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Is Cannabis Addictive Physically and Psychologically?

By | February 25, 2024

Who doesn’t love the feeling of exhilaration and contentment, especially after a long day or week at work? Have you heard your friends raving about their experience after a few puffs of their favorite weed? Perhaps you’re eager to try but are wondering; Is cannabis addictive?

You’re not alone; many share the same concern. Even regular marijuana consumers who choose to buy feminized seeds as they want to explore other strains contemplate the what-ifs.

Contents

The Plant That’s Misunderstood

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Benefits and Side Effects

Is it Addictive?

The Road to Dependency

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Healthy Habits, Healthy Life

You’ll learn more about cannabis and whether regular consumption can create a dependency as you continue reading.

The Plant That’s Misunderstood

Marijuana was always associated with peace and love, especially during the 1960s. Many still share this view and often refer to it as a “misunderstood” plant. 

 

Before it got its name, marijuana was only known as cannabis, and enthusiasts widely respected it as a shrub that can treat various ailments. At the same time, some refer to it as the “evil weed” and believe it only has negative effects.

 

It became increasingly difficult to conduct any research into the effectiveness of weed since it was declared federally illegal in 1937. Only certain institutes were allowed to conduct scientific experiments and studies, but these were random and dependent on funding which was not always forthcoming. 

 

As a result, the investigations are not on par with the growing amount of interest and usage.

 

Benefits and Side Effects

What else do we know about these green nuggets of mirth? Cannabis has over a hundred different compounds or cannabinoids. Of this collection, there are two prominent ones that several have come to know.

 

CBD is the one cannabinoid with no intoxicating or euphoric effect but is known to treat various medical conditions effectively. THC has similar qualities as CBD but produces the exhilarating feeling known as the “high” that many experience.

 

Due to the lack of research, there isn’t much data supporting its efficacy. Most of the information gathered on marijuana is anecdotal.

 

The following are some benefits and effects experienced by numerous users when consuming cannabis:

 

Benefits

These benefits are mostly therapeutic and vary from one to another. 

 

  • Focused and more creative
  • Increase in appetite
  • Relaxation and contentment
  • Relieves pain
  • Eases stress
  • Reduces nausea, especially after chemotherapy
  • Muscle relaxer

 

Side effects

The side effects are dependent on what strain of weed a consumer ingests, the dosage, and if it’s a new user. 

 

  • Slow down your response
  • You could become lethargic
  • Heart rate can increase
  • Can create nausea
  • Possibly affect your coordination
  • Dry eyes and mouth

 

There’s still the question; is marijuana addictive physically and psychologically?

Is It Addictive?

Some studies indicate a small chance that a cannabis user can become dependent on it. This condition is called cannabis use disorder (CUD). The following are some indications that you may have this condition:

 

  • Unable to quit marijuana consumption
  • Having withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop
  • Choosing weed over friends and family
  • Trying to achieve the same high every time you use
  • Mood swings and restlessness
  • Other consequences that affect concentration and memory

 

It’s believed that this disorder is more likely to occur in those who started using cannabis when they were in their adolescence. You could mistake CUD as an addiction, but it might not be. 

 

When cannabis becomes an addiction, it disrupts the user’s entire life because of their inability to stop consuming it. The psychoactive effect present in THC triggers receptors in the brain and subsequently changes the circuits there. 

 

Does this mean weed is chemically addictive? There’s no conclusive proof that this is the case.

 

Your body will also start producing less of its own endocannabinoid, creating a need in you to consume more marijuana. As a result, those younger than 25 are more likely to be affected as their brains are still developing. 

 

For this reason, when exploring if cannabis is addictive physically or psychologically, the latter is more evident, especially in the form of cravings. 

You’re at greater risk of developing CUD if you indulge in other drugs or alcohol. Having existing mental conditions could also elevate the chances of you becoming dependent.

The Road to Dependency

Researchers are confused about why certain cannabis consumers succumb to CUD while others don’t. The following are some possible reasons why people can become dependent:

 

  • Potency – an increased potency level could be one of the reasons that users become addicted. The different strains of marijuana available today are much more intense, with higher THC content than before. Many growers are experimenting with various strains and buy feminized, autoflower, or regular seeds to cultivate.

 

  • Regular consumption – frequently using cannabis can also result in the user becoming dependent. Daily or weekly consumption can be risky, while occasional use is not likely to cause any problems. This was confirmed by an associate professor from Harvard Medical school when addressing if weed is addictive in a 2020 interview. 

 

  • Psychological well-being – if the consumer has any conditions relating to their mental health, then they are more at risk of developing a dependence. 

 

  • Hereditary – it is widely believed that if your parents had a substance addiction, the chances of you also having a dependency is more probable than not. Other contributing factors could increase the chances of this happening, such as family environment and social class.

Healthy Habits, Healthy Life

When reflecting on whether cannabis is addictive, it’s safe to say that users can become dependent on it. However, this does not apply to all, and you would have to consider other factors. 

Once there’s a dependence, it’s more psychological than physical due to THC’s interaction with the brain. The body is only affected once you experience withdrawal symptoms. 

Cannabis remains a substance with many therapeutic benefits; when used wisely and with caution, it can contribute to its users’ overall well-being. Forming healthy habits creates a healthy life. 

About Jennifer Gallagher

Jennifer Gallagher, an experienced cannabis grower at SeedSupreme Seedbank. During a 7-year career in the marijuana growing business, Jennifer has gained a high competence in this field. As far as weed is concerned, she knows it all inside out. Jennifer is an expert in pot-growing, as well as cannabis types and their effects. She’s also familiar with all legislation nuances.

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