Is Marijuana Addictive?

Can You Become Addicted to Marijuana?

Marijuana is one of the most widely popular drugs across America with many experimenting with marijuana use in their younger years and turning to marijuana as a way to de-stress and decompress after a long, stressful day. There has become a common misconception among Americans that marijuana is a safe drug to use that does not pose a risk for addiction as it is used for medicinal purposes in some states, leading many to believe that there are no harmful components associated with it.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.

However, the DSM 5 and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have identified marijuana as an addictive drug. Research has shown that individuals that use marijuana demonstrate similar behaviors and patterns that are similar to other substance abuse disorders. Individuals that engage in cannabis use will develop a physical dependence on marijuana. The intensity of your physical dependency will become significantly greater as your tolerance for marijuana increases. The more your tolerance builds, the larger amounts of marijuana you will need to use to reach the same desired effect.  When your use of marijuana abruptly ends, your body will experience withdrawal symptoms that can create unpleasant side effects including restlessness, difficulty sleeping, intense drug cravings, loss of appetite, and irritability or agitation.

Signs of Marijuana Use Disorder

Common signs of a marijuana use disorder are:

  • Most of your time is spent using marijuana
  • Exclaiming that you want to quit marijuana but experiencing failed attempts at doing so
  • Using larger amounts of marijuana to reach the same desired effect or more than you intended to
  • Experiencing difficulties maintaining commitments such as work, family, or school. As your performance declines, your ability to make a change for the better is significantly impacted
  • Having problems within your family and social relationships and having a lack of connection or communication due to your marijuana use
  • Engaging in high-risk behavior while under the influence of marijuana such as driving under the influence
  • Losing interest in activities and hobbies that once brought you joy
  • Consistent cravings for marijuana when you are not using this substance
  • Experiencing physical or psychological side effects due to your marijuana use but still continuing to use marijuana
  • Having negative consequences from your marijuana use including difficulties with memory, attention span, and learning abilities

Myths About Marijuana

5 common myths about marijuana

  • Marijuana isn’t an addictive drug- This has been proven to be false, in fact, 1 in 11 individuals that use marijuana will develop an addiction to marijuana.
  • Marijuana acts as a gateway drug for individuals to begin experimenting with other drugs after engaging in marijuana use. There has been no causal connection to marijuana use and illicit drugs
  • Marijuana helps to treat mental health and increase your moods. – Marijuana use has actually been shown to increase the risk and worsen the symptoms of mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, and psychotic illness
  • Marijuana use isn’t harmful to some youth- The use of marijuana has been proven through research that an adolescent’s brain development is significantly impacted by the use of marijuana.
  • Addiction only happens to certain types of people – alcohol and drug addiction can happen to anyone from any walk of life.

Statistics About Marijuana Use in America

  • One study has shown that people who engage in marijuana abuse have a 10% chance of developing a cannabis addiction
  • Those who begin engaging in marijuana use in youth are more likely to develop a marijuana addiction and dependency
  • There are 55 million Americans reported using marijuana within the last year
  • There is 50.68% more Americans engaging in marijuana use compared to tobacco use
  • 56% of Americans view marijuana use as a normal method of socializing with others

Legalization of Marijuana

As of 2019, there are 33 states that have legalized marijuana, 23 states have decriminalized marijuana use, and 11 states have legalized recreational use of marijuana. With the number of states legalizing the use of marijuana increasing, it has created a false misconception that the use of marijuana is not harmful to a person’s well-being. Although states have begun to decrease the authoritative punishment associated with marijuana use, it does not mean you shouldn’t be careful about consuming marijuana. The significant impacts of smoking marijuana or consuming marijuana are real and could result in negative consequences on your physical and emotional wellbeing.

To learn more about the downsides of legal marijuana, read our recent article below:

The Legalization of Marijuana and the Negative Impact

Drug Rehab for Weed at WhiteSands

WhiteSands has created a drug rehab program that helps to break down the stigma of weed addiction and allow patients to address the impacts marijuana has had within their life. We believe that addiction does not happen for no reason. It develops over time and, at the root of it, is emotional pains or traumas that have impacted your ability to manage stressors or triggers. Our comprehensive, whole-person integrated approach to addiction treatment will support patients in developing healthy coping strategies with the use of holistic and traditional methods of drug addiction therapy methods. Contact WhiteSands today to find out more about the new life foundation of sobriety you can have with the support of our compassionate counselors.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.