Is Marijuana Addictive?

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of marijuana’s addictiveness. Some people say it’s an addiction while others state it as merely a “marijuana use disorder”. Recent data finds that around 30% of users may have this disorder, but does that mean they’re addicted? Based on my research, marijuana can be addictive but it is really rare. However, from a clinical standpoint it can be seen as addictive due to the withdrawal symptoms it leaves frequent users with. It’s been shown that many users who smoke regularly in large amounts may have physical dependence towards the drug due to the tolerance their body has built for the drug. This is because the user has to smoke more and more to get the desired effects that occurred when they first started using the drug. This leads to minor withdrawal symptoms like irritability, anxiety, and cravings for the drug when they stop using cannabis. This is because the brain doesn’t have the right amount of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters that it’s supposed to have, creating these symptoms. However, drugs like alcohol and heroin have noticeably more severe withdrawal symptoms with psychological addiction playing a huge role. Because this is not the case for marijuana, people say that it isn’t addictive. Very few people ever become so psychologically addicted to the drug that their brain depends on it. Some people think that marijuana becomes addictive when you can’t stop using it even though it is interfering with your personal life. This basically occurs when the drug is harming a person’s life but the individual continues to use it because of the cravings. For example, an addicted cannabis user will still use the drug even though it’s causing them relationship problems, academic problems, financial problems, and physical/mental problems. In other words, you stop caring about important life aspects and are more focused on the drug itself. This is basically the definition of “addiction”.

Overall, it’s kinda hard to tell if someone’s addicted to it or not because most of it is based on perception. Like I stated earlier, you need to smoke a tremendous amount of weed over a long period of time to actually become psychologically addicted. For most people, addiction is perceived when it conflicts with the well-being of your personal life. And even though you might have Marijuana withdrawal symptoms because of the dependence, these usually fade out within two weeks. All in all, it’s all on how you look at it.