Marijuana Withdrawal

Marijuana is a green or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). It is the most often used illegal drug in this country. All forms of cannabis are mind-altering (psychoactive) drugs; they all contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. There are about 400 chemicals in a cannabis plant, but THC is the one that affects the brain the most.

Marijuana addiction is a phenomenon experienced by more than 150,000 individuals each year who enter treatment for their proclaimed addiction to marijuana. Marijuana addiction is characterized as compulsive, often uncontrollable marijuana craving, seeking, and use, even when the individual knows that marijuana use is not in his best interest. Marijuana addiction could be defined as chronically making the firm decision not to use marijuana followed shortly by a relapse due to experiencing overwhelming compulsive urges to use marijuana despite the firm decision not to. This contradiction is characteristic of an addiction problem.

Marijuana addiction withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • physical tension
  • decreases in appetite and mood

Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal first appear in chronic users within 24 hours. They are most pronounced for the first 10 days and can last up to 28 days.

Marijuana Facts

In 1995, 165,000 people entering drug treatment programs reported marijuana as their primary drug of addiction, showing they need help to stop using the drug.

Because it is part of the illegal drug trade and is the most widely used illegal substance in North America, marijuana is a major contributor (directly and indirectly) to petty crime and drug related violence.

In one study conducted in Memphis, TN, researchers found that, of 150 reckless drivers who were tested for drugs at the arrest scene, 33 percent tested positive for marijuana, and 12 percent tested positive for both marijuana and cocaine.

Smoking marijuana decreases blood flow to the brain

THC suppresses the neurons in the information-processing system of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation.

Studies have shown that marijuana lowers testosterone levels in men.

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