Marijuana Abuse & Addiction: Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatment Options

Anxiety and depression are also common outcomes of marijuana abuse that can persist for months, often leading to relapse. Professional treatment is needed to provide counseling, behavioral coaching, and prescribed medications that can relieve these symptoms and the individual’s desire to self-medicate. Research suggests that approximately nine percent of users develop addiction. The estimated incidence of addiction increases among those who start using at a young age (an estimated 17 percent develop addiction) and among people who use the drug daily (an estimated percent become addicted). It’s also important to note that marijuana potency has increased significantly over the years. In 2012, the THC concentration in marijuana samples confiscated by law enforcement averaged near 15 percent, compared with an average concentration of  four percent in the 1980s.

If you use it regularly, you could have the same breathing problems as someone who smokes cigarettes. That’s partly because THC seems to weaken some users’ immune systems. If you used it recently, your doctor might reschedule your surgery if it’s elective and not an emergency. Your body could go into withdrawal, leaving you irritable, restless, unable to sleep, and uninterested in eating when you don’t use it.

Withdrawal Symptoms

As a result, the majority of people do not believe that Marijuana is an addictive substance when in fact, its symptoms are just less intense and present differently than other, “more intense” drugs. Just like with alcohol intake, it’s important to be fully educated on the symptoms, effects, and risks when assessing the consumption of yourself or someone you love. Misconceptions about the addictive nature of Marijuana shouldn’t stop the people who need treatment from receiving it. Long-term use of marijuana has been proven to have addictive potential.

WVXU: Health benefits and risks to recreational marijuana – University of Cincinnati

WVXU: Health benefits and risks to recreational marijuana.

Posted: Fri, 01 Dec 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

But providers may certify marijuana use to help with certain medical conditions in states that legally allow it. More research is needed to know if secondhand marijuana smoke has similar health risks as secondhand tobacco smoke. A recent study on rats suggests that secondhand marijuana smoke can do as much damage to the heart and blood vessels as secondhand tobacco smoke.20But researchers haven’t fully explored the effect of secondhand marijuana smoke on humans. What they do know is that the toxins and tar found in marijuana smoke could affect vulnerable people, such as children or people with asthma.

Marijuana Use

Without this information, it is difficult for researchers to correlate therapeutic and harmful outcomes with specific use patterns. Deciding to receive treatment for marijuana addiction can be tough especially when some feel it is unnecessary. However, many people who want to get over an addiction can’t do it alone. The most important thing to remember is that you can beat this addiction.

Paranoia is also a common symptom of marijuana use, although friends and family members of the individual suffering from are more likely to notice this effect than the user. Only after they are in recovery do most individuals realize the degree to which marijuana-induced paranoia has been negatively impacting their lives. Furthermore, marijuana may be laced with other products or substances. Using marijuana with other substances may result in greater impairment than using it alone.9 It may also cause severe intoxication and dangerous—even fatal—effects, depending on the adulterant mixed with it. Additionally, because it impairs judgment and motor coordination, marijuana use contributes to a greater risk of injury or death while driving a car. Data analysis suggests that marijuana use more than doubles a driver’s risk of being in an accident.

Patient Care Network

Over time, however, marijuana use can undermine dopamine production. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The authors report no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.

  • Amanda Reiman, PhD, policy manager for the California office of the Drug Policy Alliance, and lecturer at the University of California Berkeley, shed light on this trend.
  • Additionally, over 80 percent of people who use medicinal marijuana also use it recreationally.
  • But there was a rise in use when illegal cannabis stores that are not licensed by the government began to open, he says.
  • In the end, however, excessive use and addiction are never good for the brain, the mind, or relationships (see How Marijuana Works).
  • Moreover, in cannabis abusers, but not in controls, acute THC intoxication elicited activation of brain reward regions as assessed by increases in brain glucose metabolism in striatum and orbitofrontal cortex (Volkow et al. 1996a).

However, how a person engages with weed is an important factor as well. For instance, one study found that “solitary use,” or using the drug by yourself, was a strong sign that a dependence would form in the future. Studies suggest that THC is the substance that creates the potential for addiction with weed because of its psychoactive properties. Two of these components, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have effects that are commonly known to people who use marijuana. THC is known as the substance that makes a person feel a “high,” while CBD often promotes a feeling of relaxation.

It is usually marked by a change in behavior, where the person becomes consistently focused on using that substance regardless of potential negative outcomes. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both at the same time. Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs in the United States, but it can have serious health consequences as well as other negative effects on a person’s life. There are some signs to watch out for that suggest a person might be addicted to weed.

This classification is something that really grates people who support legalization of marijuana. Plus, pediatricians and others have long said that marijuana can impair brain functions in people under the age of 25. There are also the studies that indicate legalizing marijuana can reduce the misuse of opioids, alcohol, and other substances. A 2017 study reported that adult cancer patients are using marijuana to ease nausea and other symptoms. One study stated that medical marijuana can help children with seizures and chemotherapy-induced nausea. In recent years, there have been a number of studies that have highlighted the use marijuana in treating certain medical conditions.

About Marijuana

These include the fact that Uruguay has set limits on the potency of products sold legally, banned advertisements on packaging and only permits the sale of cannabis flower products — no edibles or concentrates. Conclusions and Relevance 
In this cross-sectional study of primary care patients in a state with legal recreational cannabis use, CUD was common among patients who used cannabis. Moderate to severe CUD was more prevalent among patients who reported any nonmedical use. These results underscore the importance of assessing patient cannabis use and CUD symptoms in medical settings. Importance 
Medical and nonmedical cannabis use and cannabis use disorders (CUD) have increased with increasing cannabis legalization.

Treatment for marijuana addiction is similar to treatment for other addictions. The right strategy depends on the person’s lifestyle and the severity of the addiction. People are more likely to develop a marijuana addiction after heavy or prolonged use, or if they use the drug to address issues such as depression or insomnia. If this happens, some people use more of the drug or use it more frequently in order to attain the pleasurable feeling marijuana provided in the past. This pursuit of a dopamine rush can lead to dependence and addiction, as it can when the rush comes from other drugs.

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