As marijuana legalization efforts move forward throughout the country, weed use has increased considerably in certain circles. Cannabis is often thought of as being less harmful than other drugs abused and even alcohol. While cannabis use may not be associated with overdose or some of the physical harm that comes with the use of “hard drugs,” it is anything but harmless.
Is Weed Addiction Real?
Anyone who has smoked weed regularly for any length of time can tell you that weed addiction is quite real. Someone who smokes weed daily and stops abruptly will often experience irritability, restlessness and even insomnia. While the physical withdrawal may be mild, the craving to use again is powerful.
Long-term marijuana use can lead to lung disease, just like smoking tobacco. Even if you’re using refined extracts or oils, you are still introducing substances to your lungs that do not belong there, which has consequences. Long-term use is also associated with lower testosterone and reduces sperm count in men and lower levels of luteinizing hormones in women.
THC, the active compound in marijuana, is fat-soluble and can remain in the body for as long as 90 days or more. The intellect-dulling effects and short-term memory problems caused by THC can also linger long after the last use. Anxiety and paranoia are frequently reported side effects of marijuana use. If you have an existing psychological disorder, marijuana use can often exasperate it.
How Do I Know if My Weed Use is a Problem?
Addiction, in a substance-use sense, is about a person’s relationship with a drug. So, how do you know if weed addiction is a problem for you? Cannabis addiction looks much like any other form of drug dependence. Asking yourself a few questions to help determine if you may be addicted to weed.
- Is weed the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?
- Have you ever canceled plans because you couldn’t get weed to bring with you?
- Ever stolen or borrowed money to buy weed?
- Have you tried to quit weed only to pick it up again?
- Do all or most of your friends smoke weed? Do you avoid people who don’t?
- Do you smoke weed every day? Several times a day?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you have likely developed some dependence on marijuana. People sometimes joke about weed addiction, but it’s no laughing matter if you have a problem. While some people can use it recreationally every now and then and seem to escape consequences, that isn’t the case for everyone.
Look at Your Surroundings
Look around you. Do most of your friends who smoke weed seem to be falling short of their potential? Do they frequently talk about big plans for the future but never follow through with them? Do you find yourself doing the same? Marijuana addiction does real damage to people’s lives, but it often flies just below the radar because the consequences seem less dramatic.
Help is Available
If you’ve recognized you have a problem with marijuana, you are not alone, and there is hope. The same tools that millions of people have used to recover from other substance use disorders work just as well for marijuana dependence. You can live the life you want without the need to use cannabis.
At Washburn House, we will work with you to help you set realistic life goals outside of substances and create a solid recovery plan.
To find out more about our addiction services, call us at (855) 298-3104.
We can walk you through the admissions process and help you better understand which option is right for you.
By Ryan Egan