Pot, weed, grass, ganja, bud, kind, cannabis, dope and on and on. There are countless names used for marijuana. Over the years, and especially as of late, marijuana has become much more mainstream. Medical marijuana is legal in several states, and recreational marijuana is also now legal in a few states with more on the horizon. The biggest misconception about marijuana has to do with its addictive properties. Not only does marijuana have significant psychological addictive properties, but long term use of marijuana has shown to create changes in the brain’s regulation of naturally occurring chemicals that affect sleep, happiness and motivation.
Additionally, the concentration of the chemical in marijuana that causes the euphoric effect called THC is becoming increasingly more prevalent in the drug as it is sold today. Years ago, the levels of THC in commonly smoked marijuana was far less concentrated than it is with current strains of the drug. With THC levels increasing, the potency and psychoactive properties becoming more intense, people who use marijuana regularly are flooding their bodies with this chemical, causing changes to the brain. When trying to quit using marijuana, people report a number of withdrawal symptoms that are consistent with addiction to other substances.
Marijuana addiction can lead to a plethora of negative consequences for those who are afflicted. Families who have a member suffering from marijuana addiction can also be severely affected. Due to the fact that marijuana impacts the part of the brain associated with motivation and ambition, consistent use of the drug has significant impact on the quality of life of the user. It really is such a shame, habitual marijuana users rarely reach their full potential, and while the negative consequences are not frequently as intense and dramatic as those of heroin users for example, lives are certainly changed.
The other major factor to consider regarding marijuana addiction is that most young adults and teenagers actually have greater access to marijuana than they to do alcohol or other drugs. This means that during the developmental stage of the brain, teenagers and young adults are influencing the creation of neurological pathways with a drug that inhibits critical function. Not only is this troubling on an individual level, but on a societal level as well. Until society takes seriously the problem of marijuana addiction, our youth will continue to experiment and many will become habitual users. Imagine a world in which the leadership lacks motivation, ambition and a general ability to progress forward? This is a frightening notion to say the least. Marijuana addiction is as dangerous as is addiction to heroin, cocaine, meth or any prescription drugs and it is high time we took it seriously.