Cannabis is considered a gateway drug due to its’ ever growing popularity and acceptance by popular cultural icons from the 60’s onward. Cultivated varieties have grown exponentially in THC potency since it first made its’ debut on the hippy flower power scene however. The rise in potency may be directly related to an increase in mental health and anxiety disorders associated with cannabis abuse. This in turn leads to an increase in admissions to cannabis rehab and cannabis detox programmes.
Cannabis is one of the most widely produced, trafficked and consumed psychoactive drugs in the world and comes in three main forms: marijuana, hashish and hash oil. All three forms contain the psychoactive chemical delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) in varying degrees of potency. THC levels vary considerably between the three drug products, but all derive from the same Cannabis Sativa plant originally native to Asia.
Street names for cannabis products include: weed, pot, skunk, marijuana, mary jane, hash, resin, ganja, dope, hydroponic, grass.
Effects of Smoking Cannabis
Cannabis, in resinous hash form may be eaten, but is most often smoked and the mind-altering effects of the drug occur as THC is passed through the lungs and into the blood stream and then to the organs and brain. Smoking Cannabis can result in a change of mental and or visual perception, as well as altering one’s mood towards a state of euphoria, relaxation and or a pleasant “high” feeling. Other common effects include: increased appetite (munchies), talkativeness, itchy bloodshot eyes, drowsiness.
Symptoms of Cannabis Dependency and Abuse
Cannabis addiction is much like other Substance Addictions we treat in our rehab clinic. What starts out as a bit of fun begins to take over more and more of the user’s life. Inevitably the bad outweighs the good, particularly where aspects of health and quality of life are concerned. Smoking cannabis to the point of dependency and abuse may present as one or more of the following symptoms: learning and or memory impairment, anxiety, paranoia, social introversion, lack of attention and or concentration, lack of motivation, extreme drowsiness, bloodshot eyes, depression, loss of focus and goals in life. For many, a spell in a cannabis rehab programme is the best way of kicking their addiction.
Health Risks of Long-Term Cannabis Dependency
Long-term abuse of Cannabis can lead to a number of physical (neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory) consequences. Chronic daily users can suffer from learning or memory impairment and some studies suggest that if use begins in early adolescence, the more damage to growing brain structures that may result.
Some chronic users experience panic attacks or psychotic reactions while under the influence of cannabis. Extreme paranoia, fear of social interactions and agoraphobia-like reactions and fears of engaging with the outside world are all possible complications in some cases.
Because cannabis is often smoked and also mixed with tobacco, there will be an increase in risks of respiratory diseases and lung cancer. Chronic use has also been linked to an increase in testicular cancer in young men.
Cannabis Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms
Detox and withdrawal symptoms vary on a case by case basis, and we have seen them all in our cannabis rehab programme. Many users have questions regarding the severity of symptoms and the length of time required to get through the worst of it. A rule of thumb would be that the duration of Cannabis use, in what quantities and in what frequency the client has been exposed to cannabis – all influence the severity of withdrawal symptoms. The longer or more frequently you have been smoking, the worse it’s going to be. The good news is that cannabis detox is not life threatening. It is primarily a psychologically addictive substance that can be devilishly tricky to abstain from without relapsing unless necessary steps are taken to eliminate exposure while maximizing coping strategies and healthy lifestyle mechanisms.
The most frequent withdrawal symptoms reported by long-term cannabis users include: crankiness, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, weight loss or gain, depression, and a profound craving to use cannabis again. Cannabis detox is not dangerous or fatal, however it is also extremely difficult to accomplish successfully and permanently without sincere desire, willpower and committed modifications to lifestyle and often peer groups. Gladstones therapeutic cannabis rehab team can prescribe a short course of anti-anxiety medication to help you through your cannabis detox, enabling you to reach the Primary Treatment phase where the critically important learning and psychological growth and healing takes place.
learnaboutmarijuanawa.org drugabuse.gov nhs.uk
Contact us on today to discuss what our private Cannabis Addiction Rehab programme can do for you or a loved one.