Is THC Addictive?

THC is also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, a drug with addictive properties which will cause withdrawal to occur when stopped. Find out why THC can be addictive and how to seek help.

 

Uses of THC

Some people utilize THC for medicinal purposes while others seek it out for treatment of underlying mental health conditions or disorders. THC can be used to medicate and also for recreational purposes. THC is made of buds of a cannabis plant or created synthetically in a laboratory.

 

Addictive Properties

A schedule I substance, THC is illegal to use which may result in criminal charges. THC leads to changes in the brain which disrupt the chemical neurotransmitters linked to feelings of pleasure. Cannabis affects nerve receptors which influence memory, thought, concentration and sensory time perception. Habitual use may lead to addiction as psychological dependence takes hold and is harder to kick than physical dependency. The addictive potential of THC depends on the level and consistency of use.

 

Dependence vs. Addiction

Dependency is not the same as addiction to THC. Here’s how it works:

Physical Dependency

  • Manifests itself as withdrawal symptoms with THC use is stopped
  • Withdrawal symptoms are a sign of dependence on THC

Psychological Dependency

  • Cravings and compulsive use
  • More a person uses, the harder it is to stop
  • Abusing THC beyond medical reasons or to get high

 

How it Happens

New evidence indicates prolonged use of THC leads to addiction. People may use THC to treat real medical conditions but the abuse potential of THC is increasing while social acceptance has also risen. Some of the ways to become addicted to THC may include:

  • Habitual use
  • Self-medicating
  • Using THC like alcohol at the end of the day or at parties
  • Using THC to avoid withdrawal symptoms

A person who is addicted to THC will demonstrate signs of cravings for the drug and rationalizing THC as a wonder drug. THC will create adverse effects in a person’s body and life. An individual with addiction may also use THC to self-medicate.

 

Offering Help

If a person feels marijuana makes life better, it may be hard to convince that person to stop smoking. Working with a friend or family member to remind him or her of ways things were before he or she began marijuana may detach the person from the problems and emotions. Compare the way things are now to earlier times and discuss plans for the future with enthusiasm. Working to convince a person who has hopes and dreams beyond using drugs can feel challenging but the goal is to make it attainable. The key is to encourage the individual to recognize how a vision of life without drugs will make life better and to offer support for the journey. The most any person can offer is unconditional (tough) love and support while encouraging the individual to take the first step of admitting a problem exists and seeking help for it right away.

If you know a loved one struggling with THC addiction, call Hired Power. Let us help you support your friend, family member or loved one to seek tools and resources necessary for successful recovery.