Is it possible for someone to become addicted to marijuana?
Yes, about 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted. For people who begin using younger than 18, that number rises to 1 in 6.1-3 For more information visit CDC’s section on addiction or the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s pages on addiction science.
How do I know if I am addicted to marijuana?
Some of the signs that someone might be addicted to marijuana include:
- Trying but failing to quit using marijuana.
- Giving up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana.
- Using marijuana even when it is known that it causes problems at home, school, or work.
Compared to marijuana users who are not addicted, people who are addicted to marijuana are at a higher risk of the negative consequences of using the drug, such as problems with attention, memory, and learning. For more information visit CDC’s section on addiction or the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s pages on addiction science.
It’s legal in many states, so doesn’t that mean marijuana is safe?
The fact that it’s legal does not mean that it is safe. Using marijuana at an early age can lead to negative health consequences.
Heavy marijuana use (daily or near-daily) can do damage to memory, learning, and attention, which can last a week or more after the last time someone used.
Using marijuana during pregnancy or while breastfeeding may harm the baby, just like alcohol or tobacco.
Marijuana use has been linked to anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia, but scientists don’t yet know whether it directly causes these diseases.
Smoking any product, including marijuana, can damage your lungs and cardiovascular system.
How is eating and drinking foods that contain marijuana (edibles) different from smoking marijuana?
Because marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), there are health risks associated with using marijuana regardless of the how it is used. Some of these negative effects include having difficulty thinking and problem-solving, having problems with memory, learning and maintaining attention and demonstrating impaired coordination. Additionally, frequent use can lead to becoming addicted to marijuana. However, some risks may differ by the way it is used.
Smoke from marijuana contains many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Smoking marijuana can lead to a greater risk of bronchitis, cough, and phlegm production. Whereas, edibles, which take longer to digest, take longer to produce an effect. Therefore, people may consume more to feel the effects faster. This may lead to people consuming very high doses and result in negative effects like anxiety, paranoia and, in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction (e.g. delusions, hallucinations, talking incoherently, and agitation).
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Can a person become addicted to marijuana?
Yes. A person who uses marijuana heavily might find that he or she needs more and more of the drug to obtain the desired effect. This condition happens when the body begins to adjust to marijuana. The user may spend more time and money on his or her drug habit. As an addict, he or she might…
Further study is needed to answer this question, but possible short- and long-term risks of using marijuana to treat medical conditions include:
Addiction, which occurs in about 10 percent of users who start smoking marijuana before age 25
HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
Understanding marijuana’s risks to the brain.
Regular use of marijuana can lead to addiction and other mental health problems, especially in people who are genetically vulnerable, notes Dr. Michael Miller, editor in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter.
Addiction. The concentration of THC (the herb’s psychoactive component) in marijuana has been increasing in recent years. Addiction specialists are concerned that this increased potency might accelerate development of dependence.