Is Marijuana Addictive?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that “Marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as a marijuana use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases”. That 30% of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder and those who begin using marijuana during their teenage years are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults.
Marijuana use disorders are often associated with dependence—in which a person feels withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. People who often use marijuana report irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to 2 weeks. Marijuana dependence occurs when the brain adapts to large amounts of the drug by reducing production of and sensitivity to its own endocannabinoid neurotransmitters. So the more the marijuana addicted person consumes and the longer they consume it, the less tolerance they have and the more marijuana is required to keep them in a state of euphoria.
Thus they consume more, and for a longer duration, they feel they need more and develop a dependence on marijuana. With the rising potency of marijuana and increasing supply marijuana abuse, dependency and addiction are real threats.