Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Can People Be Addicted To Weed

Serious Negative Side Effects

Can you get addicted to Smoking Marijuana?

The symptoms associated with eating highly potent edibles are often much more severe than the symptoms experienced after smoking marijuana.

According to Dr. Nora Volkow, the current director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, edibles are now being associated with medical complications that we never knew were associated with marijuana.8

Some of the more adverse effects associated with the consumption of edibles include:1,9

  • Drowsiness.
  • Heart problems .

How To Help Someone Who Is Addicted To Marijuana

Either a person who is abusing marijuana is able to quit smoking or they cant. If they can, then helping them becomes mostly a matter of finding alternative solutions to the problems that the marijuana use seemed to solve for them. This may include helping them set meaningful goals for themselves and encouraging them on their way to the accomplishment of those goals.

For a person to start using a drug like marijuana, there had to be some problems in life that marijuana seemed to help with. Social shyness? School problems? Abuse? Difficulty holding a job? Difficulty learning? Or simply boredom? If you can find out what problems seemed to go away when the drug was used, then you may be able to support the person as they learn the skills they need to overcome that problem. Isolating the problem through can go a long way to reducing the pain associated with it. Knowing ones friends or family supports you as you learn to these difficulties can go make one feel less isolated.

How Does Marijuana Use Affect The Brain

Frequent cannabis use carries certain risks. Someone who regularly uses marijuana may be at higher risk of developing a cannabis use disorder. Marijuana is also associated with other physical and mental health risks. With the rising potency of marijuanas average concentration of its primary psychoactive component, these risks may be elevated for users.1

THC affects a users brain in areas that control mood, memory, thinking, and concentration.2 Marijuanas effects may be desirable for some people and include:3

  • Euphoria.
  • Feelings of sedation or relaxation.
  • Distortions in sensory perception.
  • Altered sense of time .

THCs effects on the brain dont always produce pleasurable effects. Its disruption of the brains normal pathways of communication may sometimes lead to distressing effects such as:2

  • Cognitive impairment.
  • Paranoia.
  • Acute psychotic features, such as hallucinations and delusions.

Despite the prevalent notion that marijuana is entirely safe or free of any addictive potential, there is certainly evidence to suggest otherwise.

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Signs Of Marijuana Abuse & Addiction

In the earliest stages of marijuana use disorder, neither the drug user nor loved ones may recognize that there is a problem. But over time, the person who abuses marijuana may begin to show signs of physical dependence and addiction.

Some signs and symptoms used to make a diagnosis of a marijuana use disorder, or addiction, include:2

  • Using marijuana in greater amounts or over a longer period of time than intended.
  • An inability to control or reduce marijuana use.
  • Spending a large amount of time acquiring marijuana, using it, and recovering from its effects.
  • Cravings to use marijuana.
  • Difficulties meeting responsibilities at work, school, or home due to marijuana use.
  • Continuing to use marijuana even though it is causing social or interpersonal problems.
  • Neglecting social, occupational, or recreational activities in favor of marijuana use.
  • Using marijuana in situations where it is dangerous to do so, such as while driving a car or operating machinery.
  • Continuing to use marijuana even though it is causing physical or psychological problems.
  • Developing tolerance.
  • Developing withdrawal symptoms when use slows or stops.

To meet the criteria for a cannabis use disorder in the DSM, a person must exhibit at least 2 of the above symptoms in a 12-month period.2

What Is Marijuana And How Is It Used

Can marijuana be addictive?

Marijuana is the name for the dried stems, seeds, flowers, and leaves from the Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa plant. The psychoactive chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol, which is commonly referred to as THC. Although the drug has been legalized in several states across the country, it is still illegal on the federal level. People typically smoke marijuana in joints, blunts, or water pipes.

In recent years, some people have begun using vaporizers, which use a liquid extract to create vapor. It is also common to bake marijuana in brownies or cookiesthese are called edibles. A new method of administration is known as dabbing, which involves smoking THC-rich extractions in the form of hash oil, shatter, or wax.

On average, these extractions contain much more THC than unprocessed marijuana plant materials, which increases the risk of experiencing dangerous effects. There have been reports of people going to the emergency department for detrimental side effects of resin use.1

Read Also: How Can You Help Someone Addicted To Drugs

Cannabis Addiction Signs And Symptoms

Also commonly referred to as ‘marijuana’, ‘grass’ and ‘weed’, cannabis is a mixture of dried leaves, flowers and stems from the cannabis sativa plant and is the most commonly misused illegal substance in the UK. Cannabis is typically smoked, either in a cigarette form or via a pipe, while the drug may also be misused by brewing it in tea or cooking it in certain foods.

Cannabis affects your central nervous system to produce sensations including relaxation, mild euphoria, increased appetite and difficulties perceiving space and time. Many people mistakenly believe that cannabis is a safe or harmless substance, although if you misuse cannabis you expose yourself to both immediate harm and long-term damage, including the development of an addiction.

