Marijuana can impact the brain and body which can result in addiction over time for some individuals. Generally speaking, marijuana has many other uses aside from smoking by oneself or with friends for recreational purposes. Understanding the uses of marijuana and how it works in the body can help individuals learn about whether or not it is addictive and what to do if a person needs help to kick the habit.
Uses of Marijuana
Medicinal treatments for marijuana are used in a few states for chronic conditions which include depression and nausea resulting from chemotherapy. Treated like a prescription drug, marijuana is only legal to use in these circumstances under a doctor’s supervision. A Schedule I drug (illegal to own or use), marijuana is still illegal on the federal level in spite of more states considering the value of its medicinal purposes.
A naturally growing plant, the stems, seeds, leaves or buds of the marijuana plant are shredded before being smoked. Sometimes it is ingested (cooked into food) or brewed into a tea. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive substance contained within marijuana. These psychoactive effects can produce euphoric feelings when marijuana is smoked.
Addictive Properties of Marijuana
Only 9% of users develop a physical dependence on marijuana making it not as addictive as other drugs. Users who inhale or ingest marijuana on a daily basis raise the risk of addiction to anywhere from 25-50% of users experiencing addiction. Using marijuana at a young age (teenage years) can also increase the risk of addiction. Casual users of the drug are not as likely to experience addiction or dependence although temporary memory loss has been noted across the spectrum for users. Some ways individuals may abuse marijuana can include:
- smoking marijuana
- cooking marijuana into food
- frequent use
- using high doses of marijuana
Some signs of addiction to marijuana include psychological and physical dependence. Withdrawal symptoms can cause irritability, insomnia and anxiety. Other signs include:
- continued use in spite of consequences
- cravings to use compulsively
- seeking use of marijuana to stimulate ‘reward center’ of the brain (pleasure)
Addiction is a serious issue which can impact a person’s well-being, lifestyle, finances, relationships and overall health. If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome addiction to marijuana, help is available in the form of treatment centers, programs and therapeutic interventions. It is worthwhile to discover all available options to work towards a positive and healthy recovery long term.
Hired Power provides resources, family planning strategies and more for individuals struggling with addiction. Contact us at 800-910-9299 for more information on how we can help you on the road to recovery.