By Roland Sebestyén
As researchers and experts claim cannabis use disorder (CUD) is something that needs proper treatment and professional supervision, stoners around the world claim it is impossible to be addicted to the drug. But what do the scientists say?
The scientists and “addiction, diagnostic, epidemiological, laboratory, and clinical studies” clearly indicate that the condition exists, while there is an increase in the rates of CUD.
Cannabis has long been very popular worldwide. In fact, cannabis is reported to be the most commonly used substance of abuse after alcohol and tobacco in the US. In 2015, researchers found that four million people in the US were struggling with cannabis use disorder.
It is also believed that almost a third of those who use cannabis may have some degree of cannabis use disorder. That’s a shocking number.
The scientific proof on people who consume cannabis every day can actually be dependent on the drug seems to be rather convincing.
Another study concluded that cannabis withdrawal symptoms “resemble” other drugs, such as tobacco; however as they are considered to be mild compared to other drugs, they don’t include any major medical or psychiatric consequences. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean it’s pleasant; the pain and the “anguish” exist.
Heavy-users often report numerous issues, such as mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings and restlessness, which usually peak within the first week after quitting and last up to two weeks.
Is there a clear difference between cannabis use disorder and addiction?
As is the case with all the other substances, a user becomes addicted when they cannot stop using the drug despite it clearly has an impact on their lives.
The impact sometimes invisible to others and the subject of it has a hard time admitting they suffer from these symptoms.
Also, frequent cannabis use without any sort of limitations can cause gross harm to the brain. Cannabis does have a massive impact on some different brain systems including the reward, endocannabinoid, and stress systems as well as brain areas involved in emotion processing and decision making.
Marvin D. Seppala, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, reiterated that limitless cannabis use can lead to addiction.
He said: “Most people can use marijuana without becoming addicted, and most who use occasionally will not suffer harmful effects.
Still, it is important to know the risks, especially considering the new forms and tremendously high levels of THC available to users. The higher the potency of the drug consumed, the higher the likelihood of addiction, and the higher the likelihood of adverse side effects.
“It is also important to recognize that marijuana has several hundred ingredients, many of which we know very little about. With new research, more information will be coming to help us understand both the good and bad effects of marijuana in all of its forms.”
He added that “casual or social cannabis use is not addiction,” however frequent cannabis use does have a damning impact on certain areas of the brain, and anyone addicted to the drug needs help as soon as possible.
Regardless of how you love cannabis, it is important to be aware of the dangers of being reckless. It has been proved that yes, you can be addicted to cannabis.
Although its withdrawal symptoms are not as serious as those with hard drugs, frequent use without any sort of consideration will potentially harm you, and dependency may eventually develop.