If you become addicted to cannabis, you will feel compelled to continue to misuse this substance, often in increasingly greater amounts, to the detriment to both your physical and mental health.

Approaching A Loved One

If your loved one is struggling with a marijuana addiction, you may have a deep feeling in your gut that something is wrong however, when you try to broach the topic they may be angry, defensive, and in denial. In the case of marijuana, changing laws and legalization may hinder your loved ones ability to see that theres any issue with their use. This makes expressing your concern and finding out just how bad the problem is extremely challenging.

If you are worried about your loved one and their marijuana addiction, the best way to approach them is with empathy and compassion, preferably at a time when they are not intoxicated. Try to avoid judgmentremember, addiction is a disease that requires treatment.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you approach your loved one about getting help:

  • Be on their side: Avoid using blaming language. Show them that you care about them and are worried about them. Help them find their own reasons for wanting to get treatment.
  • Be specific: Remind them of the specific consequences they have already suffered from their addiction and how it is negatively impacting you or other loved ones.
  • Ask if they are willing to get treatment: Listen to what they have to say and remain calm avoid emotional pleas. If they are not ready yet, dont push it. After a little time passes, you can try approaching them again about getting help.

Also Check: How To Help Someone Addicted To Video Games

Take Our Marijuana Addiction Self

Take our free, 5-minute marijuana addiction self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with a marijuana dependency. The evaluation consists of 10 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a marijuana use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

The presence of tolerance or dependence/withdrawal is not enough to make a diagnosis of marijuana addiction . But they are strong indicators that problematic use is already underwaythe type of use that could ultimately lead to the development of a substance use disorder.

The hallmark sign of an addiction is compulsive use despite adverse effects. The person finds it difficult to control their use of the drug even though it is causing problems in their life, such as trouble with relationships, work, school, or the law.1

How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your System

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The effects of marijuana can last for two to ten hours, depending on a few factors:

  • How much you have
  • How much THC it had
  • Your body weight and body fat
  • Your metabolism
  • Whether or not youve eaten
  • Whether or not you have a tolerance

But well past the time you feel the high, marijuana can still be in your system, even up to 90 days, depending on how often or how much marijuana you use. There are two factors that affect detection: if youre a regular user and the kind of test. For example, hair tests are the most sensitive. Heres what the studies have shown:

  • First time smokers: Tests may detect it for about 3 days.
  • Someone who smokes marijuana three or four times per week: Tests may detect it for 57 days.
  • Daily smokers: Tests may detect it in for 30+ days.

As far as how sensitive each type of test is, here they are in order of how long they can detect marijuana in your system:

  • Hair tests are the most sensitive tests, detecting THC for up to 90 days after use. Theyre also known for false positives.
  • Urine tests can detect marijuana for 330 days after use.
  • Saliva tests can detect marijuana for approximately 24 hours after use, but some can pick it up even up to 72 hours.
  • Blood tests can only detect THC for a few hours.
  • Also Check: How To Let Go Of An Addict You Love

    Am I Addicted To Weed

    Weed addiction is a lot more common than most people think. If youre concerned about the amount of marijuana you or a loved one is currently smoking, and think theres a chance there might be an addiction problem, it may be time to answer some tough questions.

    The best way to tackle a problem is head-on, and being honest with yourself about your addiction. So if youre asking yourself am I addicted to weed, then you have arrived at the right website to help you answer that.

    Somewhere around 5 to 10 per cent of people who smoke marijuana at some point in their lives will eventually become addicted. This is a dependency that can gradually creep up over time, and before you know it, youre always thinking about your next smoke, or where to buy more weed.

    With that in mind, weve put together a simple test you can take to determine if you have a weed addiction that must be addressed.

    Vaping And Marijuana: What You Need To Know

    The practice of using vaping devices to consume marijuana or cannabis products is becoming increasingly widespread. Recent data shows that more than one-fifth of high school seniors have reported vaping marijuana in the past year. At the same time, one of the ingredients present in many marijuana vapes has been linked to a wave of illnesses and deaths impacting people of all ages across the U.S.

    Unfortunately, these vaping-related injuries and mortalities are not the only reason parents and caregivers should be concerned about the risks teenagers and young adults face when they vape marijuana.

