Cannabis has been used throughout history for medicinal and recreational purposes—and it has been shown to be both medically and psychologically beneficial to both our physical and mental health. But the question remains: is cannabis addictive? And if it is, how can someone break their cannabis habit?
Cannabis, or marijuana, is a drug made from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Since it is not physically addictive like some other substances, many people wonder if it is addictive. The short answer is yes, cannabis is addictive. But, the “yes” is qualified by the “most common.” Those most affected by the addictive properties of cannabis are people who have other addictions.
What Is Cannabis Use Disorder?
Cannabis use disorder (CUD) is mental health disorder related to cannabis use. It is characterized by impaired control over cannabis use, which may involve frequent and heavy cannabis use in situations in which it is harmful. Unlike substance use disorder (SUD), CUD is not characterized by the periodic use of drugs despite adverse consequences. Instead, individuals continue to engage in problematic use of cannabis despite negative consequences, such as experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop smoking, losing interest in activities once enjoyed, or failing to achieve important life goals.
Researchers have coined the term cannabis abuse disorder in the last several years, but what does it mean, and how do you know if you or a loved one has Cannabis Use Disorder? CUDs are a group of conditions characterized by persistent or recurrent cannabis use despite harmful physical and psychological consequences. CUDs can be further grouped into several categories, including but not limited to.
How Do You Know If You Have CUD?
Cannabis use disorder is a recognized form of drug addiction. It is also a form of substance use disorder involving a pattern of using cannabis. The symptoms of CUD may include:
- Guilty feelings
- Memory issues
- Mood swings
- Social problems
- Suicidal thoughts
The Problems Linked to CUD
A common argument against legalizing cannabis is whether it leads to more consumption of hard drugs. The anti-legalization lobby has held up a number of studies on cannabis use and dependence, and many of them seem to hint at this correlation. Yet, there’s no hard evidence that supports the link between cannabis use and dependence. People who use cannabis for recreational purposes are at a much lower risk of becoming addicted to it than people who use it medicinally.
One of the most interesting things about the marijuana legalization movement is that cannabis has been stigmatized for decades, and there are some pretty strong arguments against its legalization. However, if you dig deeper, you will see how marijuana is being touted as a medicine to treat many ailments. For those interested in getting high, smoking a joint is a much safer alternative to drinking alcohol.
Who Gets CUD?
Some of the effects of marijuana addiction are similar to the effects of many other addictions: withdrawal from the drug, cravings, and a desire to use more. However, the effects of this addiction are less severe than those of many other drugs, so many people are able to stop using marijuana relatively quickly.
CUD is an umbrella term that refers to a pattern of cannabis use that interferes with an individual’s ability to function at work and at home. Although generally associated with the use of cannabis and cannabis products by individuals 18 years of age and older, cannabis can be harmful to younger users as well, causing many of the same signs and symptoms that CUD can cause in adults.
How Does CUD Happen?
Some users, weed enthusiasts, and even cannabis growers swear that cannabis is addictive, like nicotine. Claims that cannabis is addictive are based on anecdotal observations from users, and little research has been done on the effects of cannabis on addictive behavior. However, we do know that cannabis is addictive to some, in the same way, that nicotine is addictive and that cannabis withdrawal can be painful and distressing.
CUD is a devastating condition that is extremely common and is misunderstood by many. It’s a substance use disorder that occurs when abuse of cannabis, as well as other drugs, interferes with a person’s life. While cannabis is often associated with recreational drug use, it is often used medicinally to reduce pain, treat seizures, and help with sleep.