Cannabis is a psychoactive drug, which has been used by humans since prehistorical times for recreational, medicinal and spiritual purposes thanks to its relaxing and euphoric effects.
Available in three main forms – the buds and leaves, resin (commonly known as hashish or “hash”) and the oil extracted. It is usually smoked, though it can also be eaten, inhaled as a vapour, drunk as a tea or via a tincture, or taken in suppository or pessary format.
The primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (one of nearly 500 compounds present in the plant) is currently used medically to treat some symptoms of multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
The signs of being “stoned” on marijuana are somewhat notorious, with users tending to display and similar physical symptoms and behavioural traits regardless of age, ethnicity or any other classification.
Here are some signs and symptoms to look out:
Advocates for the decriminalisation or legalisation of cannabis often tout its “safe” qualities, pointing out that it is effectively impossible to overdose on the drug. However, while this is true, regular marijuana use does have some consequences for both physical and mental health.
Smoking marijuana, despite popular opinion, increases the risk of cancer – over 50 known carcinogens have been identified in marijuana smoke – and when smoked with tobacco this risk is significantly increased. Links between marijuana and a range of pulmonary, vascular and neurological disorders have been suggested, and research is ongoing.
Users also experience enhanced risk of accidents (including on the road) thanks to worsened reaction times and coordination. Indirectly, long-term marijuana abuse tends to lead to a generally sedentary and inactive lifestyle, with well-known associated health risks; the effect upon a user’s appetite can also lead to an increased likelihood of obesity.
Over the last couple of decades, there has been a growth in the belief amongst many medical professionals that marijuana abuse can cause psychosis, especially in younger users: studies have shown a correlation between marijuana consumption and the risk of psychosis, which increases along with THC volume.
While there is as yet no conclusive evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship, or that marijuana use causes rather than exacerbates psychosis, many doctors now caution against using marijuana on that basis. Around 10% of users eventually become dependent…
Today it is the most commonly consumed illegal drug in the UK (where it is a Class-B controlled substance): at least 6.5% of Britons aged 16-59 (around 2.1 million people) consumed marijuana in 2015/16, and significant pressure is growing for cannabis to be decriminalised thanks to its popular perception as a harmless, “safe” drug.
Nevertheless, in recent years a growing body of evidence has shown the link between cannabis and the development of psychosis and other mental health disorders, and the government has consistently refused to change national policy with regards to marijuana.
There are a vast number of street names and pseudonyms for marijuana; listing all these would be practically impossible but some of the most prominent include: pot; weed; hash; skunk; puff; smoke; green; trees; resin; solids; Mary Jane; reefer; herb; buds; chronic; ganja; stick.
Although weed is not considered particularly physically addictive – a minority of long-term users will present physical symptoms of withdrawal – it is increasingly being recognised that psychological dependence to marijuana can prove extremely damaging to a person’s life and mental wellbeing.
You may well be addicted to weed if you find that: you need ever-greater doses of marijuana to get “high”; you’ve tried to cut down or stop using altogether but have failed (perhaps repeatedly); you spend a good portion of your life under the influence of marijuana (possibly smoking as soon as you wake up).
Maybe you have faced disciplinary action at work, or even lost a job, because of failing a drug test, being “high”, or missing work; you feel like you are using marijuana to escape some pressing personal problems which feel like they matter less when you’re high.
Any addiction can cause substantial shame on the part of the addict – especially if his/her life has been changed significantly by their substance abuse.
One of the most important things someone can do for an addict is to reassure them that they’re not alone and that they will have plenty of support if they choose to seek treatment.
We specialise in providing tailored detox & rehab programmes to the client with dedicated family support. Cannabis addiction rarely affects just the individual, and we appreciate that this can be a stressful time for all those concerned. If you have any questions regarding cannabis detox & rehab, treatment needs, locations and cost – we can answer them!