Quite a number of people with an addiction to cannabis are not aware of it. If you walk up to them and tell them, “Hey, I think you’re addicted to marijuana,” they’ll let you know they’re just having a good time. Or, you may be one of those individuals with a marijuana addiction, and you just haven’t come to its realization yet. It may be because you don’t recognize the cannabis addiction signs, or you choose to ignore them.
Cannabis is a highly addictive substance. A report on WebMD indicated that 1 in every ten adults who use cannabis suffer from addiction. The probability increases for individuals under 18 years, 1 in every six minors who use cannabis end up with an addiction. In other words, your chances of becoming a cannabis addict are 10% if you’re an adult and about 18% if you’re a minor.
You may see yourself as someone who enjoys cannabis constantly whereas; you’re already dependent on it. The positive thing is; there will never be a better time to come to that realization than now. Therefore, we’ll soon be looking at some of the tell-tale and subtle signs of cannabis addiction. But before that, let’s establish a little background into cannabis use disorder.
What is Cannabis Use Disorder?
Cannabis use disorder is a variant of substance use disorder in which an individual can’t exercise restraint in their use of cannabis. It’s a situation where an individual feels a constant compulsive need to use cannabis. A cannabis addict has little to no control over how they consume the substance. So, they often do it in amounts larger than usual or recommended.
Of course, cannabis addiction has stages from mild to chronic. People with mild addiction will often crave to use the substance; however, they can still exercise some control while using it. Also, people in this category find it easier to stop the addiction. However, individuals with a chronic addiction will be highly dependent on cannabis. They will crave to take it as often as they can get their hands on it.
More often than not, Cannabis addiction leads to abuse. Sometimes, it’s the other way. But it’s a given that an addict takes more cannabis than is good for them. The over-consumption of a dangerous item such as cannabis can cause complications for the individual. It can deteriorate their health, damage their relationship with others and affect their psychological well-being.
In other words, cannabis addiction is not something you want to fall victim to. If you’re already an addict, there’s always hope, and you can get better. The earlier you discover the addiction and start treatment, the better. How then do you recognize cannabis addiction? Below are some common cannabis addiction signs to tell you where you stand.
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Signs of Cannabis Addiction
Cannabis addiction is associated with several psychological, behavioural, health, physiological and social symptoms. In some cases, these signs are glaring, while they’re subtle and relatively unnoticeable in other cases. However, if you have a cannabis use disorder, you should notice any of the signs of the addiction we have below.
Increased Tolerance For Cannabis
Generally, the more you take a drug, alcoholic drink or anything with an intoxicating effect, the higher your tolerance goes. You build tolerance for drugs and similar substances by consuming them consistently. So, if you notice that your tolerance level for cannabis is higher than usual, it’s a sign you may have been taking it too often.
When your tolerance for cannabis increases, you start needing more of the drug to get the same effect. The usual dose you consume will no longer be sufficient to get you to that state of satisfaction. When you take your regular amount, you probably don’t feel any effect, or the effect won’t be as strong as usual.
The problem with this stage of cannabis addiction is that most people fail to notice this sign. Most users don’t realize it until someone, or something calls them to order. On the other hand, some people do recognize the early signs but choose to ignore them. Either way, if you don’t get help early in this stage, you’ll soon find yourself taking more cannabis to satisfy your cravings.
Using More Marijuana Than Prescribed/Intended
What is the difference between this point and the first? The first point builds the foundation for this. You can view it like they’re in stages. In the first stage, you build tolerance and start needing more of the substance. In the second stage, you start taking more of the substance. Finally, you start exceeding your daily dose (either prescribed or intended).
This stage usually starts with you thinking, “I’m just gonna take a few more hits, and I’ll be good.” Then it progresses steadily until you start smoking up large swaths of pot in a matter of hours. You also may not realize it at this point, but you’re gradually building a dependency on cannabis.
However, the sad fact is; the more you take, the more tolerance you build, and you end up needing more. You’ll never really get enough; you only continue building tolerance and dependency on the substance. So whenever you notice you need more of the same cannabis to achieve the same effect, it’s a sign that you’re tending towards addiction.
You Always Want To Be High
If you use marijuana for recreational purposes, it’s understandable that your motivation is to get high. However, getting or feeling high shouldn’t be something you desire continuously. Wanting to get high occasionally is normal; however, always wanting to be in an intoxicated state is not.
If you find yourself always wanting to get high, something is wrong. If you’re already spending a lot of time getting high, you should consider getting help ASAP! Wanting to be or spending a lot of time in a perpetual intoxicated state is dangerous. It’s a sign you’re addicted to cannabis, and you should deal with it as a matter of utmost urgency.
