Years of research has proved that the marijuana plant provides far more benefits than side effects. The majority of people can use cannabis without developing an addiction to it. Still, it is possible to develop a marijuana addiction, one that can be limiting and harmful to people’s lives.
Cannabis use disorder (CUD) affects about 30% of marijuana users, impairing their lives to a degree that affects their relationships and overall health.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the manual used by mental health practitioners to diagnose mental health conditions and disorders, a person must meet two out of 11 requirements to be diagnosed with CUD. These are extensive and include marijuana cravings, the development of interpersonal problems due to cannabis use, or using the plant when in a dangerous situation.
Among marijuana users, the ones more likely to develop an addiction are adolescents. Studies show how important it is to understand cannabis use in adolescents. Since their brains are still developing, copious marijuana use could impact their future and their brain’s make up.
Other factors that increase the odds of developing a reliance on marijuana include people coping with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety and the influence of genetics.
It’s difficult to spot symptoms of marijuana withdrawal. They include irritability, nervousness, aggression, sleep disturbances, headaches and more. People who are addicted to cannabis have similar experiences to those who are addicted to cigarettes, finding themselves fidgeting or needing to increase their dose over time in order to have the same experience they used to. Like all addictions, if someone finds themselves having arguments with their family or putting themselves in dangerous situations because of marijuana, it’s very possible they have a problem.
In order to manage this condition, it’s important to stop your usage for a period of time and to monitor your body’s response to it. If you’re unable to get through a period of a week or two without using marijuana, you might need to get professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Common treatments include the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is the first resource used for treating different kinds of addictions.