Even before marijuana became legal in the United States, it has been widely abused by a lot of people. It really gave them the high feeling which they needed to perform certain activities. This is the primary reason why marijuana is addictive for everyone apart from being used for many medical reasons today. But the question is, is marijuana addictive? Why? How can you determine if you are addicted?
Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction
There are several ways to detect if a person is currently high or under the influence of marijuana.
If you want to know, here are some behavioral symptoms which can be found in marijuana addiction:
- Impaired coordination
- Distorted perceptions
- Ongoing problems with memory and learning
- Difficulty in problem solving and thinking
In addition, here are some signs to look for if someone abuses marijuana more frequently:
- Poor memory
- Poor coordination
- Loss of control
- Red, blurry, bloodshot eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Constant, mucus-filled cough
- Dry mouth
- Hunger aka munchies
- Slow reaction time
- Paranoia, fear or anxiety
Why is Marijuana Addictive? What are the Effects of Marijuana Abuse?
When one abuses marijuana, signs of it can easily show and the long term effects can be easily spotted. It can even have some interference on the daily activities that you do on school, work and even at home. The impact can have long lasting effects when it comes to memory and learning even after the drugs have worn off. So for those daily marijuana users, the function of their intellectual ability may be reduced at a certain rate.
Once a person abuses the drug long enough, it will eventually turn to addiction. A person who is addicted will always show signs of craving and may even disregard its effects towards school, work or home responsibilities. Marijuana is sometimes referred by others as a “gateway drug” because abuse and addiction of it will eventually lead the user to try out even more potent drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin and hallucinogens.
In addition, long term abusers of marijuana may experience several unpleasant symptoms if they try to withdraw from the drug. Withdrawal symptoms are very unpleasant for every abuser to experience since the body finds it hard to discontinue the use of a substance. This will sometimes lead the user to eventually get back to continue using the drug once they find it difficult to quit.
For marijuana, these are the withdrawal symptoms that one commonly experiences:
- Drug craving
- Decreased appetite
A chemical called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most active one in marijuana. Smoking marijuana easily carries the THC from the lungs to the bloodstream, which will finally bring the chemical to the brain. THC acts on a place of the brain called cannabinoid receptors wherein it is the reason why users experience that high feeling.
The highest density of these receptors is usually found in parts of the brain that influence memory, pleasure, concentration, coordinated movement and thoughts. By abusing this drug, it can eventually have a lot of damage to those areas of the brain thus creating those unwanted side effects on the mind.