While cannabis is not considered to be the most harmful of drugs, when excessively used, it becomes problematic and can develop into an addiction.
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 generation group that the 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 and intend to quit, cannabis detox is available. We are here to guide you on the best treatment options available and support you in accessing the right advice and addiction treatment for your individual problem.
Street Names For Cannabis
Also referred to as marijuana, ‘grass’ and ‘weed’.
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, Pot.
Spotting signs of cannabis addiction in another is not always easy. However, some signs are typical of all strains of illegal cannabis. There are more severe symptoms to weed overdose.
Physical signs of addiction:
- Sensitive bloodshot eyes
- The distinctive smell of cannabis on clothing
- Presence of 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
- 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- Appearing distant and withdrawn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)
The Effects of Cannabis Misuse
Cannabis affects your central nervous system to produce emotions, including relaxation, mild euphoria, heightened appetite and problems perceiving space and time it can make some feel nauseous, paranoid and fearful.
With stronger strains 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)
The effects can also stimulate appetite and make you feel very hungry, causing the onset of “munchies“. This particular effect happens to the vast majority of users.
Long-Term Effects of Cannabis
The main dangers of cannabis addiction are associated with the onset of new or the aggravation of existing mental health illnesses.
Mental health problems are particularly prevalent in heavy marijuana users, those that frequently smoke the stronger varieties of marijuana, those that have existing mental health problems and those that start smoking marijuana during their teenage years, whilst the brain is most vulnerable to chemical change and still developing.
The human brain continues to evolve and develop until the age of 25, and those that smoke cannabis under the age of 25 are mainly at risk of developing mental health problems.
Marijuana side effects have been proven to cause the onset of the following:
- Paranoid schizophrenia
- Substance misuse disorders
Whilst most marijuana-related mental health illnesses can be resolved by stopping marijuana, some 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, you or they must access quality dual diagnosis treatment without delay. Please call Detox Plus UK for more information on private marijuana rehab and therapy.
How to Help a Family Member With Cannabis Addiction
If you have concerns regarding a family member’s use of weed, we suggest that you urge them to seek help immediately.
Addiction, and substance misuse disorders only ever get progressively worse and harder to treat the longer they remain untreated.
Being addicted to weed is a recognised addiction that requires very specialised treatment. Understand that your family member or loved one cannot stop using independently if they are addicted. Begging them to stop or shaming them will have little effect.
We recommend educating yourself on addiction and weed abuse before initiating a conversation. You will then better understand the mindset that drives your family member to continue using 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 weed addiction in any way.
Plant the seed of hope that there is effective cannabis detox available to help them overcome their problem, and they may approach you at a later time. We are also here to support you in helping your family member or loved one access private addiction treatment, which has been proven to be extremely effective.
Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms
Generally, occasional users of cannabis will experience withdrawal in a similar way to a hangover. Feeling tired, groggy and having a headache are common aftereffects of cannabis use. Cannabis is commonly taken in larger quantities and heavy users may experience a more severe withdrawal when they stop. Medical detox is recommended for heavy users of cannabis who want to stop. This can greatly ease any marijuana withdrawal symptoms and increase the addicted individual’s chances of successfully stopping.
Without a medical detox, addiction can produce unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when it is stopped.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
Symptoms of withdrawal usually pass within a few weeks but can last longer in chronic long-term marijuana users.
Accessing a medical detox in the community through your GP can prove fruitless. While the private sector recognises that withdrawal symptoms exist, there is no licensed detox on the NHS, specifically for marijuana.
Rehabs can prescribe a short course of medication that treats the symptoms of withdrawal. We find this necessary in many cases of addiction so that the individual can concentrate on their rehabilitation and engage with a treatment programme.
How Long Does Cannabis Stay In Your System?
How long cannabis stays in your system is dependent on several personal factors, the main factors being:
- Your body mass index
- How long and how frequently you have been smoking weed/cannabis
- The THC content of the strain of marijuana you have been smoking
- Your age and gender
- The sensitivity of the test
Marijuana can linger and be detectable for weeks after stopping.
Hair strand tests can detect THC (the psychoactive chemical present in cannabis) for weeks and, in some cases, months after stopping marijuana.
Is Weed Legal In the UK?
The laws in the UK state that 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, medical cannabis was legalised in the UK for the use or treatment of exceptional cases and only when prescribed by a consultant or physician.
Medical cannabis in the UK is very different from street/recreational cannabis, and it is heavily regulated and monitored to ensure patient safety.
Legalising in the UK, provided there are tight regulations applied to the quality of this drug, could, in fact, protect recreational users from the harmful effects of the stronger strains currently available illegally.
It is illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis. The 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 drunk driving 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 the drug in the last year. This equates to 7.2% of England and Wales’s population within this age range. This is also an increase of 0.7% from 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 the drug during that year in the UK.
Mixing with medication and with alcohol and other drugs can also make the effects more pronounced, dangerous and unpredictable.
If you or a loved one need private rehab, please call us directly for more information. We provide a professional medical detox and bespoke treatment programme for those in need of help with addiction.
We are experts in treating addiction and also specialise in the treatment of dual diagnosis patients. We can help you or your loved one access a 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 be successfully treated, and 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)