Marijuana Addiction

MarijuanaWhile Marijuana may not be as life-threatening as heroin or cocaine is, developing a marijuana addiction is possible and can have immensely negative effects on the body and brain. Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs available due to easy accessibility and the various methods of ingestion. Forming an addiction to the drug can happen quite easily, even faster than some people may realize is possible. However, managing an addiction to marijuana, like any drug, is a perfectly obtainable goal to set.

Rising in popularity within the American counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, marijuana is now the most commonly abused illicit substance in the United States. The most common way the drug is used is when the dried leaves from the bushy plant are rolled into cigarettes or cigars and smoked. The result of smoking the cigarette or cigar is a relaxing, euphoric high that alters the smoker’s senses, memory, perception of time and motor skills. Commonly known as “weed,” “pot,” and “bud,” marijuana recently became legal in parts of the United States, spurring continued political controversy around the substance. While the legality of smoking medical marijuana is now common across the United States, in Colorado, California and Washington, D.C., smoking marijuana is also recreationally permitted.

Marijuana comes from the cannabis sativa plant. and refers to the dried leaves, stems, flowers and seeds from the green, leafy plant. People abuse marijuana because it contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also called THC, a chemical that produces euphoria, among other effects.

The cannabis plant is a green, leafy bush with distinct, five or seven-point leaves. In the marijuana counterculture, the image of the cannabis leaf is very popular symbology.

Dried marijuana ranges in color from green to brown, and looks similar to clumps of moss, and joints and blunts look very similar to hand-rolled cigarettes and cigars. Edible marijuana (baked in cookies, brownies, etc.) look virtually identical to regular versions of the food. For example, pot brownies look exactly the same as regular brownies, except their smell and taste differ.

Dabs, which is a common street name for marijuana, can vary depending on the kind of extract it inhibits. The liquid form is often called hash oil or honey oil and looks similar to other kinds of oils. Wax is a soft solid, similar to lip balm, and shatter is amber-colored solid. Oils are normally sold in small bottles, while wax or shatter are sometimes sold in the shape of small animals.

Much of the marijuana in the United States is grown locally, which is one factor that contributes to marijuana addiction. But when imported into the United States, from another country, marijuana typically comes from Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Jamaica, Thailand, Nigeria, South Africa and Kazakhstan. Imported marijuana typically comes in bricks, but individuals buying the drug on the street typically buy nickel or dime bags.

Marijuana has many nicknames, which abusers and dealers often use to avoid unwanted attention from police. Some street names for marijuana include:

  • Mary Jane
  • Weed
  • Pot
  • Kush
  • Herb
  • Bud
  • Grass
  • Ganja
  • Hash oil
  • Wax
  • Budder
  • Shatter
  • Dabs

Other terms related to marijuana and its abuse include:

  • Joint: A marijuana cigarette
  • Doobie: A nickname for a joint
  • Blunt: A marijuana cigar
  • Roach: The butt of a joint or blunt
  • Roach clip: A small metal clip used to hold the end of a joint or blunt so the user can smoke the entire thing without burning their hands
  • Bowl: A glass pipe for smoking marijuana
  • Bong: A water pipe for smoking marijuana
  • Head shop: A store that sells marijuana paraphernalia like bongs
  • Dime bag: A $10 bag of marijuana
  • Nickel bag: A $5 bag of marijuana
  • Dabbing: The act of smoking THC resin
  • 420: Slang for smoking marijuana
  • 4/20: April 20th, a notorious date for smoking marijuana to get high
  • K2 or Spicespan>: Synthetic marijuana
  • Brick: A large, compacted block of marijuana

Marijuana users frequently combine the drug with other substances, especially in a party atmosphere. Some of these combinations can be dangerous, though, and cause risky interactions. Some common marijuana drug interactions include:

  • Marijuana and anticoagulants, antiplatelet or anti-inflammatory drugs: Combining marijuana with these types of drugs, including brand-names like Coumadin, Plavix, Motrin, Advil and Aleve, may increase a person’s risk of excessive bleeding. This can be especially dangerous as marijuana causes impaired motor skills and a person is more likely to hurt themselves while on the drug, which can lead to uncontrollable bleeding.
  • Marijuana and diabetes drugs or insulin: Marijuana possibly affects blood sugar levels. This is particularly risky for diabetics taking oral medications or insulin, as hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can be fatal. If a person has an insulin prescription and a medical marijuana prescription, they should take these drugs under the close supervision of their doctor so they may monitor blood sugar levels and adjust doses accordingly.

