Hashish. Ganja. Pot. Weed. Bhang. Skun. Cannabis has hundreds of slang names and possibly just as many arguments about when, where, how, and if people should use it. Amidst the controversy, misunderstandings and misinformation abounds. It can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. For example, have you ever hear…
You cannot get addicted to marijuana.
Or how about this one?
Weed does give you side effects when you detox.
The reality is that 25-50 percent of people who use cannabis on a daily basis form a dependency, and overall, 9 percent of adults and 17 percent of teens who use cannabis will form an addiction. Even more, when people quit using cannabis, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, tremors, digestive problems, nightmares, headaches, and more.
Cannabis addiction is now recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD).
Cannabis use is similar to alcohol use in that many people may use it without difficulty while others for serious dependencies. If you are using weed more often than you intended or in greater quantities that you want, you are not the only one. Many people struggle with CUD, and through therapy, many people have found the help they needed to regain control.
Thriveworks Chesterfield, VA provides treatment for Cannabis Use Disorder and help to control or quit weed.
What Is CUD?
Delta-9-TetraHydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive compound that is found in the leaves, stems, and buds of the cannabis plant. THC has effects on people’s moods and minds. In large quantities, it also has hallucinogenic effects. THC slows down the brain’s communication with the body.
Not all pot use is addictive or harmful. Knowing the difference between safe use and dependent use can be tricky. People are rarely good judges of their own behavior.
How much weed is too much? How frequently is too often?
The DSM-5 gives an official definition for CUD. If you use cannabis, think about whether you recognize any of these behaviors.
Cannabis Use Disorder may occur when people use pot regularly for at least one year, during which they experience lost functioning in their daily life and increased disruptions from the cannabis use. These are measure according to the following symptoms:
- Cravings for weed, possibly experiencing psychosomatic smells, intense dreams, vivid images, and/or obsessive thoughts about it.
- Dedicating significant time to pot use—obtaining it, ingesting it, and recovering from it.
- Increased frequency of use.
- Ineffective attempts to curb use or quit.
- Continuing use despite personal, professional, or relational harm.
- Allowing one’s job, school, hygiene, family, or friends to suffer because of pot use.
- Ingesting more cannabis to feel similar hallucinogenic or psychoactive effects.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, cravings, nightmares, sweats, digestive problems, and more.
- Mixing risky behavior and pot use such as driving a car while high.
Cannabis dependency can come in degrees, and DSM-5 has a scale that acknowledges different levels of CUD based upon the number of symptoms displayed.
- Mild Cannabis Use Disorder: 2-3 Symptoms
- Moderate Cannabis Use Disorder: 4-5 Symptoms
- Severe Cannabis Use Disorder: 6 or More Symptoms
Risk Factors of CUD
Not everyone who uses cannabis will become addicted to it, and there are certain circumstances that may increase the risk of dependency. The DSM-5 acknowledges that the following factors may increase a person’s chances of developing CUD:
- Low socio-economic status.
- Background of abuse.
- Chemical dependency in the family history.
- Previous tobacco use.
- A pre-existing Antisocial Personality Disorder or Conduct Disorder.
- Poor school performance.
- Unstable family context.
- Easy to access to weed.
- Living in a drug-tolerant culture.
- Family members who use pot.
Counseling for CUD
Many people attempt to treat CUD without professional intervention and are successful. But many others find that detoxing from weed is a harder process than anticipated, and they greatly benefit from professional counseling.
Cleansing the body of THC is often a more difficult and harder process than people expect. Part of the reason is that the body stories the psychoactive compound, THC, in fat cells, making it more challenge for the body to cleanse itself. Therapy has given many people the coping strategies to handle withdrawal symptoms.
During detox, vivid dreams and overwhelming emotions can bombard people as they detox. A skilled therapist can equip people with skills to handle these feelings and phenomena. Therapy may also allow people to explore why they began to use cannabis. In a safe context, a counselor can help people resolve difficult experiences and feelings that they may have numbed with weed. Through therapy, people often find new, healthy ways to handle life’s hardships.
Treatment at Thriveworks Chesterfield, VA Is Available
If you are tired of weed causing more and more challenges in your life, it may be time to quit. Know that you do not have to detox alone. Thriveworks Chesterfield, VA has appointments to treat CUD available.
When you work with our office, know that there are no waitlists. Instead, we often schedule first-time clients for a next-day appointment. We also accept many forms of insurance.
Is it time to get more control over your cannabis us? Let’s get started.