Cannabis Addiction Studies | cannabisMD Research Articles

Cannabis Addiction Studies

Although the use of cannabis has been noted by scientists to help people in pain or with serious diseases, it can also be addictive to those that use it recreationally too. It was estimated that in 2014, 4.0 million Americans had a marijuana use disorder.

An abuse of cannabis is known as marijuana use disorder, which is related to a person’s dependency on the drug. This is when the brain has received huge amounts of cannabinoids and therefore reduces its own natural production in the endocannabinoid neurotransmitters. People can experience withdrawal symptoms of cannabis after the first week of quitting, and often report feeling extremely irritable; having a loss of appetite, physical discomfort, sleeping difficulties and at times, displaying signs of depression.

The use of marijuana can be detected as an addiction when the person realises that it is interfering with important moments in their life, but cannot stop using. Studies have found that the rise of confiscated cannabis has risen from the 1990’s being 3.8%, in comparison to in 2014 where it was 12.2%. Most people who have a cannabis dependency are young adults or adolescents, whose brains are still developing.

Although cannabis can be argued to have therapeutic values, the plant itself can still be highly addictive, especially when THC (the psychoactive component in the cannabis plant) is involved. Research has determined that cognitive behavioural therapy, contingency management and motivational enhancement could be the best route of treatment of a cannabis addiction. There are always rehab centers that will accept those who have a severe addiction to cannabis and studies have proven that it is quite effective.

On the other hand, if you are using cannabis or medical marijuana to treat a disease or serious illness, it is important to discuss the dosage with your doctor to prevent a cannabis dependency. Further research is needed to understand cannabis and its side effects.