The addictive potential of marijuana is relatively low even though THC produces physical dependence. Though it is a small per cent of people who develop dependence on marijuana, cannabis dependence is twice as prevalent as dependence on any other illicit psychoactive substance.
Dependence Versus Addiction
Not every person who becomes dependence on marijuana becomes addicted but may develop tolerance. Marijuana dependence is different than addiction to marijuana depending on many factors. Dependence refers to being dependant on the drug physiologically within the body to function. Abstinence from the drug produces withdrawal symptoms. Addiction refers to a behavioural syndrome whereby the person using marijuana becomes preoccupied with obtaining more of the drug and cannot seem to go a day without.
Some symptoms of marijuana dependence include:
Inability to concentrate
Physical dependence is a physiological state of adaptation to a drug. When the effects of marijuana have worn off the body reacts by sending signals to the brain which may impair the ability to function normally without presence of the drug.
behavioural, psychic, emotional or psychological dependence is difficult to define. The person may believe marijuana is required in order to feel good or free of some type of pain which is inhibiting the person. Psychological dependence is said to be a reason why people continue to misuse or abuse drugs as symptoms of withdrawal tend to stop within a few weeks of discontinuing use of the drug. Psychological dependence on marijuana may also be defined in terms of acute ‘behavioural withdrawal symptoms,’ including anxiety, restlessness and irritability. Cravings may also occur which negatively impact the person’s life.
Marijuana withdrawal may occur when trying to quit using the drug. Some of the effects of withdrawal including anxiety attacks, depression, excessive sweating and insomnia. Withdrawal symptoms vary person to person and may last anywhere from two days up two weeks depending on the person who uses the drug and if it is mixed with other drug or substance use. Marijuana use can still have negative effects on people regardless of whether dependence or addiction occurs. Emotionally and physically the drug can impact the brain, body, work and other parts of a person’s life if not dealt with appropriately.
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic provides a safe, supportive environment to explore ways to quit marijuana and other substances. If you are addicted to or dependant on marijuana, call us at +353 41 214 5111. We are here to help you succeed with our comprehensive addiction recovery programmes.
Last updated & clinically assessed 26 March, 2021