuana is harmless, it does come with short-term and long-term side effects and risks.
When smoking marijuana, the mind-altering chemical, THC, moves from your lungs to your bloodstream. THC then spreads to your brain, where it interacts with the cell receptors that impact the way you function and think. You may experience changes in mood and altered senses and have difficulty problem solving or moving.
Long-term marijuana use can cause nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing and an increased heart rate. Excessive amounts of marijuana can also lead to hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and psychosis.
For adolescents, marijuana use can have a variety of health risks. Cannabis use during a person’s formative years may lead to abnormalities in brain development. These abnormalities can have long-term effects on the brain’s functioning and maturation. Inhaling vapor or smoke can also have a serious impact on the lungs. As such, all forms of marijuana use among adolescents, including smoking, edibles and vaping, should be discouraged.
What Can Marijuana Addiction Lead To?
Is marijuana a gateway drug? For some, the use of marijuana can lead to the use of other substances. However, the majority of those who use marijuana don’t go on to use harder substances. An alternative to the idea of marijuana as a gateway drug is the consideration that some people are more at-risk for abusing drugs and simply start with substances that are more readily available, such as alcohol, tobacco or marijuana.
Do you believe you or a loved one may have a marijuana addiction? Contact us at Gateway Foundation today to receive treatment.