Marijuana Addiction Effects, Withdrawal, Treatment

High doses can produce a temporary psychotic reaction in some users. Use of the drug can also worsen the course of illness for patients who have schizophrenia. A series of large, longitudinal studies also shows a link between marijuana and the development of psychosis.

Up until the 1990s, cannabis used in clinical trials was inhaled through cigarettes obtained from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The trend of the last 30 years remains, that the main indication for which cannabis is used is pain. Now pain is a really broad term that comprises many different types, but the ones for which cannabis is the most successful so far are neuropathic and inflammatory,” she told me on a video call.

Cannabis (Marijuana)

More research is needed to know if secondhand marijuana smoke has similar health risks as secondhand tobacco smoke. A recent study on rats suggests that secondhand marijuana smoke can do as much damage to the heart and blood vessels as secondhand tobacco smoke.20But researchers haven’t fully explored the effect of secondhand marijuana smoke on humans. What they do know is that the toxins and tar found in marijuana smoke could affect vulnerable people, such as children or people with asthma. The drug’s pain-relieving properties make it a potential replacement for pain medication.

For example, rodent and nonhuman primate models receiving periodic injections of glutamate receptor antagonists have shown a reduction in relapse rates (Caprioli et al. 2017). Cannabis use disorder involves continued use of the substance even though the person experiences negative health or life effects from it. Certain private therapists may also specialize in treating marijuana dependence. Insurance plans are required to cover treatment for substance use disorders, including marijuana use disorder.

Credible Medical Use

Despite the negative influence their addiction has on their life, however, someone with cannabis use disorder will continue to use marijuana. In addition, marijuana dependence has been linked with a lack of motivation. Someone who is addicted may lack the drive to engage in activities, pursue goals, or keep up with responsibilities, including school and work. A person with may struggle to maintain healthy relationships with their friends and family if they withdraw from socializing in order to use the drug. One of the major signs of cannabis use disorder, according to the DSM, is a strong craving to use marijuana. A person’s urges might be so strong, for example, that they would sacrifice other commitments such as work or school in order to acquire and use marijuana.

  • Marijuana potency, as detected in confiscated samples, has steadily increased over the past few decades.
  • Group life insurance is often offered by employers and tends to be incredibly cheap — sometimes only a few dollars a month — or even free for employees.
  • In light of the legalization of marijuana, many people have wondered about the substance, its safety, and whether it’s addictive.
  • Cannabis use has also been linked to other mental conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • It begins with building motivation for achieving sobriety and is followed by weeks or months of counseling and therapy.
  • Many people consider marijuana use to be relatively harmless, because they believe that it isn’t addictive, and because the drug can be beneficial when used for a medically prescribed purpose.
  • Current or former drug users searching for a life insurance policy may have a difficult task ahead of them.

One of the biggest risk factors of marijuana addiction may be age. People are up to seven times as likely to experience marijuana use disorder when they start using before the age of 18. Additionally, men are twice as likely as women to experience marijuana use disorder. Like any drug used medicinally, the potential risks of use are weighed against the potential benefits when deciding what should and should not be tried.

Ways to Use Marijuana

Nearly 90 percent of people who use medicinal marijuana claim that it helps them to manage their disease and symptoms, and many find that they are able to decrease their use of other medications. The road to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is rarely smooth and can be full of detours and obstacles; even everyday events can pose a challenge. Current or former drug users searching for a life insurance policy may have a difficult task ahead of them. Life insurance companies use factors such as prior medical history and current health and lifestyle choices to determine whether an applicant is eligible for coverage and their insurance costs. While it is not impossible to secure life insurance, people recovering from addiction may have limited options and pay much higher premiums.

It’s also important to note that marijuana potency has increased significantly over the years. In 2012, the THC concentration in marijuana samples confiscated by law enforcement averaged near 15 percent, compared with an average concentration of  four percent in the 1980s. High-potency forms of the drug can expose new users to increased concentrations of THC and greater risk of experiencing adverse or unpredictable reactions.

“A problem being defined by having disruptions in your psychosocial functioning. Welch described his first week without marijuana after about a decade of daily use as one filled with sleepless nights and irritable days. In an attempt to return to baseline, it will compensate for the difference, raising a function that the drug lowered, like heart rate, or reducing a function that the drug boosted, like mood.

marijuana addiction

When given a chemical, methylphenidate, that caused dopamine levels to rise in the brain, the marijuana users didn’t respond as strongly or feel as high as nonusers. Over time, users may graduate from smoking marijuana to using it in high-dosage edible forms or propane-extracted concentrates called dabs. The brain may become resistant to the effects of the drug in an effort to protect itself, so that next time the person uses the drug, it doesn’t have as strong an effect. In order to feel the same high, the person has to take larger and larger doses.

Along with having trouble breathing, you might feel like you’re having an asthma attack or have less oxygen in your lungs. If you need more anesthesia to fall asleep because of your pot use, you’re at a higher risk of low blood pressure and a delayed wake-up after surgery. If you already have heart disease, your risk of a heart attack goes up even more if you use marijuana within 60 minutes of getting anesthesia. Tell your doctor if you use pot so they can keep an eye on your risk. Your body could go into withdrawal, leaving you cranky, restless, unable to sleep, and uninterested in eating when you don’t use it. Over-the-counter sedating antihistamines such as doxylamine have sedating and anti-emetic effects and may provide short term relief but should only be used within advised dosages.

marijuana addiction

Learn more about marijuana addiction, risk factors, effects on the brain, and more. For those wondering about specific scenarios like whether life insurance covers an overdose, the coverage can vary based on the policy terms and the insurer. In the case of an overdose, life insurance companies will typically take time to investigate the death prior to making a decision on the claim. Sometimes, a death caused by an overdose is ruled as death by suicide, and the life insurance policy will likely have a specific clause about suicide. Without treatment, people addicted to the drug can experience serious mental health problems. However, inpatient or outpatient therapy can assist people who are struggling to quit on their own.


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