Sunday, May 13, 2007

Is Marijuana Addictive?

The argument continues.

For more, see Marijuana Withdrawal.
See also Marijuana Withdrawal Revisited

Marijuana may not be a life-threatening drug, but is it an addictive one?

There is little evidence in animal models for tolerance and withdrawal, the classic determinants of addiction. For at least four decades, million of Americans have used marijuana without clear evidence of a withdrawal syndrome. Most recreational marijuana users find that too much pot in one day makes them lethargic and uncomfortable. Self-proclaimed marijuana addicts, on the other hand, report that pot energizes them, calms them down when they are nervous, or otherwise allows them to function normally. They feel lethargic and uncomfortable without it. Heavy marijuana users claim that tolerance does build. And when they withdraw from use, they report strong cravings.

Marijuana is the odd drug out. To the early researchers, it did not look like it should be addictive. Nevertheless, for some people, it is. Recently, a group of Italian researchers succeeded in demonstrating that THC releases dopamine along the reward pathway, like all other drugs of abuse. Some of the mystery of cannabis had been resolved by the end of the 1990s, after researchers had demonstrated that marijuana definitely increased dopamine activity in the ventral tegmental area. Some of the effects of pot are produced the old-fashioned way after all--through alterations along the limbic reward pathway.

By the year 2000, more than 100,000 Americans a year were seeking treatment for marijuana dependency, by some estimates.

A report prepared for Australia’s National Task Force on Cannabis put the matter straightforwardly:

There is good experimental evidence that chronic heavy cannabis users can develop tolerance to its subjective and cardiovascular effects, and there is suggestive evidence that some users may experience a withdrawal syndrome on the abrupt cessation of cannabis use. There is clinical and epidemiological evidence that some heavy cannabis users experience problems in controlling their cannabis use, and continue to use the drug despite experiencing adverse personal consequences of use. There is limited evidence in favour of a cannabis dependence syndrome analogous to the alcohol dependence syndrome. If the estimates of the community prevalence of drug dependence provided by the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study are correct, then cannabis dependence is the most common form of dependence on illicit drugs.

While everyone was busy arguing over whether marijuana produced a classic withdrawal profile, a minority of users, commonly estimated at 10 per cent, found themselves unable to control their use of pot. Addiction to marijuana had been submerged in the welter of polyaddictions common to active addicts. The withdrawal rigors of, say, alcohol or heroin would drown out the subtler, more psychological manifestations of marijuana withdrawal.

What has emerged is a profile of marijuana withdrawal, where none existed before. The syndrome is marked by irritability, restlessness, generalized anxiety, hostility, depression, difficulty sleeping, excessive sweating, loose stools, loss of appetite, and a general “blah” feeling. Many patients complain of feeling like they have a low-grade flu, and they describe a psychological state of existential uncertainty—“inner unrest,” as one researcher calls it.

The most common marijuana withdrawal symptom is low-grade anxiety. Anxiety of this sort has a firm biochemical substrate, produced by withdrawal, craving, and detoxification from almost all drugs of abuse. It is not the kind of anxiety that can be deflected by forcibly thinking “happy thoughts,” or staying busy all the time. A peptide known as corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) is linked to this kind of anxiety.

Neurologists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, noting that anxiety is the universal keynote symptom of drug and alcohol withdrawal, started looking at the release of CRF in the amygdala. After documenting elevated CRF levels in rat brains during alcohol, heroin, and cocaine withdrawal, the researchers injected synthetic THC into 50 rats once a day for two weeks. (For better or worse, this is how many of the animal models simulate heavy, long-term pot use in humans). Then they gave the rats a THC agonist that bound to the THC receptors without activating them. The result: The rats exhibited withdrawal symptoms such as compulsive grooming and teeth chattering—the kinds of stress behaviors rats engage in when they are kicking the habit. In the end, when the scientists measured CRF levels in the amygdalas of the animals, they found three times as much CRF, compared to animal control groups.

While subtler and more drawn out, the process of kicking marijuana can now be demonstrated as a neurochemical fact. It appears that marijuana increases dopamine and serotonin levels through the intermediary activation of opiate and GABA receptors. Drugs like naloxone, which block heroin, might have a role to play in marijuana detoxification.

In the end, what surprised many observers was simply that the idea of treatment for marijuana dependence seemed to appeal to such a large number of people. The Addiction Research Foundation in Toronto has reported that even brief interventions, in the form of support group sessions, can be useful for addicted pot smokers.

--Excerpted from The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction © Dirk Hanson 2008, 2009.

144 comments:

Anonymous said...

My husband, 48, has smoked pot regularly since he was a teenager. When he goes more than a day without it, or maybe less, he becomes mean, angry and hostile. It feels as though we're on a roller coaster of highs and lows. And I don't think he's bipolar, just dependent on marijuana. If he smokes a joint, he immediately is calm and quite affectionate. He wants to quit. His cardiologist told him smoking pot is worse for his heart than cigarettes. He has had one heart attack.
We need help in ascertaining the best way to get him off pot. Any ideas?

Dirk Hanson said...

A number of different approaches are discussed in a message thread here:

http://addiction-dirkh.blogspot.com/2007/10/marijuana-withdrawal.html

Also, check the message boards at: http://www.clearhead.org.uk/

Anonymous said...

ive been doing this for 10 years, now im clean for 3 months. If u want to quit, just do it, u dont need any special treatments. First day is crucial, after that things become easier. But addiction is tricky, after few months of being clean u dont remember how bad it was when u were doing drugs, and u think that u can start using again, but this time only ocassionally. That's BS, when u smoke again, u will immediately go back to the old habits.

Dirk Hanson said...

Absolutely true. Most addicts, when they relapse, take from 2 days to 3 weeks to resume maximum usage. And yes, it's possible to "forget" that you can't smoke (or drink or snort).

Anonymous said...

ive smoked for over 4 years and been sober for 2 and ive realized that now since i have quit i do have some heart problems also when i first tried to quit trouble sleeping....it does effect your heart just like any other drug and in my own opinion is worse than beer or alcohol it might not kill you but the long term effects are BAD....anyone who is on the drug will say otherwise because they are most likely high or they think they arent addicted

Anonymous said...

I smoked for 25 years, like your husband,and have quit numerous times.However, I always started smoking again, getting worst and worst each time. I joined a Marijuana Anonymous group and I've been clean for 6 months. Now, when I have using thoughts I have tools to help me remember that it's NEVER only one joint.
www.marijuana-anonymous.org.
Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

I'm 16 years old and live in holland. I've lately started to smoke weed and hasj daily, I live in holland so it's easy to get and not expensive either! Hehe, anyway the holidays are here and there's no one old enough around me to buy weed for me. (I'm in collage so my friends are scattered all around the county).

I've noticed some sleeplessness and a little "bleh" feeling, overall I don't feel bad, really. It's more the mental need that's slowly sneaking up onto you, than the physical need in my opinion.

I think it has a lot to do with what kind of person you are, I love nothing more than blowing once or twice a day, finish a school day by being stoned and then ending up home all knackered by the weed. I used to have problems falling asleep, and cannabis actually makes me fall asleep within 5 minutes! (And yes, I do realize that is not an excuse to keep using it.)

Though, I would say, not to use it daily, once a month a good load is nice and fun, and it'll not kill you :).

Anonymous said...

baaaaahahahahaha that's literally the craziest thing I have ever read. What are you saying crazy Dutch girl?

Anonymous said...

I'm 18 years old and i have smoked marijuana frequently. I have not experienced any type of addiction or health problems from it. This is giant propaganda.

Anonymous said...

let me play devils advocate and lets discuss this thing that sooo many young kids here "think" they know what they are talking about. I'm a 34 year old musician (male) and I have been smoking since I was 12 year old and that is no bull. I have attempted to quit countless times and like mentioned before on this blog, you always feel you can start again and stop at any moment. I am attempting once again and today is my first day clean. Let me explain what I'm going through (for a guy who smokes 1oz and week no bull)

1) I'm cold and sweating like crazy. I feel like I've caught the flu.

2) Had to lie down and put on a sweater and a thick quilt. My wife comes home and says "my god, it feels like an oven in here) I'm freezing.

3) The need to go and buy some is very strong and I live in a neighborhood where even my friends who come and visit me are holding and selling.

3) Feel very disoriented and I'm going thru severe depression and anxiety. tomato soup and some gatorade restore electrolites so this helps to an extent.

4) forget sleeping....... twist and turn and very very uncomfortable. cold, wet and angry.

5) can't eat at all. Here is a funny one because I feel like I'm hungry, but when I put food in front of me, my appetite goes to hell.

All this from day #1. for the rest of you "little kids" who think you know what you are talking about take heed at my warning. You have been smoking for maybe 1 to 5 which is where I was at when I was 17. Keep thinking its o.k. because as the years go by, weed is being tampered with more and more and trust me it will become more addicting as dealers look for more inexpensive ways to make money. We already have Hyro, sour D's, Coco/pina, Haze etc. Good luck all, you are all an inspiration. If anyone wants someone to chat with you can write me at bassist718 at optonline dot net god bless

Anonymous said...

Sigh...I understand you kids out there saying it´s safe. And I guess it is, compared with the "hard" drugs.

However, if you love the herb as much as I have done since I was 16 (now I am 38), smoking daily since I was 23, you WILL make it a part of not only your life style but your brain´s chemistry as well.

I know how I would react to this post if I was 18 and reading it...I would basically ignore it.
"Who does this old fart think he is?" And I can understand that.
Cannabis made me feel good, something I had been longing for since I could remember. And anybody pointing out it actually is a drug could go screw themselves, I had struck jackpot with my first toke and would not even consider giving it up until many years later when the isolation and anxiety attacks were making me feel like a freak.

After that I have quit, started again, quit, started again, and so forth. Because I am addicted.

Anything you -have to- use all the time is an addiction, be it dope, alcohol, sex or workout. I am currently on day 6 clean and still sweating like a pig, having nightmares when I finally get to sleep, and beeing an ill-tempered ass towards my daughter who I love. That sucks. But I know it will pass, I have done it before. Exercising and yoga helps a lot, as well as the longing for beeing able to cough without seeing nasty brown goo coming out of my lungs.

And the longing to be able to enjoy a movie, sex, food, friends, music etc etc without the constant sucking on a spliff.

I am too young for lung cancer, and too old for blazing...But cannibis was the love of my life, always there for me. It IS hard to quit for me, physically and mentally. So kids - don´t believe the hype. Neither the scare propaganda nor the pro-ganja. Just watch your habit, and watch your own thoughts. It´s your body, and your mind.

Love, Ivan.

Dirk Hanson said...

Thanks Ivan, that last paragraph of yours is nothing but good advice.

You also wrote "I had struck jackpot with my first toke and would not even consider giving it up until many years later." That experience appears to be VERY common with addicts--when they find their "drug of choice," they know it in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

Quote:

"Thanks Ivan, that last paragraph of yours is nothing but good advice."

------------------------

And thank YOU Dirk, for the amazing work you are doing here. I have never seen so much relevant and up-to-date info on addiction in one place.
Keep it up, friend. This is the unbiased site I have been looking for, and I ain´t leaving ;)

Respect, Ivan.

Bonesdog said...

Uggg... You people just don't get it. This is America right? Free country, I think not. Weed is NOT addictive and if some one seems to be addicted to it there is something wrong with them. It doesn't cause mood swings, it actual does nothing besides blood shot eyes, raise in heart rate, colds hands and feet, and your high. Alcohol and Nicatine is worse than weed. Damn... America sucks so much nigger ass

Anonymous said...

Dude..Shut up. It's all bad for you, and weed deserves no exception, It may just be a plant but it's still a drug. People are so confused and mislead about everything, that's just the way the world we live in works. Drug Free Way Too Be! But I still blaze every day..

Anonymous said...

Bonesdog:

I wish you all the best with your blazing, and I am happy for you when you say you experience no side effects. However, you may want to consider there are other people on the planet as well, and that our brains and metabolisms are not identical, even if we all are homo sapiens...regardless of nationality and skin color.

By the way: Even if marijuana is not addictive to you, you sure reason like an angry paranoid junkie...I hope you get hold of some really good weed that can open you mind a bit, coz you don´t sound too happy to me.