Marijuana and benzodiazepines, opioids and alcohol: Combining these drugs with marijuana can result in extreme drowsiness. It’s important for those using marijuana and alcohol, Ativan, Valium, codeine, phenobarbital and other similar drugs to avoid operating heavy machinery or vehicles. In these circumstances, extreme drowsiness can cause dangerous situations.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Whether or not marijuana is an addictive drug is a controversial topic in the addiction research and healthcare communities. Scientific research shows that roughly 30 percent of people who use marijuana develop an addiction to it. The likelihood of developing a marijuana addiction increases by seven if the person began using the drug as an adolescent.The mind-altering substance in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. When a person smokes pot, THC passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, where it travels to the brain. The absorption process is a slow one compared to other drugs, and it often takes 30 minutes to one hour before one can feel high. The marijuana high takes effect faster if a person ingests the drug rather than smokes it.

Marijuana activates certain receptors in the brain, causing symptoms such as mood changes, impaired movement and memory, difficulty thinking, and an altered sense of time and sight.Those who smoke or ingest marijuana may build up a tolerance to it over time, meaning they need to use more to experience the same effects. If continued, this can lead to marijuana addiction and dependence, which is a state where a person’s brain adjusts to having THC. When the chemical is removed (i.e.., someone stops smoking), the body experiences withdrawal. Marijuana addiction occurs when the body is physically dependent on marijuana and craves the drug. In this case, a person may feel as though they need marijuana to survive and will continue using the drug despite experiencing negative effects.

Marijuana (Pot) Addiction Risks

There is a common misconception that misusing marijuana has no negative physical effects, like smoking cigarettes has. There are a handful of risks that someone who is addicted to marijuana will face compared to the average cigarette smoker. Just because marijuana addiction isn’t as frequent as other addictions, this does not mean that the risks are not as dangerous. There are a number of consequences that are associated with marijuana addiction, including:

  • Risk of lung cancer
  • Decreased energy
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Mental impairment
  • Increased risk of heart attack

Another potential danger associated with marijuana addiction involves the withdrawal symptoms, which usually peak a few days after the smoking ceases. Withdrawal symptoms can include depression, excessive sweating, low appetite and anxiety to name a few. If the use of marijuana is stopped abruptly, these symptoms can come on strong and fast. The good news is that managing an addiction to marijuana is achievable with the right support, tools and resources.

10 Signs of Marijuana Addiction

The first step on the journey to recovery is recognizing that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to be objective when gauging your own drug use or that of someone you love. To know if you are addicted or in the beginning abusive stages of drug use, it’s important to understand the signs of addiction that are associated with specific drugs.

1. Marijuana tolerance and withdrawal: Just like any drug, regular use of marijuana leads to a tolerance for it. This means that you need more and more of the drug in order to achieve the same high. If you need more and more of the drug to get high you are building tolerance. If you begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms or tolerance you could be addicted to marijuana. Signs of withdrawal include loss of appetite, irritability, insomnia or anxiety.

2. Using more marijuana than intended: You may start out thinking, “I’m just going to take a couple hits.” But end up smoking the whole joint by the end of the night. If this happens regularly it’s a sign of addiction.

3. Unable to cut down or stop marijuana use: You may be trying to stop your drug use. But, you may find yourself unable to stop when you’re trying to quit. Being unable to stop your use means you probably need help in getting clean.

4. Lots of time spent getting high: How we spend our time says a lot about us. If the bulk of it is spent either getting high, waiting to get high, or looking for marijuana that is a serious red flag.

5. Reduced activities: If your schedule has slowly been depleted of all physical or recreational activities and replaced with hanging out and getting high, then you could be addicted to marijuana.

6. Continuing to get high despite the problems it causes: Your conduct at work is changed by addiction. For example, if you have been warned that you will be fired if you are late to work or show up high again yet you to continue to smoke marijuana before heading into work, then you are exhibiting behavior that is akin to self-sabotage. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that is a sign of addiction.

