Drug and Alcohol

Do I Need Addiction Treatment for Cannabis Addiction?

Cannabis is an addictive substance. Like any other substance, it can wreak havoc on your life. Treating cannabis addiction is relatively simple.

Do I Need Addiction Treatment for Cannabis Addiction?

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

April 12, 2022

The Edge Treatment Center

Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant, which contains the mind-altering compound THC. Because it is viewed by many as a natural herb, it can be overlooked as an addictive substance.

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States and, as cannabis continues to become legalized throughout the country, it is easy to disregard it as a dangerous and potentially addictive drug.

Just like any other psychoactive drug, it is very possible to form an addiction to cannabis. It can create the same compulsive tendencies that other substances form, bringing with it the potential to turn your life upside down.

How Does Cannabis Affect the Brain?

When cannabis is smoked or ingested, the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) passes quickly into your bloodstream, spreading to your brain and other organs. Similar to other addictive substances, cannabis causes your body’s reward center to relapse dopamine once it makes its way to the brain. The THC latches onto receptors and triggers these chemical reactions, resulting in feelings of bliss and extreme relaxation.

When this chemical reaction begins to occur, your brain resists by shutting down dopamine receptors that bring these positive feelings of relaxation through natural means. 

With regular use over time, cannabis can rewire your brain to believe it needs the substance to function properly. Eventually, the brain will only be able to function at an optimal level if cannabis is present in your system. Once tolerance is built, you will need greater amounts of cannabis to reach the level of relaxation you are accustomed to, which can lead to dependence, substance abuse, and addiction.

How Do I Know If I’m Addicted to Cannabis?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that about 9% of all cannabis users will develop an addiction and 25-50% of people who use the drug every day will develop an addiction. There are several tell-tale signs that indicate whether cannabis use has become an addiction. 

First and foremost, if you feel at a deep level that you need cannabis to function in your day-to-day life, you’ve likely developed an addiction. In these cases, similar to other addictive substances, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop using cannabis, which makes it even more difficult to abstain from use.

At this point, cannabis use has become an addiction. In addition, you may let things like relationships, work, school, or household chores slip as you become exclusively focused on cannabis and the effects it brings.

One important point to note is that cannabis use can become an addiction even before it takes a toll on your well-being and life as a whole. Some of the most common effects of long-term excessive cannabis use are as follows:

  • Altered perceptions and mood

  • Impaired coordination

  • Difficulty thinking and problem-solving

  • Disrupted learning

  • Difficulty recollecting memories

  • Decreased appetite

If you or a loved one experiences any of the above effects from cannabis use, it may be time to start thinking about getting treatment, regardless of whether the negative effects have disrupted your life.

When Does Cannabis Use Require Intervention?

As previously stated, you shouldn't wait for cannabis to destroy certain aspects of your life before you seek treatment. As soon as you get help, you can begin to see everything about your life change for the better.

So, when do you know if you’ve gotten to the point of needing intervention

In addition to the effects listed above, it’s time to get help if you’re experiencing cravings for cannabis. If you’re finding it hard to get through the day without the use of the substance, it won’t be long before it starts to take a toll on your work, hobbies, and relationships. Cravings are a huge part of addiction and are a known risk for cannabis use, as people often try to chase the blissful effects of the substance until the brain has trouble producing dopamine on its own.

Another sign that you may need help is when you’ve built up a tolerance and find yourself taking larger amounts of THC or in more frequent doses to achieve the same effects. In addition, if you are hoarding or spending money on cannabis that should be going toward household expenses or other necessities, it’s time to get help. Similarly, seek treatment if you find yourself taking compulsive risks while on cannabis or if you’ve experienced failed attempts to stop use.

Seeking Treatment

If these sound like problems that may be affecting you or a loved one, it’s imperative to reach out to a drug rehab for professional help. The right treatment center can help you overcome cannabis addiction and get back to using healthy coping mechanisms and functioning well without the use of the substance.

There are many options for treatment out there that have been proven effective at treating cannabis addiction.

Cannabis Is Addictive … But Easy To Treat

Addiction can lead to relationship problems, difficulty performing at work, and a lack of interest in once-loved hobbies. Fortunately, cannabis addiction is relatively easy to treat compared to other psychoactive substances. Without unmanageable withdrawal symptoms, individuals are able to focus on leading happy and healthy lives without the use of the substance.

At The Edge Treatment Center, we are committed to providing the necessary tools for long-term recovery. We use evidence-based modalities to get you back to where you want to be, allowing you to live a healthy life free of substance use.

If you want to free yourself from addiction, call The Edge Treatment Center at (800) 778-1772.

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