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    How Do I Stop Smoking Marijuana

    SMART provides our members with tools and skills that they can use to help them recover from marijuana addiction as well as alcohol, or other drugs or negative behaviors. SMART Recovery, which can be used as a support group alternative to Marijuana Anonymous , uses a 4-Point Program®, with each element designed to help you overcome your problems with abusing marijuana:

  • Building & Maintaining Motivation Helps you identify and keep up with your reasons to quit. Why do you want to quit smoking pot what will keep you focused on that goal?
  • Coping with Urges Dealing with urges and cravings is part of recovery. SMART has tools designed to help our members cope with urges to use or smoke pot that can help you maintain abstinence.
  • Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors We frequently turn to using drugs to either escape from or avoid solving our problems. Learn problem-solving tools to help you manage challenges along the way.
  • Lifestyle Balance When you are addicted to, or abuse a drug like marijuana, your life frequently falls out of balance you may find yourself opting to smoke pot rather than go to work or school. You may find that things you used to enjoy arent fun anymore. SMART Recovery helps members build skills to help balance both short and long-term goals, pleasures and needs that were once out of balance due to drug abuse.
  • Building Up A Tolerance

    The Opioid Project

    Dependence on marijuana happens when users build up a tolerance for the substance and need more and more of it to experience the same effect.

    When a drug enters the brain, it overrides the brains natural processes, boosting a specific function far above, or below, normal levels.

    The brain may become resistant to the effects of the drug in an effort to protect itself, so that next time the person uses the drug, it doesnt have as strong an effect. In order to feel the same high, the person has to take larger and larger doses.

    Over time, users may graduate from smoking marijuana to using it in high-dosage edible forms or propane-extracted concentrates called dabs.

    A 2012 study found that people who use marijuana have fewer receptors in their brain for endogenous cannabinoids, the signaling molecules that marijuanas active component, THC, mimics.

    THC also affects the brains reward system and the release of the pleasure hormone dopamine.

    It is very well-known that dopamine is one of the most important neurotransmitters that regulates reward, motivation, and self-control, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIDA and one of the authors of the study.

    All of the drugs, whether legal or illegal, that can cause addiction apparently can stimulate dopamine signaling in the main pleasure center of the brain By stimulating dopamine, they activate the main reward centers of the brain. This is why when someone takes a drug, it is pleasurable.

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    Whats The Relationship Between Cannabis Legalization And Addiction

    The United States solution to drug abuse and addiction is criminalization. Punish the drug users, including marijuana consumers, and make them suffer by incarcerating them. Send them to mandated in-patient treatment. Less drugs will be out on the streets endangering our society and the drug users will learn their lessons. Right?

    Most Americans know by now that this approach to drugs and addiction doesnt work. In fact, its made things remarkably worse. Prohibition of marijuana imposes a social environment in which recovery becomes even harder. Youre removed from any friends and family. Job prospects dwindle. Life becomes more challenging than before, and drugs even more so become a necessary escape, something to bond with.

    Despite the obvious failure of this policy, it continues to feed public opinion. Legal restrictions over research provide an easy out for policymakers to claim that we dont know enough about the risks to legalize it, and that attitude readily bleeds into the public sector.

    All of the messages about health risks under prohibition are skewed in terms of overstating and sometimes blatantly misrepresenting science, Roffman said. Under legalization, we have an awful lot more room to speak about the continuum of health benefits, possible health risks, and how to make good decisions.

    As our conversation came to a close, Roffman ended with the following:

    What To Do If Someone You Love Is Abusing Marijuana

    If someone you love is abusing marijuana, they may be in denial about the drugs potency, or their addiction. Through open communication, you may be able to help them realize they need to quit using. Here are some reasons to quit marijuana:

    • Physical reasons to stop smoking pot to feel better, reduce the risk of lung cancer, and be more energetic
    • Psychological reasons to stop smoking pot to reduce anxiety, get back to being happy without pot, and reduce depression
    • Relationship related reasons to stop smoking pot to get out of the relationship rut that comes from smoking too much pot, find new friends, and heal from the fights or pain that marijuana has caused you and your loved ones
    • Financial reasons to stop smoking pot to free up the money spent on marijuana, so you have more money to spend, put into savings, or use to pay bills
    • Legal reasons to stop smoking pot to stay out of trouble with the law

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    Recovery From Marijuana Addiction

    If a person cannot quit using the drug, even though there is damage and even failure resulting from use, then this person needs rehabilitation. It is certainly possible to build a strong, sober life but the person who cant do this on their own can repair the damage caused by abuse and can gain the skills needed at a Narconon drug rehabilitation center.

    At a Narconon rehab center, no one is ever given substitute drugs as part of their recovery. Only in the case where a medical wean-down from heavy alcohol or drugs such as benzodiazepines, Narconon would arrange for the individual to complete a medical detox prior to starting the Narconon program. Then when they arrive at Narconon they would begin the drug-free withdrawal, using generous amounts of nutrients and techniques that help alleviate the pain and discomfort experienced during withdrawal.

    Then the person goes through a thorough detoxification process to help flush out toxic residues of drug use that remain locked deep in fatty tissues. Once these residues are gone and a person feels fresher and brighter, it is much more possible to recover those clear thinking skills. Clearer thinking means a person can learn how to deal with the problems in life they may have been avoiding.

    Contact Narconon today to find out how we can help someone you care about overcome their addiction to marijuana.

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