Have you ever wondered if marijuana is truly addicting? Some people say that it is addicting, but the majority of marijuana users will tell you that it is not. But who is right? Well, continue reading to learn the truth!
First of all, marijuana addiction is not the same as an addiction to hardcore drugs (such as cocaine, heroin, etc.). It is even different than a tobacco addiction and can be easily treated and dealt with. If you believe you are addicted to marijuana, seek the help that you need immediately.
Marijuana Use Disorder
Whether you believe marijuana addiction is real or not, there is a disorder associated with true marijuana. It is called marijuana use disorder. Yes, it is different than actual addiction, but is the step right before addiction. Marijuana use disorder is practically abusing marijuana (smoking it for non-medical purposes) and feeling as if you need to occasionally.
The difference between this disorder and addiction is that addiction means the user thinks they cannot stop smoking. With marijuana use disorder, the user can stop whenever they feel like it, but they will be tempted to use marijuana again. About 30% of all recreational marijuana smokers have some sort of marijuana use disorder, for some it is worse than others. For those who smoke marijuana for many years, the chances of getting a marijuana use disorder are higher.
But don’t let this disorder scare you away from weed. For those who have it, quitting is very easy. When attempting to stop smoking marijuana for good, you would only receive minor to no withdrawal symptoms, and these symptoms would not be severe. They could include trouble sleeping, cravings for smoking marijuana, or something along those lines.
Throughout history, marijuana potency has increased. In just the last 20 years, the levels of THC in marijuana have dramatically increased, from about 4% in the mid-1990s to around 37% in 2014! That is a huge rise in potency for marijuana in recent years, meaning that marijuana is the strongest it has ever been in history (what a time to be alive).
The rise in potency means that it is even easier to become addicted. This goes for any drug. The stronger it is, the harder it will be to step away from it once you’ve done it for long enough. The generation that grew up in the 1960s and 1970s most likely did not see as many people with a marijuana use disorder compared to smokers today, due to the increase in potency over the years.
So the real question is, can a marijuana use disorder lead to addiction? The answer is no, but in some cases yes. Honestly, it depends on the person. Those with an addictive mindset have a higher chance of being addicted to smoking marijuana. Also, those who smoke marijuana in their adolescent years and for many more years are more likely to get addicted to marijuana. But even with that being said, the chances of a stoner getting addicted to weed are very low. Only about 10% of all recreational marijuana smokers will become addicted. That is low! So now that the chances of you becoming addicted are so small that you should not even worry. Just know your smoking limits and stick to them.
People often get cravings confused with addiction. Just because you crave something, does not mean you are addicted to it. Sometimes I get a craving for some ice cream (especially with the munchies), but that does not mean I am addicted to ice cream. If you get a strong craving to smoke marijuana, you most likely just have a marijuana use disorder, and are not addicted to it.
Marijuana use disorder becomes an addiction when a marijuana user cannot go without marijuana to live their life, even when it interferes with different aspects of their life. If you are one of those who is addicted, quitting is relatively easy. The withdrawal symptoms are not severe, compared to other drugs. Besides, marijuana is seen as a “relatively harmless” drug, but it is still not completely harmless, so don’t go smoking as much as you can every single day, or you could be one of those 10% who is addicted.
When it comes to withdrawals from being addicted to marijuana, they are not impossible to fight off and can be overcome in a matter of days. Here is a list of the most common marijuana withdrawal symptoms for someone who is addicted:
- trouble sleeping
- decrease in appetite
- mood swings
These are the extents of marijuana withdrawal symptoms. Someone who is addicted to marijuana and is trying to stop may not even get all of these symptoms, maybe just a few. Studies done on marijuana addicts show that these symptoms last for up to two weeks. The symptoms are known to hit the user within the first week of them quitting.
If you were to research the withdrawal symptoms of hardcore drugs, you would think that marijuana withdrawal symptoms are extremely easy. On top of that, there is a very low chance that you will even become addicted to marijuana. So the overall answer to “Is marijuana addicting,” is no for most people.
So don’t let addiction scare you from enjoying some marijuana. Is marijuana addicting? The overall answer is no. Live your life the way you see it fit, just remember to not smoke weed 24/7 (unless you do want to become addicted). Thanks for reading, and as always, happy smoking!
FAQ: Is Marijuana Dependent?
A: While some may argue that marijuana is not physically addictive, it can still be psychologically addictive for some individuals. Heavy and habitual use may result in a dependency on the drug.
A: Signs of marijuana addiction may include increased tolerance, unsuccessful attempts to quit, withdrawals symptoms when not using, and neglecting responsibilities or relationships to use the drug.
A: While research does not show a direct causal relationship between marijuana use and the use of harder drugs, individuals who use marijuana are at a higher risk for using other substances due to changes in brain chemistry and impaired decision-making.
A: Yes, frequent and prolonged use of marijuana has been linked to respiratory issues, memory and concentration problems, and an increased risk for mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
A: While medical marijuana may have potential therapeutic benefits, it should still be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It can still be psychologically addictive for some users.