22% of Americans use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. With this number expecting significant increases as legalization continues across the country.
Marijuana users enjoy the high in many forms, from smoking the buds to vaping an oil. They may also ingest THC-laced foods, like candies and baked goods.
Yet, this doesn’t mean there are no risks associated with consuming cannabis. It starts as a relaxing escape for many adolescents and adults. One that begins with casual use and can turn into a serious addiction.
Read on to learn more about the marijuana symptoms and warning signs of addiction.
Marijuana Symptoms and Warning Signs
Marijuana drug users will experience certain effects on their brain and behavioral patterns. These marijuana symptoms show signs that someone you love may be abusing the drug.
Using marijuana can be dangerous as it creates a state of impairment. Inhibitions get lowered, and it can be difficult to make judgment calls. The drug’s mind-altering effects can last up to a few hours.
Users also have an inability to focus or make timely decisions. When taken in higher doses the user will experience changes in perceptions of time and space. This can be especially life-threatening when operating a vehicle.
Large amounts of cannabis can also affect your mental health. Some users are subject to intense weed symptoms like panic attacks and hallucinations.
It’s important to note that different strains will produce different effects. Sativa strains can produce excitement and more social behavior. While Indica strains make the user more relaxed and sedated.
Symptoms of Addiction to Marijuana
The THC that produces a marijuana high has many physical and mental effects. These symptoms will help determine if someone has developed an addiction.
The most common signs of marijuana use include:
- Increased appetite and diet changes
- Weight gain
- Bloodshot or blurry eyes
- Delayed reaction time
- Impaired coordination and motor function
- Issues with short-term memory
- Anxious or paranoid behavior
- Loss of interest and lack of motivation
- Trouble focusing
- Dry mouth
- Fast heartbeat
- Laughing or talking more than normal
Most of these marijuana effects are instant when smoked. Yet, they can take an hour or two to show up when consuming edible marijuana products.
Effects of an increased heart rate can also bring about changes in blood pressure levels. Users may also experience an increased risk of lung infections from constant smoking.
Cannabis symptoms of addiction can also lead to anxiety and depression – especially during withdrawal of the drug.
A developing addiction may lead to irritability or restlessness when not high. This is often a red flag that someone is abusing the drug.
This can also bring about mood changes in the user as they continue to seek the euphoria that comes from getting high.
Warning Signs a Loved One May Be Abusing Marijuana
Symptoms of marijuana use often begin as a long-term habit that turns to addiction. It can start with nighttime use then escalate to getting high throughout the day.
This is often due to an increased tolerance for the drug. Which happens with long-term use and habit-forming tendencies.
The user finds they are unable to stop taking the drug. Believing that they need it to get through everyday life. They will often make excuses and ignore problems that arise from being high.
This leads to drugs cravings and increased irritability. Marijuana abusers may also show compulsive behaviors.
They may also begin abusing other substances, like alcohol or pain relievers. This can also turn into an opioid addiction. This is in result to them chasing a euphoric high.
It’s important to pay attention to the warning signs of addiction. As marijuana often opens the door to trying other more intense drugs.
Is My Child Using
Marijuana can be more damaging to a teen’s developing brain than alcohol. As it can have long-lasting effects on their cognitive development. This makes it crucial to determine if a child is using and abusing the drug.
Inhibited learning and decreased knowledge retention are signs of abuse. They may show less interest in school and have poor academic performance. They likely have little motivation to reach educational or career goals.
Users often drop out of extracurricular activities and school sports. They may also appear less social or begin hanging out with a new crowd of friends that are also marijuana users.
They can begin to exhibit secretive behavior. As well as increased appetite and snaking more often. This is due to the enhanced sense of taste that comes with marijuana use.
They will likely have paraphernalia in their room or vehicle. This includes pipes, bongs, and rolling papers.
Your child may even smell of marijuana. Yet, this sign is only if they are smoking the drug. Not vaping or taking edibles.
Is My Parent Using
Over 50% of cannabis consumers are parents. Most of them have children under 18 years of age. Parents often abuse it as an escape from work, relationships, or financial stressors.
Signs may include changes in work performance or trouble keeping a job. They may have relationship issues or problems with money.
Other signs of substance abuse include trouble with problem-solving. As well as completing everyday tasks.
They will likely exhibit changes in their diet. Along with a loss of interest in spending time with friends, family, or work colleagues.
Intervention for Marijuana Abuse
Paying attention to these marijuana symptoms and warning signs can help save a loved one from addiction. It can be a difficult drug for people to quit on their own. As it has become so easy for people to get their hands on marijuana.
To start the recovery process, you’ll need to communicate with your loved one. Show them how recovery can help improve their lifestyle. Plan for a family intervention at the right time.
Explain how the drug is holding them back from reaching school or career goals. Place focus on the things they are missing out on from always getting high.
Then inform them of the possible treatment options for marijuana addiction. Highlight which rehab services would be of the most help, like group therapy. A place where they can connect with others who are going through the same struggles.
Recovery from marijuana addiction is possible once the person agrees to get help. Learn more about how treatment options can help begin a personal path to recovery.