Marijuana is the most commonly used addictive substance after tobacco and alcohol. Commonly known as weed, grass, bud, herb, pot, ganja and Mary Jane, marijuana can be anything from dried leaves, stems, flowers, to seeds obtained from the plant species “cannabis sativa” or “cannabis indica”. Marijuana’s high addiction potential is attributed to the presence of a mind-altering chemical called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Marijuana is known as a “gateway” drug due to its strong addiction potential. It is consumed in multiple ways like:
Inhaling its crude form in a rolled up cigarette called a joint.
Eating its active ingredient THC or cannabidiol (CBD) in baked items called marijuana edibles.
Ingesting hashish, a related form of marijuana produced from the resins of the Indian hemp plant. Commonly called as hash, it is considered to be six times stronger than marijuana.
Athena Treats Marijuana Addiction
Athena’s marijuana detox programs offer behavioral tools to help people struggling with marijuana addiction recover successfully. We use tried and tested therapies to help people overcome marijuana addiction, which may include:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): A psychotherapy that helps people cope with withdrawal symptoms and adopt and pursue corrective measures to ensure self-control, stop drug use and address codependency.
Motivational enhancement therapy: It involves a set of interventions designed to derive expected behavioral change. The therapy does not intend to treat the person, but develop a desire and will power to adhere to the treatment and become sober again.
Contingency management: It is a management approach for high-risk patients, in which we ensure frequent monitoring of the patient’s behavior and employ effective strategies to achieve the target behavior through positive rewards.
The Mind Altering Effect of Marijuana
The intoxicating or mind-altering effects of marijuana are attributed to increased secretion of dopamine levels in the human body, which gives a sense of extreme euphoria or pleasure. It is also responsible for the addiction potential of marijuana, which over a long period of time may lead to tolerance and hence, addiction.
People addicted to marijuana are also vulnerable to experimenting with other drugs. Although marijuana has no direct correlation with the abuse of other illicit drugs, it has such a huge addiction potential that the user may require complete detoxification at a credible rehabilitation center.
How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?
Marijuana is a plant extract from the genus Cannabis that contains more than 60 types of cannabinoids or active constituents of cannabis.
Of these 60 constituents, only two are commercially studied
The following chart explains how marijuana affects the brain.
Both THC and CBD can have different effects on one’s mind and the body, which can be segregated into short-term and long-term effects:
Short-Term Effects of Marijuana
The above explains how marijuana completes its process of intoxicating people. It produces the following effects:
changes in mood
altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)
altered sense of time
hallucinations (when taken in high doses)
delusions (when taken in high doses)
lack of coordination in limbs
difficulty thinking and problem-solving
psychosis (risk is highest with regular use of high potency marijuana)
Marijuana use, over a period of time, starts affecting brain development, in some cases, permanently.
Starting using marijuana at teenage may lead to impaired memory, thinking, and learning functions.
It also affects the way the brain establishes connections between the areas that are involved in overall functioning of brain.
Common Effects of Marijuana Use
Decreased coordination and balance
Increase in appetite
Decreased mental stimulation
Symptoms of Marijuana Abuse
Marijuana is generally consumed in the form of hand-rolled cigarettes (joints) or in pipes or water pipes (bongs). However, charas, ganja, and hash are some of its widely abused forms. It is completely banned in India. However, it is sold as shakes laced with regulated amount of marijuana (called “thandai”) at licensed shops in certain parts of India. In addition, it is also abused by mixing it with edibles like cookies, candies, tea, and brownies.
The following symptoms may indicate marijuana abuse:
Inability to think clearly
Paranoia or fear
Difficulty in solving problems
Learning and memory issues
Poor coordination level
Loss of control
Athena’s marijuana addiction rehab centers provide treatment programs that focus on both the physical and psychological effects of marijuana withdrawal. For more information about our treatment programs and marijuana detox treatment offered at our specialized marijuana detox centers, please call our 24/7 helpline 9289086193. Alternatively, you can also chat online with one of our representatives for further assistance.