Am I Addicted to Weed? When an Occasional Joint becomes a Problem

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Marijuana. Weed. Pot. Grass. Mary Jane. Refer. Herb. Whatever you want to call it. Cannabis has been around for centuries, dating back to 500 B.C. It holds a long reigning position in social circles as well as a highly regarded position in natural medicine and healing. That is pretty dope…no pun intended!

Not often do we think of marijuana being something that we get addicted to. No way. It’s innocent and harmless; and obviously it is not as dangerous as many other drugs out there like oh I don’t know, meth, heroin, fentanyl or crack cocaine.

So many places have legalized weed, and countless of individuals swear by it for medicinal and healing purposes. Therefore, you’re probably thinking it can’t be that bad. And you’re right it’s not that bad – in moderation. As much as we all love a good high, there is a thing as too much weed. One hit becomes two and two becomes three, then four and before you know it you just smoked a whole joint. Once in a blue moon – probably okay. Often – not okay.

And of course, everybody is different and will respond differently. Fair. But there becomes a point where addictive behaviours are formed and an unhealthy relationship with weed is created.

An unhealthy relationship with weed is not always easy to spot. Sometimes it can be quite hard, which is why a lot of people don’t even realize they are addicted.

A good place to start is asking yourself a few questions:

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  1. Do you feel a daily or regular need to smoke up?
  1. Do you experience any sort of withdrawal like symptoms when you go without marijuana?
  1. Do you ever think maybe you should cut back on your marijuana consumption?
  1. Do you crave the act of getting high or being high?
  1. Do you often smoke alone?
  1. Do you turn to marijuana when you are feeling; stressed, lonely, angry, depressed or sad?
  1. Have you tried quitting before?

ALL the above are signs of addiction that you should directly address. Keep reading for guidance and suggestions on how to help remove these addictive and abusive behaviours from taking control of your life.

Still unsure if you suffer from addiction or addictive behaviours towards weed?

Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction/Abuse:

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You develop a tolerance. After prolonged use your body develops a tolerance to the stuff and no longer does a hit or two do it and you need to keep increasing your intake to get the same high you once got.

You feel a need to use marijuana regularly. Do you feel a regular need to hit the bong or smoke a joint? If you aren’t addicted, you should be able to go for prolonged periods of time without feeling a need to get high.

You stop doing other things, so you can get high instead. Do you find yourself saying no to doing other things you once use to do just so you can use that time to get high instead? Changing your daily life and routine so you can make getting high a priority in your day is an addictive behaviour.

You continue to use weed and get high even after seeing it causes disruption and chaos in your life. Maybe you notice that your performance at work is falling behind, you have little to no motivation to do anything or go anywhere, and your ambition and drive is at an all time low right in the toilet. Or maybe your friendships are slipping away. These are all negative effects of smoking too much weed.

You ignore your daily responsibilities to get high. Are you using marijuana to avoid things in your daily life that may stress you out? Life isn’t always easy, fair enough. But are you using marijuana to avoid something?

Constantly thinking about the next time you can get high. Does this thought take precedent over other pressing matters? Are you always thinking about your next fix? This is an addictive characteristic for sure.

You experience withdrawal symptoms; anxiety, depression, headaches, disorientation, difficulties sleeping, difficulties feeling relaxed, easily irritable, mood swings, forgetfulness, all signs of too much weed.    

How do I treat my weed addiction?

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For some the idea of being addicted to weed may be embarrassing, for others maybe it is denial. The first step, like in any other addiction, is admitting that you have a problem.

Yes, that may be the most cliché thing you will hear today but there is no other first step. Admit it. Fix it.

Next big thing is you must be willing to change your behaviours. How often do you know you need to do something or change something, yet are so reluctant or don’t do a damn thing about it? Hey man, we are all guilty of it, but this isn’t something little, like you know you go to bed too late and you should start going to bed at a more reasonable time. No. Drug addiction is serious. And will alter your life in a negative way.

Think about all the relationships it has the power to destroy. The lack of motivation to do anything with your life is also a really shitty side effect from too much green. Or think about the psychological aspect that will take over every corner of your mind. Do you want to feel paranoid or anxious for the rest of your life? The long-term effects on your brain and body from over use of marijuana also doesn’t look too good for you. Prolonged overuse of marijuana has been linked to higher risk of stroke and heart failure.

You need to re-create your life without weed. It may have been the focal point of your day and all you could think about was your next high but now you need to remove that from your daily ritual.

How?

  • Stay busy. Busy brain + busy body = too busy for weed.
  • Reconnect with people you may have lost touch with because of your addiction.
  • Surround yourself with sober individuals who make a great support system
  • Focus on your work. Take time to appreciate that motivation that may have been lost or clouded from weed.
  • Find a new hobby or learn a new skill.
  • Join a support group like The 12 Step Program.
  • Consider addressing yourself to a rehab centre. Is rehab effective? Read more here.
  • Avoid situations where weed may be present – this is where sober friends fit in the picture really nice.

Address the underlying issue. Are you lonely, confused with life or a bored? What is the reason for turning to that high time and time again? Think, because there is a reason; and it is your job to figure out what the hell it is. Because guarantee if you don’t you are only going to turn to something else to mask your feelings.

Using recovery tools like; admitting to your addiction, willing to change and addressing the issue at large are amazing first steps. And you should be proud. Because damn, overcoming addiction is not a walk in the park. And there will be times you want to throw in the towel, but the amazing thing here is that you have the chance to take back your power.

Remember it’s a journey and yours alone, so don’t get too hard on yourself on comparing your recovery to anyone else’s. Capiche?!

What is a safe amount of weed to smoke?

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This is different for everyone. There is no cookie-cutter magic amount to make it easy. Sorry, this is not fantasy land. Because our bodies are all so different and react differently to different substances, what is right for you isn’t going to be right for the dude next to you.

So please for the love of the Green Gods do not try and keep up with some other guy. Yeah yeah, we know you’re a tough macho man…but sit back down and don’t screw yourself over; because trying to keep up with anyone has the potential to be a recipe for disaster.

Remember: not all marijuana products are the same and each one can affect you differently. First time trying edibles? Go easy. Different or new to you strain? You guessed it – go easy. In situations where you are exposing yourself to something new, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Put your ego the f*ck away. Trust us.

Know your limit

Now, unfortunately knowing your limit often results from a time when you didn’t know your limit. But hey, that’s life. And when life gives you a green out take that lesson and remember the f*ck out of that lesson the next time a joint is passed to you.

By knowing and respecting your limit you are creating healthy boundaries with weed.

Disclaimer: This article was not written by a medical professional the above is merely guidance and advice. Please seek proper medical treatment if you feel you have a substance abuse problem.

About the author Patrick Banks

Patrick Banks is an entrepreneur, full-time dating advisor, and total health & fitness freak. He provides tips on how to exercise and eat well, boost energy and feel confident in your own skin. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.