Is Marijuana Addictive?

There are plenty of myths and rumors out there when it comes to marijuana- so how do we know what’s true and what’s fake?

While cannabis use (medicinal and recreational) continues to become legal in states around the country, not many individuals know all the facts about its effects. So we’re here to answer one of the biggest questions raised about marijuana: is it addictive?

 

Basics of Marijuana Use

Over the past several years, the medical world has begun to accept marijuana as an additional form of treatment for some physical and mental disorders. It can serve as a replacement for pain medication; and, in some cases for healthy individuals, can substitute stronger substances.

Those with mental illnesses commonly choose to use marijuana; however, people diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other disorders are more likely to form an addiction to alcohol or an illicit drug.

In terms of substance use, many users have started to choose marijuana over alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs because it reportedly:

  1. Raises fewer side effects
  2. Manages symptoms
  3. Gives fewer withdrawal issues

General Signs of Addiction

Before we get to the bottom of whether or not marijuana is addictive, it’s important to know the general signs of addiction. When some begins to become addicted to a substance, they typically:

  • Spend more time thinking about using
  • Deny claims that they have changed
  • Give the substance a large role in their life
  • Spend more time and money getting the drug
  • Need increasing larger amounts
  • Become irritable if they run out

Based on what is known about marijuana and its side effects, it is possible for users to develop the above patterns. While it’s widely known that people can begin to rely on using marijuana, can they form an addiction?

Can You Become Addicted to Cannabis?

While marijuana addiction is unlikely, it is possible. Since marijuana is one of the only drugs that people generally use when they want to in the amount they want, it’s relatively uncommon for them to grow addicted to it.

However, chronic use can lead to marijuana use disorder, which can become addiction in some severe cases. The disorder becomes an addiction when the individual can’t stop using marijuana, even if it interferes with their life to the degree of causing job loss, poor academic performance, or arrest.

According to DrugAbuse.gov, about 30% of users have some degree of the disorder; and those who begin using before 18 are more likely to form it. The number of people with a marijuana dependence has risen recently, which may have something to do with increased potency of the drug in the past few years.

Marijuana addiction is not the most common form of addiction, but it has resulted in treatment for hundreds of thousands of individuals in the US. Those who are interested in using marijuana for medicinal purposes are encouraged to visit their doctor before beginning. To learn more about marijuana and addiction, please call us at .

 

 

Sources

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive

https://www.verywellmind.com/is-marijuana-addictive-67792

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/marijuana-addiction-rare-but-real-072014#11

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/marijuana-rehab/is-it-addictive