7. Using marijuana to escape from problems: If you feel like the only way you can handle bad grades, problems at work, and relationship issues is to get high, then you may be addicted to marijuana.

8. Depending on marijuana to be creative or to relax or enjoy yourself: If you need to get high before you feel comfortable being creative or before you can truly relax, then you may be addicted to marijuana. In fact, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, marijuana does not contribute to mellow demeanor. In their study, regular users were more likely to participate in violent actions.

9. Choosing relationships and activities based on whether or not you will be able to get high: If you decide which events to attend and whom to hang out with based on whether or not you can use marijuana and get high, then you are likely addicted to marijuana.

10. An inability to attend to daily responsibilities: If you have important responsibilities in you daily life but begin to consistently fail to see them through because your mind is on getting high, it might be a motivation problem or it could just as easily mean you have an psychological addiction to THC.

Marijuana use can develop into a serious addiction. Whether it is combined with alcoholism or the use of other drugs or not, addiction is serious. A marijuana detox after long-term use can mean withdrawal symptoms that are none too pleasant. Recovery from marijuana addiction requires drug rehabilitation. Contact us for more information.

Teenage marijuana abuse

According to NIDA, teenagers who abuse marijuana are more at risk for developing brain problems. Studies suggest that chronic marijuana use during these early years of critical brain development can lead to long-term or permanent loss of mental abilities. THC targets the receptors that affect memory, thinking, and learning. This can have lasting effects, even years after stopping the drug.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America revealed a loss of an average of eight IQ points in persons between the ages of 13 and 38 who started smoking in their teens and continued to chronically use marijuana into adulthood. Even those who stopped using marijuana as adults still did not regain full mental capabilities. There were no significant IQ declines in individuals who began chronically smoking as adults.

Marijuana abuse during pregnancy

The risk of developmental and behavioral problems in babies increases with marijuana abuse during a woman’s pregnancy. According to NIDA, children born from a mother who abuses the drug may experience difficultly in the areas of memory, focusing, and learning. The specific effects on the brain of a developing fetus are still unknown.

Research has also found sufficient levels of THC in breast milk from mothers who use marijuana. Healthcare professionals thus urge mothers to abstain from using marijuana while breastfeeding.

Choosing the Best Inpatient Marijuana Rehab Center

Drug addiction and recovery are things no one has to face alone. There are resources available to help. When it comes to marijuana addiction, both outpatient and inpatient rehab programs can address the issue.

Marijuana Rehab Programs

Young woman with marijuana addiction getting support from friendAddiction is something that impacts the lives of everyone it touches. Whether it's you or someone you care about who is struggling with an addiction to marijuana, the time to seek help is now. You can take comfort in knowing that there are different types and styles of marijuana rehabilitation facilities to choose from. It's best to explore all options before deciding which specific type of rehab program is best suited to meet your needs. The most common types of treatment are inpatient, or residential, programs and outpatient programs. Within the two big treatment umbrellas, there are a great number of treatment methods, approaches and options to compare and consider.

Inpatient Facilities vs. Outpatient Clinics

There is an endless amount of debate as to whether the needs of the addict are best served by outpatient or inpatient care. There are many mitigating factors to consider before you choose one over the other.

Pros of Inpatient Care:

  • Direct supervision around the clock
  • Medical expertise on hand at all times
  • Less access to marijuana (or other drugs of choice)
  • Instant access to psychological and emotional support when needed

It might not seem important now, but there are times when instant access to help when you're feeling alone, scared, isolated or jittery makes all the difference. The benefits of outpatient facilities include lower costs, no need to take time off work, and less of an interruption to your daily life.

Do I Need a Residential Rehab Facility?

A woman who smoked marijuanaAccording to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 2009 Survey, 17 percent of all people admitted to publicly funded treatment programs for substance abuse in 2008 were admitted as a result of a marijuana addiction. In fact, the only single addiction admission more common than marijuana was alcohol. Marijuana addiction is a big deal. Treatment and rehabilitation for this particular addiction need to be taken seriously if you want them to be successful. However, those who are not addicted and only use the drug recreationally and occasionally often find success with outpatient treatment options.

