From weed and grass to ganja and Mary Jane, many monikers have been used to describe marijuana. It is an omnipresent drug in the United States and globally, making it one of the most commonly utilized substances today. In recent years, marijuana has been legalized in many states, including Washington. Many points 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 marijuana use disrupts your daily life, reach out to Spokane Falls Recovery Center to learn how a marijuana rehab center can help. Reach out to us today at 844.962.2775 to learn more about our marijuana addiction treatment programs.
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 harm 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 the following:
- Impaired short-term memory
- Impaired motor coordination
- Altered judgment
- Increased heart rate
- Respiratory problems
Smoking marijuana causes almost immediate effects. Marijuana-based foods produce a slower onset of effects but tend to last longer. While marijuana usually creates a euphoric, relaxed feeling, it causes anxiety and paranoia for many.
For long-term, heavy marijuana users, the effects can include the following:
- 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.
Can You Get Addicted to Marijuana?
Marijuana addiction is a real and serious issue. While most users do not become dependent on the substance, those that do require treatment with the same care and attention as any other addiction needs. Long-term marijuana use can impact a person by:
- Lowering cognitive functions
- Creating negative moods or emotions
- Reducing motivation to pursue a career, education, and other goals
- Affecting the ability to learn new skills
- Interfering with relationships
- Leading to marijuana abuse disorder, which is a marijuana use disorder that develops when someone uses marijuana despite significant personal distress or impairment
Signs of addiction include increased cravings and tolerance to the substance, inability to control use, neglecting activities due to use, and continued use despite awareness of negative consequences. Knowing these signs is essential for anyone who might be at risk. If you or a loved one are struggling with marijuana addiction, many resources are available to seek professional help.
How Can You Tell if You Are Addicted to Marijuana?
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 Addiction Treatment Program at Spokane Falls Recovery Center
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 with our marijuana addiction treatment programs. If you are unsure whether your marijuana use is problematic, our short online addiction self-assessment can help. Contact one of our specialists by calling 844.962.2775 to learn more about our marijuana rehab center and treatment programs.