Marijuana Addiction in Rehab
Vogue Recovery Center believes that the overuse of marijuana can lead to addiction, as well as open the door to other more addictive and damaging substances.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana leaf comes from the Cannabis plant in various types which can be cultivated for distinctive uses. All marijuana plants contain a ratio of two types of cannabinoid compounds which make up the majority of its nearly 500 chemical elements.
Products for non-drug use such as hemp fiber, or topical creams, derived from plants which have higher levels of cannabidiol, (CBD) and low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Plants grown specifically for drug use with are high-intoxicant types which have large amounts of a psychoactive chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to the ratio of cannabidiol, (CBD).
To create a drug substance from the plant, the leaves and buds are picked and dried, ground up and bagged, for sale and use. Marijuana is commonly ingested by smoking the leaves or combining it in baked goods or consumption.
Depending on individual state laws, marijuana can be used medically (by obtaining a medical use card from a doctor) or it has been legalized to use recreationally. In Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and DC. Each state has its own legal parameters for use regarding age of user, the amount held and plant growing regulations.
There are currently 19 states which have legalized marijuana for medical purposes only. The remaining states do not legalize marijuana in any form (as of June 2018).
Nationwide legislation of marijuana has been debated for several years. Conflicting information, ethical standards, and mixed opinions have kept it at bay until recent laws allowing the use o medical marijuana have helped shift old perspectives.
Short-Term Effects of Marijuana Use
Effects of marijuana will differ per person and the method o which it has been ingested. A quicker high from smoking it may be more intensified than by consuming it. Using the resin that is accumulated at the bottom of a pipe is a concentrated amount of THC and can end up lasting for hours.
Short-Term effects of marijuana may include:
- Increased feelings of happiness
- Uncontrolled laughing
- Paranoia or a reduction in anxiety
- Increased appetite
- Mild-moderate hallucinations
- Decreased physical pain
Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Use
Though it has never been proven that marijuana will create a physical addiction, marijuana use can lead to a mental addiction and establish a long-term negative impact of the user. With prolonged use, marijuana affects the brain’s dopamine levels by decreasing its natural production. The more the drug is used and the more the chemical is produced by means of the substance will in turn create a dependence and addiction.
Some people have experienced one or more of the following;
- Legal issues
- Apathy regarding responsibilities
- Work and school issues
- Cognitive impairment
- Memory loss
- Relationship problems
- Increased use of other substances
Fortunately, there is very little percentage in regards of a physical and direct marijuana overdose, though it can lead to morbidity from accidents, and can exacerbate existing conditions such as heart problems and congenital issues, causing hospitalization and death.
Emergency intakes in hospitals from marijuana abuse is secondary only to cocaine when it comes to substance use.
Controversy in studies. Is marijuana addictive?
Some say “yes,” others: “no.” Though most agree with two things: marijuana can easily lead to the partaking of other substances, and that it’s much more of an intense high than it used to be.
The potency of marijuana his risen to approximately 300 percent in the last 50 years and plants are continuously bred to develop higher levels of THC. The ratio of THC to CBD, and the larger amounts of the chemical compound has caused a controversy regarding if marijuana, once understood to not be in the category of addictive substances, has now changed to an addictive drug.
An average marijuana plant specifically bred for purposes of medical or recreational use has a potency level of 20-30%, a much higher percentage than the plants cultivated 20 years ago when they were 4% potency levels with THC. As far as extracts and substance concentrates, the THC potency levels can be 40-80% according to DEA and drug industry reports.
Some people believe that addiction to a substance must include physical withdrawal symptoms including psychological effects. Marijuana use is now showing that there are cravings, physical symptoms, and mental dependencies on the drug, placing it into a definite category for potential addiction. The percentage of users in the U.S. who become addicted to marijuana is between 9-17 percent according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The estimate of people addicted to marijuana continues to be controversial due to the definition of dependence versus addiction of a substance. Statistics show that there were approximately 3 million people diagnosed to have marijuana use disorder in the U.S. in 2015, with over 100,000 who enrolled in treatment.
Dependence on marijuana develops at a much slower rate than other drugs that alter brain chemistry at an alarming rate such as heroin and methamphetamine.
How do Treatment Centers Help Marijuana Abuse and Addiction?
Marijuana Use Disorder and Marijuana Addiction is treated the same as any other substance in treatment, and the detox length will vary depending on length of use, amount, and all other factors taken into consideration with each individual client. After detox, a client will move onto residential treatment. At Vogue Recovery, we hope to provide some answers of why our clients become addicted to substances in the first place and by identifying the underlying causes, can help each person to get on the road to recovery.
Are there Withdrawal Symptoms with Using Marijuana?
Yes, there can be withdrawal symptoms from marijuana, but they are likely to be more psychological with the exception that the appetite will decrease, causing a person to not have the same desire to eat, specifically junk and fast food.
There may also be increased irritability, anxiety, body pain (existent), and depression. Some have experience mild shaking and tremors, though this may be caused by anxiety and stress levels and not a physical withdrawal.
During an initial period of removing themselves from using, a person can exhibit depression and lack of motivation, which usually lessons over a short period of time. Cravings, however, do continue for weeks, sometimes months after the user has stopped.
The process of withdrawal from marijuana is not considered to be the same as heroin, prescription pills, alcohol, or cocaine, in regards to tapering the substance use by adding medications, or by the risk of life-threatening symptoms. However, coming off of any drug can be potentially dangerous if not modified and assisted by professionals. Depression can deepen into distress and anxiety can raise to high levels. Having supervision of mental health clinicians, medical doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, and counselors, reduces the potential damage withdrawing from marijuana can be.