Reduced Activities and Inability to Focus When Sober
When you spend more time being high or obsessing over how you’ll get high, you’ll spend less time on productive activities. Addictions slowly eat into the time you use to engage in recreational activities. So instead of engaging in physical activities, you’d rather spend that time getting high or mellowing out.
Also, you find it challenging to stay sober and concentrate on the tasks at hand without smoking up. Usually, you find yourself needing it so you can be efficient at your job. Cannabis has properties that sometimes enhance efficiency. However, if you can’t be efficient without it, that’s a symptom of marijuana addiction. You want to seek out medical help quickly.
Noticeable Changes In Your Attitude
Many factors cause noticeable changes in an individual’s attitude or character. People undergo several attitudinal changes throughout their lifetime. And anything can be the trigger for these changes. As such, it may seem a bit far-fetched to say cannabis is responsible for the changes in your behaviour.
However, you need to ask yourself.
- What was I like before I started taking cannabis?
- How have I changed since I started taking cannabis?
- Have I become a better or worse person?
- What was my relationship with people like before I started taking cannabis?
- How has it changed?
A healthy use of cannabis should not be sufficient to cause noticeable changes in your attitude. However, if your attitude has changed drastically since you started taking cannabis, you should check if you’re taking too much. The marijuana may be having more effects on you than making you high.
Disconnect from People Close To You
Cannabis is also capable of causing you to inadvertently disconnect from people close to you. You either start spending more time by yourself, or you spend more time with your weed buddies. Either way, you start distancing yourself from the people close to you, especially if they’re not aware of your cannabis use.
If you don’t have friends who indulge in the same habit as you, this may lead to loneliness. Sometimes, it may progress to feelings of emptiness, fear and shame. You become afraid the people close to you will come to know about your drug use and judge you for it. If you are exhibiting any of these signs, you’re already quite into cannabis addiction.
Continual Usage of Cannabis Despite the Risks and Side Effects
Cannabis (recreational marijuana) has a variety of side effects and consequences on users. These consequences are often medical complications; however, they can also be psychological. Regardless, a sign of cannabis addiction is disregarding these consequences even after they’ve become apparent.
Basically, you see your use of cannabis leading to problems, but you keep denying or disregarding the concerns. Then, instead of quitting or seeking marijuana addiction treatment, you opt to continue. At this stage, you should get external help ASAP. You’re not only addicted, but you’re also wholly dependent on the substance.
Trying to Quit Without Success
Another tell-tale sign of cannabis addiction is you try to quit taking it without success. You’re genuinely unhappy with how it’s controlling your life, or at least you have good reasons to stop, but you can’t seem to do it. Every time you stay off it for a while, then all of a sudden, you catch yourself consuming cannabis again.
Or, your desire may not be to quit taking cannabis altogether; you may only wish to reduce your regular intake. But, you still find it challenging to cut down on the amount you consume. You find yourself struggling to stop even with external help. Regardless, it’s a massive indicator of addiction and high dependency on the substance.
You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms is another way to tell you’re addicted to cannabis. Whenever you’re late on your regular fix or can’t get it, you start to experience withdrawal symptoms. You become angry, anxious, upset and generally irritable for no good reason. Any tiny mishap ticks you off and can even cause you to break down.
While experiencing this withdrawal, you’ll be willing to do anything to get your marijuana dose. So you find yourself doing things you usually won’t, to ensure you can get some pot. Then you may later regret it knowing it’s not in your character to do such things. But your craving for cannabis is making you do something you don’t enjoy.
Frustration and Depression
Most times, due to the adverse effects of cannabis on your life, you end up wanting to change. However, changing is not as easy as it sounds; you’ll experience failure and relapse on the journey. These setbacks may lead to frustration. You may not even be out on the journey to recovery yet, but you’ll hate how the substance controls your life.
When the frustration persists for a long time, and you’re unable to deal with it, it can develop into depression. While in this state, you’ll find yourself needing the substance to improve your mood. So, whenever you’re not high, you’ll be feeling rock-bottom low! At this point, you’re overly dependent on cannabis and need adequate professional help to break out.
The constant reminder that you’re allowing a substance to control your life may also affect your mental health. You may start hating yourself. You may blame yourself for ignoring the earlier signs of marijuana abuse. You may regret not seeking help earlier. All those thoughts will have an adverse toll on your mental health, but it’s never too late to seek treatment.
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There are many other signs of cannabis addiction not included above. Some are subtle, while others are aggressive. Recognizing when regular cannabis use graduates into addiction is essential to prevent it. Marijuana increases the fun, but if you can’t have fun without marijuana, something is not right.
Do you think you’re taking more cannabis than usual? Do you find yourself craving more and more cannabis in your system consistently? Are you noticing any of the signs listed above? Contact us, let’s help you fight it. Check out our marijuana addiction service at Inspire Change Wellness Centre if you or someone close to you needs marijuana addiction treatment.