Is Marijuana Addictive?

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Marijuana has become increasingly more common, with more and more states legalizing it across the United States each year. In 2021, 35% of adults between the ages of 18 and 25 reported using marijuana in the last year. The substance is often regarded as a “safe” substance for pain management for many conditions. However, just because it has a low chance of overdose does not mean it is not dangerous. We’re here to discuss the million dollar question: is marijuana addictive? 

Understanding Marijuana 

Marijuana is a plant product and includes the dried leaves and flowers from the Cannabis plant. The primary active ingredient that causes effects is THC. Cannabis comes in several different forms and can be consumed through different methods. The main methods of THC consumption include smoking it, vaporizing it, and ingesting it. 

Marijuana’s Effect on the Brain

There are both short term and long term effects of marijuana on the brain. When THC is consumed it passes into your bloodstream, being carried to the brain and other organs. This is one of the reasons it is effective for whole-body pain relief. However, when consumed through an edible manner it takes a bit longer for one to feel the effects.

Short term effects of marijuana on the brain include:

  • Altered sense of reality
  • Time blindness
  • Mood & behavior changes
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Low problem solving and comprehension skills
  • Poor memory

These are the most common short term effects, and when consumed in large amounts users may experience hallucinations, delusions, and in extreme cases psychosis.

When used long term, marijuana can have even deeper effects – especially when consumed in formative years (before you’re 25). When consumed as a teenager, cannabis can actually affect brain development. This damage is becoming more likely as THC becomes stronger in potency as it becomes more mainstream.

Marijuana can also make mental health conditions worse, including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. 

Physical Effects of Marijuana

As with any substance use, there is a high risk for physical damage with cannabis consumption. The main concern comes with breathing problems. Smoking anything damages the lungs and airways, resulting in permanent damage including the risk of lung illness and infection. When partaking in marijuana, your heart rate increases which can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress, increasing the chance of heart attack. Like alcohol and other drugs, marijuana can cause damage during pregnancy and should not be used.

Is Marijuana Addiction Possible?

Cannabis use can result in addiction. Although it may not seem as serious as addiction to other substances like heroin or opioids, it is still just as harmful to the body and mind. People who use marijuana are also more likely to experiment with other substances, increasing the risk of co-occurring addiction. 

Withdrawal is very common when trying to quit marijuana, and users may experience:

  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Lowered appetite 
  • Anxiety 
  • Marijuana cravings

Long story short, marijuana is just as addictive as any other substance. It is very easy to become dependent on the effects it gives. Just because it will not kill you does not mean it’s safe to use freely.

Seek Help for Marijuana Addiction

Getting help for marijuana addiction may feel like an “over reaction,” but if left untreated it can spiral into an even worse condition. If you or someone you know is struggling with marijuana addiction or dependence, give Sobriety Options a call. Our team will get you set up with the right marijuana treatment program for your needs.

About Sobriety Options 

Sobriety Options is open 24/7 to provide support and care for those seeking substance abuse or mental health treatment. A branch of Solution Based Treatment, we serve as a central admissions office for seven different branches throughout Southern California. Our team is able to help you find the best sober living option for yourself or your loved one to help them get the care they need. For more information visit our website at or give us a call at (855) 485-0071.

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