Difference Between Marijuana Addiction and Dependence

By David on August 2, 2022 in Drug Abuse
Around 9% of individuals, who try marijuana, go on to develop an addiction. Even if the drug is not as addictive or dangerous as cocaine and heroin, it can still result in addiction and dependence.
Based on a recent survey, of 1,800 people who took cannabis, 4.9% stated their drug use caused social, health, and legal problems in the last 3 months. While for 6.9% it led to failed expectations in the past 3 months of their last dose.
What that means is their cannabis use got in the way of their daily lives. At some point, it affected their careers, parenthood, romantic relationships, friendships, and marriage. The higher the cannabis intake, the bigger the odds of developing addiction or dependence. And once a person develops a strong need to take the drug, that’s when it becomes too difficult to quit.
If you want to recognize the signs of marijuana addiction and dependence, you are in the right place. Here, you will learn what are the signs of marijuana addiction, how drug abuse affects the human body, and the problems it can cause. But, first, let’s start with the basics.

What Makes Marijuana Addictive?

Known as the ultimate “gateway drug”, cannabis is a popular product for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Patients who’ve tried cannabis have reported numerous benefits, from relieving anxiety to treating pain, insomnia, depression, stress, and more.
Reasons young adults use marijuana
Studies indicate that college students turn to cannabis for all kinds of reasons. Around 42% take it to socially conform, 29% to experiment, 24% for enjoyment, and 12% to manage their stress and anxiety. They tend to use the drug when they want to get in control of their mental stressors, particularly depression, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
But, because of how healthy it can be, users underestimate the product and increase their dosage. Some smoke marijuana every week, others take it every day. However, few people realize the kind of impact marijuana abuse can have on their bodies.
Cannabis contains more than 100 phytocannabinoids. The main component that gives the product its psychoactive effects is THC. Whereas its pharmacological (medicinal) properties come from CBD, also known as cannabidiol.
CBD has neuroprotective, anxiolytic, anticonvulsive, and antipsychotic compounds. But, the product’s undesirable psychotropic elements come from THC. The higher the THC content, the stronger the “high” or psychoactive effects.
  • CBD has neuroprotective, anxiolytic, anticonvulsive, and antipsychotic compounds. But, the product’s undesirable psychotropic elements come from THC. The higher the THC content, the stronger the “high” or psychoactive effects.
According to experts, with increased levels of THC, there is a higher risk of mental health issues among users. For example panic attacks and anxiety. Studies show that marijuana users who smoke cannabis low in CBD, experience more powerful reinforcing effects. They also have bigger odds of developing the need to keep taking the drug. That’s why low-CBD marijuana could potentially be more addictive.
Inhaling marijuana smoke is the preferred route of administration. The effects it creates are much faster than from oral ingestion. These acute effects linger for about 2 to 3 hours. This is what users describe as a relaxing and comfortable experience.
It is characterized by euphoria, laughter, sedation, increased stimuli, time distortion, and memory lapse. To amplify its effects, users increase the dosage. Sometimes, they will take marijuana with other drugs.
But, because of how pleasant the “high” can be, few people realize they are developing addiction or dependence. If you or anyone else in your family can’t control their marijuana intake, then the substance abuse treatment center for men in Dallas-Fort Worth is the place to be. Book an appointment and get your health on the right path.

How to Distinguish Addiction from Dependence?

There are countless misunderstandings about drug addiction and dependence. Withdrawal, dependence, and tolerance are often thought to imply addiction. But, that’s not always the case. Addiction and dependence are two different concepts.
Before you jump the wagon and decide you or someone in your family is addicted to cannabis, you should distinguish these completely different terms. Decades of consecutive research have shown there are physical and psychological consequences for abusing drugs. Here is how they affect the human body.

Addiction

  • Data shows that 30% of cannabis smokers have marijuana use disorder
  • Teens have a 4 to 7 times bigger risk of developing marijuana use disorder compared to adults.
  • For frequent users, increased potency can boost the odds of cannabis addiction.
Also known as compulsive drug use, addiction refers to the constant use of marijuana despite experiencing dangerous consequences. Those who are addicted to the substance develop an uncontrollable and compulsive need to take the drug, regardless of what it is doing to their health or social life.
Users experience cravings that force them to keep taking the substance. For those struggling with addiction, a long-term marijuana addiction treatment center for men is the best place to start. People detox their system and get their health back on track.

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Dependence

  • Approximately 0.3% of the global population (22.1 million people) are believed to have cannabis dependence.
  • Adults in need of treatment for cannabis dependence or abuse average over 10 years of almost daily use and well over 6 serious attempts at quitting the substance, studies show.
  • Characteristics of marijuana tolerance are quite like those of opiate dependence.
Dependence is a normal physiological adaptation to repeated drug use. This is physical dependence and doesn’t constitute addiction. With chronic use, people develop dependence. For example, you have started smoking marijuana to calm your anxiety.
You have been constantly increasing the dosages to amplify its effect without proper guidance. Eventually, you develop a tolerance, which prompts you to use even higher dosages.
Those who develop a tolerance and physical dependence can also experience withdrawals the moment they abruptly stop taking the drug. The longer this problem remains unmanaged, the higher the risk for addiction.
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