Tolerance vs. Dependence

Dependence is when you have a physical need for marijuana. If you're unable to get it, you'll actually experience physical discomfort due to the strength of the need. These physical manifestations are often known as withdrawal symptoms and signal a need for treatment in inpatient marijuana rehab centers, rather than outpatient treatment.

A tolerance to marijuana is when your body becomes accustomed to a certain amount of the drug in your system and requires a greater concentration or amount of it in order to enjoy the same response.

Are Marijuana Rehabs Confidential?

The services you receive in a qualified rehab facility to treat marijuana addiction are private and confidential. No one needs to know, unless you choose to tell them, what you've been doing during the time you were receiving treatment for your addiction.

Will I Have a Private Room?

That's a question that differs from one facility to the next. The importance of private rooms is something that will need to be considered in the facility selection process. Call us today to find out where you can get the privacy you prefer during your rehabilitation.

How Long Does Inpatient Marijuana Rehabilitation Take?

Inpatient marijuana rehab centers generally offer three primary treatment programs with the ability to customize programs to meet individual needs when necessary. Residential programs are typically available for one, two or three months. It is important to understand that addiction is a chronic disease and people may relapse. However, according to National Institute on Drug Abuse, the overwhelming belief is that 90-day residential treatment programs offer the greatest promise of long-term success.

What Happens in Treatment?

Specific treatment plans will vary from one marijuana treatment program to the next. But, it should also vary, to some degree, from one person to the next. Just as no two people are identical, the same is true of addictions. Each addiction is unique and must be addressed individually. It's best to contact any inpatient marijuana rehab centers you're considering to learn what you can expect during the treatment process. In general, you can expect some combination of the following:

  • Intake where you're introduced to the program and to life without marijuana
  • Detoxification
  • Therapy specific to your addiction
  • Specialized care to address physical, emotional and mental health needs discovered in the treatment process
  • Aftercare to help ensure that you don't turn back to marijuana once the residential part of treatment ends

Paying for Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Depending on which inpatient marijuana rehab center you choose for treatment, you're likely to discover that this kind of treatment may come at a high price. Prices vary a great deal between public and private rehab facilities. Most private facilities accept insurance and many of them offer financing arrangements.

Should I Travel for Rehab?

This is a question that will vary from one patient to the next. Some find comfort in having friends and family nearby while others are better served making a clean break from forces that often drive them to the marijuana addiction they're trying to recover from. You'll have to make this decision for yourself.

I Want to Find an Executive or Luxury Rehab Center

When executive concerns are a stumbling block you, a friend or loved one from looking for help for a problem with drugs or alcohol or behavior-related addiction, executive rehabilitation treatments will be invaluable. By pairing high-quality illicit substance and behavioral addiction treatments with the ability to use a computer or mobile device, a businessman or woman can receive support while keeping productive.

"One thing is certain: No inpatient marijuana rehab centers are going to achieve lasting success until you are ready to get treatment and live a life of sobriety."


Frequently, current drug abuse and behavior treatment facilities feature the nicest amenities you would expect only in exquisite hotels, with your health and well-being being the primary goals. From gym facilities and 5-star chef-prepared meals to fine linens and in-house massage therapy, you can get the top-rated illicit substance and behavior treatment for yourself, your friend or your loved one while enjoying rehab. If you need assistance in looking for the best-rated luxury treatment programs for marijuana dependency, dial our no-charge hotline right away.

What Happens When I'm Done?

Leaving treatment, especially after the longer programs, may seem a little intimidating. Staying sober is your main objective. Now is the time to trust what you've learned about yourself, your addiction and the forces in your life that have been holding you back. Use the tools you were given in treatment and live a life that's free of the bondage addiction brought into it.

Now Is the Time

One thing is certain: No inpatient marijuana rehab centers are going to achieve lasting success until you are ready to get treatment and live a life of sobriety.

There are many different and specialized treatment options you may want to consider when seeking treatment for marijuana addiction. Contact us to learn more about spiritual, secular, 12-step and holistic addiction treatment options.

Get on Track to a Sober Life Today

Now is the time to take back control and have the life you always believed was possible. Do not allow addiction to define you. Change your future today by getting the help you need to overcome your addiction. Finding the right inpatient marijuana rehab centers for your treatment and recovery will get you started on the track to a new future.

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