The question of whether or not marijuana is addictive is causing a much heated debate. Those who smoke marijuana do not believe it is addictive and that all the bad hype is just that hype. They make a good case. Marijuana tends to appear pretty benign when compared to incidents of other drug addiction, such as addiction to alcohol or cocaine. However, is marijuana really less harmful than any other substance we already know to be addictive? Is it possible that the shape of a marijuana addiction simply looks different than the typical addiction?
Individuals who admit to being addicted to marijuana tend to agree that this is likely. For some long-time smokers, addiction to marijuana is very real and symptoms of withdrawal are not at all uncommon when they try to quit smoking. Here we will attempt to describe what the average marijuana addictive experiences when they quit, including withdrawal patterns.
An overall feeling of uneasiness and persistent anxiety are the number one reported symptoms. The user can tell that they are somehow a little “off” when they try to quit smoking. Many individuals become uncomfortable, irritable, and generally find that people do not want to be around them.
Other side effects of withdrawal include insomnia, followed by strange dreams and nightmares once the individual finally is able to fall asleep. Food loses its appeal and a subsequent loss of appetite occurs. Users have reported shivering and feeling cold, similar to what they would experience with a case of the flu. Some individuals may become lethargic, even concerning activities in which they would normally engage. Many people find that they are just not motivated to do much of anything.
All of these symptoms are exacerbated by the persistent, ever-present compulsion to smoke; this constant desire in the back of the mind can be very difficult to silence. This last point has been noted time and again in cases of addiction to other substances; and a large number of individuals who are attempting to quit smoking marijuana have described feeling this last symptom most profoundly.
Most of the time a user will feel some sort of withdrawal symptoms almost immediately; within a day they will probably begin to feel irritable or otherwise agitated. People who have been able to quit cold turkey usually recommend it as the best course of action; the withdrawal will likely begin within 24 hours, but within a few days the symptoms lessen and the individual will start to feel better. In this case, the user is lucky because the withdrawal period is fairly short and they can find solace in the fact that it will not be long before they begin to feel normal again.
Despite the lack of independent study statistics to verify any numbers, there are sources that claim over 100,000 people seek help for their addiction to marijuana; if this is the case, then it is safe to say users could be helped tremendously by support groups of family, friends, and most importantly other addicts. Treatment centers also exist to help those struggling with severe marijuana addiction.