Marijuana is widely known as weed and is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short, is the main active chemical in marijuana. Long term effects of weed abuse or addiction can take a toll on a person’s body and mind.
What the Long Term Effects of Weed Look Like
THC produces many effects in the brain by rapidly passing from the lungs into the bloodstream carrying the chemical to the brain and other organs. When marijuana is used, the brain has cannabinoid receptors that kick off a series of cellular reactions that lead to the “high” that the user experiences. The part of the brain that has the most cannabinoid receptors is the part that controls pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. Marijuana’s adverse impact on a chronic user is in learning and memory. Researchers say that effects could last for days or weeks after the initial effects of the drug wear off.
Increased rates of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia have been found in studies of chronic marijuana users. Schizophrenia and/or related disorders have been linked to marijuana use and are the strongest evidence that has been reported by researchers that link mental illness and marijuana.
Some consistent alterations to the brain of chronic users have been found according to brain imaging studies. Compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite the know harmful effects upon functioning in the context of work, school, family, and recreational activities, known as addiction, has been linked to long term effects of weed abuse. Nine percent of users become addicted to marijuana and this number climbs to about 17 percent among those who start at a young age. The estimate for daily users is 25-50 percent.
Seeking Help to Overcome Abuse or Addiction
Those who try to quit marijuana abuse have reported withdrawal symptoms which include irritability, anxiety, drug craving, sleeplessness which begin within one day following abstinence and can last up to 2 weeks. All of these symptoms make it difficult to remain abstinent.
If you or a loved one are suffering from the long term effects of weed or marijuana addiction, contact 4Rehabilitation toll-free today. One of our professional counselors will be happy to answer any questions you may have on treatment.