Detox Plus UK are experts in successfully treating those suffering from cannabis abuse and cannabis addiction.
While cannabis is not considered to be the most harmful of drugs, like any drug, when excessively used, it becomes problematic. Cannabis is the most widely used drug in the UK today.
Cannabis has been labelled a gateway drug; whether this is true or not is debatable, but it is a drug that is popular with teenagers and young adults. Sadly, it is this age group that cannabis’s effects cause the most harm. We cover the reasons for this further on in this article.
If you or a loved one are using and abusing cannabis or struggling to quit cannabis, help is available. We are here to guide you as to the best treatment options available and to support you in accessing the right advice and addiction treatment for your individual cannabis problem.
The Current Law On Cannabis In The UK
In the UK, recreational cannabis is an illegal class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act law 1971. It is illegal to possess, sell or giveaways.
Cannabis of all strains is currently legal in many other countries, including countries in the EU and there has been much controversy as to whether or not it should be made legal in the UK.
In November 2018, medicinal cannabis was legalised in the UK, for the use or treatment of exceptional cases and only when prescribed by a consultant or physician.
Medicinal cannabis is very different from street/recreational cannabis, and it is heavily regulated and monitored to ensure patient safety.
Legalising cannabis in the UK, providing there are tight regulations applied to the quality of this drug, could, in fact, protect recreational users and self medicators from the harmful effects of the stronger strains of cannabis currently available illegally.
It is illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis. Cannabis has effects that can delay your reactions towards a stimulus. It can also affect your ability to make rational decisions and impair you both cognitively and physically.
The drug driving law carries the same penalties as the drink driving in the UK.
Different Strains of Cannabis
There are various different strains of cannabis that are derived from different parts of the cannabis plant. Their strength varies according to the part of the plant they are derived from and the THC present in the individual cannabis plant – which can vary tremendously.
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short is the psychoactive ingredient present in cannabis. It is the strength of this chemical that dictates the strength of the strain. It is the strains of cannabis with the most THC in that are prone to be abused and can cause addiction and mental health problems.
Medical cannabis is heavily regulated while recreational cannabis drug plants are not – Various strains of recreational cannabis are cultivated illegally to produce high amounts of THC. It is these unregulated strains that are considered harmful and dangerous.
Street Names For Cannabis
As with other illicit drugs, cannabis has an array of different street names, including:
Puff, Skunk, Cheese, Weed, Marijuana, Hemp, Joint, Blunt, Hash, Solid, Grass, Hemp, CBD, Solid, Dab, Shatter, Wax
The Effects of Cannabis
The effects of cannabis can vary from person to person and is also dependent on the strain of cannabis used, its purity and its THC content.
While cannabis can make some individuals feel relaxed, giggly and happy; it can make others feel nauseous, paranoid and fearful.
With stronger strains of cannabis such as skunk where the THC content can be very high, the psychoactive effects are strong and are similar to LSD (a strong hallucinogenic drug)
Cannabis can also stimulate appetite and make you feel very hungry, causing the onset of “munchies”. This particular effect happens in the vast majority of cannabis users.
Spotting the Signs of Cannabis Addiction Use & Abuse
Dependent on the type of cannabis used and the individual’s reaction to it, cannabis can increase energy and euphoric feelings, or calm and relax the person. For this reason, spotting signs of addiction in another is not always easy. However, there are some signs that are typical of all strains of illegal cannabis.
Physical signs of cannabis use and abuse:
- Sensitive bloodshot eyes
- The distinctive smell of cannabis on clothing
- Presence of cannabis paraphernalia – pipes, bongs, rolling papers, split cigarettes, homemade filters for joints etc.
- Decreased levels of performance and activity
- Use of sunglasses at inappropriate times
- Delayed response and impaired motor coordination
- Inappropriately giggly
- Change in personal hygiene
Psychological signs of cannabis use and abuse:
- Depression and anxiety
- Change in sleep pattern and eating habits
- Severe mood swings
- Difficulty in recalling conversations and events
- General forgetfulness
- Appearing distant and withdrawn
- The notable change in behaviour
- Hallucinations (auditory or visual)
If you or a loved one are struggling with cannabis abuse or cannabis addiction and need help to stop, Detox Plus UK can help!
Types of Cannabis
There are many different types and names for different derivatives of the cannabis plant. Cannabis can be extracted from various parts of the plant and can range in appearance, smell and THC strength.