/Ivan

Anonymous said...

im an artist out of nj and ive smoked weed since i was in 5th grade. getting high was all that mattered to me for a time just because of how long i was doing it and whenever i smoked id see everything in a different way. i wasnt ever physically addicted to weed either even though i was smoking about 2 and a half OZs a week. i recently stopped again to look for a new job and it didn't bother me at all.. i still hang out with friends when they smoke and when their high and it doesnt bother me or make me want to smoke in the slightest. i never get cravings and i my personality is still the same.. im not a burn out or dumb from smoking. and its funny because when i stopped smoking my grades actually went down in some of my classes because when i was high i would concentrate harder on school. i dont believe in physical addiction to pot and if you sit there and "withdrawl" from smoking weed like ur a heroin addict ur just weak.

Anonymous said...

Annon-o- music man and other quitters:

GOOD for you all! I quit years ago, and am now battling with my husband's "relapse." He "quite" or so I thought, 8 months ago, now he is 2 weeks out of heart surgery, at 60% normal lung function, and I found a sack on my washing machine this evening...someone got high and forgot they left it there! Now I am frantically googling addiction, because this is the first time I ever felt he was addicted rather than just stubborn! His lies and stories and excuses no longer justify a casual smoker...I have known many addicts, but aparently don't know the one I live with.

Keep trying folks! Not to say pot is addictive or not, I know many folks who can smoke a few times a year, but everyone has thier limits.

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah....

Shut up and quite whining. Smoking is not addictive. Just stop smoking all day every day. Do it on the occasion and enjoy being stoned! Quit listening to all the nooners who can't handle the substance and enjoy life. Don't be a fuck-head and allow weed to numb you from life everyday. It is indeed a drug. Use is sparingly and enjoy the ride.... :D

Aaron said...

Drugs are drugs weather it be marijuana, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, even chocolate if you really wanna push it... adrenaline?? love??? all these chemical reactions and responses are one in the same. A drug is that which is described by the society the uses it. But i thinks chronic is one that can be used responsibly, just as mush as alcohol and nicotine, if not better. It especially has potential in the medical arena, awa hemp for anything that we use cotton for....

Anonymous said...

I have smoked since I was 15, that being said I smoked everyday for atleat a year and one day decided to quit. I had no problem quitting I just needed a reason to, the reason was my friends started to hate me. I've gone back to smoking my freshman year of college, not often but did, then went heavy into it my sophomore through senior years. Now it is my second semester of senior year and I stopped again, and I just decided I didn't want to spend the money anymore. The fact of the matter is a lot of people start smoking marijuana because they already are stressed out, depressed, have anger problems, or anxiety. They don't get them because they stopped smoking, they always had them, marijuana was their medicine so when they stop taking it they immediately feel that stress or depression they felt before. I know this because I've had depression since I was 13..weed helped! This is not an addicting drug, I've known many people who start and stop it with no problem, if you think you are addicted you are tricking yourself. Just stop, or find a reason to and it is easy..If you just do it to do it, but still love it, most likely you will want to do it just because you like it. What I say is from experience and is the truth, you can believe it or not.

Anonymous said...

On a further note, I do think it can be mentally addicting if you do it everyday, all day..just to clear that up..because anything you do all day, everyday is addicting! You kidding me? You act like you have experience over us, but you still smoke heavily like that..c'mon anyone with common sense knows you don't do something all day, everyday and don't get dependent on it..

Tedster said...

I also have been smoking since I was 12, I am now 48. I managed to stop for almost a year, about a year ago.

Since then I have started again and I smoke about two grams a day. I stopped cold when I ran out about three days ago and I have been a jumpy nervous wreck since. Not hungry, can't sleep...a little bit paranoid...

For years I took zoloft and other ssri's and every Dr. I had told me that the cannabis use was a good idea. They felt that it served a purpose related to seratonin which was helpful for what they felt was depression.....

So, to help Anonymous, here is what I have learned. I wasn't depressed. I had PTSD. Both varieties related to harsh treatment as a youngster and some specific traumatic events.

Given THC's effects on memory editing it is hardly surprising that Pot has a special status for those who have PTSD...

When I started working with the PTSD matter, my craving for weed dropped considerably.

When I stopped treatment for PTSD, I went back to weed.

I like pot because of the calming effect as well as the flavors, etc... but the truth of it is that I am not being well served by my saturation with this drug. My need for it is related to blocking and ducking unpleasant memories and I am not growing.

Further, my lifelong saturation has cost me jobs, friends, opportunities, life choices, etc... I was fine with it because I had low self esteem... I am not fine with it now.

So it may be another year before I go back again.

Yes there is a withdrawl and if it is due to blocked access rather than personal choice, one can get very imbalanced.

It takes about 72 hours to dry out and another week or so for cravings to fall off....

Whatever the case I still support legalization of Marijuana for all kinds of reasons. I think there is some real benefit for some folks and I also think it is a very reasonable intoxicant for those that like it... no body count, no emergency room stats.. no reason for people dying or gong to jail.

Anonymous said...

Ummm I've smoked weed since I was 13 and the only negative thing it makes me feel is being tired
So smoke on ppl and just drink a coffee in the morning--

Anonymous said...

At first I could not say whether or not pot is addicting. But reading some comments tells me other wise. I used to think it was just me that got irritable or got headaches and even anxiety if I didn't smoke. I mean I knew that I do/did have a problem...I mean I HAD TO HAVE something that made me not really in the "right state of mind" otherwise I was a complete you know what. I quit once for almost a month, but on the other hand I had started using Vicadon in place of smoking ,I started snorting 2 then it became 3 then four (and so on) at once and doing it at least 2 times a day and doing it everyday and the withdrawls were way worse than pot ever was(Hot and cold sweats, and being a even bigger *****) so eventually I weened myself off of vicadon and I went back to pot because at least I'm not messing up my kidneys anymore from all that tylenol. To tell you the truth I absolutely hate how much I have became addicted to drugs psychologicly and physically...and the truth is with me tomorrow is always the next day if that makes sense...I know how retarded it sounds "Hi I am addicted to pot" but if you try doing it everyday it becomes harder and harder just to quit like that...it is easier said than done...

Dirk Hanson said...

"it is easier said than done."
----

True enough. And, as a lot of us have discovered, substituting other addictions is not any kind of dependable solution to the problem.

Watch out with Vicodin. Rush Limbaugh sacrificed his hearing to that one.

Anonymous said...

I say I'm not addicted because.. I have a job. I am healthy. I am a mom. I am planting flowers and I'm smart enough to know that foreign policy is not the name of an 80's band. I run. I read. I'm not addicted to Marijuana.
Not when I drove in a snow storm with my kids in the car to get it. (I was leaving on holidays the next day and didn't want to come home and not have it.) Still, I am not an addict. I would never admit to god or myself that I ever smoked a pinner in the car, with the window rolled down on a 10 hour drive. (While the kids were sleeping of course.) Even better, rolling and driving and drinking my latte all at the same time, like a woman on fire. The kids sleeping. She says twice.
Endless boxes of hostess snack cakes. Entire nights spent on doughnuts and smoking alone. Finding myself googling mindless porn and recipes for my slow cooker.
Food tastes better. Sex is better. Boredom is better. What little focus I had for myself, spent entirely on becoming stuptified.
I felt guilty when I went to the school for any sort of parental function. I felt this creepy crawly paranoia, that people could smell me.. I was not willing to tell my 14 year old that I smoked. I could not form the words," Yes, I believe in it, and it's healthy and you just go right ahead. Mom will help you roll." And with every little bag I buy, I beat myself up for not buying something useful or interesting or necessary. I say, I worked hard, I'm tired. I'm alone. I'm opening my mind. I'm doing yoga. I'm focusing. I need to express something. I want to eat food, and have sex, most likely with myself and then I will repaint the kitchen walls. Marijuana is a ball and chain that I drag around. A dead body, tied to my broken ankle. I don't think I can compartmentalize the physical need vs. the mental need. They aren't two separate things, floating independently of each other. The two are ideally suppose to work together. What you do to one, will affect and cause effect. Call it what you want but if you keep coming back to something over and over again. Over people .Over time with your family. Over time for yourself. Over your own intellect. Would it not be safe to assume you’re addicted?
But then again, what do I know. I’m too stoned at the end of my day to really question if Marijuana is addictive.

Dirk Hanson said...

Thank you. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou all who posted comments. This has helped me greatly. I've been questioning my own decision wether to stay off it like I have or become someone who would smoke relatively 3 times a year. Now, that is not much but I am someone who is affected greatly by pot. The first time I smoked I got knocked out, saw in super-vision, lost all sense of hearing, and my soul blasted itself into the astrosphere. I cannnot express to you how scarry that was. When I was high my only goal was to get to sleep because instinctually I knew I was not safe until that moment in which I would not be moving. One more thing should be taken into consideration with my case. I was extremely depressed before I smoked to the point of suicidal. That combined with how it affects me and the depressive after affect brought me to try and take my life for the 5th time. This drug must be respected for all that it is: It's high and its low. I've now been off it for 3 months and have been doing very well. I'm seeing a psychologist for my issues and many things are starting to clear up for me. Please, if you're going to have someone new try it atleast tell them about the after affect. It is not fun being told there's no after affect by everyone and you find yourself trying to bite the dust. Now I've been employed full time, and on my off time I like to read, meditate, exercise, and play video games. All those things are good. And I will still maintain, despite my experience, that cannabis is good but only in moderation and only for some people. I've started to become content with my life and that is more than most can say.

University of Southern Denmark said...

First I would say that there is a lot of interesting reading in the comments, and I see that people react differently to withdrawal symptoms and such.

I am currently 22, and have been smoking regularly since age 18; so I have around 4 years of experience in this subject, little compared to others in here, but I would like to express my personal situation:

I study engineering on the 6th semester at a university in Denmark; I do agree with the fact that you should not smoke too much while studying, so I keep it at a joint or two a day and let loose on weekends.

Around 20 days before exams - every half year - I always stop in order to have a completely clear head. But have never experienced any physical or psychological effects when stopping. The first night or two I admit it can be difficult to fall asleep; I have found that a little exercise and some fresh air (if combined even better) is really good if you have problems falling asleep after stopping.

For me - and many others I know - marijuana usage (or hashish which is more common here in Denmark) is causing no problems for my personal and professional life, as long as you can control your usage, as with alcohol.

I am not saying that it is not a problem for some, but for most, marijuana usage is not associated with problems but rather wellbeing.

Dirk Hanson said...

"I am not saying that it is not a problem for some, but for most, marijuana usage is not associated with problems but rather wellbeing."
---------

Perfectly true, I agree. We are here discussing problems that afflict a minority of pot smokers, just as alcoholism is only a problem for a particular minority of drinkers.

That's where people get this thing balled up, in my opinion. Some people can smoke whenever and however they want, quit or not quit, and never suffer anything like withdrawal or detox. Others are not so fortunate in that regard. The big problem is "metabolic chauvinism," believing that your reaction to a drug is exactly like everybody else's, a problem I discuss in "The Chemical Carousel," my book.

Anonymous said...

I am 21 I have been been smoking cannabis for about 8 years. I do not believe it is addictive and I do not experience any kind withdraws when I go without. I do believe some mentally depend on it because the quality of life is better or easier when high. Cannabis is as addicting as your favorite food or a fun roller coaster because it makes you happy or the results are satisfying. For anyone who is depressed, pissed or sad there are many benefits like euphoria and positive behavior. If one is depressed before they smoke or ingest cannabis than stop smoking or ingesting of coarse they may depend on it like any other anti depressant. I believe it can be used medically or to just improve the quality of ones life. Depending on ones tolerance or the type of cannabis there are different results. For example some of the darker colored cannabis can help you sleep, the lighter colored cannabis can increase motivation or energy. I prefer to be high rather than stoned one that is high may be more talkative or energetic. One that is stoned may become more relaxed or sleepy again all depending on the quality and quantity you take in.

Sean said...

