Author: Gary Jackson

Is marijuana addictive? National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA

By Jaime R. Herndon, MS, MPH

Jaime Herndon is a freelance health/medical writer with over a decade of experience writing for the public. Drug abuse and addiction can be scary and uncertain, but it’s treatable, and there’s help out there. There are a variety of treatments available, and if one doesn’t work, another one may be better for you. Addiction is when a drug continues to be abused even when problems related to the drug use occur. Severe drug abuse is typically classified as drug addiction.

Cannabis use disorder involves continued use of the substance even though the person experiences negative health or life effects from it. This condition can be diagnosed by a healthcare professional such as a medical doctor or psychologist. Treatment methods include psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medications. More specifically, motivational interviewing, contingency management, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be used.

Addiction (Marijuana or Cannabis Use Disorder)

CBD can be made into CBD oil and sold as pills, gels, creams, and other formulas. Some people use CBD to treat pain, seizures, and other health problems. But scientists aren’t yet sure how well it works or if it’s safe over the long term. Lack of regulation means you can’t always know exactly what you’re buying.

  • Combining alcohol and marijuana at the same time roughly doubled the odds of drunk driving or legal, professional, or personal problems, compared to drinking alone.
  • Additionally, men are twice as likely as women to experience marijuana use disorder.
  • What they do know is that the toxins and tar found in marijuana smoke could affect vulnerable people, such as children or people with asthma.
  • Healthcare professionals can support by diagnosing and then providing talk therapy, medications, or a combination of the two.
  • While many people use marijuana (it’s the third most commonly used addictive drug, after tobacco and alcohol) most won’t become addicted.

Continuing research may lead to new medications that help ease withdrawal symptoms, block the effects of marijuana, and prevent relapse. Substance dependence, also called chemical dependence, is when a person experiences physical dependence on a substance but is not addicted to it. One example is when a person who has taken a prescription medication for a long time stops taking that medication and experiences physical or mental withdrawal symptoms. Dependence symptoms can be cognitive, behavioral, and physical.

Coping With Marijuana Abuse

People who have marijuana use disorder may also be at a higher risk of other negative consequences, such as problems with attention, memory, and learning. Some people who use marijuana will develop marijuana use disorder, meaning that they are unable to stop using marijuana even though it’s causing health and social problems in their lives. If you think you might have a problem, there’s help out there. Research suggests that about 30% of people who use marijuana might have marijuana use disorder, the severity of which can vary. People who use marijuana should be aware that there is a risk of addiction.

  • Anyone who suspects that they have a dependence should receive help and support.
  • Higher THC levels may explain the rise in emergency room visits involving marijuana use.
  • These children were found to have decreased verbal reasoning skills and more hyperactivity, impulsivity, and decreased attention.
  • Likely because of this, questions are circulating about whether weed is addictive.
  • Whether you use it recreationally or medically, it can affect how your anesthesia works.

If you need more anesthesia to fall asleep because of your pot use, you’re at a higher risk of low blood pressure and a delayed wake-up after surgery. The main psychoactive ingredient, THC, stimulates the part of your brain that responds to pleasure, like food and sex. That unleashes a chemical called dopamine, which gives you a euphoric, relaxed feeling. Someone who is addicted to marijuana will prioritize their drug use over other aspects of their life. They will likely cut back on activities that previously brought them joy or withdraw from them altogether.


With the ongoing legalization of marijuana in the United States and around the world, it can be hard to say how this will impact marijuana use and abuse. More research needs to be done on potential treatments for marijuana abuse and how to increase support and accessibility for existing treatments. It can be hard when you’re living with marijuana abuse or watching someone you care about deal with it.

marijuana addiction