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Marijuana Can Be Habit-Forming | NutritionFacts.org

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The proof clearly signifies that long-term marijuana use can result in habit, however are there detrimental penalties?

Evidently, “the evidence clearly indicates that long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction. Indeed, approximately 9% of those who experiment with marijuana will become addicted…The number goes up to about 1 in 6 among those who start using marijuana as teenagers and to 25 to 50% among those who smoke marijuana daily.” 

By habit, they’re speaking concerning the colloquial definition of “an acquired, chronic, relapsing disorder that is characterized by a powerful motivation to continually engage in an activity despite persistent negative consequences.” You might wish to cease, however once you attempt, you might experience withdrawal signs that make it exhausting to stop. I talk about marijuana habit in my video Is Marijuana Addictive?.

This withdrawal syndrome, which affects round 50 % of every day customers, sometimes begins one to 2 days after stopping and peaks at two to 6 days. The “craving, sleep problems, nightmares, anger, irritability, dysphoria [unease] and nausea” go away after one or two weeks. 

“Marijuana continues to have the reputation…as being benign, non-habit-forming, and incapable of inducing true addiction. For most users this may be so.” As you’ll be able to see at 1:20 in my video, 9 % of customers develop into dependent, making hashish much less addictive than many different medicine, similar to alcohol. It has solely about half the dependence danger in contrast with heroin or cocaine and is lower than a 3rd as habit-forming as tobacco. But, 9 %, “one in 11 users—1 in 6 for those starting in their early teens—is hardly an inconsequential percentage,” provided that about 20 million Americans actively use marijuana.

However, not all varieties are equally addictive. High efficiency strains have been “associated with a greater severity of cannabis dependence,” however that’s the sort individuals choose. 

This is just not your grandmother’s grass. On the premise of 38,000 samples of marijuana confiscated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the efficiency has tripled lately, from 4 % THC to round 12 %, as you’ll be able to see at 2:09 in my video. The THC in marijuana from Denver and California is now roughly 15 %, and it pushes 20 % in hashish from Seattle. In truth, “the THC content of marijuana strains has increased by 15-fold since 1970s.” Today’s pot is like 15 joints all rolled up into one.

Don’t customers know this and titrate their dose accordingly, utilizing much less of the stronger pot? Yes, however they don’t compensate totally, in order that they find yourself getting increased doses, which is maybe mirrored within the enhance in emergency room visits for marijuana intoxication in Colorado after legalization.

Parallels have been drawn with the tobacco trade deliberately boosting nicotine ranges of their merchandise to make them extra addictive, however the place that analogy breaks down is within the penalties of that habit. As you’ll be able to see at 3:03 in my video, tobacco kills 25 occasions extra individuals worldwide yearly than all illicit medicine mixed, and alcohol kills about 10 occasions extra. On its personal, “cannabis contributes little to mortality,” so one has to contemplate the outcomes of substance dependence. Caffeine, for instance, might be addictive, too, but when it will get you to drink extra inexperienced tea, it’s a very good factor. The penalties of consuming inexperienced tea leaves versus marijuana leaves depends upon the well being penalties. 


  • About 9 % of those that experiment with marijuana develop into addicted within the colloquial sense, and that quantity will increase to roughly 25 to 50 % amongst every day marijuana customers.
  • Withdrawal syndrome, which often begins a day or two after stopping hashish use and peaks at two to 6 days, impacts about 50 % of every day customers. After one or two weeks, the cravings, sleep points, anger, irritability, nausea, and different uncomfortable side effects might disappear.
  • Cannabis is much less addictive than many different medicine, together with alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and tobacco, however roughly one in six who began utilizing marijuana as teenagers develop into addicted.
  • The extra standard high-potency strains have been related to a larger severity of hashish dependence.
  • Potency has tripled lately, and the THC content material of some strains has elevated 15-fold because the Nineteen Seventies.
  • Parallels have been drawn between the hashish and tobacco industries deliberately boosting ranges of THC and nicotine, respectively, to make them extra addictive, however, whereas tobacco kills 25 occasions the variety of individuals every year than all illicit medicine mixed, “cannabis contributes little to mortality.”

Next in my collection on hashish is Does Marijuana Cause Health Problems?.

I’ve produced an entire treasure chest of movies on hashish obtainable on a DVD—Cannabis: What Does the Science Say.

Other movies on hashish embody:

Speaking of parallels with the tobacco trade, try:

In well being,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t but, you’ll be able to subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my dwell shows:

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