The main types of cannabis are:
Hash/hashish is derived from the resin of the cannabis plant. It is brown/black in appearance and solid in form. It can be hard or soft and is usually crumbled and added to tobacco in a joint and smoked. It can also be added to baking, hash cookies and hash cakes are a favourite with recreational users.
Weed has the appearance of dried herbs and is derived from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It is commonly added to tobacco and smoked in a joint.
Skunk has a very distinctive and pungent smell and is a particularly strong strain of cannabis.
Containing high amounts of THC, skunk has powerful psychoactive effects. Skunk is renowned for being associated with cannabis addiction and cannabis-induced psychosis. The high levels of THC can trigger mental health episodes and illnesses in those that smoke it.
Its appearance comes in various shades of green and brown clumpy herbs.
Cannabis oil is not usually associated with cannabis addiction as it is mainly used for medicinal purposes and added to potions and creams. Cannabis oil is a dark sticky liquid and its THC content can be very high. There is a stark difference between CBD oil that is available in stores and CBD oil derived from drug plants.
CBD oil/ Cannabidiol/ Hemp products
CBD oil or Hemp oil products available to buy in health food stores in the UK are very low in THC. The CBD and hemp that can be sold legally in the UK must contain a maximum of 0.2% THC content and the THC must not be easily separated from it.
Is a cannabidiol product that has been approved for use in the UK by the MHRA as a treatment for multiple sclerosis. Sativex is a 50-50 mix of THC and CBD, produced in a laboratory and strictly regulated. It is only available legally in the UK on prescription.
This form is extracted from the cannabis plant using butane. Dab or shatter comes in solid form and is highly concentrated in CBD and THC. Dab and Shatter are most commonly used in e-liquids and vaped.
Medical cannabis should not be confused with recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis is the only legal form of cannabis with a THC content higher than 0.2% in the UK.
On the 1st November 2018, medical cannabis-based products in pill, liquid or oil form were legalised as a controlled drug in the UK. Medical cannabis can only be prescribed by medical consultants where they feel their patients would benefit.
Medical cannabis can legally be prescribed in the UK for:
- Children with rare and severe forms of epilepsy
- Adults suffering from chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting
- Adults suffering from muscle stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis
Cannabis Use In The UK
The latest statistics from the Home Office Crime Survey for England and Wales 2017/18 found that cannabis was the most commonly used drug in England and Wales in 2017/18, as it was in preceding years.
The report showed an estimated 2.4 million people aged 16 to 59 had used cannabis in the last year. This equates to 7.2% of England and Wales population within this age range. This is also an increase of 0.7% on the previous year’s statistics.
Cannabis is very popular with the younger generation in particular and in 2017 around 975,000 individuals aged 16 to 24 were recorded as having used cannabis during that year in the UK.
Is Cannabis Dangerous?
Ever heard the saying “No one has ever died from using cannabis”?. We at Detox Plus UK know that this is not true and that cannabis, when abused, can be very dangerous.
Deaths related to cannabis, where cannabis has been mentioned on the death certificate, have been recorded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) since drug-related death records first began.
Cannabis’s effects can make an individual far more vulnerable to harm and life-threatening accidents. When an individual is addicted to cannabis, they can also become suicidal and prey to severe mental health conditions.
Mixing cannabis with alcohol, medications and other drugs can also make the effects of cannabis more pronounced, dangerous and unpredictable
Cannabis and Mental Health Illness (Dual Diagnosis)
The main dangers of cannabis use and abuse are associated with the onset of new, or the aggravation of existing mental health illnesses.
Mental health problems are particularly prevalent in heavy cannabis users, those that frequently smoke the stronger varieties of cannabis, those that have existing mental health problems and those that start smoking cannabis during their teenage years, whilst the brain is most vulnerable to chemical change and still developing.
The human brain continues to evolve and develop up until the age of 25, and those that smoke cannabis under the age of 25 are particularly at risk of developing mental health problems.
Cannabis addiction has been proven to cause the onset of the following mental health illnesses in those that are genetically predisposed:
- Paranoid schizophrenia
- Substance misuse disorders
Whilst most cannabis-related mental health illnesses can be resolved by stopping cannabis, some illness will remain (although usually to a lesser degree).
Sadly for a small number of individuals, they will find their mental health irreparably damaged and require ongoing psychiatric care, support and treatment for the rest of their lives.
