As a “soft drug” — and one that’s gaining more legal ground — cannabis can seem relatively harmless. But some individuals are vulnerable to marijuana addiction. This begs the question: Does marijuana addiction really exist?
THC and other ingredients
The main component of marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This mind-altering drug also contains some 400 additional chemicals, including known carcinogens. And marijuana available on the street can be laced with additives. Unless you have a prescription for medical marijuana, you never really know what you’re getting.
But the THC in marijuana today is much more potent than that available in the 1970s. Today’s pot delivers the desired effect in record time. Beyond elevating mood and relaxation, it may cause euphoria, hallucinations and paranoia.
Marijuana is the most commonly used drug
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States today. Despite calls for legalization, raw marijuana remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance. That makes it against the law to possess or use cannabis — although penalties and enforcement varies.
In a number of states, marijuana is available with a prescription for medical use only. Its therapeutic benefits include pain relief from chronic diseases like cancers and cessation of nausea in those undergoing chemotherapy.
Long-term use can lead to addiction
Drug craving and withdrawal symptoms can make it extremely difficult for a marijuana smoker to quit. Users report feeling irritable, anxious, unable to sleep and increased feelings of aggression during withdrawal.
The longer a person uses marijuana, the more likely he or she is to use more of it and more often. This is classic addiction, according to many scientists and researchers.
Marijuana abuse can be treated
Smokers with a problem can benefit from professional counseling, including behavior modification therapy. This may occur in individual and/or group sessions. There is currently no medication approved for treating marijuana abuse.
If you have tried to quit a number of times on our own, you might consider Marijuana Anonymous or a marijuana rehab.