What is Marijuana/Cannabis Addiction?
Cannabis or marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States and is widely used among teenagers and adolescents. Although there may be medicinal benefits for individuals with severe chronic disease, studies have shown that marijuana is a drug of addiction, tolerance, and dependence.
Cannabis is composed of two main ingredients: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, and cannabidiol, which is commonly known as CBD. THC is known to produce the mind-altering effects associated with feeling “high,” whereas CBD is known to produce the proposed medicinal effects associated with marijuana. Marijuana is often smoked. However, THC and CBD can be orally ingested or absorbed through the skin when infused into butter or oil.
Cannabis use disorder has been published in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM5) and is defined by the recent use of cannabis, significantly problematic behavioral or psychological changes, and at least two of the following signs after ingestion: increased appetite, dry mouth, conjunctiva injection, and increased heart rate.
Warning Signs & Risks
Marijuana/cannabis use has been shown to cause acute intoxication as well as long-term side effects. Respiratory disease, developmental delays, mental health effects and psychological dependence are known to be long-term consequences associated with marijuana use. Irritants that are in marijuana smoke (which are also contained in tobacco smoke) can cause respiratory diseases, such as chronic inflammation, asthma, lung infections and chronic cough.
Mothers who use marijuana during pregnancy are putting their unborn children at risk of acquiring developmental and behavioral disorders. According to studies, the frontal lobe, which is responsible for executive functioning, such as decision-making and learning, is not fully developed until approximately 23 years of age and therefore young children as well as adolescents are at risk for developing problems associated with executive functioning.
Long-term marijuana use can decrease an individual’s performance on memory-related tasks and cause a decrease in motivation and interest in everyday activities. Marijuana is also known to intensify symptoms in users with schizophrenia. Similar to most other drugs of abuse, individuals who use marijuana for long periods of time can develop a dependence on it. Signs of dependence in a user include the need to use marijuana to cope with everyday tasks and the experience of cravings and anxiety when marijuana is not available.
As soon as any sign of addiction is present, seek help and intervention. Our non-judgmental professionals are here to answer your questions and guide you to the help you deserve.
Marijuana/Cannabis Addiction Treatment
Because marijuana/cannabis addiction often develops due to other underlying and untreated conditions, a thorough evaluation must be done prior to determining a specific course of treatment. Also, it’s important to know if the marijuana abuse is linked to the use of alcohol or any additional illicit drugs. Because of this, treatment for addiction to marijuana/cannabis may include both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, intensive group therapy, family support, nutritional support, and education help treat the whole person and provide hope for the future.
We’re Here For You
If you or someone you know is struggling, we’re here for you. Discovery Mood and Anxiety Program specializes in treatment for mental health, substance abuse, and dual diagnoses, by creating unique programs to help every individual find their way to recovery. For more information, resources, or to consult with one of our specialists, call 714.828.0808.