WOW All the ANONYMOUS comments. Half those are the same people posting multiple times. I dont want to hear about that BS that its addictive its NOT addictive. I smoked EVERY DAY for 10 years before I quit for my job because I was offered a bunch of money and I have to submit to random drug tests for the first 5 years and then I can either go to REGULAR screenings once every 6 months or I can continue the RANDOM testing. I quit over 9 months ago and have had 0 withdrawl. The ONLY time someone has WITHDRAWL is because they are NOT mentally tough. ITS CALLED MIND OVER MATTER YOU GIRLS GET THE HELL OVER IT. Mean, Angry, and Hostile for many of. ITS HILARIOUS. Thats probably their NATURAL state. I have friends that before they started smoking weed were those things NATURALLY and Marijuana has proved to calm those and make them more even keeled mentally and in terms of their overall ability to make decisions calmly. Its bullshit that people think its addictive. We live in a WEAK MINDED WORLD. Learn to be MENTALLY tough and nothing can own you mentally. MARIJUANA HAS NO PHYSICAL ADICTIVENESS

Anonymous said...

Hey, i dont know if i will ever look at this page again, but here is my two cents. I am only 19 years old, and I havent been smoking pot long, on and off, but since the start of this year i smoke maybe twice a week, with the occasional getting high every day weeks. I am not arguing that marijuana CANT harm you, but i was always failing in school until i started smoking marijuana, now i find myself at the top of my class, and i have the weekends to wind down, that is how i choose to live, and it is working well for me. I have the mindset that i will not smoke it for the rest of my life, and i know i will get over it soon, as i did the first time.

Anonymous said...

THC addiction is a psychological addiction, it's in your head. The husband who's been smoking since teenage years is normally mean!! that's him normal and when he's high he chills out because he lapses into a sedated state. proof of the psychological addictions, a heavy user of any drug (including alchohol) can take a placebo and still get high!!!

Akita said...

i've never commented on something like this before, but i enjoyed reading the article, and the comments, i've smoked, as im sure most my age have. my brother was killed from smoking and driving almost 7 years ago, but i hold no grudges against weed itself, i understand the long term effects and i don't think it should be used carelessly.

i had an accident in december, snapping all of the tendons in my left ankle, it wasn't able to get any kind of corrective surgery until two weeks ago. i have one more smoking in 4 months, than ever before in my life, i used to smoke once or twice a year maybe less. but these last few months have been hell, i haven't been able to walk, i can't even go to the bathroom without extreme amounts of pain in my ankle.

i work in a medical environment, and i support medical use of weed, however have limitations on my support to this drug, as it is first and foremost a drug. there are laws in place for a reason, and while weed is a lighter drug, i don't think it should be as legal as a pack of ciggerettes.

people are killed daily from drinking and driving, my brother and his best friend were lost the same way only under a diiferent drug, i do have my limits on who should smoke, when, and so on. if this were legal to pick up on the streets people would drop left and right from car accidents alone. let alone the effects of long term use.

my self, my use drops as the pain does. if theres no pain, i don't have a reason to smoke, and i wish everyone could see the drug itself may not be as addictive as others, but the feeling is, to many people. i have caught myself once or twice smoking for no real reason, or becuase boredom took over me as i lay on the couch having nothing to do, but i know in my heart that i may be moving down the wrong path, but im also tyring to recover from another addiction that started to grow to narcotics after this accident, so i moved to weed, hoping it wouldn't be as addictive. im hoping that i haven't made the biggest mistake in my life. but i also know that responsibilty plays a big part here.

much like DUI, i know if im smoking, im not leaving my house, and i know when enough is enough. and im glad to say it shouldn't take me long to say that's enough.

im hoping the pain dies down as i recover from my surgery, so that when i don't feel like i have to smoke just to kill the pain for a few hours, i can say, that's enough for a while. i don't want to become a daily smoker. there's no enjoyment out anything like that. there's nothing glamourous about it, there's nothing so fab about weed that anyone should have to smoke just to feel normal. that's what got my brother killed.

Anonymous said...

Now Im kinda both sided on the subject. I'm gonna come clean I AM a pot smoker. Now I am not a regular everyday. I would say I smoke about every 2 weeks to a month. I agree Marijuana CAN be addictive. Its just like Alcohal except less addictive. If you can control yourself while under the influence and how often you do it then fine. Don't do stupid stuff like Driving or anything though. It doesn't affect my emotions while I will admit it is kind of a stress killer. I find also along with one of the anon's my grades actually go down if I go a month with out it. Plus its end of the year and I'm just so happy bout school ended so my grades went down a little bit. Anyway I think Marijuana is a pretty safe drug if you can control it. If you don't have constent responsibilities it is fine. Just be carefull with it. I HAVE had a family member go to rehab for it.

Dirk Hanson said...

"I find also along with one of the anon's my grades actually go down if I go a month with out it."

One possible explanation: state-dependent memory. In brief, if you studied high, you should take the test high, and if you studied straight, you should take the test straight. Better cognitive matchup, or so some researchers say.

Anonymous said...

I've been smoking for 6 years. I feel no addictive effects. The only problem I've ever had as a result of my marijuana use is from the State of Utah.

Some people have "addictive personalities" or they just can't limit their use of a good thing; they become slaves to a substance. A responsible user will not let "use" turn into "abuse". Maturity and will power are key; just like any other substance.

Bruno said...

Yes,Yes,Yes and Yes,I start smoke pot when i was 16,i was smoking once a week,now im 25y and i smoke 1/4 to 1/2oz a day EVERYDAY first thing when i wake up, and last thing before bed, just now im getting a new job and i was told i gone have to do some hair drug test, i got 2months until the test so i think i can make, Today I'm on my second day with out pot, and if you tell me pot isn't addictive that means NOTHING IS.

Dirk Hanson said...

Thanks for posting. It's interesting that people who don't experience this problem have a common reaction: Okay, maybe some people are on a chemical wavelength with it, they'll admit, and this makes those people have some withdrawal symptoms. But surely the intensity of withdrawal is somewhere between coffee and cigarettes, right? And when I tell them that no, the symptoms for some people can be nearly as intense as they are for any addictive drug, from alcohol to heroin, they just can't buy it. It goes against everything they know or have heard about grass.

Ken said...

This is a very well put together article and along with the reader input, a very informative piece. One thing no one seems to have mentioned-This is a site specifically about addiction, and I would think that the majority of the people reading the article and commenting are either: 1. persons having a problem with addiction 2. persons dealing with someone close to them that has an addiction problem 3. persons looking for articles that claim marijuana is addicting so they can bash them 4. persons looking for articles that claim marijuana is addicting because they hate marijuana(for whatever reason) and are seeking to validate themselves 5. persons using marijuana and looking up links on marijuana just because they're high(I fall into this category) 6. persons looking for articles on marijuana because they're curious about trying or even just for curiosities sake

Now I know that's probably not every body but I think it's pretty close. Considering that, I would also go so far as to say that the majority of the readers fall into the first four categories(I base that statement partially on all the comments and partially on intuition) and that those people will tend to be somewhat biased.

That being said, here's what I think. I started smoking weed for the first time ever right around the time I landed my current job two years ago at the age of 21. I have a $75k to $90k annual salary. My job takes me away from home for anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks at a time. At work I have no opportunity to smoke, and even if I did have the opportunity I wouldn't even consider it due to the dangers of my work environment and the level of alertness required. During the time I am off work however, I smoke every day. If there are things I know I need to do such as yard work, file taxes, pay bills, work on the car, etc... I make sure to only take one hit, then go about my business. If I know I don't have anything important to do I usually smoke a whole bowl and then just do whatever I feel like. Typically playing video games, watching movies, having sex with my wife, eating delicious food(made even more delicious by the pot of course), hanging out with friends and generally just enjoying being really really high. Now this isn't a big change from my habits before I started smoking. My wife has no problem with it, I am 5'11" and 170lb. I have no health issues whatsoever. Before I read this I didn't believe marijuana was addictive at all nor did I think there was such thing as pot-withdrawals, but as the animals studies seem to verify what some of the commentators here have claimed, physical withdrawal symptoms from heavy use of marijuana are real. With the evidence from the clinical studies how can you really argue?(well, denial IS pretty typical of addicts...) Now I'm inclined to believe that most people having the more serious withdrawal issues are the ones that have issues to begin with, and probably should be talking to a doctor as to whether or not marijuana is the best treatment. From my own experiences combined with the knowledge gained from here I would have to say that marijuana is no worse than say, alcohol or tobacco. And since the death rate for marijuana users is less than users of alcohol or tobacco, marijuana seems the better vice, in that sense, as well as feeling better in my opinion(yes, I can compare, I've been frequent user of all three at various times). There is no real reason that marijuana cannot be used in a reasonable fashion, just like alcohol. Cigarettes are just bad all around in my opinion. As far as I can tell, there's nothing inherently wrong with marijuana, just in how some people use it. So my advice to anyone who smokes, is thinking about smoking, or knows somebody that smokes, just like in all of life's pleasures, go ahead, have fun, kick back, chill out, use it for whatever you need it for, but please use in moderation, and never while doing something important, like say, driving a car. Oh, and make sure to watch out for the po-po ;)

[edited due to comment length constrictions]

Dirk Hanson said...

Most people use marijuana like you do, and as it is no more dangerous (and certainly not as lethal) as booze and cigarettes, I agree it should be legal.

The people who post here tend to be the people who didn't get the lucky roll of the dice on drugs that you did. They are people who cannot exercise the kind of structured, controlled use that you have outlined. When they get a bag, they smoke it until it's gone, and never mind separating out tasks--they do everything high. When they're not smoking, they're thinking about smoking, and when they're out of weed, they're miserable.

I'm happy to see that, even though this is not a problem for you, you seem willing to accept that it is a problem for others. Most people who toke casually fall into the same trap casual drinkers do--I have a glass of wine or a couple of hits, and then I stop, because I have self-control and discipline, and you don't. Actually what the recreational user has is a more forgiving genetic profile, for which he can claim no personal credit whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

if you are worried about marijuana smoke, either use a vaporizer, or eat it, i suggest the latter!
i also would like to say that i have used marijuana for the past 10 years, on and off, using it no more than one or two times a week, i have noticed no addiction or urge to have anymore,
in my mind marijuana is not addictive, but people are addicted, either to coffee, to sex, to meat, to alcohol, to sugar,
are any of these things bad????
for an obese person, their addiction to food will kill them,
should we make food illegal????
the problem is not the food,
its the person.
in the same way, the problem with marijuana and addiction is not the plant, it is the person,
in india where marijuana is indigenous, it grows wild, and has a long history of use, it is to be respected as a gift from nature, another one of the many plants which humans consume for nourishment.

Anonymous said...

i have been smoking heavy for a long time (i'm talking probably 1.5 ounces of dro/kush/haze/hydro/pretty much all the good shit with the most thc in it a week average)and i quit recently because my family wanted me to. i haven't had one craving for it since I quit. and for the people that smoked real heavy and tried stopping, it might just be the thc getting out of your system. the best way to quit is just to stop. i did it and it worked, and i had been smoking for years. and tell that cardiologist that he's full of shit, they wouldn't prescribe it medically if it was worse than cigs. cigs kills a lot of people a year, pot hasn't killed any. Tell him to do a little research, than to listen to a government who is only keeping it illegal because of tax reasons, religious wack jobs,and people forming unintelligent conclusions (i.e. that cardiologist)

Dirk Hanson said...

"i haven't had one craving for it since I quit."

So does that mean you don't believe that anyone ever has any cravings when they quit? Just curious. Or are you just a lucky guy who doesn't realize it, like someone who can smoke a cigarette or two a week and laugh at people who chain-smoke through the day?

Gunar said...

Ok I am 13 years old I am somewhat deppressed and I'm just not havin as much fun as a 13 year old should have. So my question is should I smoke pot or not? I've herd it calms you down and I fan have some anger moments and I get frustersted easily please tell me if I should smoke pot or not

Gunar said...

Ok I am 13 years old I am somewhat deppressed and I'm just not havin as much fun as a 13 year old should have. So my question is should I smoke pot or not? I've herd it calms you down and I fan have some anger moments and I get frustersted easily please tell me if I should smoke pot or not

Finally Awake said...

