What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is one of the most widely used and abused drugs in the world that can be acquired at a relatively low cost by individuals of varying ages and economic means. Marijuana is derived from the Indian hemp plant cannabis sativa. The drug is known by many different names, the most commonly nicknames include ganja, weed, bud, pot, herb, and Mary Jane. The mixture of dried flowers from which the drug is consumed can be ingested in a variety of ways. Marijuana can be smoked by rolling the leaves into cigarette, or “joint,” form. The drug can also be smoked through the use of pipes, also known as bongs. This versatile drug can even be mixed into foods such as cookies and candies.

With the rise in popularity of vaporizers as an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, this method of smoking has also become more prevalent as a way to smoke marijuana.

The chemical in marijuana that causes sought after mind-altering effects is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabionol, or THC. Though THC is the most widely recognized component of the drug, there are actually more than 500 other chemicals contained in the plant. A stronger form of marijuana, called sensemilla, is produced specially from the female plant. Further, other stronger versions of the drug include concentrated resins containing high doses of the mind-altering chemicals of the plant. These resins include those known as waxy budder, shatter, and hash oil.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

There has long been a debate to whether or not marijuana is truly an addictive drug. Advocates for the drug firmly believe that because marijuana is produced from a naturally occurring plant, it is harmless and benign. However, with the high volume of individuals participating in marijuana addiction treatment, it is clear that prolonged use of this drug can in fact lead to the development of dependence and addiction. In fact, research has shown that roughly 30% of individuals who use marijuana may have some level of use disorder and unhealthy relationship with this drug. For many people who consume marijuana, a dependence on the drug exists just to function normally on a daily basis. Without the drug, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those that occur with addictions to other drugs.

Withdrawal symptoms experienced by those who have enrolled in a marijuana treatment program or who have simply ceased their use might include difficulties with sleep, decreased appetite, cravings, irritability, fatigue, and restlessness.

Marijuana Use Statistics

Because marijuana is the most popular illicit drug in the United States, much data and research has been conducted on the individuals who use this drug. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that about 44% of Americans 12 years of age and older had used marijuana at some point in their lives. This figure represents nearly 115 million individuals. Further data has found that of all the drug-related emergency room visits, marijuana was the second most common culprit behind cocaine. In the year 2010, the number of individuals entering marijuana addiction treatment reached over 350,000. As more and more states begin to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use, it is likely that the number of people using this drug will continue to rise. This rise in use may lead to higher numbers of marijuana abuse and drug addiction.

Risk Factors for Addiction to Marijuana

While it is true that virtually anyone can develop a dependence and addiction on marijuana, there are a number of factors that put certain individuals at a higher risk for having a more adverse relationship with the drug. One such risk factor is a family history of addiction. Extensive research has found that individuals who have a family member who has battled an addiction are more likely to develop an addiction themselves. Another risk factor for developing an addiction to marijuana is the existence of a psychiatric or co-occurring disorder. It is not uncommon for those with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or other disorders to self-medicate using drugs. While they may temporarily feel as though their marijuana use is helping to control the negative side effects of their illness, this is not proper treatment and can in fact worsen their mental health. It is therefore crucial that someone suffering from a mental illness enter rehabilitation for marijuana treatment so that they can properly address their psychiatric disorder.

Another very common risk factor for addiction to marijuana is a lack of family involvement and parental guidance. Individuals who were raised in a home in which they were given a high degree of freedom and minimal discipline are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, as there is no fear of consequences from their guardians. These individuals often experiment with drugs and alcohol at an early age. The earlier someone uses marijuana, the higher likelihood they have for developing a dependence or addiction to the drug.

Short and Long-Term Effects of Marijuana on the Body

Consuming marijuana, regardless of the method in which it is ingested, impacts almost every organ in the body, as well as your immune and nervous systems. Many people are drawn to the calming effects the drug can have on the body, however a wide variety of short and long-term effects of the drug typically present themselves. Some of the common temporary symptoms include memory problems, decreased coordination and concentration, heightened awareness and sensations, euphoria, elevated heart rate, decreased energy, sleeping difficulties, and increased appetite.

