Understanding Marijuana Addiction

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What is marijuana addiction?

Marijuana is currently the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. A lot of misinformation about cannabis as an addictive drug has been publicized. In 2017 there are 29 states plus the District of Columbia that have legalized the medical use of marijuana and 9 states that have legalized recreation use as well.  This legalization has increased the research of the effects of the drug finding that marijuana is more than just a gateway drug. Signs of dependence in a user include the need to use marijuana to cope with everyday tasks.  In addition, those addicted to marijuana experience cravings and anxiety. Dependence does exist, and with a daily increase of THC use, many users have experienced adverse or even tragic results.

What are the signs of marijuana addiction?

According to drugabuse.com, the signs of marijuana addiction can include:

  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Altered sense of time
  • Impaired memory
  • Slowed reflexes and impaired motor skills
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rate
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Paranoia

Long term chronic use symptoms according to the Mayo Clinic can include:

  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Poor performance at school or at work
  • Reduced number of friends and interests

What does marijuana addiction do to the body?

Some of the long-term detrimental effects of marijuana may include respiratory issues from smoke inhalation, extended heart rate increase, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Memory related issues and decreased motivation have also been cited as symptoms of long -term use.

An independent 2017 research study done by the National Academies found that there is a significant link between the use of cannabis products and the development of schizophrenia and other psychoses. The same study also found that the daily use of marijuana increases suicidal thoughts and can lead to social anxiety disorder.

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