Cannabis Addiction

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Frequently asked questions

What is Cannabis?

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, marijuana, pot, or dope, refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant includes more than 100 compounds (or cannabinoids). These compounds include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is impairing or mind-altering, as well as other active compounds, such as cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is not impairing, meaning it does not cause a “high”.

How is Cannabis used?

Cannabis can be used in a number of ways.3,4 Cannabis can be smoked in joints (like a cigarette), in blunts (cigars or cigar wrappers that have been partly or completely refilled with marijuana), or in bongs (pipes or water pipes). 

Cannabis also can be mixed or infused into foods like cookies, cakes, or brownies (called edibles) and can be infused in drinks.

It can be vaped using electronic vaporising devices (i.e., e-cigarettes or vape pens) or other vaporisers. 

Compounds (or cannabinoids) in marijuana can also be extracted to make oils and concentrates that can be vaped or inhaled. Smoking oils, concentrates, and extracts from the marijuana plant, known as “dabbing,” is on the rise. Health and safety risks exist for each of the different ways of using marijuana.

Is it possible for someone to become addicted to Cannabis?

Yes. According to research, three out of every ten marijuana user may have a marijuana use disorder, which means they are unable to quit using marijuana despite the fact that it is causing them health and social problems. Marijuana use disorder is more likely to develop in those who start using marijuana before the age of 18 and in those that use it often (daily/nearly daily).

In addition, the concentration or intensity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana products is rising and daily or near-daily marijuana usage is rising, both of which could increase the risk of addiction and other negative health consequences.

How do I know if I’m addicted to Marijuana?

The signs that someone might have marijuana use disorder are:

  • Using more marijuana than intended
  • Trying but failing to quit using marijuana
  • Spending a lot of time using marijuana
  • Craving marijuana
  • Using marijuana even when it causes problems at home, school, or work
  • Continuing to use marijuana despite social or relationship problems
  • Giving up important activities with friends and family in favour of using marijuana
  • Using marijuana in high-risk situations, such as driving a car
  • Continuing to use marijuana despite physical or psychological problems
  • Needing to use more marijuana to get the same high
  • Experiencing symptoms when stopping marijuana use
  • People with marijuana use disorder, compared to those who use marijuana but do not have marijuana use disorder, are at a greater risk for negative consequences, such as problems with attention, memory, and learning. 

How can cannabis affect my mental health?

Marijuana use, especially in large dosages and on a regular basis (daily or nearly daily), can cause disorientation, as well as unpleasant thoughts or feelings of anxiety and paranoia.

Marijuana users are more prone to experience both short-term psychosis (not knowing what is real, hallucinations, and paranoia) and long-term mental problems, such as schizophrenia (a type of mental illness where people might see or hear things that are not really there). 

People who start using marijuana at a younger age and use it more regularly have a higher risk of developing psychosis.

Marijuana usage has also been connected to depression, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, attempts, and deaths.

What are the effects of mixing Marijuana with tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs?

When you combine alcohol and marijuana, you're more likely to be impaired than if you only use one of them. A higher level of impairment can lead to a higher risk of physical harm. When you consume marijuana and cigarettes at the same time, you may be exposed to more toxic chemicals, which can put your lungs and cardiovascular system at risk (heart and blood vessels). In addition, marijuana has the potential to alter the way prescription medications work. Always consult your doctor about any medications you are taking or considering taking, as well as the potential negative effects of mixing them with other substances, such as marijuana.

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