The debate over marijuana use is ongoing. Is it a gateway drug that paves the way for other drug use? Should it be legalized for recreational use or only allowed for medicinal purposes? Is it addictive? What can be done if a person finds he or she is unable to function without some type of cannabis use? Here are some essentials you should understand about marijuana and how to deal with an addiction.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is the term used to describe the flowers of the cannabis plant that have been dried and broken into a form that looks a lot like the tobacco used in cigarettes. At times, the flowers are cut with the seeds and stems from the plant.
There are a number of slang terms used for marijuana today. Some of the more common terms include Mary Jane, weed, pot, grass, and bud. There are also terms that may be used regionally or only among people who use specific code words as a way to avoid alerting others of their use of the drug.
Marijuana is noted for providing an intoxicating sensation that’s not unlike the relaxing effect of alcohol. Some people choose to use marijuana as a way to relax or to even out their moods. Others find that it’s good to help them sleep. There are also specific medical conditions that marijuana can help in terms of providing relief from unpleasant symptoms.
Cannabis can be consumed in a number of ways. Rolling cigarettes known popularly as joints is among the most common form. It’s also possible to include the dried flowers, stems, and seeds in all sorts of baked goods. It can also be mixed into homemade candies. Today, it’s possible to use vaporizers as a way to inhale the smoke and achieve the desired effect.
What Type of Drug is Marijuana?
Generally, drugs are classified as stimulants, depressants, or hallucinogens. So what kind of drug is marijuana? That’s not an easy question to answer. The reason is that unlike many other substances, marijuana exhibits characteristics associated with all three classes.
As a depressant, it helps to calm the nervous system. That can be helpful, since it makes it easier to sleep, aids in lessening the severity of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the panic attacks that often accompany GAD, and help to reduce the severity and pain associated with muscle cramps.
As a stimulant, cannabis can improve the mood and help you feel more energetic. You may find it easier to focus on tasks and remained focused until they are done. Your heightened mental state may allow you to feel more sociable and want to get up and enjoy activities with other people.
As a hallucinogen, marijuana can alter your perception, including how you see colors and forms. You may also see things that aren’t real, even if they seem to be just as real as you. For example, you could envision a meadow even though you’re standing in front of a vacant lot. There could seem to be a group of people talking to you when in fact no one is there.
While the effect may seem pleasant at first, there’s always the chance for something to turn dark. For example, your good mood may crash with no warning. Your happiness could turn into a crying jag. That group of people who were providing such stimulating conversation may suddenly seem to become violent. One good experience with marijuana does not mean all future experiences will be equally pleasant.
How is Marijuana Made?
The process used to produce marijuana depends on whether it occurs in a lab designed to produce cannabis products for medical use or if the product is intended to be sold on the sly. In a controlled environment, care is taken to select and maintain the best quality cannabis plants. That involves maintaining the right temperature and humidity level around the clock. Light also factors into the process, since the goal is to ensure the harvested parts of ideal for the intended purpose.
Once harvested, the flowers are dried under controlled conditions. Inspectors evaluate the results to ensure quality. It’s only after the product meets the high quality standards that it’s passed on for further processing.
How about when the plants are grown at home or in other places with the intent to sell the product illegally? Some of the same measures may be taken on a smaller scale. There’s also more of a chance of the product being cut with additives that may seem to enhance the product but are ultimately dangerous. When asking what is marijuana made of, remember that legal products are produced in officially registered facilities that must meet specific standards. All other sources should be viewed with some suspicion.
What is Synthetic Marijuana?
There’s typically not a lot of cannabis in synthetic marijuana. Most approaches for producing this product involve using different types of plant matter that’s dried and crumbled to resemble dried cannabis flowers. Cannabis extracts are sprayed on the plant matter and allowed to absorb into it. The result is a product that provides some of the desirable effects but is not truly marijuana.
Keep in mind synthetic marijuana may look and smell like the real thing, but there could be other additives in the product. Even the plant matter used may contain some properties that are not good for humans. While sometimes considered a cheaper way to get high, there’s no way to know exactly what you are using.
What is Medical Marijuana Used For?
Setting aside recreational use, there are health issues that can be aided by the use of medical marijuana. Glaucoma is one of the better-know examples. It can also be used to treat PTSD. Some forms of epilepsy can be treated using marijuana, especially in the form of CBD oil. Marijuana can ease the pain associated with cancer. There is some evidence that marijuana may be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Can You Become Addicted to Cannabis?
While there are legitimate medicinal uses for cannabis in different forms, can cannabis be addictive? The answer is yes. Cannabis addiction can develop over time, especially if the user exceeds whatever dosage his or her medical professional approved.
Some say that the addiction is completely emotional or mental. Is cannabis physically addictive? The fact is that it can be. A cannabis addiction study conducted at Harvard University with the participation of 60 marijuana users confirmed that physical dependency can and does develop.
How addictive is cannabis in comparison to other type of drugs? That’s still up for debate. Some studies indicate use five times a week or more increases the odds of addiction. Other studies indicate that addiction can develop quickly in some people.
What Are Some Symptoms of Cannabis Addiction?
Are you asking yourself the question “Am I addicted to cannabis?” There are several cannabis addiction symptoms that you should know. If any of them are present, it would be a good idea to seek help. This is true even if you are able to function in a way that no one seems to suspect that you’re currently using marijuana in any form.
The symptoms you will find in many resources related to cannabis addiction facts include dry eyes or mouth, dizziness, increased appetite, and nausea. You’re likely to experience ongoing headaches, an inability to focus on basic tasks, mood swings, and apathy. Withdrawal from friends and relatives, paranoid thoughts, and a sense of being disconnected from the rest of the world are also common.
The nature of the cannabis addictive properties mean that your signs may not be exactly like those of others. If you are unsure about whether there’s an addiction cannabis present, seek medical attention immediately. That will be the first step toward overcoming the addiction.
What Can I Learn From Others?
Therapy is often part of any recovery effort. That includes dealing with an addiction to marijuana. During group therapy sessions, you are likely to hear some cannabis addiction stories that help you understand how using weed has affected your life in ways that you never noticed. Hearing recovery stories will also help you keep going on days when you would prefer to give up. Listen to those stories and put what you learn to good use.
What Can Be Done to Overcome a Cannabis Addiction?
Do you want to know how to beat cannabis addiction? Contact a rehabilitation center and arrange to go in for a full evaluation. Talk with therapists and other medical professionals about what you’ve experienced and why you want to put marijuana use behind you. Once the rest results and the evaluations are complete, prepare yourself to enter a rehabilitation program. Rely heavily on the support network that’s put in place for you. Doing so increases the odds of overcoming the addiction and getting control of your life.
While marijuana can be helpful with certain medical conditions, the face that it’s derived from a plant does not automatically mean it’s the most effective solution. Cannabis in any form should only be taken under the care of a qualified medical professional. Choosing to exceed the recommended dosage could lead to a cannabis physical addiction that eventually extends to your emotional and mental faculties. Whether you’re dealing with a cannabis oil addiction or became addicted due to recreational use, there is a cannabis addiction treatment that will work for you. Seek help today and the day will come when you are once again drug-free.