Marijuana—also commonly known as cannabis, weed, or pot—is one of the most widely abused illicit substances in the United States. There’s a common misconception that marijuana is non-addictive. Yet, thousands of people seek addiction treatment each year due to the negative effects of marijuana dependency on their lives.
On This Page
- Effects of Marijuana
- How Can Marijuana Become Addictive?
- Marijuana Abuse in Teens & Young Adults
- Signs of Marijuana Addiction
- Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
- Getting Help for Marijuana Addiction
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to marijuana, call SOBA New Jersey today at (888) 229-7989 to learn about how we can help.
Effects of Marijuana
For some users, marijuana makes them feel mellow and calmer. This sedative-like effect is a reason why some states have approved cannabis for medical treatments. However, the same effect can be misleading to its users. Some people assume that they can’t become addicted to marijuana because it makes them “feel good” or “high,” which is an incorrect way to think about it.
In other people, the effects of marijuana are quite the opposite. When taking marijuana, either through smoking, vaping, or ingesting it, some people become nervous, anxious, paranoid, and frightened. Even though using marijuana is unpleasant to these people, they still continue to use it regularly, which hints at the substance’s addictive properties.
How Can Marijuana Become Addictive?
Marijuana contained THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces a “high” feeling in users. CBD is not psychoactive in the same way and has been linked to pain and anxiety reduction in some users. Neither chemical is naturally addictive like nicotine, yet marijuana addiction is still very possible. How? Marijuana addiction can occur not due to a chemical dependency but a behavioral one.
People who are addicted to marijuana feel like they must use marijuana routinely to:
- Complete daily tasks
- Focus on work or school
- Sleep for at least 8 hours
- Eat a full meal
- Feel happy
Marijuana Abuse in Teens & Young Adults
A 2015 research report found that 30% of people who use cannabis have some degree of dependency on it. The percentage increases even further among those who started using marijuana in their teenage years.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana usage rates are:
- 43.7% of 12th graders or high school seniors
- 51.5% of people aged 18 to 25 years
- 47.8% of people aged 26 years or older
The percentage of high schoolers who reported marijuana use during their lifetime is increasing, too. In only a few years, the number of high schoolers who had used a marijuana vape pen or e-cigarette increased by 4%, up to 27.9%. However, the rate of 10th graders who reported daily marijuana vape usage dropped from 3% to 1.7% in just one year.
Signs of Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana addiction can take many forms and show a variety of signs. In many cases, the signs of addiction aren’t so obvious at first, either, which is unfortunate. The longer it takes to notice the signs and seek the help of a professional, the stronger the addiction can become.
Common signs of marijuana addiction often take one of three forms:
- Physical: Bloodshot eyes, unusually increased appetite, weight gain, twitching, etc.
- Psychological: Lack of motivation, nervousness, paranoia, slowed reaction time, etc.
- Social: Isolation, refusal to socialize without marijuana present, etc.
Some indications that a person may be struggling with marijuana dependence include:
- Spending significant time obtaining or using marijuana
- Feeling unable to function “normally” without getting high
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, irritability, restlessness, etc.) when not using marijuana
- Excessive sweating, tremors, or chills when not using marijuana
- Feeling unable to stop or cut back on marijuana use, despite wanting or trying to
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
When someone begins to experience withdrawal symptoms when not using marijuana, it is a clear sign that they have developed a dependence on the drug. Unfortunately, because marijuana withdrawal symptoms can be mild and may mimic symptoms associated with other conditions and co-occurring mental/behavioral health disorders, many people do not realize that what they are feeling is actually withdrawal.
Some of the most common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are:
- Depressed mood
- Mood swings
- Decreased appetite
Getting Help for Marijuana Addiction
If you think you or a loved one is addicted to marijuana, it’s time to seek help. At SOBA New Jersey, we offer a comprehensive range of treatment programs for those struggling with marijuana abuse and addiction. Our personalized therapies are designed to provide you with the tools and skills you need to successfully maintain long-term sobriety and freedom from addiction.
Ready to get your life back on track? Take the first steps toward recovery with SOBA New Jersey. Call us at (888) 229-7989 or contact us online today.
At times, you can feel lost and confused when struggling with addiction or mental health. Our team understands what you are going through and works with you to reclaim the life you deserve.