Is marijuana an addictive substance?
If you ask people around you about the possibility of marijuana addiction, many might say that it’s impossible to become addicted to marijuana. When you ask someone that’s in recovery for marijuana addiction, you’ll get a very different answer. People are often oblivious to the idea that marijuana can be highly addictive, not only because of the composition of the drug itself, but because of the behaviors that come with using marijuana.
Whether or not you see marijuana as an addictive substance or a substance that causes dependence, there is a serious problem with marijuana over time. We see it come through our addiction center all the time, and there’s no need to convince people that they have an addiction because they understand that a program is the only way to help them deal with their dependence.
Marijuana, a first or second class drug?
When we think of addiction, society tells us that the only people that can be considered addicts are the ones that use hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, alcohol and meth. These drugs we’ve just mentioned are often called first class addictions, meaning they’re the harshest drugs to be addicted to, and marijuana is often called a second class drug and thereby brings about second class addiction. According to law, marijuana is a schedule one narcotic substance because of the effects it has on the brain and body. At Cypress Lakes Lodge we treat marijuana as a first class problem and an addiction on the same level as the rest of the addictions we treat.
How is marijuana produced and why is it becoming more addictive?
Marijuana grows, and it’s green, so it must be good for you, is the common thought process when you ask people about marijuana. But it all boils down to the way it’s made since there are many ways of processing marijuana and creating the various strains of plants. The active ingredient that creates this high that people are after is called THC. Depending on what type of marijuana you use, there are different degrees of THC within these strains of marijuana that cause the brain to process the chemical differently.
Marijuana isn’t always grown; it’s often engineered
We know the plant itself in a dry form has anywhere from four to ten percent THC concentration, and the oil has up to 20% THC. That’s a big difference, and many strains have up to 30%, which, if you know how these plants are modified to get this high concentration, are not natural at all. Recent studies by Charas Scientific in Colorado took samples of over 300 types of marijuana plants and discovered this alarming percentage composition of THC.
Marijuana at this high percentage has the most negative effects on brain cognition, meaning memory and processing. Those who drive motor vehicles when high on this amount of THC had serious levels of motor-skill impairment that suggests marijuana is becoming more dangerous as these modifications take place in the creation of the drug. Many people don’t realize what goes into growing marijuana, and it’s not always a natural product.
It’s the most common thing for people to assume they can quit this drug whenever they want. The problem with this idea is that anyone that says this is usually currently taking the drug and hasn’t stopped. This is because it’s not so easy to quit smoking or consuming marijuana. The drug alters your perception of the world and helps these people feel numb to their experiences. Marijuana is known to dull an experience or reduce anxious feelings, and increased relaxation and sleep often follow this high.
When is a drug an addictive drug?
A drug becomes addictive when it takes up most of your time because you focus on it and create a lifestyle that surrounds the use of the drug. Marijuana is this drug. When people use marijuana, they use it daily, and their lifestyle builds the use of the drug into their routine. People that do this often find that it’s not so easy to get back to a lifestyle that doesn’t involve marijuana because they have done it for so long.
These changes in behaviors and moods are attributed to many other harmful drug addictions. When we think about the way our lives change as we become accustomed to marijuana, then we start to understand addictive thinking. When we move as far as changing everything about our lives to make room for this drug, we know something has gone wrong. Marijuana gets into our thought processes and creates one of the largest webs of denial we have seen in the addiction space because it’s so widely accepted among people. Thinking about the years of discussion on legalizing the drug, we can see why there would be such apprehension for this step. Heroin and hard drugs are not the only ones responsible for destroying lives, but marijuana can put stress on relationships and cause serious health problems over long periods of use.
Those addicted to marijuana notice:
- Health problems
- Mood and behavior change
- Sleep schedule changes
- Changes in their social interactions
- Lack of interest in other activities other than smoking marijuana
- Weight loss or gain
If you or someone you know if addicted to marijuana, call Cypress Lakes Lodge at 409-331-2204. We’re here to help you, and we do understand that this addiction is tough, but we know that it’s a real stress and issue.