While more and more states are legalizing marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, many opponents point to the drug’s dangerous nature. This has raised questions regarding the addictive nature of marijuana and whether the drug actually has a negative impact on a person’s life. Healthline.com offers the following information, which highlights marijuana’s less desirable effects as well as what it means to develop a dependency on the substance.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical in marijuana that is responsible for the drug’s mind-altering effect. While not necessarily addictive according to the official definition (addiction entails significant changes in brain chemistry or behavior), some have proposed what’s known as marijuana use disorder. Disordered use of a substance is characterized by withdrawal symptoms when usage ceases.
Some people also develop a dependency on marijuana. In fact, it’s suggested that between 10 and 30 percent of marijuana uses will develop a dependency at some point. This happens when your brain is accustomed to the effect that the drug elicits. With dependence, a person will experience a range of ill-effects when they stop smoking. This can include irritability, diminished appetite, and cravings for the drug.
Marijuana use is also associated with other negative effects. For instance, many people experience fatigue, high blood pressure, problems with memory, headache, dry mouth, coughing, heightened appetite, and an altered sense of time. For people with underlying mental issues, marijuana may greatly exacerbate symptoms. This can include severe psychosis, which may lead to serious episodes. If you’re concerned about your marijuana usage, it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional about the matter.