Marijuana goes by many different names: weed, ganja, grass, herb, pot, and Mary Jane, to name a few. It is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States and beyond. In recent years, marijuana has been legalized in many states, including Washington. Many point to this as a testament to its safety. A common myth is that marijuana is not addictive, but as with any other substance, addiction is possible, even if the substance is legal. Remember, alcohol is also legal but is the source of addiction for many. If your marijuana use disrupts your daily life, reach out to Spokane Falls Recovery Center to learn how marijuana addiction treatment can help. Call us at 844.962.2775.
Understanding the Health Effects of Marijuana
Marijuana is usually smoked or mixed into foods like brownies, cookies, and candies, referred to as “edibles.” More recently, it has become common to ingest THC oil in a vaporizer, known as “vaping.” Early research on vaping indicates that it can be harmful to the lungs because of other components, specifically vitamin E acetate, that cause a condition known as “popcorn lung.”
Proponents of marijuana often point to its medicinal uses, but there are significant differences between this and recreational use. Medical marijuana focuses on using the CBD component, which does not cause a “high” but can help reduce pain and inflammation, among other uses. Recreational use focuses on THC because of its psychoactive effects. Although marijuana activists contend that smoking pot does not have adverse effects, research indicates otherwise.
Some of the negative short-term effects of marijuana use include:
- Impaired short-term memory
- Impaired motor coordination
- Altered judgment
- Increased heart rate
- Respiratory problems
Smoking marijuana causes almost immediate effects. Eating marijuana-based foods produces a slower onset of effects, but they tend to last longer. While marijuana usually creates a euphoric, relaxed feeling, for many, it causes anxiety and paranoia.
For long-term, heavy marijuana users, effects can include:
- Altered brain functioning
- Impaired verbal memory
- Anxiety or depression
- Diminished quality of life
- Low motivation
- Dependency or addiction
The younger you are when you start using marijuana, the more likely you are to experience cognitive impairments, develop dependency or addiction, and experiment with other substances.
Signs of Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana addiction is not associated with overdoses like alcohol or other drugs, but marijuana dependency or addiction does have consequences. The first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem. However, when it comes to self-awareness around alcohol and drug use, it can be hard to look at your behavior objectively. Being aware of the signs of addiction can help.
If you recognize any of the following signs in yourself or a loved one, it could indicate a marijuana addiction:
- Having a high tolerance or experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- Being unable to cut down or stop
- Using marijuana to escape your problems
- Spending the majority of your time getting high
- Using more than you planned on
- Ignoring responsibilities
- Continuing to use marijuana despite adverse consequences
Compared to alcohol or other drugs, the withdrawal symptoms of marijuana are mild, but you can experience difficulty sleeping, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and cravings. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms when you try to stop using, you should seek professional help from a marijuana rehab center.
Find a Marijuana Rehab Center in Spokane
Contrary to popular opinion, heavy marijuana use can lead to dependency and addiction. When used in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs, marijuana can contribute to a more significant substance use disorder.
If marijuana use is causing problems and preventing you from leading the life you want, you can find the help you need at Spokane Falls Recovery Center. If you are unsure whether your marijuana use is problematic, our short online addiction self-assessment can help. You can also speak with a specialist by calling 844.962.2775 to learn more about our marijuana rehab center.