Woman puts head in hands and ponders if marijuana is a hallucinogen or not

Is Marijuana a Hallucinogen?

Although marijuana has been legalized in certain states, there is still some concern over the side effects of this substance. Many people enjoy the calming sedative effects of the drug, but it can have different effects on different users. For some, hallucinations or paranoia may lead them to believe that marijuana is a hallucinogen. However, there are some key differences between marijuana and hallucinogenic drugs.  

If you find yourself dependent on marijuana and notice a negative impact on your health or relationships, it is time to enroll in marijuana addiction treatment. Reach out to Promises Washburn House at 855.298.3104 to learn more about our full range of treatment programs. 

Is Marijuana a Hallucinogen? 

Marijuana is not technically a hallucinogen, but it does have hallucinogenic properties. It actually belongs to a class of drugs known as cannabinoids, which are compounds that can alter the state of one’s brain and body. These chemicals are responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, which may lead people to mistakenly believe the drug is a hallucinogen.  

The primary psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana is THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC induces hallucinogenic and sedative effects, but it is considered a depressant drug rather than a hallucinogenic drug. 

A person under the influence of marijuana may experience: 

  • Altered perception of time 
  • Changes in mood 
  • Impaired coordination 
  • Feeling detached from one’s surroundings 

These effects are similar to what someone may encounter when taking a hallucinogenic drug, such as psilocybin. But one primary difference between marijuana and hallucinogenic drugs is that the former typically doesn’t lead to flashbacks when used long-term. 

Can Marijuana Cause Hallucinations? 

Marijuana can cause perceptual changes regarding time and space, which can be considered hallucinations. You may have altered vision or hearing, believing you see or hear things that are not there. 

However, it is not common for marijuana to cause full-blown hallucinations like those associated with LSD and magic mushrooms. Many people who access marijuana do not experience any form of hallucinations at all, which is one of the hallmark effects of hallucinogenic drugs. 

Is Marijuana Addictive? 

Marijuana can be addictive but not to the same degree as other more potent substances like alcohol, nicotine, or opioids. The addictive potential of marijuana lies in the activation of dopamine in the brain. 

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of pleasure and reward, making a person want to repeat a behavior to regain that sense of happiness or accomplishment. Some activities or behaviors that trigger the release of dopamine include: 

  • Exercise 
  • Meditation 
  • Listening to music 
  • Massage 
  • Sitting in the sun 
  • Drinking alcohol 
  • Using drugs 

If someone continues using marijuana over a long period, their brain becomes less effective at producing dopamine on its own from healthier activities. With it being more challenging to stimulate dopamine production, the person may turn to marijuana more often to achieve the feeling of satisfaction and eventually develop a dependence on the drug.  

Do You Need Treatment for Marijuana Dependence? 

Marijuana addiction does not necessarily show up in the same way that other types of drug addiction do, so you may not realize when you have become dependent on the substance. A few ways to know if you need help for marijuana dependence are: 

  • Cravings for marijuana 
  • Difficulty moderating your consumption 
  • Continuing to use marijuana even if it causes negative consequences 
  • Inability to reduce your consumption or quit using marijuana  
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you do not use marijuana 

If you have a marijuana dependence and have difficulty quitting, you may need the help of an addiction treatment center. Treatment may involve therapy to help you identify and change negative thought patterns that contribute to marijuana use. You may also participate in support groups to share your challenges and learn healthy coping strategies.  

Contact Promises Washburn House to Enroll in Marijuana Addiction Treatment 

Despite the assumption by many that marijuana is harmless, the drug can lead to addiction. If you or a loved one has become dependent on marijuana, you can count on Promises Washburn House to help you get life back on track. Call us at 855.298.3104 to schedule an intake assessment, or fill out our online contact form

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