As ever more states authorize marijuana for medicinal use to fit patients, one of the questions posed “Is medical cannabis addictive?” With opiate treatments being extremely addictive if abused with considerable risks of overdose and withdrawal, it’s vital to either verify that marijuana clones even the best in class can have addictive properties or to prove false the belief. The answer is that medical cannabis might have a psychological addiction but it doesn’t bring about physiologic dependency, hence, not a true addiction.
Reports of marijuana consumers generally show that most don’t become long-term consumers. In the 1990’s, reports revealed that even though thirty of Americans twelve years and older had tried marijuana at some point, only one percent of Americans used pot on a daily or near-daily basis.
It’s not unheard of for heavy habitual pot users to enroll in a drug treatment program for hemp dependence. There is a big difference, however, between an addiction on pot and a true addiction. Are there any withdrawal symptoms when an everyday user quits smoking? The answer is – probably. Some folks report anxiety and some sleep interruption – about fifteen percent of the time. But you don’t see the vomiting, nausea, hallucinations, and sweating, etc. that is usually seen from narcotic withdrawal.
In animal studies looking at high dosage cannabis administration, irrespective of how much of the drug is administered, animals don’t self-administer the drug after stopping. Narcotics, however, are a different story.
In 1991, a congressional report from the United States Department of Human and Health Services stated: “Given the increased number of cannabis users and the rare reports of medical problems from stopping use, dependence and tolerance aren’t key issues at present.”
The point here is that pot may bring about psychological addiction, but not physiologic and physical dependency. Narcotics bring about both and even if an addict is capable of overcoming the psychological reliance to the drug, the simple fact that the side effects are severe might prevent being able to stop at all.
Luckily cannabis doesn’t act in that fashion. Even after prolonged heavy use, there is negligible if any physiologic effect upon termination. Cannabis acts on the human brain in a different pathway than opiate treatments. This might allow medical marijuana being used to successfully reduce the amount of opiates patients need for pain control, and in some cases completely substitute them.
Similarly, medicinal pot has a psychoactive effect of reducing nervousness and improving disposition. This is different from opiates, where patients might see a reduction in pain but also might see a depressing effect. This explains why so many chronic pain patients need to take anti-depressant prescription along with the narcotics.