Man smoking a joint

Is Marijuana Addictive?

With marijuana legalization sweeping the US and shifting generational views, attitudes towards marijuana are more permissive than ever. While weed is generally seen as safe, natural and non-addictive, the truth is that long-term use can have pronounced effects on your energy and ability to carry out your life’s purpose, and can lead to marijuana addiction in some cases.

Marijuana Dependence

While it’s often hard for people to tell when their marijuana use has become a problem, a surprising number of marijuana users develop marijuana dependence. With frequent use over time, the brain adapts to the constant presence of marijuana by reducing its naturally produced endocannabinoid neurotransmitters. At this point, stopping suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms like cravings, mood swings, irritability, aggression, insomnia and loss of appetite. A recent study showed that 4 million people in the US met the criteria for marijuana use disorder. And according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 1 in 7 marijuana users will ultimately find that their use is a problem.

Cannabis Addiction

While not as pervasive as addiction to more powerful drugs like cocaine, marijuana addiction does in fact happen. Marijuana use can escalate from dependence and into the addiction phase when users are unable to stop despite its consequences in their lives. These can include losing control of the frequency and amount of use, preoccupation with getting and using more marijuana, denial of its impacts on their behavior, financial and relationship problems, irritation when they’re unable to smoke marijuana and generally placing undue importance on the drug. And though the full effects of marijuana addiction are often slow to reveal themselves, long-term use significantly alters brain function, raises your heart rate and damages your lungs.

Your Life by Moving Beyond Marijuana Addiction

People for whom marijuana use plays a central role eventually find that it numbs their mental processes and leads to lethargy and indifference, dulling important learning and problem-solving abilities. When attitudes towards life become too passive, you lose the drive required to advance towards your goals and fulfill your soul’s true purpose. At The Sanctuary, we understand that using any drug changes your brain and weakens your body. That’s why we created an integrated addiction treatment program that includes superfood nutrition, exercise, and bodywork to repair the damage done. At our peaceful facility among the stunning mountains of Sedona, you’ll reconnect with the vital rhythms of nature and breathe new life into your mind, body, soul, and spirit. To learn more about alternative addiction recovery, read our article, Non 12 Step Recovery: Modern Science & Ancient Healing.

For more information on The Sanctuary and our integrative approach to drug addiction treatment, contact us online, call us at (877) 710-3385 or email us at [email protected].