Marijuana, or weed, is a widely used and abused drug that is typically smoked. The legalization of marijuana use in some states in the U.S. has left many people assuming that it is safe and non-addictive. This isn’t always the case, and not being properly informed of the dangers of marijuana use could lead to unexpected negative consequences.
Can You Get Addicted to Marijuana?
Although marijuana addiction may not be as severely debilitating as other drugs like opioids or stimulants, it is still addictive.
Why Is Marijuana Addictive?
The chemical in marijuana that causes addiction is called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is also the compound that makes you high and creates the sense of calm or happiness usually experienced when smoking marijuana. Since your body is not used to large concentrations of THC, you can gradually develop a tolerance for the drug.
Tolerance means you need to smoke or use more and more marijuana to get the same effect or high as you did before.
Although you might not develop a physical or psychological dependence on the drug, once you try to stop using it, your brain may take time to adjust to functioning without THC.
This adjustment period may result in several uncomfortable or alarming effects, known as withdrawal symptoms.
In most cases, people who experience withdrawal symptoms may become uncomfortable enough to use marijuana again simply to relieve their discomfort. This creates a cycle of use and withdrawal that very closely mimics other addictions to substances like opioids, stimulants, or alcohol.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
The effects of marijuana withdrawal usually vary according to how much and how long you’ve been using the drug.
The most common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:1
- Trouble sleeping
- Decrease in appetite
- Abdominal pain
Marijuana withdrawal can start within days or hours after your last use and typically peak within the first week. In most cases, withdrawal from marijuana should subside after two weeks.
Treatment for Marijuana Withdrawal
The period during which you quit marijuana and experience withdrawal is often referred to as detoxing from marijuana. Although a marijuana detox isn’t nearly as intense or uncomfortable as many other drugs, quitting marijuana cold turkey by yourself can be stressful.
Joining a marijuana rehab program or seeking marijuana treatment services is recommended if you feel like you won’t be able to quit by yourself or you have a co-occurring mental or physical health disorder that may worsen during withdrawal.
After a successful detox, marijuana addiction treatment typically involves residential or outpatient treatment services, including group and individual therapy, counseling, and other educational programs to prevent a relapse.
Fortunately, there are many different treatment plans and services available if you want to detox from drugs like marijuana.
If a loved one or you are struggling with addiction, dependence, or withdrawal from marijuana or other drugs and require advice or help to find treatment, contact our team today at (833) 489-5577 to get the assistance you need.