is cannabis addicitve

Is Cannabis Addictive? What We Know and What We Don’t Know.

Is Cannabis Addictive?

As more states legalize recreational cannabis, concerns about its safety and potential for addiction continue to rage. Cannabis’s medical benefits have been demonstrated in several research over the years.

Despite this, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has a high risk of addiction and no known or accepted medicinal applications. Other chemicals with this classification include heroin, LSD, MDMA, and ecstasy, to name a few.

Even though many people believe cannabis is not addictive, current research suggests otherwise.

What are the Effects of cannabis on the brain?

The long-term effects of cannabis on the brain have been shown in recent human research. According to studies, regular cannabis use in adolescents has been shown to alter key brain areas involved in executive processes, including learning, impulse control, and memory. Other studies, on the other hand, have revealed no substantial difference between those who use and those who do not take medicine.

The contradicting findings in people complicate the topic of cannabis addiction topic.

Cannabis, on the other hand, affected the hippocampus, the brain area involved in memory formation, in rats. THC (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol) exposure caused substantial learning and memory impairments in study rats. They also have cognitive problems due to anatomical alterations in this part of the brain.

Humans may experience something similar, according to researchers. Our hippocampus shape changes as we get older, which affects our potential to learn new information. Chronic THC use has been linked to a faster loss of hippocampus neurons.

What Makes Cannabis Addictive?

According to recent studies, at least 30% of cannabis users suffer from some form of cannabis addiction or cannabis use disorder. Cannabis is classified as addictive because it develops dependency, which results in withdrawal symptoms when the user stops using it.

When cannabis users stop using it, they generally experience irritation, mood swings, cravings, and restlessness. The brain’s sensitivity to the effects of cannabis decreases as it grows acclimated to them, which is why users feel compelled to increase their dosage and use.

The majority of people are unaware that cannabis use disorder has diagnostic criteria. Other cannabis addiction symptoms, in addition to withdrawal symptoms, include:

  • Having physical sensations without using cannabis
  • Do you feel as though you require cannabis to perform correctly?
  • You can’t seem to quit using cannabis, even if you want to.
  • Using unlawful or harmful methods to obtain more cannabis
  • Having legal or financial problems as a result of the drug
  • Investing excessive amounts of time in obtaining, consuming, and recuperating from cannabis usage
  • Approximately 9% of persons who use cannabis will get addicted to it. Those who begin in their teens are four times more likely to develop an addiction.

Is Medical cannabis a Compulsive Drug?

Cannabis’s potential therapeutic advantages are still a point of contention. Only a few THC drugs have been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to relieve nausea in chemotherapy patients.

Most researchers thought that these drugs, which include refined compounds derived from those found in cannabis plants, were more promising than using the entire plant. Even though medicinal and recreational cannabis is not physiologically addictive, it can be mentally addictive.

It’s possible to develop dependence and addiction to cannabis since it alters the brain’s structure and relieves symptoms.

Help for cannabis Addiction

It’s pretty standard for cannabis addicts to stop using the drug. The average cannabis user will attempt to quit six times before finally succeeding. Nonetheless, cannabis use problems can be treated with the right help. When leaving cannabis, most people don’t require medical detox or close monitoring. People with co-occurring mental health illnesses or polysubstance addiction issues, on the other hand, might consider detoxing at a rehab center to deal with withdrawal symptoms.

These therapies may be beneficial depending on the degree of the addiction and whether or not additional drugs are involved:

  • CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on recognizing and improving self-control while also addressing harmful behaviors.
  • Contingency management (CM) is a treatment for addiction that involves tracking behavior and responding to it by giving or taking away positive rewards, dependent on whether or not the behavior happens.
  • Motivational interviewing therapy (MI) entails a series of interventions to achieve quick change; this type of treatment does not treat the patient but instead focuses on realizing their internal resources for change and continued Treatment.


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