Hi, I'm 22 years old and I first experimented with marijuana when I was 17. I have been a daily marijuana smoker since the age of 18, and I smoked on average one to two grams of marijuana each day. I'd like to share my story with you.

At first, marijuana was a fun thing to do with my buddies in high school. We each had our own unique blown glass bowls used to smoke marijuana and we'd drive and toke at night. It was a social thing, and it made me feel happy and hungry. I remember nights at the Wendy's drive-thru while completely stoned with my friends. All of my smoking buddies were affiliated with the church, and we'd go to youth group events smacked. We were having a good time.

By the end of my senior year of high school, I was getting high every day before school. And I still didn't think I was addicted to the drug. All of my friends who smoked marijuana also smoked cigarettes, and I swore I'd never smoke a cigarette. As a serious athlete, I knew cigarettes would hinder my performance. But for some reason I became addicted to cigarettes, smoking on average a half a pack a day. This was a huge mistake.

I continued to smoke marijuana in college, and luckily for me my freshman roommate was a stoner so we could smoke in our dorm room. I also started selling marijuana out of my dorm room to support my habit. Looking back on those days, we are lucky we didn't get kicked out of college. Although that may have been the wake-up call we desperately needed. Up to this point, I noticed no side effects from my heavy marijuana usage. But that would soon change.

I started to notice that I enjoyed smoking by myself more and more. I distanced myself from other people and lived in isolation. Freshman year of college I failed 90% of my classes. I was too busy getting stoned to go to class, and I usually woke up at two in the afternoon. But the marijuana made me feel good, I didn't care that I was throwing away my future.

Before I knew it, my life consisted of waking up, toking up, and playing video games. In the evenings I would usually party, play beer pong, and toke up with my friends. I was still enrolled in college at the time, and I was failing all of my classes. I didn't think I was addicted to marijuana. I had surrounded myself with other marijuana addicts, so my life seemed pretty normal in comparison. We were all getting high and enjoying life.

Somehow I managed to keep getting new jobs and money to support my heavy marijuana habit. I had to keep switching jobs after getting fired for not showing up. For some reason I just felt like ripping my bong rather than going to work. At this time I had a really hard time sleeping, so it was hard to wake up early for work.

Finally Awake Continued... said...

I started to notice some serious problems with my life. I was still failing my college classes. This is weird because in elementary school and middle school I was considered gifted and enrolled in an extra-curricular class designed to challenge my high intelligence. I took a ton of AP classes in high school and performed extremely well. I also received a 1390 on my SAT, back when the scale went up to 1600 and I got into a great college. I should have continued to excell, but instead I was flunking.

My smoking buddies were dropping like flies, some of them got real jobs and quit smoking. But a lot of them got in trouble with the law, receiving numerous possession charges and distribution charges. It was ruining their lives. Some of them got kicked out of school, or shunned by their families for their marijuana habits. Some of them developed bigger and badder drug habits (cocaine, LSD, alcohol, etc.)

The common link between all of my smoking buddies is that none of us were doing well in school. We were all failing, but we didn't really know that each other were failing because we never talked about school or classes. I think it was too painful to admit to each other we were flunkies.

At the age of 21, I developed a panic disorder. Every time I smoked marijuana, especially the high grade stuff, my heart would race uncomfortably and I felt like I was going to die. I started sweating and my throat would swell up so I couldn't breathe. This scared the hell out of me. I've never had asthma or lung problems so I didn't understand why I couldn't breathe. I almost called 911 the first time this happened.

I'm lucky that my panic disorder has taken the fun out of smoking marijuana, because I see now that I was addicted to marijuana all along. And I love the stuff, I really do. But I cannot continue on this road, it is not what was intended for me. I was recently suspended from school for a semester, this was a major wake-up call.

This is the first time I have admitted to anyone my addiction to marijuana. And while I ended my addiction to cigarettes quite a long time ago, I still struggle with marijuana. I haven't smoked marijuana in over a week now, and I don't think I ever will again. As of this writing, I am going to set up an appointment with a counselor at my college to talk about my addiction and how I can avoid a relapse.

I hope my story has enlightened you. Thank you for listening.

julian said...

it is good you stop smokin weed since i have seen people do stronger drugs and i have also seen people from bein A students to drop out of high school. i think is a mental think if ur addicted and u should consulted with ur college or a rehab center, u also lucky since u did not tried other drugs that will had make ur problem an addiction, is hard stayin out of drugs this days lol like shit,

julian said...

it is good you stop smokin weed since i have seen people do stronger drugs and i have also seen people from bein A students to drop out of high school. i think is a mental think if ur addicted and u should consulted with ur college or a rehab center, u also lucky since u did not tried other drugs that will had make ur problem an addiction, is hard stayin out of drugs this days lol like shit,

Anonymous said...

I would like you people to understand, that if you do anything any single day for over a decade, with efects that last a wile, you become addicted. This is the sam with coffee. People that drink 4 cups of coffee every day for 25 years or 30 years will definetly have a problem getting off it.

Dirk Hanson said...

Absolutely. And that is because coffee, like marijuana, is an addictive substance for people with a genetic propensity for addiction.

There is a difference between a habit, which anyone can acquire, and an addiction, which is a more specialized, compulsive form of habitual behavior which most people will never experience, the same way most people will never experience diabetes.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 15 and as far as I am concerned she is addicted to pot. I was previously married to a real jerk that damagaed her self esteem but he has been gone for 2 yrs now. I had her at the doctors recently for depression and they put her on medication. Although I really do believe that she has depression issues it also seems to me that her moods are just so out there especially if she hasnt smoked anything.
Am I being unreasonable, I do not smoke pot myself.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm 16 and I've been smoking for quite a while now. But recently I've had to stop, and I DID have a loss of appetite and mild headaches, but never once did I have any cravings, nor did the symptoms make me want it. My grades stayed pretty much where the were before I stopped, and nothing changed. After a couple days I didn't have any more headaches and I felt perfectly fine.

I will say it probably can be mentally addicting, but it's not hard to get over (for me anyway, maybe others aren't so lucky?) I actually have some sitting within reach that has been there for a while now, and I haven't smoked it because I stopped.

To the guy above me:

First of all, whatever pills they have her on for depression are likely way more addictive than pot. Personlly, I've already decided that unless I have some life threatening condition I'm never taking pills (besides Asprin once in a while for headaches, but I don't see anyone addicted to that)

Forcing her to quit will NOT help. If you want her to quit, you'll have to convince her, but not using force. If you do use force, she will either completely ignore you, move onto some other drug(s), or (if she is really depressed) possibly hurt herself because she will be more depressed (or depressed more often) from not having it.

I have a sister who is depressed also. Although I don't really want her to smoke, I would much prefer she smoke than cut herself (which she has done) or drink (I drank for about a month but I found myself becoming an alcoholic so I stopped before I did get addicted).

Also, don't lie to her about it. That will only make things worse. When I hear people say things like it can kill you, or that one hit will make you addicted it just angers me because almost everything they say has been proven false. Itdoesn't cause cancer like people love to claim (to be honest, I was even surprised reading that article.) Lastly, as far as I'm concerned (and most likely your daughter is concerned), if you drink you have no room to tell her how bad smoking is. Nearly everything I've ever read comparing the two agrees that drinking is the worse of the two.

Anonymous said...

This is incredibly relevant to our family right now. I have a son who I believe is addicted to marijuana. He has been challenged to stop for four days, so he is choosing to seclude himself in order to do it. He is in complete denial about it. His brother was murdered 3 months ago by two guys who kicked in his door to steal either weed or money (we're not sure which). I see the biggest danger to our remaining son is his continued contact with dealers ("they're not what you think, they're really nice guys.."), the exorbitant amounts of money he spends on weed and weed-related paraphernalia, and his withdrawal from all things not related to weed. Like many of the bloggers, weed makes everything better (guitar-playing, frisbee golf, hanging out on the beach, fishing, etc. isn't as much fun as doing these things straight). I am concerned it is too late already for saving him.

Dirk Hanson said...

I remain optimistic about younger people, because their brains are more plastic and their ability to change behaviors is high. Thank you for posting.

Anonymous said...

Marijuana is addictive for some. I've had heroin,nicotine,caffeine,benzo and marijuana withdrawals. Symptoms I get from marijuana withdrawals are quite similar to that of other drugs. I get the same kind of mindscrew that I get from benzo or opiate wds.

To the guy posting anonymous on June 15th. I imagine the doctor put your daughter on some kind of ssri for depression. Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro etc. I would advise you to do some research on your own on both how effective these pills are and also how they work. They don't fix a "chemical imbalance" in fact they create one, for better or worse. They block receptors flooding the brain with serotonin, much like PCP, but in a slower manner, I've heard a couple doctors refer to it as "slow fuse LSD". It's obvious you are trying to help your daughter. Take a look at all the school shootings and how many of those kids were either on or withdrawing psychiatric medication, it's disgusting IMO. Sorry if I came of like a jerk, but please approach these drugs with caution.

Anonymous said...

i am 15 years old and live in ohio. i started smokin pot when i was about 12 but it wasnt until i was 14 that i really started smoking it daily. it seems as though that when im not high everything and everyone just seem (for lack of a better word) stupid. also my memory is pretty bad now. im never happy anymore with anything i do but i dont have the motivation to make things better for me. i also have all the signs that im addicted: lack of sleep, depressed, angry, anxiety, etc... all i can think about is getting stoned. it kinda sucks. but im probably gonna keep doing it.

Anonymous said...

i like to start off by saying i am 22 and started smoking at 11 quit for some years and started back at age 18, i stop for a month now, and i want to smoke again, but i cant understand why the reason i quit because everyone tell's me it is wrong, i need help i need some good advice i like to do it but everyone says it wrong help me understand

Anonymous said...

i like to start off by saying i am 22 and started smoking at 11 quit for some years and started back at age 18, i stop for a month now, and i want to smoke again, but i cant understand why. The reason i quit because everyone tell's me it is wrong, i need help i need some good advice i like to do it but everyone says it wrong help me understand

Anonymous said...

The dangers are multiple and it's good that you try to understand why you want to go back to doing something that you know isn't in your best interests. If you get caught, law enforcement will make your life difficult or expensive or both. I am reading Mr. Hanson's book on the science of addiction right now, finding it fascinating. You may want to read more and then try to apply it to your life and see if you find some insight.

Dirk Hanson said...

For lots and lots of tokers, the primary negative side effect turns out to be jail time.

Anonymous said...

Reading the comments on here has been very interesting. Personally I am not a user, I came on here because I've heard different people say different things about whether this drug is addictive or not and I wanted to find out the facts. What I find most interesting is the attitude of some people. It has been stated, both in the article and the comments, that it is addictive in 10% of users. I don't think anyone has tried to claim that it's addictive in EVERYONE. And yet some of the people coming on here who have used and not become addicted just cannot seem to accept that it's addictive in ANYONE. Or they explain it by describing them as 'weak', 'weak minded' or 'weird'. Or they make excuses like, "Well sure, if you do anything all day every day."

I just don't get why some people cannot seem to get that people are different and that there doesn't have to be a straight forward reason for that, like weakness or already having the moodiness etc in them. Or why they think that marijuana has to be either addictive in all or addictive in none. Or why they have to think themselves somehow superior because they're lucky to be in the non-addicted majority.

Tben again I see these kinds of attitudes all the time all across the internet, and sometimes in real life, on just about every topic under discussion.

Personally I think legalising it would eliminate a lot of the dangers attached, like not knowing exactly what's in it, or getting involved with a dangerous dealer. And it wouldn't go towards funding other more serious crimes like the sale of harder drugs.

I hope everyone trying to quit succeeds and that all the non-addicted users stay that way and continue to enjoy it. Best wishes.

Dirk Hanson said...

As it turns out, the question of marijuana's addictiveness is an EXTREMELY emotional question--something I didn't fully appreciate at the outset. It's all tied up with the legalization issue, people's politics and personal lifestyles, attitude toward law enforcement, etc. The fact that I blog about how pot can turn out to be addictive for a given individual, yet I solidly support legalization, confuses some people. I find this odd, since nobody seems to think it contradictory if I say, you know, alcohol can be addictive for a minority of users, but I still think it should be legal.

