Cannabis Addiction

Cannabis is a drug that is widely accepted around the world, with many countries legalising it.  But much like alcohol, just because it is commonly used and safely used by many, does not mean it isn’t harmful. It can often be hard to get a cannabis addict to see the damage they are causing to themselves and others. They will usually offer many arguments as to why it is safe, backed up by information taken from Pro Cannabis sites and articles. There is no actual detox required for Cannabis Addiction; the main issue is the psychological dependency the individual develops, and the life style they tend to submerge themselves into.

Cannabis comes in many forms and strengths, and for an addict it can take them to the brink of self-destruction…and beyond. For any addict of any substance, the problem centre’s in their mind, not the actual drug. They are compelled to continue using despite ever increasing consequences to their mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing.

Types of Cannabis

Cannabis comes in many forms; all derived from the Cannabis plant. It is known under many different names. Some of the popular names Cannabis falls under are Hash, Marijuana, Pot, Weed, Dope, Joint, Blunt, Spliff, Gunja, Hashish, but there are literally thousands of names around the world that it is known as.

As well as pure Cannabis being available, synthetic Cannabis is produced under many different names and forms as Legal Highs.  These synthetic substances are just as dangerous and addictive, if not more so, as you don’t really know what is going into the product.

Cannabis comes in 3 main forms:

Cannabis Resin– This is usually smoked in a joint or through a Bong.  It comes in solid pressed form and in varying shades of brown/black in appearance.  Commonly known as Hash or Hashish is can also be added to food and eaten. Resin is taken directly from the Cannabis plant

Herbal Cannabis – This is derived from the flowerers and leaves of the Cannabis plant.  It has an appearance of dried grass and is often referred to as Weed, Marijuana, Grass and Skunk. It can come vacuum packed and in small bags or wraps.  Usually it is mixed with tobacco and smoked

Cannabis Oil – This is the least common form of the three and is a dark sticky liquid.  It is usually added to food, to ointments and to potions.  It is taken from the sticky buds of the Cannabis Sativa plant, and the most concentrated form in terms of the plants psychoactive substance THC. Cannabis oil tends to be used more for medicinal purposes than the other two forms.

Skunk which is a form of Herbal Cannabis tends have high levels of THC, the Psychoactive property of the Cannabis plant.  Smoking Skunk carries a higher risk of mental health issues than weaker strains.

What you need to know about Cannabis

Cannabis has been used through the ages for its medicinal, relaxing and psychoactive properties. Often seen as harmless by many users and referred to as a natural and herbal drug. However, for anyone with addictive tendencies or the potential to develop or have already developed mental health issues, it is anything but safe.

Most individuals first try Cannabis in their early teens, some experiment with it, or use it recreationally.  Others will continue to smoke as they crave the feeling and the high it produces.  It has been scientifically proven that users that start smoking in their teenage years are at the highest risk of developing mental health issues and a lowered IQ.  During the teenage years and early twenties, the human brain is still developing. In adolescent brains that have a genetic predisposition to mental health problems, there is a high risk of developing Schizophrenia, Depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Many who become addicted to Cannabis and its varying forms, go on to develop mental illnesses.  It is usually at this point that the family intervenes by seeking professional help.  It has been proven that heavy cannabis and long-term smokers have a reduced amount of grey matter in the brains orbitofrontal cortex. Simply stopping smoking cannot rectify all mental health issues; some are caused by permanent changes to the brain that cannot be reversed.

Cannabis Legislation

Cannabis is currently classified as a Class B drug in the UK.  It is therefore illegal to possess it and intent to supply; also growing your own Cannabis plants can come with heavy penalties and even custodial sentences

Signs of Cannabis Addiction

If you are wondering if you or a loved one may have an addiction to Cannabis, there are some signs and symptoms to watch out for. Cannabis produces a glazed, red and droopy-eyed appearance in the user. The smell of Cannabis, particularly Skunk, will cling to clothes and furnishings.  The “stoned” effect will slur speech, slower physical and emotional reactions and decrease motivation.  The user may become confused, unfocused and unable to concentrate enough to hold a conversation. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following, it’s time to take action and seek professional help:

  • Failed attempts at stopping smoking or unable to stop despite the desire to do so
  • Cannabis is affecting personal, family and working relationships
  • You are suffering from Anxiety, Depression or Paranoia
  • You are unable to function in society with or without Cannabis
  • You are a daily smoker and/or heavy smoker
  • You are seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • You are neglecting your personal hygiene and health
  • You borrow, plead or steal to get money to buy the drug
  • You are unable to hold a job down or sustain a relationship
  • You have lost your sex drive and motivation as a result of smoking ,but still continue to do so
  • If you cannot get the drug or run out, you become highly anxious, erratic and volatile
  • You obsess over Cannabis and the lifestyle, regardless of others

Professional Help at Liberty House

If you or a loved one is presenting any of the above signs of Cannabis Addiction, please call our clinic and ask for help.  Liberty House is able to provide a full Cannabis rehabilitation and relapse prevention program.  Our highly trained and dedicated counsellors and therapists will devise a personalised care plan, designed to treat the individuals thinking – the driving force behind the addiction.  We also have a clinical prescribing doctor on site to assess and prescribe for any individual who has developed a mental illness as a result.  Liberty House can provide you with the tools to ensure that you never have to return to your addiction ever again.

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