Marijuana is the United States’ most widely-used federally illegal drug. There are plenty of people who can use it once in a while and not get addicted. But, contrary to popular belief, you can become addicted to marijuana.
Recent studies reveal as many as 30% of users develop some form of addiction, also called “Marijuana Use Disorder” or “Cannabis Use Disorder” (CUD). Like any other substance addiction, if you’re addicted to marijuana, you need professional help to quit. Seeking a weed addiction treatment program may be in your near future.
The Widespread Use of Marijuana in America
Marijuana has been proven to be effective in treating many health-related conditions like:
- Chronic pain
- AIDS-related nausea and pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
Of course, to get a hold of some weed to treat these health conditions means you used to need a prescription. But in California, it’s available so widely that it seems like there’s a billboard advertising a dispensary on every corner.
And that could be part of the reason so many people try it. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 16.9% of American adults currently use marijuana. 45% of Americans have tried weed at least once.
But, perhaps the most disturbing statistics are those regarding youth in America. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), the following number of teens used weed in 2021:
- 7.1% of 8th graders
- 17.3% of 10th graders
- 30.5% of 12th graders
Why is this disturbing?
Studies show that those who use marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop an addiction to weed.
Why Weed is Addictive
The chemical that causes that sense of relaxation and euphoria in marijuana is Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC. It’s the reason you use it – it gives you that high feeling. But it’s also the reason you can develop an addiction to weed.
When you smoke or ingest weed, the THC triggers the endocannabinoid receptors in your brain to give you that high. Your brain already makes endocannabinoids, but THC gives you a lot more. So when you use marijuana often, you actually change how your brain works. You end up producing fewer natural endocannabinoids. That means you become dependent on weed for it. In other words, you become addicted.
Some other factors could contribute to why you may develop a weed addiction.
- Potency of marijuana
Much of the weed smoked and ingested today contains more THC than in past years. In the 90s, confiscated marijuana contained roughly 4% of THC. Nowadays, weed seized by law enforcement contains an average of 15% of THC.
- Mental health concerns
Because weed gives you a relaxed feeling, you may use it to lower your feelings of anxiety or depression. You may also use it to deal with ADHD, social anxiety disorder, low self-esteem, or panic disorder.
When you self-medicate to treat any of these mental health concerns, you may come to rely on marijuana to feel better. And this could lead to addiction.
- Age you begin using
As mentioned earlier, if you begin smoking weed before you’re 18, you’re four to seven times more likely to get addicted.
Another interesting 2016 study found ages 14 and 15 to be the riskiest to start using. The study found that using marijuana at these ages gives you a much higher probability of developing an addiction.
- Use frequency
When you use marijuana regularly, meaning daily or weekly, you have a better chance of developing an addiction to weed.
Symptoms You Have Marijuana Use Disorder
The symptoms of being addicted to weed often create issues in your life. That means, despite what some people may think, marijuana can lead to addiction and severe challenges in life.
The most common symptoms of marijuana use disorder include:
- Difficulty controlling or cutting down how much you use weed
- Continuing to use weed despite social or relationship problems
- Craving marijuana continuously
- Using weed despite psychological or physical issues it causes
- Reducing other activities so you can use marijuana
- Spending too much time using weed
- Developing a tolerance to marijuana
- Using weed in high-risk situations
- Withdrawal symptoms when you don’t use weed
Side Effects of Having a Weed Addiction
As with any substance addiction, there are negative consequences to your health and life when you’re addicted to weed. Not all side effects will present themselves in everyone who uses marijuana. But if you develop an addiction, you’ll likely experience one or more of the following adverse side effects.
- Weakened immune system
- Increased heart rate
- Impaired brain development (when used young)
- Breathing problems
- Heightened lung infection risk
- Impaired child development during and after you’re pregnant
- Thoughts of suicide
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), people who have marijuana use disorder and use weed frequently have poorer mental and physical health, increased relationship problems, lower educational achievement levels, and lower satisfaction in life.
But the good news is, there is help. If you think you may have an addiction to weed, you need to find a reputable marijuana treatment program.
Finding a Weed Addiction Treatment Program
Substances like alcohol and opioids are often cited as being addictive. But unfortunately, our society doesn’t seem to understand that weed is addictive too. It can wreak havoc on your life in school, relationships, jobs, and health.
Getting the help you need sooner rather than later can mean the difference between living a fulfilling, healthy life and living life as an addict.
If you are looking for marijuana treatment in San Diego or want an intensive outpatient program in San Diego, look no further than BOLD Health. We offer two of the most science-backed methods for treating marijuana addiction.
- Outpatient Detox
Together with your assigned clinician, you’ll work through the challenges of detoxing your body from marijuana. You can come to our warm and inviting marijuana treatment facility in San Diego during the day and still go home to your life at night.
We’ll curate the perfect marijuana treatment plan tailored to fit your needs. We’ll consider your situation, age, metabolism, medical history, substance abuse history, physical health, and mental health. That’s how you know your addiction treatment services here at BOLD will be effective: they are designed specifically for you.
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Whether or not you choose to start your healing journey with outpatient detox or not, your next or first step to overcoming addiction is our IOP in San Diego. Our rigorous outpatient program is, again, designed to fit your individual needs.
Your intensive outpatient program in San Diego will include individual, group, and possibly family therapy sessions. If needed, your treatment plan may include medication management.
Over the course of 10 weeks, you’ll come to our facility in beautiful Encinitas and work with your clinician to develop the tools and strategies you need to overcome your weed addiction.
Kick Your Addiction to Weed Using Our BOLD Approach
We’re committed to providing the best weed addiction treatment so you can live a full, healthy life. We go above and beyond to give you access to the things you need to heal. At BOLD Health, your weed addiction treatment plan is built on your psychological and biological underpinnings. Together, we’ll help you push through your addiction and set you up for success far into the future.