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Marijuana Addiction & Treatment : All you need to know

Marijuana Addiction & Treatment : All you need to know



Marijuana is a dry shredded mix of the stems, flowers, and leaves of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive, usually sweet-and-sour odour and contains the chemical THC and other compounds. 

The chemicals in marijuana are mind-altering and make a person feel high. Statistics show that about one in ten percent of marijuana users go on to become addicted and this percentage is higher in younger people under 18. In India, marijuana is also called bhang (seeds and leaves), charas (the resin) and ganja (flower). Statistics show that approximately 35.77% of the population indulge in substance abuse of some form while and around 6.76% of the population are addicted to marijuana.

Watch the video to understand how addiction is a major issue on medical, social, and legal fronts.

Marijuana use and legalisation scenario in India

Cannabis, one of the most addictive and illicit drugs, has been up for the legalisation debate for some time. The marijuana law reform has garnered huge public support in favour of legalizing marijuana, prompting the authorities to advocate removing it from the criminal justice system and regulate it like alcohol and tobacco.

The entire debate regarding the history of legalising cannabis is rooted in promoting the medicinal usage of cannabis. Those in favour argue about the benefits it will bring.

  • Legalising cannabis will shrink the multi-billion illegal market along with the disproportionate effect the criminalisation has on people belonging to a specific race. It will also curb the crime and violence associated with the illegal trade and drug cartels.
  • Medicinal use can help explore the new-age cure for certain diseases and conditions
  • It promotes consumer safety as the product testing will become a standard process
  • Legalising and regulating marijuana will create jobs and economic opportunities as well as increase tax revenues from the industry.
  • It will also help reduce costs with decreased arrests, court cases and other administrative costs incurred, reducing the strain on the judicial system.

However, legalising Cannabis poses greater problems from an addiction standpoint.

  • The primary problem of marijuana legalisation is the risk of its problematic use by exposing a larger number of people to a possible substance abuse disorder.
  • Legalisation can also result in leakage of the product from the adult market to younger age groups exposing them to the pitfalls of problematic use. Addiction at such an early age can affect their academic performance and cause psychological issues among the age group.
  • It can prompt the launch of new drinks and food items laced with the drug in the market. The commercialisation of cannabis can allow for persuasive advertising to attract new users and convert moderate users into problem users.
  • There is a shift in the demand for cannabis with higher THC in the last two decades, which raises the risk of bad experiences and addiction. As the legal production grows the product with concentrated THC can be freely available to all, increasing the risk of problem use.

While legalisation promises various benefits, the authorities need to lay down robust checkpoints for regulating marijuana to curtail the risk of widespread addiction. Furthermore, on-going awareness campaigns and advertisements to educate people to say no should be a mainstay of strategic initiatives around cannabis legalisation and regulation.

How is marijuana consumed?

Some of the common ways in which marijuana is consumed are:

  • Smoking: Marijuana is usually rolled into a joint using rolling papers, and then smoked. It is also smoked using a pipe or a bong.
  • Vaping: Vaporizers are used to heat the marijuana just below the point of combustion so that the active ingredients are inhaled as a vapour instead of smoke.
  • Dabbing: It is similar to vaping, but here, THC resins extracted from the marijuana plant are used.
  • Oral Ingestion: For oral ingestion, marijuana may be baked or added to different foods, such as cakes, cookies, chewing gums, etc.

Effects of Marijuana Drug

Marijuana is usually smoked to give a quick high while eating it gives a delayed yet prolonged effect. People who are prone to addiction are more likely to get into the pattern of needing marijuana every day. When a person needs their regular dose of marijuana but is able to function normally in their personal, professional or school lives, they have developed marijuana dependency. 

Dependency usually turns into an addiction when the person has only marijuana on their mind. This affects their physical, mental and social well being. Since marijuana affects the brain, the person may not think as clearly as before and might also exhibit anxiety and depression. Usually, a loss of appetite is seen in people with marihuana addiction causing visible weight loss. 

