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Straight Talk: Can A Person Become Addicted To Marijuana?

Approximately 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted. When they start before age 18, the rate of addiction rises to 1 in 6.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the U.S. and its use is growing. Marijuana use among all adult age groups, both sexes, and pregnant women is going up. At the same time, the perception of how harmful marijuana use can be is declining. Increasingly, young people today do not consider marijuana use a risky behavior.

But there are real risks for people who use marijuana, especially youth and young adults, and women who are pregnant or nursing. Today’s marijuana is stronger than ever before. People can and do become addicted to marijuana.

The following are signs of a marijuana use disorder:

  • Using more marijuana than intended

  • Trying but failing to quit using marijuana

  • Spending a lot of time using marijuana

  • Craving marijuana

  • Using marijuana even though it causes problems at home, school, or work

  • Continuing to use marijuana despite social or relationship problems.

  • Giving up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana.

  • Using marijuana in high-risk situations, such as while driving a car.

  • Continuing to use marijuana despite physical or psychological problems.

  • Needing to use more marijuana to get the same high.

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping marijuana use.

About Marijuana

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that contains close to 500 chemicals, including THC, a mind-altering compound that causes harmful health effects.

People smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes, in pipes or water pipes, in blunts, and by using vaporizers that pull THC from the marijuana. Marijuana can also be mixed in food (edibles), such as brownies, cookies, and candy, or brewed as a tea. People also smoke or eat different forms of marijuana extracts, which deliver a large amount of THC and can be potentially more dangerous.

Today, marijuana use is on the rise among all adult age groups, both sexes, and pregnant women. People ages 18-25 have the highest rate of use.

Marijuana and THC remain illegal at the federal level, even though many states have legalized its use. In states where legal, marijuana is a fast-growing industry with sales to individuals over 21 in retail stores, wineries, breweries, coffee shops, dispensaries, online, as well as grown at home.

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