Prolonged use of the drug can have an even more harmful impact on the body. These issues include respiratory problems similar to those brought about by tobacco smoke. Users who have developed a dependence on marijuana may therefore experience a chronic cough and be at a higher risk for developing lung infections.

Long-term use of marijuana can also lead to cardiovascular issues, as consumption of this drug increases the heart rate for hours at a time. This puts users at risk for experiencing a stroke or even heart attack.

Prolonged use of marijuana has also been linked to a decline in mental functioning, as users may develop difficulty with memory-related tasks and a disinterest in completing everyday activities.

If the existence of such long-term effects of marijuana use are suspected, it is important that marijuana addiction treatment is completed immediately before permanent bodily damage occurs.

When to Get Help: Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Because the recreational use of marijuana is more prevalent and even accepted in our society today, it can be challenging to determine when someone does in faction require marijuana addiction treatment. There are a number of signs and symptoms a person will exhibit once their relationship with this drug has turned dangerous. One of the most obvious signs of marijuana addiction is the presence of cravings to use when the drug has not been consumed in some time. After prolonged use of a drug, the body because dependent on it to function normally. Without it, the body struggles to adjust to a state in which there is no marijuana and thus creates a physiological urge to use again.

Individuals in need of marijuana treatment will typically spend money they do not have, or that should be spent on household expenses to pay for the drug. They may also spend their time using instead of participating in activities such as work, school, or hobbies. Professional marijuana addiction treatment is also necessary for individuals who have tried multiple times to stop using, but simply can’t due to their intense dependence on the drug.

When someone begins to exhibit the signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction, it is important they be met with understanding and compassion. For many, the thought of entering marijuana addiction treatment can be intimidating. However, it is the first step to reclaiming a healthy life.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Marijuana treatment comes in many different shapes and forms that have each proven successful for certain individuals overcoming their need to use. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, is a popular form of psychotherapy that equips recovery patients with the strategies to recognize problematic behavior. This enables them to better maintain self-control and address co-occurring issues that may be causing them to use.

Another form of marijuana addiction treatment is motivational enhancement therapy, This form of therapy is a structured to rapidly change an individual’s internal motivations. Motivational enhancement therapy effectively utilizes a person’s own internal capacities to bring out behavioral change and treatment.

Contingency management has also proven successful for marijuana treatment, as this therapeutic approach involves the giving of positive rewards when the recovery patient displays favorable behaviors.

No matter the treatment option you decide it right for your recovery journey, it is important that those battling an addiction to marijuana enroll in a professional marijuana addiction treatment program suited for their individual needs.

The Bluff Approach

At Bluff, we are committed to helping individuals of all backgrounds and addiction experiences recover and live a healthy and fulfilling life. Those entering our facility for marijuana addiction treatment will be given a comprehensive, multi-faceted plan, carried out under the guidance of licensed and credentialed addiction medicine experts, first beginning with a comprehensive intake assessment. Each of the physicians in our facility are board certified and specially trained to address each stage of marijuana addiction treatment and recovery, including diagnosis, detoxification, treatment of comorbid medical conditions, medication management, and patient education and ongoing support.

Upon entering Bluff for marijuana treatment, you will receive a comprehensive evaluation that will inform which clinical pathway best addresses your unique situation and incorporate your specific needs for care. With quality counseling, mindfulness-based relapse prevention, recovery planning and coaching, physical wellness and exercise physiology, and more, Bluff is fully equipped to provide the best in marijuana addiction treatment.

Marijuana addiction treatment is just one phone call away. When you contact us, you will receive a free evaluation that includes:

  • A confidential conversation with a marijuana treatment specialist
  • A complete review of your addiction history
  • An overview of Bluff’s residential recovery program
  • An evaluation of your health coverage and payment options

If you or a loved one is suffering from a dependence and addiction to marijuana that is taking control of your life, call the marijuana addiction treatment specialists at Bluff now. Our experts are standing by 24/7 to receive your inquiry and help set you on the path towards long-lasting recovery.

Contact Us Now


"*" indicates required fields