Is Weed Addictive? An Expert Take
Did you know that around 200 million people worldwide smoke marijuana? Marijuana is a popular drug for its soothing high that calms pain, anxiety, and fear. However, is weed addictive, and if so, who does it affect?
Don’t worry, with this guide you can find out! From marijuana dependence to marijuana addiction, you can learn how addiction is caused and who it affects. Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s an in-depth look at marijuana addiction:
Marijuana Dependence VS. Addiction
Dependence and addiction are usually interchangeable; however, there are a few main differences that set them apart.
Dependence, unlike addiction, is a physical reliance on a substance that occurs with regular use. With dependence, a person needs the drug to function, and without it, they experience terrible withdrawal symptoms.
However, addiction is often characterized by uncontrollable urges that manifest even when the substance impacts a person’s life negatively.
For instance, a person would prefer to smoke than attend a family function. Likewise, a person would smoke rather than visit family or friends.
Dependence and addiction can occur together, although sometimes that doesn’t always happen. A person can be reliant on marijuana without experiencing the behaviors associated with addiction.
How Does Weed Cause Addiction?
Like many other drugs, marijuana causes addiction by impacting the brain’s reward centers. When a person smokes marijuana, THC, provokes a release of dopamine to the brain. Dopamine causes a high, but it also triggers the brain’s reward system to remember and repeat this action.
Thus, THC prompts a chemical response that is favorable, and overtime, it conditions you to crave marijuana more and more. Recent studies found that teens and young adults are the most vulnerable to the dangerous effects of marijuana.
Signs of Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana addiction usually slowly progresses; however, there some signs to watch out for. Here are some of the telltale signs of marijuana addiction:
- Lack of control: The inability to stop using weed even if you want to
- Abandoning loved activities, family events, and friends to smoke weed
- Continue to use marijuana even if it impacts your life
People who are addicted to the substance are usually dependent on it as well. Thus, they tend to have a higher tolerance and need to smoke a larger amount of marijuana to get high.
Oftentimes, people experience terrible withdrawal symptoms. For example, some people struggle with decreased appetite, feelings of distress and worry, or have trouble sleeping.