The persistent belief that marijuana is psychologically but not physically addictive is a myth, experts say

As marijuana proceeds mainstream, there is a persistent belief that it’s not addictive. That is partly because addictive behaviour rises more slowly than with elements such as opioids– and cannabis withdrawal isn’t the living hell of getting off those drugs.

But the truth of the matter is clear:” There is no debate that marijuana is both physiologically and psychologically addictive ,” says Aaron Weiner, a psychologist and the director of addiction services at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, a clinic in Illinois. Cannabis withdrawal, according to a 2004 study he cites, can lead to irritability, anxiety, negative climate, loss of appetite and impaired social functioning. Withdrawal indications tend to be more severe in heavier consumers, and have also been observed in non-human primates.

Drugs differ depending on their effects, but the symptoms of craving are relatively consistent. Cannabis use can begin as a social pleasure and then” it becomes the course you loosen and are dealing with your problems ,” Weiner said. For problem consumers, it becomes more central to their lives and takes precedence over endeavouring fulfillment in act and relationships.


In almost all cases, the possible consequences of marijuana addiction aren’t viscerally nasty like an opioid overdose or a tobacco-related illness. And compared with alcohol, by most details, marijuanas use is less likely to precede a life shattering event like a vehicle accident or physical violence.

Excessive cannabis use is often described in gentler words, such as” psychologically but not physically addictive” or” habit modelling “. But the drawbacks are real. They’re considered most serious for users under 25, since their intelligences are still developing. Studies have shown heavy teenage cannabis use can depress school performance and even lifetime earnings. It’s also during this period of life that the medication has been associated most closely to psychopathic episodes.

To the marijuana industry’s credit, legalization in US countries does not appear to have led to a jump in youth cannabis use. It has however led to significant increases in adult use, a trend all but particular to continue, as more territories allow the medicine and it becomes more socially acceptable.

Still, cannabis is the second most common addiction Weiner plows, after booze. He reckons one in ten adult cannabis users will become problem users. But compared with alcohol, the consequences of excess adult cannabis use are less understood, especially since the cannabis produces available today are far stronger than a few decades ago.

What’s clear is that a lot more people will expend a lot more of their season stoned.” We don’t need more stoned parties ,” Weiner said.” When you’re stoned you’re not at your best and anything that additions that behavior is not good .”

That’s the point of view of a public health professional. By the same logic, alcohol shouldn’t be commercially available either, but it is in much of the world. In one way or another scores of countries have weighed the drawbacks of law alcohol and decided allowing it is better than the alternative. But no one yet knows the drawbacks of commercially available cannabis.

To Weiner the rogue is the for-profit marijuana industry. Legalization has gained widespread support in the US thanks to a two-pronged PR strategy of promoting cannabis as a “medicine” and wellness produce, even when the evidence of its benefits is anecdotal or non-existent, and trying to demolish the stigma of cannabis as a drug for losers.” Their goal is not public health, their goal is addiction ,” Weiner says.” When I speak out against this topic it’s against my financial interest- which I can’t say for the person or persons on the other side .”

As with any landmark new make- smartphones, automobiles, fossil fuels- the marijuana manufacture has the intrinsic advantage: once their downsides are documented, it’s impossible to live without them.


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