In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medicinal cannabis use with passage of the Compassionate Use Act. Today, Californians can legally purchase marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Many people use cannabis because they believe it is harmless and has no potential for addiction, but that isn’t the case for everyone. If you worry that your marijuana use has gotten out of hand, here’s what you should know.
What Causes Marijuana Addiction?
When you smoke, vape or ingest cannabis, you introduce THC to your body’s endocannabinoid system. THC is a psychoactive component that activates specific receptors in the brain, leading to effects such as a euphoric high, mood changes, impaired memory and decision-making and an altered sense of time and reality.
Any substance that alters brain chemistry can be addictive, but the high-THC products available from today’s dispensaries are especially dangerous. One recent study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry linked high-potency marijuana strains to a fourfold increased risk of addiction. As your tolerance to THC increases, you can develop a marijuana dependence, which means your brain has reduced its natural production of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters in response to regular marijuana use.
If you try to quit using cannabis after becoming physically and psychologically dependent, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms and powerful cravings that will lead you back to substance abuse. Detoxing from weed is the best way to break the cycle of addiction.
What Happens During Marijuana Detox?
Medical detoxification is the process of clearing your body and mind from all traces of marijuana. It represents the first step toward long-term sobriety by ensuring you are healthy and medically stable enough to move through the next stages of substance use treatment and counseling.
Chemical remnants of the cannabis plant can remain present in your body long after the initial effects have faded. Depending on factors such as your metabolism, body fat percentage and quantity of marijuana use, THC can remain detectable in your hair, nails, blood and urine for several months. THC is also different from other drugs in that it accumulates in fatty tissues, where it can take longer to work its way out of your system.
While marijuana detox may not be as severe as the symptoms caused by other drugs, it can last longer. Physical and psychological symptoms like irritability, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, reduced appetite and discomfort typically peak after a few days and may last two weeks or more.
Reach out for Help Today
It’s challenging to stay sober without professional help. Enrolling yourself in a residential rehab program is one of the best ways to avoid temptations and relapse triggers, while learning healthy coping skills that will serve you well for years to come.
At Pillars Recovery, we have developed comprehensive, customizable programming to improve our clients’ mental, physical and emotional wellness. Our advanced clinical offerings treat addiction as a chronic brain disease with a treatment plan that’s as unique as you are. Our admissions coordinators are available 24/7 to answer your call, verify your insurance coverage and talk you through the treatment options that can transform your life.