Marijuana is an addictive drug; despite the common myth that it is non-addictive, marijuana can be habit-forming. Therefore, if you suspect a loved one may be using or abusing marijuana, you should look out for the most common effects of being high on marijuana to determine whether or not your loved one is struggling.
Cannabis use disorder (CUD) can open the door to developing other, more serious substance abuse disorders. It can also have very damaging effects on the developing brains of adolescents. Continued use of marijuana can lead to memory problems, lack of inhibition control, and delayed reflexes.
In the United States, it is estimated that nearly 11.8 million young adults use marijuana annually. In 2019, 11.8% of eighth-grade students admitted to using marijuana. Among tenth-grade students, that number rises to 28.8%. The teenage years are when the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for inhibition control, is still developing. Marijuana use can be detrimental to this development, especially if the drug use is very frequent.
If you suspect your child may be using marijuana, here is everything you need to know about identifying when your child is high and how you can help them kick this habit for good.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
The most common misconception is that marijuana is not habit-forming. However, research demonstrates that 1 in 10 young people using marijuana will develop CUD. Young people who cannot control their inhibitions may get carried away by the euphoric feeling produced by THC. Once they get used to this feeling, they may explore other drugs to reproduce the effects.
Marijuana obtained illegally may also contain other highly addictive drugs. The person using marijuana is usually unaware of this combination, which could lead to dependency issues and serious side effects. Using marijuana occasionally is not likely to result in addiction, but continued or frequent use of marijuana can lead to addiction in younger individuals.
Are you or a loved one struggling with Cannabis Use Disorder? If you feel that life without cannabis is an impossibility, Zinnia Healing can help. Our accredited rehabilitation centers offer evidence-based substance abuse treatments to help you overcome the addiction. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to begin your journey to a rewarding drug-free future. All it takes is one step forward.
How Does Marijuana Work?
When smoked, marijuana travels through the bloodstream straight to the brain. It then blocks neurotransmitters (the brain’s chemical messengers), preventing communication from the brain to the body. This results in delayed reflexes and response time. Tetrahydrocannabinol – commonly referred to as THC – travels through the bloodstream quickly, resulting in a quick high. Most of the effects wear off a short time later.
When marijuana is consumed in food, the effects take longer. It can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, but the results will be similar. In addition, consuming marijuana through food produces euphoria, delayed reflexes, and sudden temporary memory loss, which are also effects felt when marijuana is smoked.
During the brain’s developmental years—before age 18—the effects of marijuana can be heightened. They may also cause longer-lasting effects, if not permanent. When misused at a young age, the user is more likely to develop permanent memory loss or difficulty.
How Does Marijuana Affect Teens and Young Adults?
When marijuana is smoked, the effects are nearly immediate. The individual smoking will feel euphoric as THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) enters the bloodstream and begins to block communication from one neurotransmitter to another. This results in delayed reflexes, allowing the user to feel mellow and relaxed.
In some people, THC can have the opposite effect. For some, marijuana can increase feelings of anxiety, panic, or depression. In the short term, the user will experience memory problems and difficulty controlling inhibitions. When under the influence of marijuana, users may exercise poor judgment, which can affect them later.
What Are Symptoms of a Marijuana High?
Here are the signs and symptoms that your child may be high on marijuana:
- Red, bloodshot eyes
- Slow reflexes
- Difficulty answering simple questions
- Delayed reactions and responses
- Increased appetite
- Increased anxiety or paranoia
- Sudden inexplicable fear or panic
- Difficulty sleeping
If you suspect your child is high on marijuana, you can also ask them to walk in a straight line or perform simple actions. Lack of coordination also indicates that your child may be high on marijuana.
What Are the Signs of Marijuana Addiction?
Marijuana addiction is not as common as other addictions, so people might think it’s impossible to become addicted to marijuana. In the beginning, signs of addiction may not be very apparent, but marijuana use impacts everyday functioning over time. Those addicted to marijuana find themselves unable to complete regular tasks like going to school or work or interacting with friends and family.
Marijuana addiction may negatively impact people who already suffer from mental health problems. A person could have a habit if symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions worsen because of excessive marijuana usage. If you are unable to stop using marijuana, you could have an addiction. Frequent marijuana high symptoms may also indicate that you or a loved one is addicted.
What Are the Effects of Marijuana Misuse?
The effects of marijuana are mainly short-term symptoms, but repeated use can also result in some long-term side effects.
- Decreased IQ – Repeated misuse of marijuana can lead to a reduced IQ.
- Decreased Cognitive Functioning – Some neurotransmitters may not recover from the continued use of marijuana.
- Suicidal Thoughts – Suicidal thoughts and depression are among a few mental health conditions worsened by continued marijuana use.
- Birth Defects – Pregnant women should not use marijuana during pregnancy as it may adversely affect the developing fetus. Some of these effects are irreversible.
- Impaired Judgment – Frequent use of marijuana can cause impairment when driving or operating any machinery. If caught driving under the influence of marijuana, you will be subject to fines or jail time.
- Memory Loss – Some marijuana high symptoms lead to memory loss and make it difficult for users to learn in the future.
- Poor Education – Regular marijuana users are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to develop a secondary, more dangerous drug addiction.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
If you withdraw from frequent marijuana use, you might experience some unpleasant symptoms. Marijuana can remain in your bloodstream for one to three months, though the side effects of withdrawal should not last that long. Withdrawal symptoms should generally dissipate or improve in one to three weeks.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal:
- Uncontrollable mood swings
- Reduced appetite
- Cold sweats
- Body chills
- Upset stomach
- Worsened depression
- High anxiety
- Digestive troubles
Those suffering from mental health disorders may experience worsening symptoms, but this is temporary. It is crucial to seek the help of a mental health professional when dealing with drug addiction and mental health issues. If your child suffers from mental health issues or has struggled with suicidal thoughts, seek help for them sooner rather than later. This can help minimize marijuana’s effects on your child’s mental health problems.
How Do I Know if My Child Needs Help?
Once you have determined that your child is frequently showing marijuana high symptoms, determine how often they use it. If it is recreational use, you can likely deal with this issue as a family privately. However, if your child is abusing marijuana, you may consider reaching out for help from a rehabilitation center like Zinnia Healing.
If your child is smoking marijuana regularly, is often impaired, and their social and academic life is suffering, they are likely addicted to marijuana. It is more common for teens to become addicted to marijuana before age 18.
If you suspect your child or teen has a marijuana addiction, contact a rehabilitation center to find out what you can do to support your child through recovery. Zinnia Healing can help you and your child understands the importance of kicking the habit and how to do so successfully. We can also provide you both with the support and guidance you need to maintain a successful recovery in the future.
Can Drug Rehabilitation Therapy Help with Marijuana Addiction?
Substance abuse disorders can come in many shapes and forms. Many addictions share similar foundations and treatment methods. Individuals struggling with addiction face the same difficulties with quitting and the same problems with maintaining a function.
Zinnia Healing offers a wide variety of rehabilitation therapies, including individual, group, and family therapy, when requested by the individual. Each therapy program works differently to help those suffering from a substance abuse disorder. The road to recovery from addiction is different for everyone, and it is essential to find the best strategy for you.
Is Rehabilitation Right for Me?
If you are struggling with marijuana or another substance addiction, call Zinnia Healing today at (855) 430-9439. The journey to recovery is long, but you can do it, and you do not have to do it alone. Recovery is an individual journey, but with the right support system around you, you can build up the strength and courage it takes to say goodbye to your addiction. Zinnia Healing is there for you every step of the way. One day at a time, you can do it. We can help.