Is Marijuana Addictive


Addiction VS. Use Disorder

Addiction involves a lack of control. Those who suffer from addiction cannot stop using a substance even when they want to quit. The addicted user’s priorities change. Family, friends and work move down the priority list and the substance of choice becomes priority number one. This is a severe difference when compared to a use disorder. An individual with a use disorder does not suffer the compulsions that an addict does.

 National Institution for Drug Abuse (NIDA)

According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Marijuana use can lead to the development of Marijuana use disorder. The NIDA reports that 30 percent of Marijuana users have some sort of Marijuana use disorder. It is also estimated that between 10 and 30 percent of the user who smoke will develop a dependency. In very severe cases Marijuana use disorder can take the form of addiction. However, it is reported that only 9 percent of Marijuana users became addicted.

Marijuana Use Disorder

According to the NIDA, 4.0 million citizens in the United States met the criteria for Marijuana use disorder. Marijuana use disorder should be considered if the user has formed a dependency on the drug. If the user is experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the use of the drug is stopped then it should again be considered that the user may have Marijuana use disorder. 

Dependency happens when the brain gets used to Marijuana being in your system. This dependency allows a reduction in the function of the endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors play a critical role in the functioning of the Nervous System. The decrease of activity by the receptors can result in irritability, sleep problems, cravings, mood swings, restlessness and a lack of appetite for weeks after stopping the use of Marijuana.


According to the NIDA, the potency of Marijuana has steadily increased over the past few decades. Potency refers to how much THC has been found in confiscated samples of Marijuana. In the 1990s, the THC content found was approximately 38 percent. In 2014 it was reported that THC levels were 12.2 percent. The most current percentages are more than 50 percent is THC content and some samples exceeded over 80 percent.

The THC levels continue to increase making Marijuana more and more potent. There are concerns about this rising trend. These concerns include that the consequences of Marijuana use could be much worse than in the past, especially for new users and young users who’s brains have not fully developed.

Learn more about Marijuana addiction on a video below.

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