What Is Weed Addiction?
Addiction is the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences, or a neurological impairment leading to such behaviors.
So when we discuss the evidence for marijuana addiction, what are we talking about exactly – what is addiction?
Well, according to the American Academy of Addiction Medicine:1
- Addiction is a brain disease that affects your reward, motivation and memory circuits.
- Dysfunction in these circuits leads to an unhealthy or pathological drive for reward (such as by getting high).
- Characteristics of addiction include cravings, an inability to consistently abstain or control your use-related behaviors (assuming you want to), a decreased ability to recognize how your use causes life or relationship problems and dysfunctional emotional responses.
Evidence to Support Marijuana Addiction
- Scientists can see that marijuana stimulates the brain’s reward centers in ways that closely mimic other addictive drugs (through dopamine release in the limbic pathway).
- Animal studies show that animals display withdrawal-pattern behaviors upon sudden abstinence after chronic THC administration
- Heavy users will develop a tolerance and require greater amounts to get high. This is similar to what is seen with other addictive drugs.
- There is research and clinical evidence showing that some heavy users will experience a recognizable set of withdrawal symptoms along a predictable timeline after cessation of use. Some researchers have compared the severity of marijuana withdrawal symptoms to those of nicotine withdrawal from quitting cigarettes.
- Scientists have observed that approximately 1 in 10 (9%) of marijuana smokers will become addicted at some point in life. For those who smoke regularly before the age of 18, that number doubles, with 18% meeting the criteria for dependence at some point in the lifespan. https://www.csam-asam.org/marijuanas-addictive-potential-healthcare-professionals
Why Many Dispute Marijuana Addiction
When so many people can use marijuana on a recreational basis without ever developing serious problems from their use, how can we call this an addictive drug? Well, though marijuana is addictive, it’s not very addictive – certainly not as addictive as many other commonly abused drugs. For example, through 9% of marijuana users will develop an addiction at some point, according University of California Professor and Psychologist Jann Gumbiner, Ph.D, 15% of people who use alcohol will become addicted, as will 17% of cocaine users, 23% of heroin users and 32% of cigarette users. choosehelp.com
1. Wake & Bake
Absolutely the number one telling sign that you are addicted to weed is that as soon as you wake up the first thing you think of is smoking weed. That may not be the first thing that you do. You may get up and take a piss first maybe light a cigarette if you have the dual addiction of nicotine and weed. If you do you’ll probably light a cigarette first and have it burning in the ashtray while you take a toke of weed to get you head right and your day started.
2. Weed over Bills
You’ve got bills just like everybody else. You need gas in your car and food in the fridge. But with a weed addict weed is the top priority. “You’ve gotta have your weed or you’ll go nuts’” Right! You may have just enough gas in the car to get to work and just enough food to barely get by but you are going to make damn sure you’ve got weed. Even if you are a little short on your bills that’s OK but if you don’t have your weed you might just kill somebody, right?
3. Green Alert
OK a “green alert” is something like an amber alert except it’s not but you think it is. Oh shit you’re rolling roaches or you only have enough for a couple more bowls this shit is getting critical now. Money may be low you might have to borrow some money from friends or family, maybe pawn your iPad, maybe your dude/ weed dealer is not answering the phone. Whatever the reason is you are low on weed and if you don’t get some soon you just might kill somebody.
4. Weed for Lunch
Break time! Man this job is driving you crazy if you don’t hurry up and get to your car and smoke some weed you might just kill one of those motherfuckers up in there. I mean you’ve got to get your head right to deal with all the shit you have to deal with up in there right?
5.Weed after work
You can’t wait until you get off the job so you can get home to smoke and chill,. You’ve got to have a hit when you get in the car to deal with all these dumb ass people driving home in rush hour. Man if you don’t smoke you some weed you might just road rage out here and you don’t want to have to kill one of these assholes out here.
6. Weed when you get home
Whew what a day! You’re so glad to be home so you can relax and take a good peaceful toke. Man they almost drove you crazy at work today, thank God you’ smoke weed because if you didn’t you would probably go to work and kill everybody in there.
7. Getting high every single day
If you smoke weed every day and all throughout the day. If you go to an event you find a way to sneak out so you can get a few tokes in. You’re hooked on weed so you need to smoke before, during and after every single major or minor event that happens in your life.
If your spouse or significant other doesn’t get high with you then that could be a problem. You are spending a lot of time with your weed habit and all the baggage that comes with that. A person that does not smoke all day every single day like you do just can’t understand or condone that kind of behavior. But if he or she is just as big of a pothead as you are and you want to stop or cut back using so much and they don’t then that’s just as big of a problem as well.
9. Smoking Weed for Love
Last but not least you love weed! You love the way weed makes you feel. Your whole life revolves around weed. You love everything about weed from the smell of the buds to the smell of the smoke. You love rolling the blunt, joint or packing a bowl. You love to hear people sing about weed, rap about weed and talk about weed. You love to look at real weed and at pictures of weed. You love the different strains of weed and the way one makes you feel different than the other one, “this one’s a body high where this one is more of a trippy head high. You love the way it makes you cough your head off because you love weed for better and for worse for richer or poorer and now I pronounce you addicted to weed until death do you part, you may now kiss the blunt., bowl or joint.
Marijuana Addiction Risk Self Test
Are you at risk of marijuana addiction?
To find out, answer the following questions, based on the cannabis abuse screening test. For each question, give yourself a score from 0 to 4, where:
- 0 = never
- 1 = rarely
- 2 = occasionally
- 3 = often
- 4 = very often
Answer each question based on your behaviors over the last year 12 months.
- Have you ever smoked marijuana before noon?
- Have you ever had memory problems when smoking marijuana?
- Have you ever smoked by yourself?
- Have you had any friends or family members express concern about your marijuana use or ask you to cut-down or stop?
- Have you tried to stop using or cut-down without success?
- Have you experienced life-problems related to your marijuana use, such as problems at school or work, problems at home or with important relationships, money problems, legal problems and others?
If you score:
- 0 to 2 = You have no addiction risk.
- 3 to 7 = You have some addiction risk.
- 7 or higher = You have a high addiction risk.