Someone once told you that you can’t get addicted to weed. So you thought it was safe to use as much of this drug as you wanted to, as often as you felt like it. But now you’re finding it difficult to stop or even reduce your marijuana use. It’s starting to feel like you’re not using this substance because you want to, but because you have to. As a result, you’ve begun to seriously consider a question that you once may have laughed at: Am I addicted to weed?
What is “Weed”?
Weed is a common term for marijuana, which is a drug that comes from the cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants. Weed is also often referred to by many other names, including herb, tree, pot, and grass.
Traditionally, the most common way to use weed has been to smoke it. However, with marijuana use now legal in many states, cannabis companies have begun to popularize other ways of ingesting THC (which is the substance that gives weed its psychoactive properties). These options include eating gummies, cookies, or other food products that have been made with THC; drinking THC-infused beverages; and inhaling the fumes of oil or resin that contain THC.
Some people use weed to ease the effects of certain medical conditions, while others do so solely for recreational purposes. The effects of weed use can vary depending on many factors, including which strain of the plant you are using and how you are using it.
It is possible to use marijuana without becoming dependent on the drug – but this is not true for everyone. For some people, the answer to the question, “Am I addicted to weed” is a resounding yes.
How Addictive is Marijuana?
Determining the addictiveness of any specific substance is far from an exact science. In most cases, people refer to the addictive properties of drugs on a continuum from high likelihood of addiction to low risk of becoming addicted.
For context, opioids such as heroin, morphine, and most prescription painkillers are usually placed on the “highly addictive” end of the spectrum. Marijuana is usually located at the “low risk” end.
Of course, low risk of addiction is not the same thing as no risk of addiction. It is also important to understand that the characteristics of the substance aren’t the only factors that can influence whether or not a person becomes addicted.
Genetics, family history, environmental features, and personal experiences with trauma and mental illness can all raise or lower a person’s risk for becoming addicted to marijuana or any other drug.
Signs & Symptoms of Weed Addiction
One of the best ways to answer the question “Am I addicted to weed?” is to compare what you’ve been going through with the criteria for cannabis use disorder (the clinical term for weed addiction) as established in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
If you have been experiencing the following symptoms and/or exhibiting the following signs, you might be addicted to weed:
- You spend significant amounts of time seeking, using, and recovering from the use of weed.
- You have begun to prioritize using weed over meeting your personal and professional responsibilities.
- Once you start using weed, you often use more than you intended.
- You need to use greater amounts of weed to experience the effects you’re seeking.
- When you can’t use weed, you become angry, agitated, or irritated.
- You have been using weed in ways that are clearly dangerous, such as combining it with other drugs or using it before driving a car.
- Your weed use has been a source of conflict with friends and/or family members.
- Your weed use has caused problems in your life, yet you continue to use the drug.
- You have tried to stop using weed, but you have been unable to do so.
Please note that identifying with the symptoms above does not qualify as a formal diagnosis of addiction to marijuana. The only way to be certain that you are addicted to weed is to be assessed by a qualified professional.
How to Treat Marijuana Addiction
Comprehensive treatment for marijuana addiction can involve medication and various forms of therapy.
No medication has been developed specifically to treat weed addiction. But many people who abuse and become addicted to marijuana initially used this substance as a means of self-medicating the symptoms of a mental health concern such as depression or anxiety. Prescription medications can ease the symptoms of these disorders, which can eliminate your perceived need to use weed.
In addition, there are detox programs available, residential treatment, outpatient and aftercare services to help individuals overcome weed addiction.
Therapy for marijuana addiction can help you accomplish the following:
- Identifying the issues that contributed to your marijuana use in the first place.
- Understanding your triggers (the situations or circumstances that may push you to use weed)
- Developing strategies for avoiding your triggers or responding in a healthier manner if you cannot avoid them
- Learning how to manage cravings or urges for marijuana
- Learning how to manage the symptoms of any co-occurring mental health concerns
- Becoming a better advocate for your own needs
- Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries
- Repairing relationships that were disrupted by your marijuana use
- Building an effective personal support network
When you receive treatment for weed addiction at LA Detox, we can also connect you with community-based resources and support groups that can help you maintain your progress after you have transitioned out of our care.
Begin Treatment for Weed Addiction in Los Angeles, CA
If you have become addicted to weed or any other substance, the LA Detox team is here for you. Our center in southern California is a safe and welcoming place to start your recovery journey. Features of treatment at LA Detox include multiple programs, personalized care, evidence-based services, and compassionate support. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.