Strange world.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm 17 and i've been smoking basically every day since i was 13. I Didn't notice the effects of weed at first it was just a social thing to do, but now I'm seeing the changes in myself. I have to smoke every day no matter what and ill do almost anything to get money for it. When i dont smoke i get HUGE cravings, im scattered, depressed, i cant sleep, cant eat, cant communicate with anybody, cant feel anything. I cant even get a girlfriend because i have such low self-esteem and if anyone becomes interested in me i cant feel anything for them.
I got expelled from school because i ditched so many classes to go smoke weed instead. Now out of school i have no idea what to do.
Dont get me wrong though, when im stoned its the best feeling in the world. It makes me happier (from the depression it caused tbh), makes me more creative which helps me write songs, i get more confident and can deal with situations better, people like me more. But i have to say to myself, do i want my sober life to be so horribly unbearable or just not smoke weed (as much).
Today is my first day of a (hopefully) 1 week off. Its hard but it'll be worth the satisfaction to know i can not do it.
Thankyou.

AlFiE said...

Guys, if I take one puff of marijuana/pot, will I get addicted? What's the average number of puffs one take in order to become addicted?

Daisie said...

First off, I'm 19. To all of those people that are saying marijuana isn't addicting for them, well you are lucky. My dad is addicted and it is tearing our family apart. I can't stand to talk to him while I know he is high. I see it in his bloodshot eyes and the way he tries not to look straight at me because he knows his eyes are red, he knows that he is disappointing me. He knows this and yet he asked my mom tonight why she won't just let him keep doing it? My mom was absolutely crushed, you see? And I can't even believe that he would ask something like that from her. I think he has some underlying issues but he will not get help for them, he chooses instead to get high. Its just easier I guess to get high than to deal with things, even though he knows it is hurting his family. My dad is a ****ing pot head. My brother has a son, my dads first grandchild, and I wonder how he can not feel ashamed to be high around him? He certainly would not like it if I or one of my brothers smoked pot. And I wonder how he would feel if his grandson grew up to become a pot head? It's tearing my family apart.

So to all of you that are not addicted and can't imagine anyone ever being addicted, take it from me, it is possible. And don't be so narrow minded as to believe that it isn't possible, and don't get on here with your BS anger, ranting at those that say they are addicted. Have some compassion for others because for some of us it has caused a lot of grief and hardship.

Anonymous said...

I read the article and then read many of the comments. I see a lot of comments responding to the "young people" who are commenting that they smoke and are not addicted, etc.Sort of patronizing in a way. Like saying "there, there, I don't blame you for your opinion because you are too young to know jack".
Okay how about someone who is not "young" proclaiming this article as wrong and propaganda.
I am a middle-class, middle-aged, white woman who does not live in the big city.
Not your typical weed smoker, right?
WRONG!! Most people I know that smoke right now are over the age of 30 and most have medical problems that only marijuana can help. That is my story. I tried pot in the 70's at about the age of 14. It didn't do much for me at the time. And other than the occassional hit at a party, I didn't smoke for the next 20 years. I was in a severe car accident at the age of 24 that left me with a crooked tailbone that squeezes my sciatic nerve against my pelvic bone. Nothing can be done other than medication or radical back surgery. I chose NOT to have the surgery as there was a fairly high risk of being permanently paralyzed. My only other choice was to take prescribed, heavy narcotics such as oxycontin or percocet.
I hated what they did to me. I felt worse the next day and it didn't even take away the pain. It just knocked me unconscience. For almost 25 years I never slept an average of more than 4 and a half hours a night because of the pain and leg spasms. As a result I wasn't always a pleasant person, or the best mother I could be. I never slept!
About 5 or 6 years ago I started to smoke pot about an hour or two before bedtime. And the change in me was unreal! I sleep every night and wake up every day bright and alert. I have smoked almost every day for 5 years and it has only made my life better. A footnote: I quit once for almost a year because of a job I had. Up until that point I had been smoking every night for four years. I never had one withdrawal symptom. What did happen is that I went back to not sleeping because I was in too much pain. The only thing I suffered from quiting smoking was my health declined. I became run down, exhausted and caught almost everything that came down the pike. The company I worked for at the time went out of business and I was free to medicate again.

Dirk Hanson said...

I am happy that you do not suffer pot withdrawals and that you benefit medicinally from using the drug. Was there something in the article that led you to believe I would feel otherwise?

Many posters who document their withdrawal symptoms are middle class and middle age.

Perhaps 10 to 15 percent of heavy, regular pot smokers go through serious withdrawal when they abstain. As "propaganda," that assertion would be pretty lame, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

no shit its addictive.. but this article is making it seem alot worse than it actually is.. these side-effects of withdrawal are, for the majority of people, mild. nothing terrible. and most of those 100,000 ppl "seeking treatment" were arrested for some type of marijuana charge and given the choice of jail time or treatment. not a difficult decision

Anonymous said...

oh my god almost all of this is propoganda. And by the way, the marajuana in the picture is fake, haha, or realllllly low quality. ....cuz of seeds, stems, and well theres no like red streaks found on it.

Anonymous said...

All of you who smoke pot are crazy, too blind to see what you're doing to yourself and your loved ones. I had a boyfriend and i left him because of that!! got tired of him, because he is always tired, always sleeping, very lazy, can't concentrate, often in a bad mood, only sometimes nice, tells me he loves me, but doesn't show it at all!!welll...i can't wait around for him forever i gotta move on, i was always there for him when he feels sad to comfort him, even when i'm the one who had to be comforted. he lied to me that he would never smoke marijuana, when he was actually doing it, and also lied about a whole lot of other things probably just to make me stay, never knowing how much pain he puts me trough. he has no feelings at all, changed completely!! always his way, yelling at me, and i got very tired of him, he is so blind!! My heart is broken, i loved him very much, still do, but had to let him go no matter how hard it was, tried to help him in million ways, but he never puts any effort to stop. he was heartbroken when i left him, but it's his own fault that i left.

zroyce said...

Anybody notice a difference in the addictive effects of indica vs. sativa? I have been an on and off regular smoker for almost 20 years, and only started experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms--insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, anxiety, cold sweats--in the last couple of years. In that time, due to the profusion of medical pot clubs, indica has taken over both the medical and recreational markets in the area where I live. Indica is known for its sedative and analgesic effects, relative to sativa. I wonder if one is more habit-forming than the other.

Anonymous said...

Drugs are bad.. mhmmKay. Except for marijuana. It'll make everything OK! If you are addicted to marijuana you are an idiot and probably have many other addictions. Whether it be porn, church or some other doctor prescribed mood altering pill. Get a life and just stop smoking. If that's what you want to do of course. OH! What a concept. You people have a choice. You are the ones really being blinded here by this sort of propaganda. Funny thing is... It was probably the idea of propaganda that got you started in the first place(some of you wanna be hippies.. you know who you are!).

Anonymous said...

every time i read something like this they say nothing but bad things. everything you are saying is only in bad cases. weed isnt bad, i would know. i have been using it for atleast 3 years and im not addicted, i could stop today. what about all the good things weed does?!

whiskey01 said...

i live in south australia, i smoke weed everyday, i look forward to it everyday after work !

Anonymous said...

You all are absolutely insane. Your husband isn't addicted to pot, he just doesn't like you when he isn't stoned. I did this sort of thing for a couple of years, and then I stopped. Haven't since. I didn't have to force myself, I just decided that I didn't care anymore to smoke. Its nothing like cigarettes. There isn't an addiction, at least not a physical one. It is glorious fun so the mental might be there, but these people with flu like symptoms were smoking snow caps or something...good god.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that a group of my close friends got high, and then burned to death in a car because they thought it would be a good idea to start a fire in the backseat, and were too stoned to find the door handle to get out of the car.
Love, Ben

Anonymous said...

VIVA LE MOMO!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have been smokeing herb for 7-8 years now and doesn't effect how i act or even do things. Im from a county were the whole economy here is 65% mariuana. growers, smokers, dealers etc. I personally agree that it is the product that you smoke that can effect your health not ALL weed is good weed trust me i smoke only the best and make SURE to know that only Organics and natural sunlight is in that plant before i smoke it. Of course it also matters were your get it from like state wise such as Nor Cali......Hum420

Anonymous said...

excuse the misspellings and grammer errors. But that stuff is not addictive period. see the period. ma dad smoked sence he came out of veitnam. His doc asked him to stop for a while and he did. 5 years no cravings no urges no cold sweats like some of u say. Noon of that bs. Never once did he feel like he needed it.


Im only 20 my godfather is a junkie i watched him go through addivtion. Ijust help some family friends burry there soon who overdosed from pills.

Weed is not worse than booze. My dad has liver desease from booze. no problems from the weed. i smoked sence i was 15. Stoped about 3 months ago and joined the marines yesterday i dont feel the need for that bs.....

Uthnk ur addicted heres a helpful hint stop talkin to ur dealer buying pot is more addictive than smoking it. u feel the urge to roll somethin buy u some rollin tobacco an smoke it. Look i might only be 20 but ive seen alot of lives destroyed from alot of other things besides the ganja. Its as easy as stoping. And when i get out the service ill probly do it again every now and then mayb thas just me. please critasize all u nay sayers i need somethin good to laff at.

Anonymous said...

legalize it

bencooke91 said...

im 18, and have been smoking dope now for a good year and have already noticed a lot of things changing. i have read a lot of the responses above and can sympathize with some especially about not being able to sleep.

The main problem with me and pot is how i just dont give a fuck when im stoned. but as i smoke more and give less of a fuck about real life important things like college for example this is when it starts to mess with my head. the past 4 months have been the strangest so far. i notice more intricate details when im high for example the way i interact around mates especially when stoned and i start getting extremelly paranoid and this (whether you agree or not) has started to make me depressed and ruined my confidence.

As i was smoking it everyday i have decided to cut down substancially as it cannot be denied that i love getting high as a ballsack and baking infront of family guy for a couple of hours and who doesn't? but the point is that when i have at least three to four days hashless i feel a lot better and i can do a lot more physically. i do not get these withdrawal syptoms but after about a week of telling myself i dont ever want to smoke again that thought is overwhelmed by the thought of blazing a fat joint again but just the one. this one turns into a session and then im slipping back into old ways again.

maybe thats just me being weak willed as i do not think i am addicted because my life does not revolve around pot and if it did or if it starts to then thats when im in trouble. but i think the best thing to do for me or anyone else who feels they are similar is to just take more responsibility to where and when i smoke.

This is the first time i've got this off my chest and i already feel a little bit better about it.

Ben.

Anonymous said...

good for u man keep it up just remember it can be used socialy like alcahol. Except for bars an clubs things like that. But parties an chillin with freinds. Of course u feel like u want more uve been high forever and now reality sets in that uve wasted time smoking. When it starts to feel like a problem stop for a while. Weed dnt have to be an everyday thing. Think of it more as a reward after doing good for a while.

Anonymous said...

wow are you guys kidding me? some of you say you guys smoke oz's a week? no wonder your addicted lol. i smoke almost every night after i get home from work and school but only like 2 bowls, 3 at most (am i just weak or are you guys just smoking something weak?) i used to always have trouble sleeping and couldn't sleep til 2-3 am eventhough i had to wake up at 7 for work and after i started smoking i realized it helped me sleep and thats probably the main reason i continue to do it. But i don't feel i need to smoke to make me feel better or happier, maybe thats why i only smoke at night. Anyways, isn't basically ANYTHING addictive if you do it too much (too much would depend on the person i guess)? i know some myspace addicts, World of Warcraft addicts etc. Even if i was addicted i wouldn't really care as long as it didn't interfere with my goals in life or any relationships.

Anonymous said...

ok, i smoked smoked for about 10 years, i have been smokin ciggs for about 10 years aswell, i have quit smoking ciggs about 10 times, still havent quit. I quit smokin pot ONCE,and i am still quit, i had no nightmares, depression or anxiety, none of that crap, either you want to quit or you dont, it's not hard, after about 3 days, i started falling asleep nice and easy, i didnt think about pot, didnt have the taste for it, no cravings, no nothing. so all you people out there that say it is "addicting" or "causes depression". I say your full of crap. you wanna quit smoking pot.........you will, and if you dont quit, then obvisouly you dont want to that bad!

