Side Effects and Dangers of Marijuana Abuse and Treatment Options
Marijuana (cannabis) is a popular drug in the US. A SAMHSA survey found that nearly 18 percent of people aged 12 or above used cannabis between 2019 and 2020. The effects of marijuana make the user feel a “high” due to its THC content. Because of its mind-altering properties, the drug has a high potential for abuse.
Persistent marijuana abuse can have long-term effects, including the development of a substance abuse disorder. If you believe your marijuana use is becoming problematic, you might have a substance use disorder.
Call us at (855) 430-9439 and find out about the substance use disorder treatments we offer.
Side Effects of Marijuana on the Brain
Marijuana use provides a “high” to the user because of the way THC interacts with the brain. Marijuana is often smoked or ingested in the form of edibles. The method of use can alter the time taken to feel the effects of marijuana, but both affect the body and brain in a similar manner.
1. Smoking Marijuana
Marijuana is typically smoked in the form of a joint, blunt, bong or other water pipe device. When someone smokes marijuana, THC is quickly absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream. The blood then carries the THC to the brain, where it interacts with the receptors, resulting in a “high.”
2. Using Edibles
Edibles are food items containing cannabis. They often come in the form of candies or cakes. When someone ingests edibles, the way THC is absorbed is different. Although THC is carried into the bloodstream, this can take much longer (30 minutes or more) as it is absorbed via the liver. Once THC reaches the bloodstream, the effects of marijuana are the same as those felt through smoking it.
Effects of Marijuana: Short-Term Effects
- Altered sense of time, meaning time may appear to pass slower or faster
- Bloodshot eyes
- Changes in cognition and problem solving
- Increased appetite
- Seeing colors or hearing sounds differently
- Relaxed feelings
These are just some of the effects marijuana users may feel. The adverse effects of marijuana can be distressing and can be more significant at high doses or if the person has a bad reaction to the drug. These side effects include:
- Sleep difficulties
- Hallucinations and delusions
Dangerous Side Effects of Marijuana Abuse
Marijuana abuse can lead to long-term health effects, such as mental health problems and permanent cognitive changes.
- Smoking marijuana can also damage the lungs by causing scarring and damage to blood vessels.
- Consumption via edibles increases the risk of marijuana poisoning, which can result in hospitalization.
- Long-term marijuana use can increase the chances of developing mental disorders like psychosis and schizophrenia.
- Consuming marijuana during pregnancy can cause a range of issues, including fetal growth restriction, effects on brain development and an increased chance of stillbirth.
- Marijuana consumption while breastfeeding can pass THC to the baby via breastmilk, increasing brain development issues.
- Long-term marijuana use increases the risk of developing a substance use disorder, leading to various health problems and social effects.
Marijuana Substance Use Disorder
A substance use disorder (SUD) is a severe medical problem that requires treatment. A SUD is typically seen in a range of behavioral health problems. Someone with a substance use disorder may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop consuming marijuana.
They may also exhibit the following signs:
- Withdrawing socially
- Using marijuana secretly
- Mood changes
- Failed attempts to cut down the amount of marijuana they consume
- Failing to meet responsibilities such as childcare, work or school
- Relationship problems with family or friends
- Continuing to consume marijuana after noticing its adverse health or social effects
These are just some examples of how a substance use disorder can affect someone’s behavioral health. There are also other signs to be aware of. Substance use disorders often coincide with mental health problems, so the best treatment options usually center around behavioral therapy.
If you have a substance use disorder, you are more likely to experience the harmful long-term effects of marijuana use. To get help and learn about our addiction treatment programs. Call us today at (855) 430-9439 or send us a message for more information.
Although no recorded fatalities are linked to cannabis use, consuming too much of the drug and feeling overdose side effects is still possible. A marijuana overdose usually results in psychological effects, such as panic, extreme paranoia and depression.
However, excessive marijuana consumption can also lead to psychological effects, such as high blood pressure and tachycardia.
Someone experiencing a cannabis overdose may display other physical symptoms such as vomiting. However, most side effects relating to overdose or cannabis poisoning are psychological.
Depending on the individual and the severity of effects, medical advice and attention may be needed. Overdosing on marijuana may also increase the risk of accidental injury.
Marijuana Abuse Treatment Options
A marijuana addiction resulting from prolonged marijuana use will usually require specialist addiction treatment. Behavioral health-based treatments can be beneficial for marijuana users, particularly those with co-occurring disorders, such as bipolar, ADHD and mental health problems.
Mental illness can develop as a result of substance use disorder. The best treatment options for substance use disorders include behavioral health therapies such as CBT.
Zinnia Health Can Help With Marijuana Abuse
If you think you have a substance use disorder relating to smoking weed or cannabis consumption, it’s never too late to get help. Our team of professionals are highly experienced in helping people with marijuana use disorders get drug-free.
At Zinnia Health, we work with you to find treatment options designed specifically for you and offer medical advice and support during our programs. The health effects of marijuana abuse can interfere with your quality of life, which is why we are so committed to helping people with substance use disorders heal.
Healing from a substance use disorder is a huge challenge, but proper medical advice and behavioral health treatments make it more achievable.
Take the first step to recovering from substance use disorder. Contact Zinnia Health today to learn more about our treatment options.