Marijuana enjoys a widespread status as a safe and supposedly non-addictive drug in the common understanding of recreational smokers around the world. If you or a loved one partake in marijuana or THC derivatives, it’s worth your time to educate yourself on the facts surrounding this popular drug. Is marijuana really as safe as you think it is? Can a person become addicted to marijuana? Is it possible to overdose on cannabis products? How likely is it that your relationship with marijuana will become unhealthy enough to necessitate professional help?
Despite the claim that marijuana isn’t addictive, research shows that up to 30% of people who use the drug experience some degree of marijuana use disorder. A use disorder is marked by physical or psychological dependence: the presence of withdrawal symptoms when not ingesting a substance. Although you may not experience physical symptoms like weight loss or vomiting, attempting to detox from marijuana after habitual use can lead to various unpleasant, lingering symptoms. Marijuana withdrawal can include difficulty sleeping and eating, mood swings, restlessness, and overall mental and physical agitation.
While generally more subtle than addictions to numerous other substances, marijuana dependency can reach the point that you have difficulty stopping even when substance use causes problems throughout your life. The exact definitions are looser compared to other drugs, but research indicates that a significant population struggles with unhealthy marijuana use. About 4 million Americans met the qualifications for a marijuana use disorder in 2015. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have a problem with marijuana, don’t be too quick to lean on the idea that it’s a harmless habit.
The term “overdose” might conjure images of unresponsiveness or life-threatening bodily shutdown, but overdose is simply what happens when you ingest more of a substance than your body can healthily process. While it is virtually impossible to die from marijuana use itself, the habit does carry the risk of its own form of overdose. Overdosing on marijuana, especially using high-delivery methods like dabbing, can lead to a state of heightened anxiety and disorientation, panic, confusion, elevated heart rate, delusions, and nausea. These reactions can lead to further negative consequences if you’re driving or doing something else that requires a composed mind, and frequent episodes can seriously impact your life.
As with any other indulgence or behavior, making a healthy habit of marijuana use will depend on your individual circumstances. The notion that you can’t get addicted to marijuana contributes to overuse by people seeking an outlet, a mood stabilizer, or simply an enjoyable pastime. That use turns into abuse when it begins to affect other parts of your life.
Marijuana abuse can look different for everyone. It may mean experiencing persistent social anxiety, struggling to stay motivated at work or in your personal hobbies, losing productive habits of exercise or physical activity, or having difficulty enjoying yourself without the involvement of some form of THC. Drug tests can keep you from being employed at some jobs.
It’s up to you to decide whether your marijuana use is negatively impacting your life. Even “regular” side effects like paranoia and anxiety can interfere with your overall well-being. In some cases, prolonged marijuana abuse can put you at significantly higher risk for developing mental health problems like delusion, psychosis, and the activation of latent schizophrenia.
At the end of the day, your life is your own. If your habits are beginning to negatively impact your ability to function, it’s time to make a change. Every person’s journey of health and wellness is unique, and if marijuana poses a problem for your overall stability, there’s no shame in getting help. Reaching out for professional aid doesn’t mean you’re going to be treated as if you were addicted to opioids; treatment for marijuana abuse can come in many forms, from personal counseling and mentorship to medical treatment or supervision in weaning off your usage.
Many who develop an unhealthy relationship with marijuana or another substance are struggling with a deeper emotional or psychological imbalance or problem. Part of getting effective help can mean working with a mental health professional to address your inner obstacles to attain lasting stability. Mental health care can include one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and developing an intentional lifestyle full of positive and productive habits. Even if you’re not interested in abstaining from marijuana entirely, it can make a significant difference to take on a more balanced approach to your life.
Even though many people worldwide consider marijuana use a harmless and even healthy practice, like any drug, marijuana comes with the risks of abuse and dependence. If your marijuana usage is having a negative impact on your life, it doesn’t matter how safe it may be compared to other habits–it’s still a part of you that deserves attention and intention in setting yourself up for future success and wellness. At Cornerstone Healing Center, our mission is to help you achieve and maintain a balanced life in every way. From strengthening your body and mind to joining an uplifting community, we’re here to give you the chance to become the person you want to be. Overcome your obstacles using evidence-based treatments and social support systems at our home-away-from-home facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. Come to Cornerstone to access your full potential and move towards lasting health today. Call (800) 643-2108 to learn more.