Marijuana refers to dried leaves and flowers of varieties of the cannabis plant that contain cannabinoids — chemical compounds that act on specific receptors on cells in your body. Cannabis refers to products derived from these plants (such as hashish). Both words are often used interchangeably. The main active chemical in marijuana is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Other chemicals found within this plant include cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).
The main mind-altering (psychoactive) substance in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). When someone smokes or eats marijuana, THC passes from the lungs or intestine into the bloodstream. From there, it can affect many parts of the body, including the brain and kidneys.
Short-term effects can include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem-solving; loss of coordination; increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Long-term effects may include addiction, reduced brain function (e.g., decreased ability to pay attention), depression, social isolation, trouble performing daily tasks at work or school because of marijuana use
Research suggests that about 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted.
This number comes from data collected in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a survey conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The survey included more than 43,000 American adults who answered questions about their drug use and mental health, including whether they had been diagnosed with substance use disorders. About 9% of people who reported using cannabis for a year or longer said they had developed a substance-use disorder at some point in their lives—which means they were unable to control how much or how often they used the drug, despite its negative effects on themselves or others around them.
But not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted to it; addiction is complex condition that has many contributing factors beyond simply frequency of use alone. For example, genetics play an important role: Research has shown that there are several genes associated with higher risk for developing cannabis addiction compared with those without such genetic variants—so while someone may be able to manage their use of other drugs relatively well without getting hooked (such as alcohol), recreational cannabis could be different because of these genetic predispositions towards addiction development.
For those who begin using before the age of 18, that number rises to 1 in 6.
Addiction is defined as compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite the known harmful effects upon functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities. Marijuana use can lead to addiction such that a person craves marijuana; uses marijuana regularly; has difficulty cutting back on its use; spends a great deal of time obtaining it; continues for years despite negative consequences on their life; and experiences withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it..
Marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to lower birth weight.
Research has found that prenatal marijuana use is linked to lower birth weight. This could be because the chemicals in marijuana that are passed from mother to baby can affect the development of a baby’s brain.
The effects of prenatal marijuana exposure on the child’s behavior, cognition, and emotionality are unclear.
Marijuana use during pregnancy can harm your unborn child by causing physical problems like low birth weight, premature birth, and stillbirths. It also raises the risk of long-term developmental problems for your child, such as learning disabilities and behavioral disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The effects of prenatal drug exposure may be seen later in childhood or even into adulthood.
Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction.
Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction; that is, compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite the known harmful effects upon functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities.
Unfortunately, marijuana use has become more acceptable among youth and adults in recent years. Some people think they don’t have a problem with marijuana because they can stop using it when they choose to do so. However, this is an early warning sign of addiction.
Marijuana can be addictive for some people and lead to other substance abuse problems such as alcohol dependence or nicotine dependence (smoking cigarettes).
Frequent users develop withdrawal symptoms.
Most frequent users develop withdrawal symptoms when they stop using marijuana, but these symptoms are not as severe as those of other drugs such as alcohol and opioids. In general, withdrawal symptoms tend to occur in people who smoke marijuana daily for a long time.
The treatment for marijuana abuse and dependence is similar to treatments for addictions to other drugs. Although no medications are available specifically for treating marijuana dependence, professional detoxification facilities can provide a safe, supportive place for abusers to get the drug out of their systems.
Marijuana use can lead to addiction.
Marijuana use is not harmless. It can lead to dependence and addiction, as well as a variety of other health problems.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Marijuana use can lead to physical dependence, which means that when you try to stop using marijuana (through abstinence), your body has withdrawal symptoms that it did not have before you began using marijuana. These symptoms include irritability, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, restlessness, and low mood.
- Psychosis: There is strong evidence that cannabis use in adolescence increases the risk of developing schizophrenia later in life. Some research suggests that people who have a history of psychosis are at increased risk for smoking cannabis compared with those without such a history or people who have never been diagnosed with a mental disorder but who are otherwise similar (e.g., similar age). This may mean that some individuals may develop psychotic symptoms after smoking cannabis only once or twice; however, this does not mean everyone will experience psychotic symptoms from their first time-consuming weed or repeated usage over time.
- Cognitive impairment: Chronic heavy marijuana users show specific impairments in cognitive functioning, such as verbal learning and memory tasks, long after they stop using marijuana regularly due to its effect on neural circuits involved in memory processing during intoxication itself (i.e., while under influence).”
Marijuana is a common recreational drug that can be addictive. Research shows that frequent use can lead to addiction and other health problems. If you are concerned about your marijuana use or know someone who may need help, please contact us.