Questions about marijuana

Since marijuana use seems to be skyrocketing, with the legalization push and use for medical reasons, more questions are beginning to appear. Is it really safe? If I’m around the smoke, will I get high? Here are some frequently asked questions about marijuana and what you need to know.

How does marijuana effect my social and professional life?

Students may see decreased success in school and their careers. Marijuana is currently linked to higher chances of school dropouts as well as absences, accidents, and injuries. Compared to those who don’t use marijuana, those who frequently use large amounts report the following:

  • lower life satisfaction
  • poorer mental health
  • poorer physical health
  • more relationship problems

For more about the effects of marijuana, click HERE.

Is it a gateway drug?

It is likely to be used prior to turning to other drugs – as are alcohol and tobacco. Early exposure to addictive substances such as THC can change how the brain responds to other drugs. Read more the gateway drug theory in our Marijuana Research Report.

Can someone overdose on marijuana?

To start, there are no reports of teens or adults dying from solely using marijuana. However, when mixed with other substances, it can play a part in a death. Yet, if a user were to ingest/inhale too much of this drug, they can feel some very uncomfortable side effects. This especially may happen when using products with high THC levels. This can cause anxiety and paranoia, and in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction (which can include delusions and hallucinations) that can lead them to seek treatment in an emergency room.

With the rise of edibles and dabbing, this reaction seems to have spiked, due to the high THC levels. Edibles also don’t cause the high reaction as quickly as if the user were to smoke marijuana. Inexperienced preteens and young adults often consume more of the drug because they try to get high faster, or believe they haven’t taken enough.

Is marijuana addictive?

Yes. Marijuana use can lead to the developmentof a substance use disorder, a medical illness in which the person is unable to stop using even though it’s causing health and social problems in their life. Severe substance use disorders are also known as addiction. Research suggests that between 9 and 30 percent of those who use marijuana may develop some degree of substance use disorder (more here). People who begin using marijuana before age 18 are four to seven times more likely than adults to develop a substance use disorder (more here).

Consequently, those who used marijuana frequently and attempt to quit have reported withdrawal symptoms, making quitting more difficult:

  • grouchiness
  • sleeplessness
  • decreased appetite
  • anxiety
  • cravings

What treatments are available for marijuana use disorder?

There aren’t any medications to help treat marijuana use disorder presently. However, there is behavioral support available and is showing to work well. Therapy and a rewarding system are two examples. Researchers continue to conduct studies to determine other routes to help combat marijuana use disorder.

For more of an overview on marijuana, click HERE.