By The Recovery Village Ridgefield
Editor Erica Weiman | Medically Reviewed By Benjamin Caleb Williams, RN
Last Updated: May 26, 2023
Editorial Policy | Research Policy
Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in America. This substance consists of the dried leaves of a bushy plant, and it is usually smoked in a cigar, cigarette or pipe. When someone smokes marijuana, they can experience a euphoric and relaxing high, which typically alters memory, senses, perception of time and motor skills.
Marijuana is legal to use in some U.S. states, making it a controversial substance. There are purportedly some medicinal benefits to marijuana, such as pain relief. For this reason, as of 2021, medical marijuana is allowed in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
As of 2021, some of these states also allow for the recreational use of marijuana, including:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Dakota
- Washington, D.C.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Given marijuana’s recent legal status in many states, it’s natural to wonder whether or not it is an addictive substance. This is a controversial question, but the short answer is yes, marijuana can be addictive. Fortunately, however, treatment is available.
Marijuana Addiction Facts & Statistics
Marijuana is one of the most widely used recreational drugs after alcohol and nicotine, and is commonly used by young people. One in six 10th graders in Washington state use marijuana within a given month, and over 10% of Oregonians between the ages of 12 and 17 use it within a given year, giving Oregon the second-highest rate of youth marijuana use in the country.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a substance derived from the cannabis sativa plant. The term “marijuana” usually refers to the flowers, dried leaves, seeds and stems of the plant. The chemical in the plant that produces its desired effects when smoked is called THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
There are several ways that people consume marijuana: smoking a marijuana cigarette that is called a joint, smoking dried cannabis in a water pipe or glass pipe, consuming edibles like gummy candies or cookies, smoking cannabis resins or dabbing, and many more methods.
The Risks of Marijuana Addiction
While the addiction to marijuana is not as common as an alcohol or opioid use disorder, it can be risky for both the person who is abusing the substance and the loved ones of the person using it.
Marijuana addiction has a number of potential risks:
- Decreased energy
- Anxiety and depression
- Risk of lung cancer when smoked
- Increased heart rate
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Increased blood pressure
- Mental impairment
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
While marijuana withdrawal symptoms are not as dangerous as alcohol withdrawal symptoms or benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, stopping marijuana use can still be an uncomfortable process.
Some marijuana withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Low appetite or weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Daytime fatigue
- Extreme sweating
- Stomach pain
These symptoms can be more severe depending on how long the person has been using marijuana and how much they’ve been consuming. Detox centers are available to assist medically with withdrawal symptoms, providing a safer and more comfortable environment than home. It is also possible for patients to go through detox in treatment centers where they will be able to begin a treatment program immediately.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment Options
There is a popular misconception that you cannot become addicted to marijuana, but marijuana addiction and marijuana use disorder are very real. Drug addiction is a diagnosable medical condition that must be treated, and rehabilitation is often needed. This is typically provided in the form of an inpatient treatment program, a partial hospitalization program and/or an outpatient treatment program at a treatment center like The Recovery Village Ridgefield.
The Recovery Village Ridgefield is located only 30 minutes from Portland, Oregon and less than three hours from Seattle, Washington. The addiction specialists and medical professionals on staff understand what you’re going through and are committed to helping you overcome marijuana addiction.
If you’re considering treatment for your marijuana addiction, give us a call. One of our addiction specialists is available to speak with you 24 hours a day in a 100% confidential conversation. It’s never too late to ask for the help that you deserve.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.
- DISA Global Solutions. “MAP OF MARIJUANA LEGALITY BY STATE.” 2021. Accessed November 29, 2021.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Most Commonly Used Addictive Drugs.” July 2, 2018. Accessed November 29, 2021.
- Hansen, Claire; Alas, Horus; & Davis Jr., Elliott. “Where Is Marijuana Legal? A Guide to Marijuana Legalization.” US News, October 14, 2021. Accessed November 29, 2021.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Is marijuana addictive?” July 2020. Accessed November 29, 2021.
- Washington State Department of Health. “Marijuana Use.” Washington State Health Assessment, 2018. Accessed November 29, 2021.
- Bach, Jonathan. “Oregon minors use pot at second-highest rate in United States, study finds.” Statesman Journal, November 3, 2019. Accessed November 29, 2021.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). “Marijuana.” MedlinePlus, 14 September 2021. Accessed November 29, 2021.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “Know the Risks of Marijuana.” October 25, 2021. Accessed November 29, 2021.