Marijuana/Cannabis is not addictive?

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Cannabis is not addictive. Believe me it’s a myth. It is also famous with some other names like Marijuana, Ganja, Hashish, Hemp, weed, etc. Many researches already proved that it is addictive

You may also have come across about the term cannabis addiction. It is spreading very fast in many countries and mainly among youth.

Here, I will give you all the information related to this. Please read the whole article for a better understanding.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a drug extracted from hemp plant like Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. The active chemical ingredient found in cannabis is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp plant belongs to family cannabinaceae.

The active chemical found in cannabis work as a CNS depressant drug.  They reduce the message transformation between neurons by which the activity of central nervous system is decreased.

Cannabis is a Schedule-1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

Why cannabis been using?

Cannabis has many medicinal values which makes it a good medicine for many diseases.

  • Medicine specialist or physicians to recommend cannabis for the treatment of anxiety and pain
  • Cannabis and cannabinoids drugs widely used to treat disease or alleviate symptoms, but their efficacy for specific indication is not clear. Various studies are going on regarding the use of cannabis
  • Cannabidiol found in cannabis which is used to stop the spread of cancer cells in the body
  • Also use to decrease inflammation and severe pain relief

How to know when you need treatment for Cannabis addiction?

There are many misconceptions about the use of cannabis such as it is not addictive and cannabis is safe to use without any harmful effect on human body.

However, reality is that the excessive use of cannabis can lead to many harmful effects and psychological disorders. There are some sign of addiction as below,

  1. If someone (patient) taking drug cannabis as per prescription and after a specific time patient trying to quit the drug but not able to stop the use of cannabis, it could be addiction
  2. Use of more cannabis/ marijuana than intended regularly is a sign of addiction
  3. If someone needs more and more of the drug to achieve same high response can be cannabis tolerance and if the person experiencing withdrawal symptoms (appetite, anxiety, insomnia etc.) can be addicted to cannabis
  4. If someone feel like the using of cannabis is the only way to escape from problems or to be creative or to relax or to enjoyment can be addicted to cannabis
  5. Anyone struggling with mental or psychological illness and started to taking the alcohol or drugs such as cannabis can lead to co-existing mental health problem with inclusion of addiction

Harmful effects of cannabis:

Active chemical Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in cannabis, binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, have potential to cause physiological and brain disorders.

Physiological disorders:

  • Feeling isolated and withdrawal
  • Loss of concentration
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Feeling low energy
  • Feeling hopelessness and helplessness
  • Uncomforted sensation
  • Lack of pleasure and participation in relationships and life activities
  • Decreased social function as poor communication

Brain disorders:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Geriatric and pediatric, psychiatry major depressive disorder

Common types of medical cannabis:

As per recent studies, that featured at the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in San Diego, CA.

Experts reveal for instance, that exposure to marijuana before birth and during teen years can affect the developing brain in several ways.

Some of these ways disrupt communication between different parts of the brain, while other interferes with learning memory and disrupt levels of chemical messengers and metabolic compounds.

  • Herbal cannabis flowering tops

Common formulation: Classic marijuana

Route of administration: Smoked, vaporized

  • Cannabis extracts

Common formulation: Refined oils, refined waxes, herbal flower, pollen, hashish (compressed pollen), liquid tinctures

Route of administration: Smoked, vaporized, absorbed via oral mucosa by spray or drops

  • Cannabis edibles

Common formulation: Pills, teas, candies, baked goods, beverages

Route of administration: Oral ingestion

  • Cannabis topical preparation

Common formulation: Creams and lotions

Route of administration: Local application to affected areas

Marijuana addiction statics:

Source: Marijuana Dependence and Its Treatment by Alan J. Budney

Age breakdown of cannabis users:

Age Percentage of users
15 to 24 years 23%
25 to 34 years 26%
35 to 44 years 16%
45 to 54 years 8%
55 to 64 years 10%
65 years and above 4%

Source: statistics Canada, national cannabis survey

Effective treatment available:

Treatment for any addiction is very tough to achieve 100 % result because it depends on the person as well. But, there are some tried and trusted method which are helpful to treat marijuana addiction.

  • motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • contingency management (CM)

These treatments are more effective when used in combination.

I will not go into deep in these treatment because reading the treatment procedure will not be helpful for addiction. However, the patient should meet their doctor and discuss the same for a better therapy of the marijuana addiction.

I hope you get an insight about Marijuana/Cannabis addiction. Please let me know your thoughts in the comment box


Santosh Pd Maurya
Santosh Pd Maurya

A health care professional and Pharmacovigilance expert, willing to explain the importance of food and common knowledge about medicine. By doing this, I want to bring a positive change in everyone's life.

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