Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs in the U.S. According to one poll, 44% of Americans who tried pot still smoke it. Medical marijuana is legal in a majority of states, and pot is commercially available for recreational use in nine states, plus Washington, DC. Take a moment to ask yourself, am I addicted to weed?
Millions of Americans have used—or are using—marijuana, and that can make it seem risk-free. But just like any substance, it’s important to understand the potential consequences of using marijuana. There are two compounds found in the cannabis plant:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – Does not produce psychoactive effects, which means it doesn’t produce a “high”
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – Does produce a “high” or sense of euphoria
Many people can smoke weed (THC) responsibly with no noticeable negative effects. Others develop an unhealthy relationship with marijuana. Have you noticed the negative effects of marijuana use? Have you wondered, am I addicted to weed?
Find help for symptoms of marijuana abuse at the marijuana addiction treatment center in MA.
What Is Addiction?
Drug addiction is when you compulsively use a substance to the point of harm. More specifically, it can be defined in two ways:
- A physical addiction
- A psychological addiction
When you abuse a substance, you can experience both kinds of addiction. Since psychological addiction boils down to processes and changes in your brain, many addiction experts believe there is no meaningful distinction between “physical” and “psychological” addiction. It’s difficult to separate the mind from the body when talking about addiction.
When you ask, “am I addicted to weed?” consider physical addiction symptoms. Physical addiction to a drug causes physical changes to your brain that result in withdrawal symptoms. When you are physically addicted to a drug, you keep taking it to avoid withdrawal and feel normal instead of doing it just to feel the drug’s effects. Without your drug of choice, you can get very uncomfortable physical withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Cold flashes
These signs and symptoms vary depending on the drug of abuse.
Withdrawal symptoms from physically addictive drugs like heroin can also be psychological. You may experience:
- Mood swings
When you have a psychological addiction, you can get strong cravings for the substance and become emotionally tied to the effects of the drug. It fills a psychological need. With a psychological addiction, you use the drug habitually but don’t get severe physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
If your emotions become out of the ordinary, reach out to a mental health facility for dual diagnosis treatment in MA for marijuana and mood disorders.
Is Marijuana Addiction Real?
It is not commonly thought that marijuana is physically addictive. If you stop smoking—even after heavy, chronic use—you won’t experience nausea, vomiting, the shakes, etc. While marijuana may not be physically addictive, psychological addiction is a risk. Around 9% of people who use marijuana become addicted to it. When you are psychologically addicted to marijuana, you may have cravings for the drug that are harder to tackle than short-lived physical withdrawal symptoms.
What Are the Signs of Marijuana Addiction?
Withdrawal symptoms are a key feature of marijuana addiction. When many chronic, heavy pot smokers decide to quit, they may experience the following symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Nightmares and vivid dreams
- Decreased appetite
Many people who smoke marijuana become addicted because they use marijuana as a way to get a good night’s sleep, feel relaxed, or content. When this aid is no longer there, withdrawal symptoms can be felt, and cravings can be powerful.
If you’re psychologically addicted to marijuana, you will have cravings for it, think about smoking often, and perhaps feel agitated and deflated if you run out of pot or don’t have access to any. Cravings for marijuana and other substances of abuse are strong urges when triggered by specific cues that usually break a person’s choice of abstinence.
Chronic, Heavy Use
Chronic marijuana use may be a sign of addiction. If you’re a chronic user, you can’t get through the day without getting high. Marijuana addiction can also show up in the form of heavy use: smoking throughout the day—every day—and in large amounts. When you’re addicted to weed, you may feel unable to moderate or cut down your use.
Impact on Your Life
Long-term use of marijuana can cause issues if you prioritize getting high over your responsibilities or if it interferes with your relationships. Chronic and heavy marijuana users may find it causes issues at school, work, amongst friends, and in their family life. For a small minority of users, marijuana addiction can increase the risk of psychosis. This is partly because many strains of marijuana are high in THC (which causes the high but also psychotic symptoms) but low in CBD (which is an anti-psychotic and provides a buffering effect to the negative effects of THC).
Why Does Marijuana Addiction Occur?
There are many, complex reasons why people turn to substance abuse and suffer from drug addiction. Personal, environmental, and genetic factors come into play. One significant factor is an underlying mental health issue. Like other psychoactive drugs, marijuana offers users a high. Smoking pot can make you feel euphoric, relaxed, calm, and sleepy. People who abuse marijuana may smoke heavily as an attempt to numb the emotional pain of anxiety, depression, and trauma.
Am I Addicted to Weed?
If you find yourself answering yes to “am I addicted to weed?”, contact Washburn House today.
Recovering from the addiction often means addressing your pain, negative thoughts, and low mood. If you feel you need marijuana to get through most days and feel depressed, restless, or agitated when you don’t smoke, you may be addicted to marijuana. Don’t let your pot use affect your life. The following programs at the marijuana addiction treatment center help you break through weed addiction:
- Marijuana detox in Worcester
- Men’s and women’s rehab in MA
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Traditional and holistic therapies
The professionals at Washburn House have experience with marijuana addiction treatment and can help you take back control. Call 855.298.3104 for a confidential assessment.