Comparisons to others who take heavier substances which may affect them more physically than marijuana use is a moot point when addiction pertains to each individual user and the harm it has caused them. Behavioral, emotional, mental, financial, and spiritual recovery exist beyond the physical detoxification process of drug abuse. Marijuana is no exception.
Understanding lingo and learning about marijuana may be helpful for those who have a loved one entering into treatment for marijuana abuse and addiction.
Below is a list of common terms associated with marijuana:
- This number has been associated as a “code word” for marijuana. People list in their online profiles or in ads, “420 friendly.” There is an urban myth that at one time a group of teenagers met at 4:20 am to smoke and deal marijuana, but it has not been substantiated.
Bong. The term for a water pipe, usually made of glass or plastic where the user inhales through the top opening after lighting the leaves in a bowl. Some smokers prefer this method to cut down on the damaging chemicals that come from smoke. Using water pipes for tobacco and marijuana has a lower percentage of health risks. The bong works by creating a natural coolant of the water when the smoke passes through and into the lungs and filters ash and particles out, unlike smoking from rolled paper or a straight pipe.
Bud. The term for the flowering “bud” from a cannabis plant. Plants can be gendered into three categories: female, male, or simultaneously both. Female plants that have seedless (non-pollinated) buds are the ones high in cannabinoids and cultivated for drug use. Bud is also a general slang term or marijuana.
Cannabis. A more scientific name to call marijuana because the plant classification. Cannabis is in the genus of Cannabaceae, a group of flowering plants. Its’ origins and indigenous growth is thought to be from Asia.
Cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol along with tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the majority ingredients of the marijuana plant. CBD has a low potency and is used for topical creams, ingestible oils, and other products manufactured without producing the psychoactive effects.
Concentrates. Concentrates from cannabis are created by using a solvent to break down the plant material for the manufacturing of oils and wax which has a high amount of THC.
Edibles. Also called “medibles,” edibles are food items meant to be consumed which have an ingredient of marijuana. Usually, edibles are put in baked goods like brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and breads. They gained in popularity when users needed to “sneak” marijuana into places without being obvious. Edibles also gained a positive reputation of helping people get some relief from pain, such as cancer.
Hash. Hash is a resin from the cannabis plant which is also cultivated for recreational drug use. People claim it gives a different type of high, and often more potent and hallucinogenic. Hash is the shortened word for “Hashish” -a word for the substance first published on a pamphlet in 12th Century Cairo.
Hemp. Hemp derives from marijuana plants though it is cultivated for its fiber and is not used for getting high. Hemp was once grown as a leading crop in the US because of its many uses including: textiles, rope, and Paper. Hemp produces hemp oil (Non-toxic fuel, paint, and lubricating oils), and hemp seeds (ground into baked goods or other food products closely related to soy products). Hemp is economical and easy to grow, without requiring large amounts of water for growth. Hemp does not mold as does cotton, but since it derives from a cannabis plant, it currently has restrictions on being able to grow crops. Hemp does not contain enough THC to create a high and therefore is seen as a crop that is converted for several practical uses. There are arguments made on behalf of hemp, being that it is so practical, economical and universal in its variety of uses.
Joint. The definition of a “joint” in reference to marijuana is the common term of a rolled marijuana cigarette that uses a thin paper. Other names for a joint are: reefer, blunt, spleef, J, Bob Marley, pinner, doobie, stick, bat, twist et al.
Pipes. Pipes are used for smoking marijuana and are designed differently than tobacco pipes, though they virtually are made the same. Glass pipes, artistic designs, some with small bowls and easy to pocket are popular. Many marijuana users have more than one pipe in additional to other paraphernalia such as bongs and papers.
Potency. Potency refers to the strength of marijuana and is usually measured by the amount of THC. Potency is much higher than in the past and the highest potency is around 25% or more
Purity. Purity is the term that can compare the THC/CBD ratio, having THC as a higher percentage. It is commonly used to describe if the marijuana is free of chemicals, additives, or other drugs which “lace” marijuana.
Skunk. “Skunk” is a term used to describe a specific type of marijuana that has a pungent odor, lesser than but similar to a smell of animal skunk emissions. Not all marijuana has this smell, and it traditionally thought by many users that “skunk weed” has a more intense high.
Slang Terms: the most commonly used slang terms for marijuana in the US are: weed, pot, dope, grass, reefer, ganja, 420, and herb.
Synthetic Cannabis/Spice. Syn, spice, salts, and K2 are names to refer to a synthetically created “legal” alternative to marijuana, though it has nothing to do with the plant nor has any natural ingredients in it. Some users think that it can help wean them off using harder drugs. synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous, as they are made from hundreds of chemical compounds and can create a myriad of health issues, including brain damage.
THC. THC is the abbreviation for the biochemical tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is one of the main Cannabidiol elements which comprise the cannabis plant, along with CBD, and is responsible for the psychoactive response when used.
Vape Pen/vaping. “Vaping” is the verb that means smoking an oil which is used by a “vape pen”- a hand-held vaporizer that is electrically charged. Many people vape with legally store bought fragrances and oils, though some can use vape pens with THC oil or marijuana leaves.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Marijuana addiction treatment at Vogue Recovery Center includes expert psychotherapy and a multidisciplinary approach designed to give you a customized goal-oriented experience. Utilizing the science of addiction medicine in a comfortable, exclusive environment – Vogue provides an abundance of comfort and path to restoration.
Using a solution-focused approach, our team will address the many reasons you began abusing marijuana. Taking into consideration your family history, traumatic life events, unique stress factors, relationship challenges and individual patterns – our experts will assess your strengths and weaknesses and design a customized treatment plan that meets your personal needs.