Is Weed Psychologically Addictive?

Pot leaves

There is much debate over whether cannabis is addictive, but many studies have shown that it is not. The Scientific American has noted that while cannabis may be addictive for some people, approximately 91% of individuals do not become addicted. However, this does not mean that cannabis isn’t psychologically addictive, which is different from being physically addicted. Physical addiction involves physical withdrawal symptoms such as the flu, tremors, seizures, headaches, and more. Psychological addiction, according to the Australian Government Department of Health, is when “a drug becomes central to a person’s thoughts, emotions, and activities. It can be demonstrated by a strong urge to use the drug, despite being aware of its harmful effects”.

Cannabis may not be physically addictive to many people, but it does have the propensity to become central to a person’s thoughts and daily activities. One individual who wrote an article for Vice described their experience as this:

“I can now admit that I’ve been psychologically addicted to weed for the past decade-plus. If I need to eat, sleep, relax, be amused, calm down, forget a horrible experience, practice self-love, run errands of any kind, watch TV, or create something: I smoke.”

This person’s experience is likely a story of many others; NBC noted earlier this year that 52% of Americans have tried weed at least once, and 44% of those individuals continue to use it today. While many argue that because weed is natural it’s safe, they are forgetting that even natural supplements can be dangerous, and too much of anything is not healthy for anyone. Previous research suggests that weed can lower dopamine levels, and some believe this is the cause for why many users are viewed as “unmotivated”. If you can say yes to any of these signs, you may be becoming addicted to marijuana:

  • Often using more marijuana than you intended to
  • Having difficulty cutting down or stopping marijuana use
  • Spending much of your time using marijuana
  • Reducing other activities to spend more time using
  • Continuing to get high even when it causes problems such as with work, home, school, etc.
  • Using marijuana to escape problems
  • Using marijuana to be creative or feel relaxed
  • Choosing relationships or activities based on whether you will be able to get high
  • Inability to complete daily responsibilities due to marijuana use

If you are physically or psychologically addicted to marijuana and wish to build tools for recovery, call us today at 888-743-0490. Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment center. We will work closely with you to get your life back, and will even provide you with support and resources for once you exit rehabilitation. Make the choice to take back control over your life today. Call us for a consultation.