Is Marijuana Addictive? Though Rare, Weed Can Be Addictive


About 10 to 30% of people who consume weed are dependent on the substance as per the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Of these, only 9% are likely to become addicted. However, the exact numbers are not known. Addiction refers to a condition in which, when the user doesn’t get the drug of his choice, he experiences irritability, headaches, mood swings, and other such symptoms.

Those who do develop problematic pot use have marijuana use disorder. There is a difference between those who abuse weed and those who become addicted to it. While abuse refers to using a product despite negative consequences, those addicted to pot abuse the substance and also show signs of a typical addict.

Weed Addiction – Who Becomes Addicted And Why Marijuana Abuse Is Increasing 

Though it is uncommon of people to become addicted to pot, the number of those who do become so has increased compared to the past. A 2007 study discussed the increasing prevalence of marijuana abuse and dependence. The research discussed the traits and treatments associated with the problem.

Experts think the increase in marijuana addiction can be because of the high potency of the marijuana available today. You see, the substance in marijuana that has a negative nature is tetrahydrocannabinol. This cannabinoid has psychoactive properties. These days marijuana products made from its extract comprise of up to 80% THC.

Moreover, while in the nineties THC content in the herb was 3.7%, today it is as high as 9.6%. Generally, those who start using weed before reaching the age of 18 develop marijuana use disorder. Addiction or dependency are not likely among those who use it after 18. Experts have also noted that people who have underlying mental health conditions are more likely to become addicted to marijuana.

This includes those who have anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia. In all these psychological ailments, use of pot first improves the condition. For instance, depressive symptoms are alleviated, nightmares in PTSD patients are reduced, and anxiety is calmed in those with social anxiety disorder.

Symptoms Of Marijuana Withdrawal

It is not typical of weed users to experience dependency and withdrawal. However, those who do have a problem with the herb exhibit symptoms such as loss of appetite, anxiety, insomnia, excess salivation, lowered pulse, aggressiveness, mood swings, and frustration. Note that there are also adverse side effects of consuming weed.

Treatment Of The Ailment

As in the case of any sort of addiction, there is hope if there is a will to improve one’s condition. Statistics reveal that the number of people who are seeking treatment for marijuana use disorder has also significantly increased. Most individuals who seek treatment do so due to pressure from those surrounding them such as family, friends, employers, authorities, and other such people.

Key Takeaway

It is very rare, but possible of people to become addicted to marijuana. The number of folks who abuse or become dependent on the substance has increased. So has the count of those who are seeking treatment for marijuana use disorder. Weed is addictive due to the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol. This cannabinoid has some great medicinal value, but negative effects too.


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