The question many ask when marijuana is the topic of conversation: Is marijuana addictive? Well, changes occur that lead to addiction when the endocannabinoid system in the brain is overstimulated due to extended marijuana use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is estimated that 9 percent of those who participate in marijuana use become addicted.
Monitoring If Marijuana is Addictive
Results of a quarterly report monitoring the potency of the drug, showed an increase in THC levels over the last few decades. In the early 90’s levels were around 3.7 percent for marijuana and 7.5 percent for sinsemilla (a higher potency marijuana from specially tended female plants).
In 2013, it was 9.6 percent for marijuana and 16 percent for sinsemilla. With higher potency and numerous ways to ingest the drug, it seems more likely for users to grow addicted to the drug. Addiction, referring to behaviors that are compulsive, partially out of control and often escalating in severity and intensity.
Is This Always the Case?
Not all that continually use cannabis have addictive behaviors. Many can spend years enjoying the drug without the severe effects addiction can bring. There are a great number of people who use the drug just as “social drinkers” use alcohol; on occasion, when with friends, after the days responsibilities are done. However, just like people who use alcohol and may not necessarily be “addicted” to those who frequently use may have a difficult time when trying to completely quit using the drug.
So, to answer the question: is marijuana addictive? I believe the answer is maybe.