5 Warning Signs of Marijuana Addiction


It’s not surprising that marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in America. That is why there is a need for marijuana detox.

The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that there were 22.2 million Americans in the 12+ age group who used marijuana in the month before the survey.

Around the world, Cannabis has been consumed for years. But these days, it’s more mainstream than ever and is legal in many areas.

People often think Marijuana is non-addictive but that’s not entirely true. Here are 5 warning signs of marijuana addiction to watch out for.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana, also known as weed, is a psychoactive stimulant harvested from the Cannabis plant. It’s made from the flowers, stems, and leaves of the hemp plant cannabis sativa. Marijuana smoke has a distinctive and pungent usually sweet-and-sour odor.

Due to its potentially euphoric and relaxing effects, the drug has been in circulation for many years. It’s been used for spiritual, medicinal, and recreational purposes.

However, the effects of Marijuana are numerous. Although they depend on the type of weed used and on the individual consuming it.

Along with this, the effects will depend on the way it’s ingested. The most common way is to smoke the dried out leaves after they’ve been ground down. But it also comes in an edible form and can be made into sweets and baked goods for consumption.

Often, eating marijuana in this way will produce a more delayed, longer-lasting and intense feeling of being ‘high’. Cannabis, also known as THC, is the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, hash oil, and hashish.

Is Marijuana Addiction Real?

Studies show that Marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as a Marijuana use disorder, which can take the form of addiction in severe cases.

For years, songs and films have portrayed Marijuana usage and have showcased what it’s like to be high on the drug. However, there’s still little discussion of the signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction.

Clinically, it’s helpful to understand that the terms physical dependence and addiction have been replaced with substance use disorder. This new term comes directly from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders5th edition (DSM-5).

The DSM-5 has diagnostic categories for nine drugs of abuse, including cannabis use disorder.

Recent research suggests that around 30% of those who use Marijuana will have a degree of Marijuana use disorder. Importantly, people who start using the drug before the age of 18 are up to seven times more likely to develop a Marijuana use disorder than adults.

Usually, Marijuana use disorders are associated with dependence, when people feel withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. Frequent users report feeling restless, irritable and have decreased appetite, mood and sleep difficulties, and various forms of physical discomfort within the first week after quitting.

The brain adapts to large quantities of the drug by reducing the production of and sensitivity to its own endocannabinoid neurotransmitters. This is when Marijuana dependence occurs and withdrawals can follow, lasting up to two weeks.

Signs of Marijuana Addiction

The number of presenting symptoms will determine if the person is diagnosed with a mild, moderate, or severe cannabis use disorder

The DSM-5 outlines 11 symptoms that point toward a Marijuana use disorder or addiction. In order to be diagnosed with a cannabis use disorder, a person must manifest at least two of the 11 symptoms and they must occur in the same 12-month period.

There’s an idea that Marijuana isn’t addictive, because it’s ‘natural’. This is not true and research shows that it can be abused. Moreover, there are various potential harmful, long-term consequences for prolonged use.

Keep reading to find out the Cannabis symptoms of abuse, so that you can recognize them early and take action.

Interferes with Daily Functioning

If they’re failing to perform to their usual standard at work, home, or school, then it’s very possible that they have a problem. In addition, if they’re not engaging in social events or hobbies anymore, take note.

This is one of the first signs you’ll notice if someone close to you is addicted to Marijuana. Problems in their main spheres of life due to their Marijuana use is a sure sign that they need help.

Strong Cravings

If you or someone you know is experiencing cravings and loss of control when it comes to marijuana use, then it’s time to seek professional help.

Experiencing an urge to use marijuana when not using it and getting frustrated when it’s not readily available are both signs that your weed use has started to become an issue.

Continued use Despite Problems

If someone continues to use Marijuana despite their knowledge of the serious risks involved, then action may be required.

When a user begins to disregard problems caused by use, it means they’re becoming dependent on the drug. If they continue to use in large quantities despite the negative impact that marijuana use is having on relationships, or work, then attention must be paid to the situation.

Needing More & More

Needing larger doses of marijuana or stronger strains of the drug to induce the same feelings over time is another clear sign that someone is building a tolerance to the drug.

Over time, with regular use, the person will need more marijuana in order to get the desired, familiar effect. They may even begin to seek out different drugs for a stronger effect.

Marijuana is the Main Priority

Lastly, if the person is displaying a disproportionate focus on weed, their use should be monitored and assessed. By dedicating too much time and resources to their Marijuana use, they’re bound to be neglecting other important areas of their life.

In addition, this shows their strong desire for the drug and the way the drug will continue to hold power over their decision making.

The Next Steps

After reading this article, you should know more about the symptoms of marijuana addiction.

You’ve made the right decision to get clued up on the marijuana symptoms of abuse. While many people believe Cannabis isn’t addictive, it’s clear that it is. Therefore, being aware of the signs and symptoms is very important.

When you understand what to look out for, you can prevent someone you love from falling into the deep hole of addiction. It’s important to put a stop to it before their life spins out of control.

So, what are the next steps?

If you’re concerned that you, or someone you care about, may be addicted to marijuana, you should seek professional advice immediately. Please contact us by calling 877-406-6623 for more information about seeking professional help and support in the treatment of marijuana addiction.

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.