Is Marijuana Addictive and Does It Have Side Effects?
Marijuana also known as weed is a drug obtained from the cannabis plant, which comes with mind-altering properties. It is gaining popularity amongst people but for illegal reasons. However, it also provides both medicinal as well as recreational purposes. Initially, many start using this drug for the “high feeling” it leaves.
Medically, marijuana has been shown to reduce chemotherapy-induced vomiting. In addition, it suppresses nausea for individuals undergoing cancer treatment. Individuals suffering from HIV will benefit as it helps to reduce nerve damage pain. As a recreational drug, it is growing in popularity due to its short-term psychological effects.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Overtime use of marijuana will lead to an addiction. This is because it causes psychological effects on the brain. The mental state then registers its use and it in turn reduces the production of dopamine. This means that the brain relies on using the drug, as it cannot provide its own dopamine sufficiently. Secondly, constant intake will reduce production of endocannabinoid receptors.
Marijuana use develops into an addiction, but at a lower percentage. The marijuana use disorder will start in the form of dependence. The addiction occurs when a person experiences changes in behavior because of the drug. It is possible to be dependent without being addicted on marijuana abuse. An addiction will also lead to withdrawal symptoms in the event the individual stops using the drug. This said, marijuana doctors agree that it is an addictive drug.
The duration it takes an individual to become an addict will vary from one person to another. Factors that contribute towards addiction include the intake amount, the method of ingestion, as well as the duration of use/abuse. For example, people abusing the drug over a longer period are more likely to become addicts.
Side Effects of Marijuana
Medicinal marijuana is naturally safe for use and it will not come with many side effects other than the intended effects. Recreational use of marijuana on the other hand comes with several side effects. Some will last in the short-term, whereas others will last longer, especially for addicts and individuals who are dependent on the drug.
When an individual is high on this drug, the side effects include:
- Unpredictable mood changes
- Poor coordination
- Temporary memory loss
- Poor problem solving skills
Other effects include dry mouth, dizziness, constant fatigue, dry eyes, coughing, persistent headaches, as well as an increase in appetite.
Some short-term effects of marijuana occur shortly after ingesting it. They include poor concentration with a feeling of highness.
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Marijuana doctors agree that the drug is addictive but at the same time, not everyone who is dependent on the drug is also an addict. Marijuana abuse also leads to several side effects with a majority of them leading to negative effects in the long-term. The effects may vary from one individual to another, which means that the provided list above does not occur with everyone. An individual will not experience one side effect but they may not experience all the side effects either.
If you or someone you know is interested in seeing a marijuana doctor in your area, please contact our offices today to schedule your next appointment.