Marijuana — known as “weed,” “pot,” “bud,” “ganga” and various other names — is a psychoactive drug that comes from the flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant. Its properties are unpredictable, sometimes acting as a hallucinogen, other times as a depressant, stimulant and even hallucinogen.
It is possible to develop a dependence on marijuana, which can lead to a substance use disorder. When the brain is dependent on THC, withdrawal can occur with sudden abstinence. Symptoms can include:
At Harbor Village, we provide medically supervised detox to make the transition away from chemical dependence smooth and manageable.
While some people are capable of using marijuana occasionally or recreationally, others form a dependence on it. Here are some common signs that your marijuana use has gotten out of control:
Despite the popular myth that marijuana isn’t addictive, it is. If you see yourself (or a loved one) exhibit these symptoms, we can help.
While people usually smoke marijuana through small cigarettes (“joints”) or through water pipes (“bongs”), an increasing number of users prefer to use a vaporizer. There are also more and more edible choices available, including candies, cookies and other items that are especially appealing to young people.
The female cannabis plant produces THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive chemical that produces the marijuana “high.” It can be made more potent by concentrating the resin and creating hashish oil, a wax-like substance called “budder,” or a hard, crystalline material called “shatter.”
The cannabis plant contains a wide variety of chemical compounds that can be isolated. These are called cannabinoids, and are related to THC but are not psychoactive and do not produce a high. Generally, CBD products are legal and have been touted as having a wide variety of medicinal purposes. CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, and it’s impossible to know what is actually in these products.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides a number of marijuana addiction stats that may surprise you:
Far too often, marijuana serves as a gateway to harder drugs — such as cocaine, meth and opioids. While marijuana is considerably less addictive than these other drugs, it is habit-forming and can create a tolerance. Studies show that marijuana use as an adolescent is associated with drug abuse as an adult. THC alters the brain’s neural pathways in the brain, over time creating dependence.
Some of the best treatments available for marijuana abuse and drug addiction are cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. These therapies give you tools not only to handle cravings, but also to manage your life without relying on marijuana.
If you’re struggling with dependence on marijuana (or any other substance), give us a call. Harbor Village is here to give you the help you need for a more fulfilling life.