Anonymous said...

I think everyone posting is being reasonable and level headed, which I dig, and is the only reason im posting.

I was a college level athlete for two years, and i was introduced to weed in my second year.

I was able to work in the summer, which translated into more money for more weed. I have been smoking everyday/ twice a day for about two years. Weed is sometimes used as psychological medicine, rather than medicine for physical pain. To stay high above underlying emotional problems. People use it as an escape. "get high because i hate when im at my lowest" Don't think everyone can quit without difficulty, but don't think no one can quit either. Every situation is subject to specific variables that exsist in a persons life. (personality, childhood, relationships, work, social groups, perscribed medication,reason for using ect.)

Weed effects everyone different. Its not the same as alcohol and i feel like so many ignorant people who have never smoked weed before, hold unjustified oppinions and stupid ideas about weed users. That its automatically addictive, makes people violent, ect.

Me and my girlfriend use very differently. I use daily, and she only uses when we hang out and have a few hours of free time on the weekend. But she only likes being high with me. Zero addiction.

People with deep seeded underlying issues have a greater tendancy to become addicted because it HELPS them escape emotional heartache or trauma. We all know that hard drugs like cocaine meth, acid, ect are far more addictive for users.

adverse symptoms while your actualy stoned like paranoia, anxiety and being anti-social are reason enough for some people to stop smoking weed altogether.

I hid it from everyone in my life, because i grew up in a very law abiding christian home. People have the wrong ideas about marijuana because of controlled media, legal considerations(ignorance) and basing oppinions on moms weed warning back in 1992:P

its not for everyone, but it IS for some. Thats the truth. People can get addicted. but it wont kill you. tobacco will.

I read every single comment and was glad to hear everyones experiences/situations. Weed has made me a better person i truely beleive. I beleive in trying everything once!

One Love.
M.O.B
Jonah

Anonymous said...

Anything in excess is most likely detrimental to your health, Marijuana is no exception. We must all practice some measure of self control. It's really about discipline. Who has it, and who doesn't. More than a few ounces a week is plain madness, unless prescribed for pain. You just don't need it! Why depend on something to fix what you, by yourself, cannot. Weed is like the frosting on the cake...it can only make what is already good a little better. Nothing more.

Anonymous said...

I love pot.

Anonymous said...

to the first comment, your husband normally has a hostile nature, Cannabis naturally calms people, I've seen plenty of assholes turn into nice people after smoking, its just something that happens when the pacifism effect sets in. Marijuana is not physically addictive, as is known, you might be psychologically addicted, because you dont know how to cope with your problems, and cant stand feeling uncomfortable. 2 years ago i smoked regularly, got tired of it, then stopped for a year because i didn't feel like spending money on it, now i smoke very rarely, on special occasions, every 3 weeks or so, and doesn't dominate my lifestyle, if you have a personality of being dependent on things, pot probably isn't the thing for you. The only way i believe you could get even psychologically addicted is if you are unstable in the first place, smoke a quarter ounce or so a day (to be high every second of every day) then stop, then you might feel weird because you aren't in a constant state of euphoria anymore, then you get over that in a day, if you manage to even smoke that much you will have to be ridiculously rich, because thats around 3,000 dollars every month just on pot. So if you are a millionaire that has a dependent nature and cant cope with you're own problems, i agree, stay away from pot, if you're just a normal person, weed is fun, can be used for medicinal purposes, and makes things hilarious, thats all i have to say here.

Anonymous said...

I am really high right now. Surrounded by people. So stoned.

Anonymous said...

I am a 25 year old woman who has smoked marijuana which I usually refer to as pot, weed, schwag, grass, bud, green, for almost a decade. At first it was something that I did occasionally on the weekends to relax and unwind. I would smoke a couple of joints or blunts with friends or we would break out the water bong, bowl, or chillum and take a couple tokes off that. I did not think it was immoral although I of course knew that it was illegal. I thought it was safer to smoke weed than meet my friends at the bar on a friday evening for a couple of drinks which could potentially lead to alcoholism (for some people). I was just an occasional user in my late teens but as I entered my 20s and aquired more obligations and responsibilities college course work, a full time job, family, running a household, etc I felt myself growing overwhelmed and turning to pot much more frequently in the evening and on weekends to cope with the stress of life. It was the think I looked forward to most after a 12 hour school/work day, I knew it would be waiting for me at home to help reduce the stress of a long hectic schedule. Instead of just smoking it occasionally I found myself spending all of my free time aquiring it, nervously transporting it from where I bought to my home, hiding it or stashing it, and of course smoking it. I found countless reasons to decline other social activities where I knew I could not go high, studying was always an excellent excuse for missing a social function or family obligation. I have spent a lot of time soul searching recently and have concluded that I have developed a love/hate relationship with marijuana. I love the high, the relaxation and soothing calm aura that I experience, the ease of falling asleep at night,the fact that it lowers my body temperature which is a plus in the summer, relieves nausea when I am ill, relieves PMS symtoms, the smell and taste of weed and so on. I hate feeling like I have to smoke it to cope with stress or anxiety. I hate declining social activities or making excuses all the time. I hate feeling like I am living a double life. I hate the fact that I have to hide what I am doing. The symptoms or experiences that I have just described may be rare among potheads or may be fairly common...I really don't know. Is it physiologically addictive? The insomnia, edginess, irritability, and fatigue I experience when I don't smoke leads me to believe that it is physically addictive for me. Is it psychologically addictive? The fact that I spend so much time absorbed with thinking about it, aquiring it, smoking it, etc leads me to believe that it is for me. I am not saying that this is something that everyone who smokes marijuana will or does experience these are just my views on my experience. What made me question my views on smoking green is from www.marijuanaanonymous.org: "The 12 Questions of Marijuana Anonymous"
1. Has smoking pot stopped being fun?
2. Do you ever get high alone??
3. Is it hard for you to imagine a life without marijuana?
4. Do you find that your friends are determined by your marijuana use?
5.Do you smoke marijuana to avoid dealing with your problems?
6. Do you smoke pot to cope with your feelings?
7. Does your marijuana use let you live in a privately defined world?
8. Have you ever failed to keep promises you made about cutting down or controlling your dope smoking?
9. Has your use of marijuana caused problems with memory, concentration, or motivation?
10. When your stash is nearly empty, do you feel anxious or worried about how to get more?
11. Do you plan your life around your marijuana use?
12. Have your friends or relatives ever complained that your pot smoking is damaging your relationship with them?

Dirk Hanson said...

Thanks for your post. Those are good questions from MA. I think if you answer yes to more than half of them, you should consider whether you are among that select minority of pot smokers who can get addicted to it.

As I've said many times, I don't see much value in the physically addictive vs. psychologically addictive debate. Any psychoactive drug to which addiction-prone people can get addicted is clearly operating on both levels at once.

Anonymous said...

Marijuana is completely safe and i've smoked for 4.5 years and managed to hold off (even with access to it) for months at a time.

Part of the reason is i force myself to never smoke alone. I always do it with some mates around and we all have a laugh. as soon as someone starts using drugs alone is when you have a problem and must stop using the drug alltogether.

Doing it occasionally has lots of benefits:

you get higher for longer
you get a big case of the giggles
and i dont have any risk of cancer due to owning a high quality vaporiser which vaporises the cannabis instead of burning it.

If i ever catch my children smoking pot in the future I won't be pissed off, I will simply talk to them about it and get an idea of their usage and make sure it doesnt happen everyday.

Maria said...

Of course it is! It was proven long time ago that it is addictive. There are even receptor in brain for cannabis.

Anonymous said...

Hi i'm 19 years old and I have been smoking weed for abouts 3 years, I lack concentration, motivation, mood swings and sleep. Everyday i would go to my mates and figure out some solution to get weed. If none of my friends can get any money nobody wants to come out for more than an hour because of boredom. I also feel jelous when my friends are getting high and i dont get invited out.

I have read everything people have said and from yestiday i have quit, hopefully all will go well.

If i cant get any money i will ask to borrow it from parents and be in debt and if they dont let me i will start a big arguement with them then realise later and appologize. I feel depressed everyday and night and think life is only about weed and see no satisfaction for doing anything else when im not high.

I dont have 1 friend who doesnt smoke weed so its difficult for me to quit because if i make a suggestion like going to cinema, bowling or to the pub they all say no lets just get some weed. Sounds pretty funny to read but its seriously ruining my life. Whenever i am in my car theres a 80% chance i will have weed on me.. I have been stopped around 6 times and searched, luckily its been stashed in a good place.

I am therefore going to quit for a month and see if i still crave for it and if life brightens up. If not by then i am going to quit until it has. I have also wanted to kill myself because it makes me think theres nothing good about life.

I'm glad to have finally been able to get this off my chest :) Thanks.
( I dont care if some of you who read and think haha its not as bad as he says ) i think its different for everybody)

Dirk Hanson said...

It's different for everybody.

Quitting for a month to see what's what sounds like a good idea.

Anonymous said...

You dont have any advice about how to quit do you? Just boredom will lead me to doing it again and i have no motivation to look for a job although i really want to

Dirk Hanson said...

You might check out Marijuana Anonymous for starters, if you don't feel confident about abstaining on your own.

Anonymous said...

I've been smoking since I was 13 years old, I'm now 48. I smoke daily, usually in the evenings... my idea of a night cap. I have a job, a family and my bills are paid. I exercise regularly and watch my diet. I don't drink alcohol or do any other hard drug. I'm doing fine, moderation is key folks! Too much of anything will put you in a world of hurt.

Anonymous said...

the addict is always the last to know the conseqences of managing long term controlled abuse! I used for glaucoms self medication.BUT my mind was narrowing not opening to the oportunities that multiplied? My last smoke was almost 30 years ago and the miracle of exsistance is still enough!! SAPER AUDE

Anonymous said...

the addict is always the last to know the conseqences of managing long term controlled abuse! I used for glaucoma self medication.BUT my mind was narrowing not opening to the oportunities that multiplied if seized? My last smoke was almost 30 years ago and the miracle of exsistance is still enough!! SAPER AUDE

Anonymous said...

I starting smoke weed when i was approx 14, i am now 30 and i can't remember the last day that i didn't smoke weed, i am what's called a fully functioning weed addict, in that i go to work and pay the bill's, but the first thing i do when i have any free time even waking up at 7am is make a fatty bum batty. My problem is that it has now affected my life, my patner of 9 year's left me as he was so sick of me smoking weed, i've started sciving from work so i can chill all day and smoke weed, i have lost all interest in myself all i care about is weed, i spend a bloody fortune on it, but the truth is i am really really addicted, my body crave's it, i can actually feel my body aching for it, as soon as i have a bifta i feel ok, i have a very high tolerance and never get stoned like most people do, it has affected me though, my speech is a little slurred sometimes when im not even stoned, i find that when i try not to smoke a bifta i feel actually ill.

Anonymous said...

am 55...smoked everyday, and i mean every single day, for over 40 years...now smoke about 1 gram a day...but dont want to be without that 1 gram... wife of 30 years has had enough...perhaps will cause end of marriage..she want me to stop...i cant...really i dont want to.....too much of a behavior pattern now...
put that in your pipe and smoke it...

Anonymous said...

no

Anonymous said...

The one thing to remember in determining affects is who and how you were without the pot. I have been a daily smoker for 15+ years. I started smoking to deal with anxiety no appetite and sleeplessness. It would stand to reason that without the drug to mask those problems that they would return after you cease usage. My father is a cronic user also, and almost pleasent to be around when he smokes. When he doesn't he is a very mean man, but he was mean before he began smoking.
When looking at how marijuana withdral affects you, you need to be honest about your issues before use.

Anonymous said...

The psychological addiction to pot is probably a lot worse than the physical one. Of my friends who smoke, I can divide them into two groups: one that can live just fine normally, but smokes for fun, and one that has trouble dealing with their life without pot. Pot is self-medication, hell, I'd argue it works as good as some antidepressants. The thing is, it can be tricky to spot when and if pot stops being a recreational activity, and starts being a coping mechanism. Just like alcohol. Some folks can have a good time, relax, and socialize with or without it. Its the ones that start to need it to do those things that have a problem.

