As it continually gains popularity in the United States, medical marijuana is on the path towards nationwide legality. Even outside of the U.S, marijuana laws continue to reach milestones in different countries across the world. There’s no denying that this type of medicinal use can be very beneficial for people with certain illnesses.
However, the increased popularity of both medical and recreational use of marijuana has some citizens concerned about its safety. Most of all, there’s an ongoing debate about whether marijuana can possess addictive properties.
This article will explore this idea and review both what medical marijuana consists of, as well as the question:
Is medical marijuana addictive?
Medical Marijuana vs. Recreational Use
Medical marijuana can be defined as the use of the cannabis drug as a means of prescribed medical treatment for an illness.
Recreational use of cannabis is done for purposes other than any medically justified reason. Common uses of medical marijuana are for treating illnesses such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and more.
The main difference between these two types of marijuana use is the amount of THC and CBD they possess.
THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that provokes a “high”. Common types of cannabis have a low amount of THC and a higher amount of CBD.
CBD is considered the main ingredient that introduces a health benefit to marijuana use due to its numerous illness-fighting properties. Medical marijuana continues to be legalized in several different places across the United States. What counts as legalized medical marijuana will vary depending on the laws of the region it’s prescribed and consumed in.
However, in general, a legally approved medicinal use of marijuana will have a higher CBD to THC ratio.
Is Medical Marijuana Addictive?
On one hand, experts agree that cannabis is generally not physically addictive. This means it doesn’t have medically verified properties that can establish a physical dependence in the average body, unlike other drugs such as opioids.
Psychological Addiction vs. Physical Addiction
Psychologically speaking, it’s important to understand that human beings can become addicted to anything. That includes any type of drug, as well as seemingly more mundane activities such as being on the computer.
Consistent use of marijuana can lead to psychological dependence, which can then develop into an addiction called Marijuana Use Disorder. This can cause a person to experience withdrawal symptoms whenever they’re not consuming marijuana. Studies have shown around 30% of cannabis users may suffer from marijuana use disorder.
Withdrawal & Addiction Symptoms of Marijuana
Withdrawal and addiction symptoms of marijuana consumption are usually psychological.
In the first week or two after quitting, you may experience:
- negative mood swings
- lack of appetite
- bouts of insomnia
However, those with marijuana use disorder can also experience physical side effects as well. This can result in general bodily discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.
Most recently, health professionals have been seeing a rise in Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome amongst chronic marijuana users. People will often experience periods of severe vomiting with no other linked cause. Vomiting sessions can last for hours to days at a time.
The connection between this syndrome and chronic marijuana use has become increasingly common in recent years. This is especially true in relation to the high-THC cultivated strains of cannabis– which produces unnaturally high levels of THC in the brain.
Treatment for Medical Marijuana Addiction
Despite the initial benefits that may come with using cannabis as medicinal relief, it can develop into a serious habit of psychological dependence for some people.
For individuals who suffer from their continued use of marijuana, many choose to seek help through rehab. Rehab is the most successful option for people who are suffering from substance abuse to start their path towards recovery.
If you’re someone suffering from the symptoms of marijuana addiction, it’s crucial for you to know that help is available, no matter where you are located.