joints shutterstock 52960849Controversy is never far behind when we are attempting to address the sometimes sensitive subject of marijuana addiction. The lack of evidence for a "physical dependence" on the substance leaves those performing a quick google search to the conclusion that it is a safe substance for them to use on a regular basis. Whether marijuana is physically addictive or not, doesn't detract from the psychological dependence frequent users find themselves in.

In recent years there have been many studies conducted in North America on the link between mental health, addiction, and marijuana. This research has shown with qualitative and quantitative data repeatedly that cannabis alone cannot cause serious mental health conditions like schizophrenia. However, if there is a predisposition for such ailments sitting beneath the surface of an unsuspecting user, frequent and chronic use of marijuana has been shown to cause an onset of the associated symptoms. 

This also has implications in the world of addiction, as individuals can develop dependence and addiction to the "high" provided by the cannabinoids contained in marijuana, as they often give individuals the escape from "reality" they are looking for. Substantial evidence from animal research and a growing number of studies in humans indicate that marijuana exposure during development can cause long-term or possibly permanent adverse changes in the brain. Rats exposed to THC before birth, soon after birth, or during adolescence show notable problems with specific learning and memory tasks later in life (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

images 1Marijuana these days is nothing like it was in the past when the levels of the psychoactive component in marijuana called THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) was usually between 5 to 10 percent. These days, with genetic engineering involved in what is fast becoming a multibillion-dollar industry, THC holds a much more powerful level, usually in the region of between 20 and 30 percent.

Some users experience an even more intense high when using derivatives of marijuana known as wax, shatter, budder or BHO (Butane Hash Oil) can inhale THC levels as high as 80 to 90 percent. As a result of this, marijuana is considered to be a much more serious proposition for addiction in the current grand scheme of things compared to its risks for previous generations.

In some cases, much like alcohol, some people can use marijuana socially and never experience the adverse consequences of its impact on their life. However, there is a substantial number of people using marijuana in society today that are experiencing the symptoms of addiction listed in the DSM V. 

If this sounds familiar to you and your behaviours, or those of a loved one you are concerned about, and you would like to make some changes in your use of marijuana, take a look at the information contained in our website and the external resources for Marijuana Use Disorder that we offer here The Liberation Place. If it's time to make a change and reach out for the support, recovery is a journey that starts with just one step, and only you alone can choose to take that step, but remember you are not destined to be alone when you choose to take that step with The Liberation Place!