Anonymous said...

Marijuana withdrawal is something no one hears about or believes in, but IT IS REAL!! I have smoked everyday for the past 4 years and I am now on day 5 of being clean. I have experienced anxiety, insomnia, depression, loss of appetite, nausea & diahrrea. I just cant wait to get back to the real me that I have been covering up for years..

Anonymous said...

I believe that symptoms from not smoking weed are many times a mental anguish. I have been a smoker since 17 and have been an eveyday partaker for 25 years.I once quit for 18 months and inevitably went back to herbal relaxation. This is the last remnants of my youth and have come to the realization it is time to put this behind me.I will be irritable, probably have trouble sleeping but I want to have a CLEAR MIND again. I'm tired of waking up with a hoot first thing on my mind and last thing I do before falling asleep. My wife says I'm physically there but my mind is elsewhere when I am high.
TO QUOTE a gamblers edict.If 1. You are going into debt to get your buzz or 2. The people that love you don't know your smoking. YOU ARE an addict. I hid my relapse with weed for almost 4 years and was constantly feeling guilty but not enough to come clean. I am a functioning smoker who could smoke all day and be able to perform my job with little or no detection by others. Don't fool yourself, look around you, do you have nice things? like where your living or does a bag of herb outweigh everyday possesions. We can all give examples of people who can quit anytime they like or don,t have any side effects but we seem to know more people who are under the grasp of being a chronic. I'm done with the white widow and fully expect some withdrawls but it' my time. Is marijuana addictive ? I don't think so. I had an addictive personality before I ever took my first hit from the bong.

perro de paz said...

Don't almost all heavy users (mulitple times a day, every day) have some symptoms when they go without? In my circle of PH friends it's just a given when you run dry you get cranky and can't sleep.

I also experience loss of appetite and vivid dreaming but not the other things mentioned here.

What I've started doing is forcing myself to go without between bags. I'll completly finish an OZ before I go look for another one. It usually takes me about a week. So I'm two weeks heavy use, one week without and then start the whole process again. I have withdrawl symptoms every time, but they are not nearly as severe as they used to be when I would go months smoking and then run out.

I also get that "something's not right" feeling but it's so familiar by now I can almost step outside of myself and deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Is Marijuana Addictive?":

I am a 52 year old mother who's son was just suspended for purchasing pot on company property. Devastated to say the least as I am a manager in the company but grateful that he was caught in order to get him help for his addiction. My son was always in denial when I asked him if he was doing drugs. He is my only son and drugs will not take him away from me. I will fight to the end to get him help. I will find out the reason he uses drugs because our household is a loving and caring one. He is a good son, 24 years old but have had a great deal of problems dealing with life. His father and I are very supportive and open and I know we will get to the bottom of this issue. As a mother I can advice you all that drugs hurt everyone not just the users. Dont believe the lies that all is okay when using pot, it is not okay period. Face the truth of your lives, head on and sober, and look at the adversities as lessons that need to be learned no matter how painful. All in life is possible, if only we stop listening to the lies we tell ourselves. We all have a purpose in this world, we need to seek it within ourselves in our natural state not an altered one.
August 22, 2010

Anonymous said...

I started smoking weed at 17 then quit here and there (for as long as a year) and i had some problems with stopping but i now know it was all just in my head. I do have an addictive personality. However, I do truly believe that was all in my head (i had no withdrawal; i just wanted to smoke) I eventually found a bottle of Vicodins in my parents medicine cabinet at the age of 19 and i didn't know much about the drug except for the fact that it makes you feel good and kills any pain you may have. So, i took a couple and felt amazing and from there i kept getting high on 'em and went through withdrawals each time i didn't have em. Anyway, at about the age of 21 my dad was getting oxycodone aka oxycotin (Yes, Oxycodone IS Oxycotin. The only difference is that Oxycodone is a instant release drug which means it gets released into the body at a normal pace. Oxycotin gets released into the body at a slower pace.) Anyway, I popped a couple of them since all the addicts & druggies said it was much better (Stronger) than Vicodin (Also known as Hydrocodone or Lortab) To this day, i still take about 15 to 18 15 MG oxycodones every month (up to 3-4 a day) and i go through withdrawals each month. Anyway, I would also like to state the fact that i have been smoking weed every day since December 29th of 2009 and i am now this is my second day being clean. I don't have a problem with quiting weed it seems because i'm doing just fine without it right now. The whole point of this dumb story is that weed seems to be the least addictive drug and that the harder drugs are the most addicting such as opiates.

Anonymous said...

i have been smoking weed for over 40 years and i am the manager at a top five company. all this withdrawl talk is crap. the only you people are having these symptoms is because you want to feel them. couple weeks ago i quit and not a single withdrawl effect. you tell yourself you need the symptoms its all in your head. but reading all this is making me want to smoke again act your age and us your head

Desiree said...

This is the biggest bullshit I have ever read. I started smoking weed when I was 16. I have stopped because of a job or just didn't feel the need for it. Or I stopped cuz simply I couldn't get anything. I have never experienced ANY of this in 11 years ( I am 27). Yes I think that ppl can be addicted to weed because they smoke all day every day. It's like with any else (wine, food, sleep, sex etc), it has to be done in moderation. YING AND YANG folks! So if you can't stop or you feel like you are having the flu, you are doing it TOO MUCH. Just like you wouldn't just drink a fifth of Jack in 5 minutes you can't smoke weed all day every day. Your body needs moderation of everything. CHEERS FOR WEED! Thank you Lord for creating this plant :)

Anonymous said...

I would say that weed is extremely addictive in the hands of a certain type of person. I smoked for about two years; really heavily at times, and moderately at others. I tried to quit many different times, you know, this is going to be my last bag, I swear. And then two days later you're calling someone for another one. Work, school, or whatever, would piss me off, so my first reaction was always to just get really high, and then I could just giggle at everything and not worry. There were points where I would smoke from the time I rolled out of bed until the time I climbed back into it at night. And a lot of the withdrawal symptoms were there, lack of sleep, irritability, boredom, but you just have to push through it...

I think the only way you can really quit is if you actually want to. It seemed like with me, I always had an excuse as to why I needed to stop...drug test, no money, shit like that...but I never actually wanted to until recently. I took a long look at my life and where it was going, and realized that I didn't want to live it in a hazy half conscious state anymore. The feeling of being high is awesome, nothing really compares to it, but you miss out of so much when you're baked out of your brains just floating through life. I think my low point came at the movie theater, I got really really high and went to this movie I'd been anxious to see, and to my knowledge I had a fantastic time, but honestly, all I remember from that two hours period is how amazing the popcorn tasted and a part in the movie where one of the characters gets shot. Is that really experiencing life? No way. If you think weed is benefiting your life, then keep smoking, I'm not telling anyone to stop, but I urge everyone to just step back from the haze and think about what you really want out of life. And stay strong when trying to quit, just try to replace the urges to smoke with something else you love.

Anonymous said...

I just think it's funny how everyone says pots addictive and how it's worse than smoking cigarettes. I honestly think weed has a lot of potential. If everyone smoked weed, the world would be peaceful. When a person comes dependent on something, there body constantly tells them they want it, when in reality, that person could stop smoking any time they wanted.

Rob said...

I have been a daily smoker for about 15 years now (I`m 34, in a responsible job) and have come to realise that my usage has stopped being a pleasure and has become a crutch for the most part.
I am currently on day 2 of not smoking and am feeling much better than on day 1.
I have been smoking around 1 1/2oz per month, which is basically a car payment every month and I am sick of spending so much cash on weed.
I agree that the vast majority can (and do) smoke regularly and can stop and start with no real problems but I have started to feel like I might be in that 10% or so who can`t control their usage properly.
My plan is to take a 3 month break and then see if I can return to smoking occasionally as a pleasure rather than a requirement.
Last night was awful, maybe got 2 hours sleep tops but that has just made me more determined if anything.
I want to prove (to myself) that I am in control, not the weed.
Wish me luck!
"Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities" - Aldous Huxley

Anonymous said...

I am 37 years old and at 15 was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance in my brain, and at 16 my parents were suggested to institutionalize me. I thank god that they did no such thing. During this time frame I had not consumed any marijuana, and was 'uncontrollable' according to most authoritative figures. I have been smoking marijuana since I left home at 17. I have run three start-ups, managed four restaurants, and am now running my own fabrication shop. I have also been diagnosed with agoraphobia, ADD, bi-polar and destructive personality disorder. And now to top it all off I was diagnosed with RA in my right hip at 28 years old. I have attempted to use US approved pharmaceuticals which tend to make me sleepy, lethargic, and pretty much useless. As long as I am smoking (or vaporizing (which is healthier than smoking)) I am able to complete more projects, stay focused and somewhat organized. On average I consume 4oz every two weeks, I do not get 'high' but I am able to get up and walk around, chase down a two year old, operate a motor vehicle and operate power equipment that otherwise would be excruciating. In the 20 years that I have used marijuana I have quit nearly as many times, and the only effects that I have are the effects from my disorders and the RA. And trust me, I would much rather smoke a joint a few times a day then try to get up in the morning an land on my face.

daniel said...

it is addictive. And I have used for just one year (sometimes daily, sometimes once a week). I didn't use it to medicate my emotions or to cope with life, or hide from something. I am a musician and the main reason i used it it was for the creativity boosting. Maybe it was but in the last few month it almost ruined it.
I didn't smoke too much. One gram per week / and one or two joints at the end of the day. In the last two months I developed anxiety and had panic attacks and the high wasn't there anymore.
I decided to quit, it wasn't hard but the withdrawal is real. Irritability, mild depression, insomnia and that desperate need for air in my lungs like I felt when I quit cigarettes long time ago. I think that marijuana addiction is not just physical. Just think that with every joint you are unbalancing the chemicals in your brain. You overstimulate your canabinoid receptors and, in time, you make them less sensitive for your natural anandamide. Addiction it's a matter of time. For me it developed quickly, for other might take years.
I really think that most of the people who use it and think it's not addictive are in denial. A lot of the good effects of this herb can be achieved by meditation, work out.

Anonymous said...

thanks for this tips

Anonymous said...

I am all for legalization and believe cannabis holds alot of medical promise, but I do think it can possibly destroy relationships if you don't use it responsibly. my sister is a pothead and has an addictive nature first it was alcohol then it was weed. So i don't believe marijuana is chemically addicting but you can create a psychological addiction to it.i dislike her usage but rather then blame it on the drug i blame it on her choices. And over using any drug is harmful. I'm smoked weed, did it for like a week straight and then every now and again but have never felt withdrawal symptoms. But it really does differ from person to person and do believe that some people can get some symptoms. But over all i think that if people used marijuana responsibly, they would have so many problems with fam and friends or school. they just let it take over their lives. but yeah most problems ppl have, they have before they start smoking. legalize it!!

Anonymous said...

In any case with marijuana addiction i would suggest a rather substantial dose of psilocybin. 5 Dried Grams to be exact should aid in helping you figure out whether your addicted or if it really is a problem in your life. That is, if you can muster up the courage to do that much cuz believe me it takes courage. Your bound to have an experience that would stand any 'straight/sober' persons hairs on in and even folks who just toke it up. Just my opinion, but this experience should certainly heighten your motivation to do what you REALLY want to do, be that quitting or starting.

Statistics show that taking LSD is no more dangerous than signing up for a four year course at Harvard College.” - Timothy Leary.

flatland bikes said...

Anybody notice a difference in the addictive effects of indica vs. sativa? I have been an on and off regular smoker for almost 20 years, and only started experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms--insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, anxiety, cold sweats--in the last couple of years. In that time, due to the profusion of medical pot clubs, indica has taken over both the medical and recreational markets in the area where I live. Indica is known for its sedative and analgesic effects, relative to sativa. I wonder if one is more habit-forming than the other.

Anonymous said...

