“Is Marijuana Addictive?” is a question that has been posed often but never conclusively answered or proven about marijuana use. While marijuana is considered to be a “soft drug” and even has some medicinal properties, marijuana like many other drugs is often abused, and it is the abuse of the drug (and the related behavior and habits) that can cause marijuana to be addictive.
A person who smokes marijuana only a few times is likely to be able to stop and go several weeks or months without ever falling into the patterns that would cause marijuana to be addictive.
While it is speculated that it is more psychologically addictive than physically addictive, physical addiction is possible because a tolerance can be developed to the drug. A chronic marijuana user will often develop a tolerance on the drug, needing to smoke more and more each time to feel the effects they desire to achieve.
Like other drug addictions, a marijuana user may begin to crave getting high or use marijuana as a means of relaxing or escaping from the daily stress and problems of life. When marijuana use begins to become a weekly or daily habit, the person is likely to only increase their use of marijuana, which in turn increases their tolerance and has more lasting effects of marijuana.
The long term effects of marijuana use can result in depression, mood swings, lack of motivation, apathy for the rest of the world, weight gain or weight loss, lung and breathing problems from smoking, and other possible risks.
Because marijuana can cause someone to be scatterbrained or physically impaired, it may also cause them to be more accident prone or put themselves and others in dangerous situations. Their lack of motivation and mood swings can cause problems at work or school or with their relationships with family and friends.
After excessive prolonged use of marijuana, the person may begin smoking it several times a day and begin to depend on it to motivate themselves out of bed in the morning or need it in order to fall asleep at night. They will also seek any opportunity they can find to smoke it.
The interesting thing that makes people question “is marijuana addictive” is the the very mild withdrawal symptoms. Unlike alcoholism withdrawal, a person who is dependent on marijuana is unlikely to experience problems with shaking, headaches, nausea, or other signs of withdrawal. For many it may be a feeling of unease, anxiety, or tension when they go longer periods without use. Some may experience difficulty sleeping.
These withdrawal symptoms of marijuana are very mild, especially when compared to those of other drugs and alcohol. Because of this, if the person is only using marijuana and not combining it with other drugs or alcohol they can often cease marijuana use on their own and without the need of treatment centers.
Because the withdrawal symptoms are mild and dependency may take several months or years of use to truly recognize, you can see why people may ask if marijuana is addictive.