Also known as Marijuana, Weed and Pot, Cannabis is the generic name for the psychoactive, plant-derived THC molecule. It is the most commonly consumed drug in the world. It is generally smoked, but can also be ingested in food or drinks.
The main effects of cannabis are altered sensory perception, making reality appear distorted, and a change in mood. Sometimes the user may feel euphoric, while other times they might feel relaxed. Sometimes, users experience paranoia or anxiety after taking the drug. Other effects can include impairment of short term memory, sleepiness and an increased appetite.
Street names for cannabis include grass, weed, dope and pot.
Health Risks of Using Cannabis
Cannabis is often wrongly considered harmless, when in reality it can have a negative impact on both the mind and body. Cannabis can alter the user’s mood and disturb their sleep pattern, which can cause depression. Use is also associated with a slightly higher risk of developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia later in life. Heavy use can even induce experiences of psychosis in certain individuals.
This is particularly likely if it is the skunk variety of cannabis that is being smoked. This is high potency cannabis containing higher levels of THC than normal strains. In addition, all cannabis poses a long-term risk to memory and concentration abilities.
Cannabis is generally smoked with tobacco, meaning users take on the same health risks as when smoking cigarettes, including lung cancer. It can also increase blood pressure and heart rate, which could become harmful in the long term.
It is also possible for cannabis to act as a ‘gateway drug’, meaning that people who try it as a ‘soft option’ may consequently begin to look for a different trip or a more powerful high from harder drugs such as MDMA, cocaine or ketamine. This is likely if they purchase cannabis from a drug dealer who also sells class A drugs. Over time, the dealer may attempt to sell them other drugs in addition to cannabis.
Cannabis Addiction Treatment
Although cannabis is not generally thought of as ‘addictive’, regular users can become both psychologically and physically dependent on the drug. They may experience cravings for the drug, and find it very difficult to give it up, even if they decide that it is having a negative impact on their life. At Smarmore Castle, sustained abstinence from cannabis is the goal of treatment. During treatment, the patient remains sober, and is immersed in an intensive programme of therapy to help them achieve long-lasting recovery.
Some heavy cannabis users report withdrawal symptoms during detox such as irritability, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
Residential Rehab Treatment for Cannabis Addiction
Smarmore Castle is a leading addiction centre in Ireland, and our patients receive the highest quality of care from our medical and therapy team. At Smarmore Castle, we immerse patients in an intensive programme of therapeutic activity that has been proven to effectively treat addiction to cannabis and other drugs. Our comprehensive cannabis addiction programme is individually tailored to each patient and involves some combination of:
- Therapies such as one-to-one private therapy, group therapy, family therapy, bereavement therapy, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Complementary therapies including mindfulness meditation, equine therapy, aquatherapy, drumming therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
In particular, CBT has been proven effective for treating individuals with a cannabis abuse problem. This therapy helps to restructure a patient’s thought patterns and attitudes towards themselves and their drug use.
Our dual diagnosis treatment is tailored for individuals who suffer a psychological condition such as depression, anxiety or eating disorders in addition to drug or alcohol abuse.
In addition to psychological health, we repair a patient’s physical state with a combined programme of exercise and a healthy diet. Our 22 meter swimming pool and gym is available for our patients to use.
When the patient completes their treatment for cannabis addiction, Smarmore Castle continues to support them by providing:
- A two year continuing care plan
- Weekly drop-in group therapy sessions
- Teletherapy sessions
- Encouraging engagement with peer support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous
If you, or a family member, friend, or colleague is suffering with cannabis addiction, please contact us for help. Our team is available 24/7 to discuss treatment options with you, and answer any enquiries you may have.
Studies of patient outcomes have shown that our residential rehab programme is a very effective form of treatment for drug addiction. The majority of patients report long-lasting sobriety from drugs after completing our treatment programme.
Last updated & clinically assessed 3 May, 2022