Three years ago I could not brush my teeth. I was on four meds. My DAUGHTER turned me on the medical benefits of cannibus. I use in in a responsible medically supervised enviornment and today I can not only bruch my teeth but I can play the instruments of my choice again. Cannibus was part of a medical program of diet and exercise and can be used in that context. Water can kill you or is can sustain you, it all in how you use it. God put it here for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to make an analogy. (hypothetical) Ashley from across the street has sex with a different guy every weekend and claims that she isn't a slut. I ask (hypothetically) if you're not a slut, then who is? and what exactly qualifies, or in this case, quantifies, a slut? This, of course, is a rhetorical question.

It's the same for people who smoke weed daily. They claim they're not addicted. Well if smoking weed everyday doesn't qualify as an addiction, then what does? If you attempt to prove you're not addicted by stopping and you fail, then aren't you at least, in practice, admitting to the fact that weed does have addictive qualities?

I am just baffled by all the daily weed smokers who try to convince me that they're not addicted. One even tried to define the word addiction for me...and yeah, he was high.

Dirk Hanson said...

Denial is not just a ....

Never mind. ;-)

Anonymous said...

All of you who think marijuana is addictive are absolutly ridiculous. Because there are no addictive ailments to it at all. It is no more addictive than coffee. and is all in your head. a person tells themselves "shit i need to smoke or i'm going to become angry" so they do. it's all emotional, and all in our head. If a person actually wanted to quit smoking pot they could without any issues. Anyone who has an issue quitting does not actually want to quit and are making excuses so they don't have to. so get over it. this article is complete bullshit. the phychoactive drug in marijuana is THC which causes nuerons to speed up hightening your senses and the high of marijuana is the comedown of your body making up for the quickening of the nuerons. it does NOT take 3 weeks to get over pot. if anything its a couple dadys of being grumpy, your health will not be affected and if it is it's because you are telling yourself that thats what is going to happen so your body makes it happen. Stop being a dumbass and lying to your wife about wanting to quit. if your having trouble then you honestly dont want to stop. so get the fuck over it.

Tanner said...

I am 19 and have smoked weed for about three years now. While I do understand the arguments people are saying that they are addicted to Marijuana or THC, I just don't believe that to be the case. Marijuana has the ability to be HABIT FORMING but not necessarily addictive. Plenty of people I know, and myself personally smoke quite a bit and can still maintain productive and functional life style.

I do think that it has a lot to do with the person and thier respective situation. If you're going through a hard time or are simply depressed; you will notice a very drastic change in your behavior if you stop smoking. Withdrawls are common with things that are not addictive. If you eat red meat very often, such as steak, you can see withdrawls because the body is not getting as much Vitamin A and Iron as it is used to getting. So, should we make eating meat illegal or bring up the idea of regulating the amount of meat a person can eat? No.

In the end, it comes down to people reacting differently to different things; from drugs to food. The idea is to be smart about what you do and be aware of what could happen. If you do anything too much, it could be harmful. So be safe and have fun.

Anonymous said...

While smoking weed may or may not cause cancer / be addicting, etc., it does kill a hell of a lot of brain cells.

Bye bye brain cells, we'll miss you...

Anonymous said...

I have trouble sleeping with out it but I have always had problems sleeping and have tried many, many prescription sleeping pills, even Xanax which made me suicidal and I wound up in the hospital for 4 days because of it was put on Anti depressants which made me go through with draw symptoms and made me have more anxiety. Other sleep medications made me have really weird dreams or I felt like I didn’t even get any sleep at all. I have seen a lot of people addicted to pain killers, going to different hospitals just to get their fix. So the way I look at it is, if I just use it to sleep at night it can’t be any worse then the medications our trusting doctors hand over to us like candy. There is more toxins in our food that cause way more harm to our health then weed, a little plant that grows out of the ground.

Anonymous said...

From what I can tell, the people who go through withdrawls are the ones that smoke pot all the time. If you just want to smoke some pot with friends every once in a while, it is very unlikely to get addicted. However as soon as you start to smoke it frequently, it becomes a habit and your brain becomes accustomed to it, and when you try to quit, you feel like shit. I would suggest that if you really want to try smoking pot, do it, but have the will to stop if you start smoking too much. All the people who say they go through withdrawls and the ones that are constantly high. One of my friends smokes pot usually once every week or two, and he maintains an 85%+ average in school. You just have to know to limit yourself and not allow it to become an addiction.

Thomas Retterbush said...

I guess we are similar people with similar ideas? I just wrote an article on June 2, 2011, called, Is Marijuana Addictive? Could You Actually be Hooked on Pot? Though the articles are both very different, they are both quite good and compliment each other. Maybe we should send each other referrals?

stephanie said...

I have smoked weed since I was 7 I am now 25 and pregnant I haven't smoked in 6 months. No withdraws . I'm not slow nor have I ever been. I was an intelligent child and am now a highly intelligent adult. Weed has not interrupted my life in any way besides performing it function... getting me high.

Anonymous said...

Im a user of anandamide , AEA. Some of us have few choices we must, to have a quality of life equal to that of healthy, worry free people.

I suffer, many do. Its a lifelong disability. My life is threatened each day i live. The discomfort i experience is not something i would wish for anyone. The medical community has "utterly" failed me. I for one believe in Mercy. I to used it as a toy in my youth and throughout my life. Have quit several times with no adverse affects. Narcotics probably just killed someone as you read this but similarly anandamide has saved so many from a super bad memory unresolved pain as i. No! I wont tell you not to use it but i will beg you to stop "hotboxing" and sny form of abuse.

Given my choices " dying a very slow, miserable death with BLISS or without mercy. It is medicine. It covers a multitude of suffering. Please srop the hype, our kids are growing pot to pay for hard, deadly drugs (narcotics). Devalue it and consider that it was "created" for our good. It is we who fail to control our behaviors.

On my life, having just kicked "legal" prescribed narcotic addiction, THC, AEA- Anandamide will not kill you, will not make you ill or paranoid or any other malady if its not abused.

Therein lies the problem.....its not the gun that kills, not the bullet, it is mans ability to make good decisions. Educate yourself. Research is still in its infantile condition and pressures from entities greater than your power would not want you to enjoy, responsibly, anything that works better than a pharmaceutical.

If you feel tou need it cause life sucks, who am i to say you cant have some joy, happiness, bliss. For which the drug was/is named.

Mercy first.

Anonymous said...

AEA-anandamide, THC, CB1 and CB2 receptors, endogenous cannibinoid neurotransmitter, anti-stearoyl-CoA, fatty amide, on and on!

If these terms make no sense to you then you remain ignorant. I, because of onset of the "The END" for me i have read, nay, studied with all due diligence and expediancy. All medical avenues exhausted but only a minority of physicians obey their conscious and put science before politics. Science says it has a place in medicine and as a suppliment to your endogenous systems and serves specific function to the good and better.

My choice now, between dysphoria and euphoria, "the most addictive substances known to man" (FDA guidelines on heavy narcotic user survey) or something that makes not one dime for the pill pushers. Insurance does provide for alternative medicine but they gladly shoved narcotics down my throat, in my arm and elsewhere.

Behavior is as individual as the experiences of the past. What i once used as a toy has now preserved my life for the time being, saved my life six times, and sllows me moments at the least where i dont have to think sbout whats coming. Wear your suffering friend or family members shoes. A responcible puff is a "bliss" you'll not take from me. Enjoy your life and live but for the many many many that suffer, be mercyful. There is to date no better natural substance for the ill and needy.

Abuse kills, ignorance kills more, pharmaceuticals even more. Stay to the natural. Live well people and find your BLISS before it is too far away to ever be enjoyed again.

Mercy first (Delta Novum THC) is from God.

Anonymous said...

level-headed forum a apportionment of info

Anonymous said...

I've been smoking pot almost everyday for a little over a year. I Absolutely Love Pot! However, the health complications aren't worth it. After the high has subsided the breathing complications kick in. I start to have chest pains, shortness of breath, and I feel sick. Thats when im done,and Im ready to save myself from a life full of heart complications, breathing problems, and sickness. At the same time, I cant help but to enjoy the wonderful bliss of being high. The advice I would give to myself or anyone who wanted or is trying to QUIT. I'd say do it. Life is precious, and although marijuana has its "Highs" there are bound to be some "lows". I plan to quit, get back to being healthy, and live a naturally "High" life. I encourage everyone to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Hell guys. Im 21 years old and a 6year chronic smoker. In the last two years i have been smoking about 1/8 a day. Money is not an issue for me. I started to feel like i have ADD. I was getting all the side effects that someone with ADD would. This is my 5th day quitting i feel alive and not ADD. My attention is back, i care for my family, i dont hang out with people that smoke only, my sex life is 500% better.

Dont get me wrong i want to roll a nice blunt and relax but i hope i never do. I love life and being real and not lazy. I hate quitting my jobs because im high and dont think right.

Anonymous said...

Nice post.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!
I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post thanks

Anonymous said...

First off, what the hell can't the human get addicted to? I'm sick of all this "addicted" bullshit. I use cannabis to eat, meditate, and write music. I don't use it to calm nerves. I don't use it to escape or get high. There are properties in THC and the other cannabinoids that are very beneficial to our physiological and psychological states. I have no desire to be 'high' during the day or night unless it's for eating, meditation, or music. FOOD is addicting, MATERIAL CONSUMPTION is addicting, even harmful chemicals are addicting. Stop putting so much blame on things and start taking control of your self and your mind. It's funny because 'addicting' drugs are the things that made me realize how weak humans are when it comes to self discipline and their so called addicting habbits. I'm not denying people don't feel a little down or blah after going cold turkey from being a HEAVY cannabis user, but first off, why are you a heavy user to begin with? Why do you need to be high all the time? If you are a true medical patient and require the medication to combat the symptoms of your illness, then I am not referring to you. I am speaking to those who get high because they like the way it feels for a couple hours. I find my sober model of consciousness a lot more practical than being high, but being high allows me to access different states of mind and ideas not accessable to my sober mind. You need to find balance with your habits. There is a time and place for everything. Substances included. See how the substance effects YOU. Know your dose. Know when is the right time for you to be in that state of mind. Plain and simple. If you follow set and setting with psycoactives, you can't go wrong. I can stop smoking, eating, vaporizing cannabis, but why? It does nothing but benefit my life. Am I an addict? Nope. Do I depend on it to help me? Yup. Will I freak the fuck out when there is no more cannabis??? Hell no. I consume everyday, I advocate everyday, and I can stop at anyday. The only reason you need to stop doing any habit is when it becomes a detriment to you. When you have no control is when you need to gain some. Just be conscious of why you do things and be honest with yourself.

Jamie Edwards said...

Let's be clear there is no question sometimes Pharmaceuticals are best but most of the time Cannabis is best. I can explain why chronic cannabis consumers are chronic consumers in most cases that is. It's because they are suffering from undiagnosed digestive disorders that have supported the development of such neurological disorders such as A.D.H.D, O.C.D, O.D.D,Tourettes and many more. It starts when the teacher says there is a problem, and the doctor suggests Ritalin. You've just turned your child into a speed freak. Now of course the kid performs better (healthy or not all people will respond this way to speed, so it's meaningless results your considering)
So while the speed or cocaine ties up the Dopamine Transporters the user experiences improved focus and calm,at the risk of serious illness and death. Long term the net effect is less efficacy requiring increased doses until its time to crash in a psychotic break. This can be avoided by using cannabis medicinally and responsibly to stimulate the Dopamine reward pathway(up dopamine)which works fine and doesn't require becoming addicted to hard drugs to deal with a life time neurological affliction. I also recommend eliminating dairy (except yogurts) and go 100% gluten free and lower the sugar and carbs. If you do your symptoms will improve. Use Cannabis Sativa in the daytime for focus and motivation and cannabis Indica in the afternoon/evening for anxiety reduction and mood stability. Add counseling and a few coping strategies and a good life awaits thanks to Marijuana. Note to ADD folks: University of Heidelberg research indicates that you are safer driving while under the influence of Cannabis Sativa. Otherwise don't drive without your Ritalin dude.

Anonymous said...

Hey fools have u heard of The NA program or the Marijuana annonymous program...plz drop ur stupid asses over there....i am a recovering addict and u are all stupid fools and i dont understand how u guys never recieved the message of NA...ONCE AGAIN U STUPID FOOLS I READ ALMOST ALL UR POSTS AND I PITTY U FOOLS

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