The other effects of marijuana are:

  • Paranoia, panic and fear
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Lack of coordination
  • Less interest in completing tasks

Coming off a marijuana high makes a person feel depressed or extremely tired. Marijuana can produce a mellow experience for some (such users are sometimes called “stoners”) but for others, it can heighten agitation, anxiety, insomnia, and irritability.

Medicinal Use of Marijuana

Some of the chemicals in marijuana are useful in the treatment of certain health problems. It is believed to have a beneficial effect on people with Alzheimer’s. It improves the appetite of AIDS patients and is said to offer relief from vomiting, which is a side effect of chemotherapy. 

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

The treatment for marijuana addiction involves a combination of detoxification and therapy.

Detoxification is the process of ceasing the intake of marijuana. During the treatment, the Cadambam’s team of medical professionals ensure that the person does not hurt themselves and may prescribe a sedative if the person has severe anxiety or panic attacks.

Counselling and psychiatric treatment help to ensure that the person is empowered to resist relapse into the habit again. It also helps them to reconcile with their mistakes so far and move on to the journey to normal life. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy assists the person in looking inward to understand themselves and identify the triggers and patterns that lead to addiction. This helps them prevent a relapse before it happens. 

MET (Motivational Enhancement Therapy): This therapy is based on the fact that when a person finds the inner motivation to keep off drugs, they will be able to keep on track and stay drug-free. 

Group therapy: In group therapy, people who have undergone similar addictions speak out and share their experiences with others. It also helps each person see that they are not alone in this battle against addiction. 

Individual counselling: Each person has their own individual circumstances that cause them to get trapped in addiction. Individual therapy that is personalized helps the person sort out their underlying traumas and issues, and move forward. 

Relapse Prevention Therapy: Cadambam’s focuses on helping the person post-treatment to prevent a relapse. 

Cadambam’s treatment plans are based on each person’s individual needs and the severity of the addiction. Our professional teams provide medical assistance and support the patient’s recovery of emotional, mental and physical health. 

Why choose Cadabam’s for Marijuana Deaddiction?

Cadabam’s offers treatment for marijuana addiction with the ultimate goal to help people deal with their triggers and resist the urges to use it even in tempting situations. We understand that addiction affects everyone differently, which is why we offer personalised and long-lasting approach to recovery tailored to every individual’s unique needs. All our treatment methods and therapies are designed to get to the roots of the addiction problem and restore their health and happiness.

Marijuana Addiction FAQs: All you need to know

Does marijuana have medical value?

Marijuana contains chemicals that may offer relief from some health problems, but there isn’t sufficient evidence indicating its efficacy in treating and curing these conditions. Besides, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also doesn’t recognize or approve marijuana as a medicine.

Marijuana, on the contrary, can be more harmful than helpful as a medicine because it is often smoked which have damaging effects on the lungs and cardiovascular system.

How do I know if I am addicted to marijuana?

Some of the most common signs of marijuana addiction are:

  • Trying to quit marijuana but failing to do so
  • Giving up on all other activities to consume marijuana
  • Using marijuana despite the problems it is causing in personal and professional life 

Is it possible to overdose on marijuana or have a bad reaction to it?

It is highly unlikely to overdose on marijuana, but that doesn’t mean it’s overuse is any less harmful. Using it too much can make the typical effects of marijuana more severe leading to anxiety, panic, paranoia, fast heart rate, hallucinations, increased blood pressure, nausea, etc. 

Can second-hand marijuana smoke affect non-smokers?

The chemical responsible for producing the high and psychological effects of marijuana is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. As it is also present in second-hand marijuana smoke, it will also affect non-smokers. However, there are several questions regarding the effects of second-hand smoke exposure that need to be answered. 

Disclaimer: We strive to treat our patients with dignity and utmost sensitivity. We understand that addiction is a medical disorder and not a sign of weakness. Terms like “drug addict” or “drug addiction” are used not in a derogatory way but to remain relevant to user search trends and common usage.

It is important to note that addiction should be referred to as substance use disorder to better address the effects of this psychological condition, and words like “addict”, “junkie”, etc. should be avoided. In case you or your loved ones are struggling with substance abuse disorder and share a unique viewpoint on how we can improve this content for our readers, please reach out to us at info@cadabamshospitals.com.