Is Marijuana Addictive? New Study Says Yes
There has been a greatly funded push to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use. The biggest concern of people against legalizing marijuana is their concern of the addictive nature of drugs, including today’s marijuana strains.
Is today’s marijuana addictive, some say yes and others say no.
The Daily Mail, a UK newspaper has reported on the latest United Kingdom Focal Point on Drugs report. This report was commissioned and created by the Public Health England, the Scottish Government and the Home Office. There report found that:
- Over the past decade, the number of under-18s treated for cannabis abuse in England has jumped 40 per cent – from 9,043 in 2006 to 12,712 in 2017;
- Treatment for all narcotics has increased by 20 per cent – up from 11,618 to 13,961;
- The proportion of juvenile drug treatment for cannabis use is up from four in five cases (78 per cent) to nine in ten (91 per cent);
- There has been a ‘sharp increase’ in cocaine use among 15-year-olds, up 56 per cent from 16,700 in 2014 to 26,200 in 2016.
What is interesting and pointed out in the report is that the large rise in the number of youngsters treated for marijuana abuse is happening despite the fact that total usage of marijuana is decreasing slightly.
The report concludes:
While fewer people are using cannabis, those who are using it are experiencing greater harm.
The question is why are those that are using marijuana “experiencing greater harm”? Could it be that the marijuana strains cultivated today are not like marijuana strains from 20, 30 or 40 years ago? We are informed by scientist that marijuana that is cultivated today is much stronger than before, meaning the potency is much higher.
The scientist have concluded that the marijuana that smoked or ingested today is 400% more powerful than marijuana that people were smoking up until the early 2000s. The scientist say that today’s marijuana can even trigger hallucinations.
As reported in the Daily Mail article, Lord Nicholas Monson, whose 21-year-old son Rupert killed himself last year after becoming hooked on high-strength cannabis, said:
These figures show the extent of the damage that high-potency cannabis wreaks on the young…The big danger for young people – particularly teens – is that their brains can be really messed up by this stuff because they are still developing biologically. If they develop drug-induced psychosis – as Rupert did – the illness can stick for life
Is marijuana physically addictive or physiological addictive?
I found an article at a site named rehabs.com that attempts to explain the difference between physical and psychological addiction. They stated:
When your body’s cells can’t function without a substance or drug, you have become physically dependent. Once the body starts to become depleted of the substance, painful withdrawal symptoms kick in. And since the quickest way to ease the pain is to take more drugs, most of those who try to quit “cold turkey” are unable to do so.
Some typical withdrawal symptoms brought on by a physical addiction can include tremors or “shakes,” nausea, diarrhea, chills and body aches.
A psychological, or emotional addiction, is defined as a compulsion or perceived need to use. For example, someone addicted to marijuana might think they have to have the drug in order to fall asleep quickly and peacefully. However, they will eventually fall asleep without the drug…and they’ll do so without ever experiencing the physical effects of withdrawal (besides possibly being cranky after a restless night).
In severe cases of psychological addiction, these thoughts become all-consuming. Without help, a psychological dependency can transform a drug of choice into your central focus of life.
With the above thoughts, that sound very logical to me, the question remains. Is today’s marijuana strains physically or psychologically addictive?