Marijuana is increasingly seen as a low-risk drug that can alleviate pain, anxiety and an ever-growing list of conditions. However, we aren’t getting all the facts when it comes to its downsides, including marijuana addiction.
In recent years, marijuana use has become more socially accepted and legally sanctioned. Teens are now turning to marijuana instead of alcohol and tobacco, marijuana use is up among older adults and 22 percent of all American adults use marijuana regularly.
What You Should Know About Marijuana
Marijuana has been steadily and silently rising in potency, which is measured by THC levels. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis; it causes dopamine to be released in the brain, affecting users’ mood and behavior. In 1975, America’s supply of marijuana averaged less than 1 percent THC. By 2014, this number had risen to 12 percent, and some legal marijuana supplies have tested above 30 percent.
And while some users might assume that more potent weed means more medicinal value, the opposite is actually true. The rise in THC levels was accompanied by a fall in CBD, which is the substance that gives marijuana its therapeutic properties. CBD levels were hovering at 0.28 percent in 2001, but had dropped to less than 0.15 percent by 2014. Higher levels of THC mean that the brain is impacted more, putting users at increased risk of health problems or addiction without any of the medicinal effects CBD promises.
But what do we really know about the dangers of marijuana use? Much of the information we have on marijuana’s benefits and risks is based on research that doesn’t take the current high potency strains into account. Some researchers insist that there is simply not enough information to draw conclusions about marijuana’s medicinal effects, calling the evidence anecdotal or non-existent.
All this is understandable: it’s been difficult to research marijuana due to its legal status. But the lack of research into marijuana’s benefits and dangers combined with the nascent cannabis industry’s aggressive marketing tactics means that misinformation on the risks of marijuana use will only proliferate.
Marijuana Isn’t Benign
Marijuana use has been proven to alter the brain’s reward system in adolescents and long-term heavy users. It causes apathy and impairs memory, learning, problem-solving, decision-making and even IQ. And while you may think that addiction is a remote possibility, an estimated 6 million Americans experienced marijuana use disorder in 2016. Marijuana addiction leads to a deeply felt dissatisfaction with life and a pervasive feeling of powerlessness. It also increases the odds of developing a mental health issue such as depression or anxiety.
If you’re struggling with marijuana use disorder, The Sanctuary can help. Our combination of ancient healing traditions and quantum-based modern science can help you biologically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually recover from the underlying issues that may have caused your addiction. We believe that with a holistic approach that resolves the root causes of your drug use, you can leave addiction behind you for good.Learn more about the empowering process of holistic addiction recovery.