Marijuana is known for its medicinal properties. Many believe it treats chronic pain, muscle spasms, mental illnesses, and appetite loss. Despite the health benefits, you need to understand the effects of heavy marijuana use. This varies with potency, amount, and strain. So, what is heavy marijuana use?
Heavy marijuana use is having a medical diagnosis of drug dependency. Many states consider the drug illegal despite having beneficial medicinal properties. Once you start taking marijuana regularly, stopping becomes difficult. Besides, the withdrawal symptoms could be severe.
What is Heavy Marijuana Use?
Heavy marijuana use is the daily or almost daily use of marijuana in an amount that could result in addiction. You are a heavy marijuana user if you use it frequently for months or years. Prolonged marijuana use can cause impaired verbal memory. In addition, it can result in anxiety, mood changes, low motivation, and cannabis tolerance.
When you become a chronic cannabis user, your brain adapts and develops tolerance. This means your body will want more cannabis to get the same effect every time. Withdrawing from long-term marijuana use is also challenging. This is partly a result of the withdrawal symptoms. Typically, you will experience these symptoms after two days without cannabis. The symptoms include appetite loss, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and restlessness. The good news is that the symptoms go away after 14 days.
Permanent Effects of Heavy Marijuana Use
Most effects of long-term marijuana use are reversible. Besides, most go away some weeks after you stop using cannabis. You might also experience long-term or permanent side effects. Such effects only occur if you have used cannabis for many years. Some conditions that might become permanent include reduced verbal memory and psychiatric disorders. They are popular among teenagers using highly potent marijuana and those with genetic risk factors.
Cannabis use disorder was recently introduced. It works by looking into two of the following symptoms within 12 months:
- Craving cannabis
- Taking excess cannabis
- Continued marijuana use despite social and relationship problems
- Spending most of your time using marijuana
- High tolerance to cannabis
- Using marijuana in high-risk situations
- Experiencing symptoms when trying to stop
- Giving up on your interest in using cannabis
- Experiencing problems at home, school, or workplace due to cannabis use
- Continuing using marijuana when it’s affecting your overall well-being
- Lack of control over using cannabis
Factors to Consider Before Using Marijuana
Marijuana contains large quantities of THC. This means it can make you high and form an addiction. Thus, it would be best if you considered some essential factors before indulging:
Consider the dosage and the method you use to enjoy marijuana. It would help if you didn’t vape or smoke marijuana since the smoke goes through your lungs and could cause lung-related complications. The effects of vaping or smoking marijuana are like that of cigarettes.
If you intend to use medical marijuana, remember that you can become addicted to the drug. You are even at a higher risk of falling into addiction if you are an adolescent, have a family history of mental illness, or are elderly. If you fall into any of these categories, we recommend that you don’t use marijuana.
Always consider marijuana with low potency and low THC to CBD ratio. When the amount of CBD is lower than THC, the CBD neutralizes its effects, making it less psychoactive. Using a large amount of marijuana with high levels of THC could cause anxiety.
How to Withdraw from Heavy Marijuana Use
There is increased use of marijuana following its legalization in many states. The drug’s popularity has misled many people into believing it isn’t addictive. Contrary to this misconception, marijuana is addictive. Trying to stop it is the most challenging part. It could come with severe withdrawal symptoms.
If you haven’t used marijuana for long, withdrawing is easy, and you may not experience the side effects. If you are a heavy marijuana user, you may need some help withdrawing.
Here are some resources which can help you:
Inpatient Rehabilitation Center
These medical facilities offer you withdrawal help from 25 days and above. The facilities look into what made you fall into addiction. In addition, they consider factors that could make you relapse besides helping you stop using marijuana. You will get help from here if you are dealing with other forms of addiction.
These centers offer short-term programs that help you get through the initial withdrawal stages. They allow you to manage withdrawal symptoms. Also, they provide medical services in case of severe symptoms.
Support Groups and Therapy
The one-on-one therapy sessions help you deal with factors that made you a marijuana user. During these sessions, you will meet with people who have been through the journey. It is also an excellent place to express yourself to people who understand you. Using prescribed medication while attending these sessions helps you get over your addiction. It also helps reduce the chances of relapse.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Outpatient programs involve scheduled sessions with your therapist at least weekly. For this arrangement, you need to identify a good therapist to walk you through the process. You also don’t need to walk into a facility to get these services. Moreover, you can cancel the sessions if you feel they are not helping or you are unhappy with your therapist.
Many people use marijuana as a recreational drug and for medicinal purposes, although it is illegal in most states. As more states legalize marijuana, you need to understand the health effects of marijuana use. Prolonged use of cannabis can have tremendous severe effects on your life. For example, over-reliance on marijuana can make it difficult for you to keep a job.
Some damages, like uncontrolled anger, stealing, and violence, caused by heavy marijuana use, can lead to strained relationships with people close to you. This article should clarify what makes up heavy marijuana use, whether you are a new or experienced marijuana user.