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Is Cannabis Addictive?

Published: March 1, 2022

In the 1970s and 1980s, it was commonly believed that cannabis was a gateway substance. The theory suggested that cannabis users were likely to develop a marijuana addiction and become addicted to more dangerous and harmful substances. Years later, studies have proven that marijuana is not a gateway drug and the substance is actually less addictive than alcohol or nicotine. Through years of research and testing, we now have a better understanding of cannabis addiction and ways to use marijuana products safely. With cannabis legalized medically and recreationally in dozens of states, the misconception that marijuana is addictive and harmful has faded. 

Cannabis has a variety of benefits and can be consumed safely and responsibly. Although cannabis addiction is a reality for some users, marijuana is less harmful and easier to quit than other substances. To learn more about cannabis dependence, the benefits of marijuana, and how to use marijuana safely, please read below: 

Is Cannabis Addictive?

One of the most commonly asked questions by cannabis users is, “Is marijuana addictive?” While individuals can become addicted to a wide array of substances, marijuana addictions are less likely to develop than other drugs and are easier to quit. The CDC cites that approximately 10%–30% of people who use marijuana will develop a cannabis addiction, a clinical diagnosis meaning they try but fail to quit using marijuana and put marijuana before important people or moments in their lives. 

While only a small population develops a cannabis addiction, it is important to know the risk factors and ways to ensure users are consuming responsibly. Using cannabis frequently increases the risk of marijuana dependence, so it’s suggested that individuals who use cannabis often take occasional breaks.

A recent study by researchers at the University of London found that CBD extracts can help reduce cannabis dependency. Interestingly enough, cannabis can be used to treat cannabis addiction. According to the study, “participants treated with CBD showed lower levels of cannabis in their urine and an increased number of days abstinent”. So next time you take a tolerance break, try taking some CBD.

The Benefits of Cannabis 

Cannabis has a variety of benefits, from aiding mental health to treating a wide range of diseases. Epidemiological and animal studies by the European Journal of Internal Medicine and Nature Reviews Cancer show that cannabinoids, the active compounds in marijuana, have positive results for treating diseases like cancer and neurological decline. The Food and Drug Administration has also acknowledged its medical potential by approving a cannabis-derived drug to treat epilepsy.  

Using Cannabis Safely & Responsibly 

  • Purchase your marijuana from a licensed dispensary or cannabis delivery service to ensure you receive legal cannabis.
  • Try a lower dose (5mg–10mg) of marijuana if you are an infrequent user or trying cannabis for the first time.
  • Consider the various ways to consume cannabis: edibles, tinctures, flower, concentrates, or vaporizers. If you’re new to cannabis, products such as vaporizers or edibles may be the best choice. 
  • Avoid cannabis dependency by taking cannabis breaks regularly.
  • If you or a loved one becomes addicted to cannabis, consult with a medical professional. 
  • Do not operate a vehicle or large machinery while consuming cannabis. Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal and causes psychological impairment to judgment, coordination, and reaction time. 
  • Keep in mind that a variety of factors influence how an individual reacts to cannabis, such as gender, previous experience, the method it’s consumed, the strength of the marijuana, a person’s body weight, and how much food you have in your system. 

If you have any more questions about cannabis addiction, the benefits of marijuana, or safe consumption tips, reach out to our customer service representatives. You can connect with us on our website or over the phone at 1-888-8DOOBIE.

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