If there’s one thing we can’t tell you straightforward, is whether or not cannabis is addictive. Some marijuana users argue that this plant is not addictive, but some people believe the truth is quite the opposite.
In fact, the truth is that cannabis is much less addictive than alcohol, tobacco, or other substances. However, some users experience symptoms such as withdrawals or cravings. The question about cannabis addiction is representative of a huge gray area of misunderstanding. In order to answer it, we must show you the differences between use disorders and addiction.
Source: The Conversation
Many people believe that cannabis is not addictive, or that addiction takes places solely on the psychological level. When we think about physical addiction, we usually associate it with drugs like heroin.
What are the withdrawal symptoms when it comes to heroin? Typically vomiting and shaking, accompanied by pain in the bones and muscles. Quitting cannabis never leads to such experiences. Plus, cannabis withdrawals can’t be life threatening. This is why many people say that cannabis is more psychologically addictive than physically.
You should know that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that any symptoms of withdrawal or tolerance are the effects of physical addiction. It is linked to the chemical dependencies that are formed when a person is addicted. Addiction is a serious disease that affects every part of an addicted person’s life and withdrawals are really painful physical symptoms of addiction.
There is some truth to the belief that since marijuana brings pleasurable responses in the brain, it must be addictive. Although usually, cannabis users aren’t addicts, there are people who overuse this plant and are addicted in some way. We can identify two types of addiction: physical and psychological. The first one is linked to a chemical dependence on a substance and we can experience major withdrawal symptoms after leaving this particular substance. However, psychological addiction is our behavioral reaction to an unexpected restraint on a particular habit of using any substance.
First of all, physical addiction starts when you begin to develop a tolerance for the particular substance. This means you need a larger amount of it to achieve the same effects. When people are talking about physical cannabis addiction, they are linking it to the following withdrawal symptoms:
Contrary to physical addiction, this one isn’t linked to your body’s reactions. The psychologically addicted person will most likely experience:
Source: Sovereign Health of Texas
We’ve already said that cannabis users aren’t addicts, but how to call someone who has an unhealthy relationship with marijuana? It’s simple: such a person has cannabis use disorder.
You should know that addictions and substance use disorders are two different things. When using cannabis, you won’t get any major withdrawal symptoms, but you may experience some problems if you go overboard with the herb.
Cannabis use disorder is defined in the 5th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and it characterizes this symptom using 11 indicators.
Source: VICE News
Unfortunately, many people still think that cannabis is damaging and addictive. Although we have a government-provided evidence that marijuana is definitely not a gateway drug, many marijuana opponents still view it this way.
Medical marijuana fights a wide range of disorders and diseases, such as mesothelioma, nausea, epilepsy, eating disorders and even many types of cancers.
We must keep in mind, though, that smoking is not the best way to use cannabis. Whether you burn a joint or a cigarette, it you inhale carcinogens, which can lead to many health conditions over time. In addition, smoking causes sore throats and gum diseases.
The most popular and safe ways of consuming cannabis are edibles and vaping.
Unfortunately, marijuana is still a schedule 1 drug, which implies that it has a strong potential for abuse and, surprisingly, no medical use. We already know that cannabis is less dangerous than tobacco, alcohol and most prescription drugs we use day by day. Although many people still believe that cannabis is an addictive gateway drug, we should get to know the truth about this plant. Yes, you can experience cannabis use disorder and some withdrawal symptoms, but they’re not as terrifying as withdrawals from hard drugs or alcohol. If you want to be safe and not to worry about any addictions and withdrawals, simply be a responsible stoner no one believes exists.
Have you ever noticed any symptoms of marijuana addiction in your case? If yes, what were the withdrawal symptoms?