If you or someone you know is smoking cannabis and suffering from a mental health condition; it is imperative that you or they access quality dual diagnosis treatment without delay. Please call Detox Plus UK for more information on private cannabis rehab and treatment.
How to Help a Family Member With Cannabis Addiction
If you have concerns regarding a family member’s use of cannabis, we suggest that you urge them to seek help immediately. This is especially true of those that are displaying mental health illness symptoms.
Addiction, substance misuse disorders and mental health illnesses only ever get progressively worse and harder to treat the longer they remain untreated.
Cannabis addiction is a recognised illness that requires very specialised treatment. Understand that your family member or loved one is unable to stop using cannabis on their own if they are addicted. Begging them to stop or shaming them will have little effect.
We recommend educating yourself on addiction and cannabis abuse before initiating a conversation. You will then have a better understanding of the mindset that drives your family member to continue using cannabis despite negative consequences.
Offer to support your family member in accessing professional help. If they deny they have a problem or are not open to accepting help, there is sadly little you can do except ensure that you are not enabling their cannabis addiction in any way.
Plant the seed of hope that there is effective addiction treatment available to help them overcome their problem and they may approach you at a later time. Detox Plus UK is also here to support you in helping your family member or loved one to access private addiction treatment, which has been proven to be extremely effective.
Cannabis Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms
Private rehabs can provide a bespoke cannabis detox. This can greatly ease any cannabis withdrawal symptoms and increase the addicted individual’s chances of successfully stopping cannabis.
Without a medical detox, cannabis addiction can produce unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped.
Cannabis withdrawal symptoms include:
- Cannabis cravings
Symptoms of cannabis withdrawal usually pass within a few weeks but can last longer in chronic long term cannabis users.
Accessing a medical detox for cannabis in the community through your GP can prove fruitless. Whilst the private sector recognise that cannabis withdrawal symptoms do exist, there is no licensed detox on the NHS specifically for cannabis.
Drug rehabs can prescribe a short course of medication that treats the symptoms of cannabis withdrawal. We find this necessary in many cases of addiction so that the individual can concentrate on their rehabilitation and engage with a cannabis treatment programme.
How Long Does Cannabis Stay In Your System?
How long cannabis stays in your system for is dependent on a number of personal factors, the main factors being:
- Your body mass index
- How long and how frequently you have been smoking weed/cannabis for
- The THC content of the strain of marijuana you have been smoking
- Your age and gender
- The sensitivity of the drug test
Unlike alcohol and other drugs which can be dispelled from your system within a matter of days, cannabis can linger and be detectable for weeks after stopping the drug.
Hair strand tests can detect THC (the psychoactive chemical present in cannabis) for weeks and in some cases, months after stopping marijuana.
Cannabis Addiction Treatment Options
When it comes to accessing cannabis treatment on the NHS, sadly there is less help available than there is for Class A drugs. This is because cannabis is still considered a non-addictive and less dangerous drug.
Addiction to ANY drug is life-threatening, which is why private rehabs treat the addiction and not the drug; recognising addiction as an illness that requires bespoke and comprehensive treatment in order to recover.
For those that cannot afford private rehab, we recommend contacting your local drug and alcohol services and Marijuana Anonymous UK for community-based help and support.
Rehab for weed UK
If you or a loved one need private cannabis rehab, please call us directly for more information. We provide a professional medical detox and bespoke treatment programme for those in need of help for addiction.
Detox Plus UK are experts in treating cannabis addiction and also specialise in the treatment of dual diagnosis patients. We can help you or your loved one to access a cannabis rehab in the UK that is CQC registered, run by qualified professionals including psychiatrists, psychotherapists, doctors, nurses and highly skilled addiction counsellors and therapists, and offers a selection of evidence-based addiction treatments.
Following a comprehensive assessment of your individual addiction treatment needs, we will ensure that the rehab we recommend is fully capable of treating all aspects of your mental, physical, emotional and social health.
As with any addiction, cannabis addiction cannot be cured, it can, however, be successfully treated and cannabis recovery can be maintained permanently.
Contact Detox Plus UK today for confidential free help and advice.
Drug Wise UK
Home Office Crime Survey 2016/2017/2018
Drugs and driving: the law – GOV
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Cannabis may change how prescription drugs work and may cause possible side effects.
Because it is easy to eat too much and comes in a palatable and easy-to-use form, it is not difficult to begin regular use of the substance.