A Better Understanding of Marijuana Dependence and Its Treatment

Marijuana Dependence is whereby an individual gets used to the drug and its components. It’s a relapsing disorder where an individual seeks and uses the herb despite knowing its adverse consequences.

The process involves changes in the brain where an individual gets involved in stress and lacks self-control in using Marijuana.

These changes might endure for a long time unless necessary measures are taken to reverse the effects.

Marijuana dependence is not a disease but a disorder that can be rectified through rehabilitation.

Uncontrolled use of the product is what gets termed as Marijuana dependence.

Let’s check some facts about this condition.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is emanated from the cannabis plant and is mostly regarded as a stimulating drug.


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You have to dry the plant, grind it to finer particles, and then smoke it wounded up like a cigarette. Marijuana can also be taken in other forms, including as an edible.

Edible Marijuana is included as an ingredient in cakes, candies, and in liquid form.

Other people use this product in its resin-like way, straight from the plant and its effect is always high.

Also known as ‘dabs,’ the substance can be taken in its liquefied or vaporized form. The most common names used on the street for this dab are budder, shax, and shatter. 

Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana addiction is what’s commonly known as marijuana dependence. The abuse and prolonged use of this product often lead to Addiction.

According to the studies done, at least 11% of individuals who use Marijuana are addicted to it, making their life difficult.

What’s the difference between Addiction and abuse? The difference between these two is the use and how one stays without this drug.

Abuse involves using the drug without a prescription from medical experts or going beyond the required dose.

In contrast, Addiction involves prolonged use of the product, which makes one dependent on it. Abuse might lead to Addiction.

Can the conditions be treated? With Addiction, you need to get into a program that helps you overcome the addiction effects.

According to rehabilitation experts from Recovery Works, the process involves getting into a holistic plan with the help of the family, community, and experienced clinicians. This helps in changing the patient for the better through a long-term recovery plan.

Who is at the Risk of Marijuana Addiction?

Most safe marijuana products have been legalized in countries globally, making its use rampant among the youth.

Anyone who indulges in Marijuana without the doctors’ advice and controlled quantities can readily get addicted, becoming a marijuana dependent.

Some of the factors that lead to this product’s addition include the family history of Addiction, psychiatric disorder, and parents’ lack of involvement with their children.

Most youths are overindulging in Marijuana because of peer pressure.

Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana components have special effects both in the mind and the body. These signs vary from one individual to another, depending on the use and genetics.

 If you have used Marijuana before, its effects aren’t the same as when starting. The results of abuse can be temporary or permanent, depending on the duration and quantities used.

Some of the temporary symptoms include heightened awareness and sensations, euphoria, elevated heart rate, mood changes, increased appetite, decreased concentration, memory problems, and many more related symptoms.

The long-term physical complications include damage to the lungs, heart problems, a weaker immune system, and learning problems depending on an individual.

Also, drug abuse has the following mental effects: paranoia, hallucinations, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and other cognitive challenges.

Common Symptoms of Addiction

Most marijuana addiction symptoms are related to other drug abuse symptoms.

Some of the common symptoms of marijuana addiction include; increased tolerance, continued use of the product, disengagement from family and friends, and withdrawal symptoms when one can’t access the drug.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms include nausea, tremors, insomnia, weight loss, irritability, cravings, depression, and restlessness.

Marijuana Treatment

Marijuana Abuse in Teens

From research done by health experts, teenagers who abuse Marijuana are at the highest risk of having mental disorders.

At this stage, the brain develops faster, and any interference with it leads to long term disability or permanent adverse conditions.

 Tetrahydrocannabinol, typically referred to as THC, is a component available in Marijuana that affects the brain receptors and affects a person’s thinking, learning, and memory.

If teens take Marijuana, and it affects the brain, the condition might last for a long time even after withdrawing from the drug.

From the statistics, 13 in 38 individuals who started smoking Marijuana in their teenage end up losing an average of 8-IQ points in their brains.

Most of these ended up having permanent damage to the brain, even after stopping using the drug. Those who began smoking Marijuana when at an adult stage recorded fewer effects as compared to teenagers. 

What Happens When One Becomes Addicted During Pregnancy?

Women are advised to avoid using Marijuana products during pregnancy because it affects the developing babies when it comes to their behaviors and mental capacity.

Children born from an addicted mum tend to have lower IQ, thus lack focusing and learning techniques. The effects of Marijuana on developing fetuses are still unknown as studies are ongoing to find out.

However, high levels of THC on breast milk have been recorded in mothers who use Marijuana. This situation means the mothers can end up affecting their children while breastfeeding.

Health experts recommend abstinence from Marijuana products while breastfeeding to safeguard the future of the child. 

How Do You Treat Marijuana Dependence?

As discussed previously, Marijuana addiction treatment requires a programmed plan, which includes counseling.

Several rehabilitation centers carry this process in conjunction with the affected person’s family and community.

This process helps the affected individual deal with the Addiction and the mental problems that come with it.

Unfortunately, individuals addicted to Marijuana end up getting addicted to other drugs, making the condition worse to treat unless done by experts.

 This counseling involves family counseling, motivational enhancement therapy, and individual/group cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Available Options for Treating Marijuana Addiction

The FDA hasn’t approved any method to treat marijuana addiction, but research is going on. What rehabilitation centers do is to monitor and treat behavioral changes as explained below:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This process involves teaching the addicted individuals how to identify and control behavioral changes, enhancing self-control, stopping the abuse, and addressing issues related to Addiction.  
  • Contingency management: This process involves closely monitoring the affected persons’ behavior. It requires the addition or removal of rewards to the person as the situation gets monitored by experts.
  • Motivational enhancement therapy: This is a systematic process designed to give a rapid response to the affected individual to bring a change to their lives. It does not treat the person but engages them to change effects for the better. 


There is no treatment for marijuana addiction. The available remedy is to try and reverse the effects through rehabilitation.

It’s advisable to stay away from Marijuana or get a prescription from the doctor to avoid its impacts.

Never take it for leisure or abuse the recommended quantity since it leads to Addiction, which can’t be reversed.

There are several ways you can stay away from Marijuana addiction. These include staying close to family members, having supportive friends, and avoiding peer pressure.

Always opt for a healthy, happy living with your friends and family while eating a well-balanced diet and having regular exercise to stay healthy.


Cover photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@wesleygibbs

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