What are the signs and symptoms of cannabis addiction?
Cannabis, also commonly referred to as ‘marijuana’, ‘weed’ and ‘pot’, is a psychoactive substance that is derived from the cannabis plant. As well as causing feelings of relaxation, tranquillity, sensory distortion, increased appetite and mild analgesia, cannabis consumption can result in the development of an addiction, as well as a range of associated symptoms.
Although it is often portrayed as a harmless substance, cannabis can cause a variety of temporary and long-term negative effects, which is why it’s so important to be able to recognise the signs of cannabis addiction in order to receive timely, professional help & support. At Manor Clinic, our expert team possess a wealth of experience in helping people to overcome an addiction to cannabis, relieve their cannabis addiction symptoms, and achieve positive mental and physical wellbeing.
Symptoms of cannabis addiction manifest differently in different people and also depend on the amount of cannabis that you have been consuming, as well as the frequency of your cannabis use. However, the following are all common signs and symptoms that may indicate that a harmful cannabis addiction has developed.
Psychological symptoms of cannabis addiction:
- Paranoia and defensiveness
- Feeling nervous and ‘on edge’
- Increased temper and irritability
- Feelings of guilt
- Reduced self-esteem
- Mood swings
- Distorted perception of the passage of time
- Poor judgement and decision-making capabilities
- Memory problems
- Regularly consuming cannabis to relieve stress and tension; this can often be the trigger for many people who go on to become addicted to cannabis
- Finding it hard to focus or concentrate
- Intense cravings for cannabis
- Exacerbation of any existing mental health problems
Physical symptoms of cannabis addiction:
- Dry mouth
- Bloodshot eyes
- Increased appetite
- Impaired balance, co-ordination and motor skills
- Delayed reaction time
- Disrupted sleep patterns, including insomnia
- Feeling tired and lethargic
- Lack of concern over physical appearance/personal hygiene
- Appearance of withdrawal symptoms if you haven’t consumed cannabis for a certain amount of time
Behavioural and social symptoms of cannabis addiction:
- Apathy and a lack of motivation
- Continuing to take cannabis despite experiencing negative repercussions as a result of this
- Using other drugs alongside cannabis
- Lying or deceiving others regarding your activities, whereabouts and cannabis use
- Using cannabis at times when it is clearly dangerous to do so e.g. before driving
- Engaging in risky and reckless behaviour when under the influence of cannabis
- Avoiding contact with family and friends, leading to social isolation
- Finding that you only tend to spend time with other people who take cannabis
- Devoting an excessive amount of time to obtaining and using cannabis
- Lack of interest in hobbies or activities that you once enjoyed
- Prioritising cannabis use over your friends and family
- Poor attendance and performance at work
- Possession of paraphernalia used for cannabis consumption such as rolling papers and water pipes
What are the long-term effects of cannabis addiction?
Prolonged cannabis abuse can impact on an individual’s physical, emotional and socioeconomic wellbeing, and can result in a range of long-term problems, including:
- Heart and lung problems
- Compromised immune system
- Injury from impaired co-ordination and/or reckless behaviours
- Sexual problems
- Impaired mental processing
- Reduced self-esteem
- Strained or ruined interpersonal relationships
- Family breakdowns
- Job loss and long-term unemployment
- Financial difficulties
- Problems with the law, including arrest and imprisonment
What are the effects of cannabis withdrawal?
Individuals who have a long history of cannabis abuse may experience several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop using cannabis or significantly reduce their cannabis consumption. These may include:
- Strong cravings for cannabis
If it is deemed as being an appropriate step for you, you will be able to undertake our medically assisted withdrawal detoxification programme at Manor Clinic. The purpose of this is to remove all traces of cannabis from your system and help you to manage the withdrawal symptoms that you experience.
This page was reviewed by Sarina Wheatman (FDAP) in October 2021.