Marijuana is now legal in Canada for both medical and recreational use. While a large portion of the country already uses it, there’ll be even more marijuana use as more shops open and it becomes more widely available. Some new users may worry about getting hooked. But is marijuana really addictive?
The good news is that marijuana doesn’t have the physically addictive qualities of other substances like opioids. With its medical qualities, this makes it a good alternative to things like pain medications and antidepressants. However, you should still use marijuana in moderation and avoid making it too much of a habit. Here’s a guide to marijuana addiction.
What are the Effects of Marijuana?
People use marijuana for many different reasons. It gives you a euphoric high that can boost your mood, heighten your senses, and make you more social. Because of this, many people use it for recreational purposes. These effects can be great for those who want to enjoy it with friends or simply relax at home and use some to help them relax.
Medical marijuana use is also becoming increasingly popular as more and more benefits are found. Studies show that marijuana can help reduce pain, including chronic pain and neuropathic pain such as headaches and migraines. It can also help rapidly reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, making it very useful for your mental health. It can also help with glaucoma, seizures, MS, Crohn’s disease, cancer, and many other medical conditions.
Due to its powerful recreational and medical benefits, some people may find it easy to overuse marijuana. Some people may depend on it for certain conditions or simply make a habit of using it daily. However, unlike some other substances, it is not physically addictive and won’t cause withdrawal symptoms.
Is Marijuana Really Addictive?
Marijuana addiction can be a tricky subject. Although you can’t get physically addicted to marijuana, you can develop a psychological dependence as with any other substance. Research suggests that 4.3% of American adults have developed a dependence on marijuana. This generally refers to those who overuse it and find it hard to quit.
Marijuana dependence isn’t as harmful as dependence on things like alcohol, tobacco or cocaine. For the most part, marijuana has beneficial effects on the body and won’t cause any harmful withdrawal symptoms. However, those who make too much of a habit of using it may develop a lack of motivation, loss of memory in the long term, and problems with sleep and energy levels.
This can develop in both recreational and medical users. Those who use marijuana for recreational reasons may overuse it due to the enjoyable high. Medical users may come to depend on it to help them with certain conditions.
How to Avoid Marijuana Addiction
Fortunately, it isn’t too hard to avoid marijuana addiction. Most adults won’t have an issue with using marijuana without becoming too dependent on it. It’s simply a matter of using it in moderation and controlling your intake.
Recreational users should avoid using marijuana too regularly. While it can be fun to wake-and-bake or smoke up every night, doing this too much over time may cause you to develop too much of a habit.
While marijuana also has many medical benefits, you should not come to rely on these too much. It’s best used as something that can help along with other treatments. For instance, those who suffer from depression should seek therapy or other treatments as opposed to solely using marijuana to avoid symptoms.
It’s fairly easy to wean yourself off of marijuana. Unlike with substances like tobacco and alcohol, you won’t experience any withdrawal symptoms from stopping. If you find yourself too dependent on marijuana, it’s best to cut it out for a while. However, most adults have no problem using marijuana in moderation without it becoming an issue.
Is Marijuana Safe to Use?
Despite high levels of psychoactive chemicals like THC, marijuana is actually very safe to use when compared with other treatments and substances. You may experience some negative side effects, but these wear off for the most part and there’s no risk of withdrawal symptoms or fatal overdose.
There are no recorded cases of fatal overdose from marijuana use. Using too much can result in some negative symptoms, but these are usually relatively easy to handle and won’t last for too long. You can use marijuana in any quantity without any risk of death or serious harm, although you should avoid exceeding your limits.
Some of the drawbacks of marijuana overuse can include loss of memory, increased anxiety, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. These usually occur when you smoke or use too much in one sitting. These side effects will also wear off as your high wears off. If you find yourself regularly getting negative side effects, then consider using less marijuana or stopping altogether.
There are no withdrawal symptoms from stopping marijuana use. What’s more, most of the effects of marijuana are positive to your health. As long as you use it wisely, you can enjoy it frequently without any issue.
How to Use Marijuana
You can now consume marijuana in many different ways, and some are more potent than others. Beginner users may want to avoid more powerful cannabis products. However, all of these can produce positive effects.
Cannabis strains are the most common product. You can smoke or vape these for instant effects such as euphoria, pain relief, increased mood, and heightened senses. Different strains produce different effects and some are stronger than others. You can view product descriptions and reviews to decide which is the right one for you.
Cannabis concentrates are a stronger, more condensed form of marijuana. They come in forms such as shatter, wax, and hash. These produce more intense effects due to the high levels of THC.
Edibles produce an even stronger high that can last up to eight hours or more. This is because, when consumed, the THC in edibles is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC by the liver. These products are best avoided by beginners, but those who want a very strong high will enjoy them.
Marijuana is not physically addictive, but using it regularly may result in psychological dependence. Recreational users should avoid overuse and medical users should not use marijuana as a crutch for their symptoms. With that said, marijuana can have very positive effects and, providing you use it in moderation, you won’t have anything to worry about.