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Can You Get Addicted to Cannabis?

What does cannabis addiction look like? In this chapter, we learn about who can get addicted to cannabis, and what to do if you feel like you are consuming too much.

Chapter 3 · 3 min read
Can You Get Addicted to Cannabis?

Can you get addicted to cannabis? The short answer is yes, you can. You can “get addicted” to just about anything that you over-consume. Cannabis is just one example. Here’s what cannabis addiction may look like, and what to do about it.

What is Cannabis Addiction?

For the vast majority of cannabis consumers, starting and stopping ingesting the drug is an easy thing. However, some consumers can develop an addiction. Like any addiction, it can harm your life. While cannabis addiction is mild in comparison to alcohol and opiates, it can still be a negative, life-altering addiction.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has released data that claims 30 percent of those who consume cannabis may have some degree of “marijuana use disorder.” These claims tend to be backed by prohibitionist rhetoric, but it’s important to note that cannabis does impact young, developing brains. More on young brains shortly.

This aforementioned data states that around 4 million Americans met the criteria for “marijuana use disorder”, according to the statements they released in 2015. Of those four million, around 130,000 voluntarily sought treatment for cannabis addiction.


The use disorder may progress into an addiction when the consumer finds themselves allowing the drug to interfere with their daily activities. These numbers may very well be over-inflated due to the failed war on drugs, as many cannabis offenders are forced to seek treatment for a “marijuana addiction” they might not even have.

Cannabis Can Negatively Impact Developing Brains

While the prohibitionist rhetoric that cannabis lowers your IQ has long been debunked. For an in-depth look at this information, be sure to read our Cannabis Industry Guide.

However, pediatricians and other medical professionals have long said that cannabis can negatively impact the brains of teenagers. This might be true for people under the age of 25. Of course, more unbiased, objective studies must be done.

One specific study observed the addictive behaviors of identical twins raised in different families. If one twin develops an addiction to cannabis, the other is more likely to do so than if they were fraternal twins raised apart.

To be fair, this is true for twins in general, as twins may mimic each other’s behaviors as a natural part of their lives. Family ties might help otherwise would-be addicts avoid progressing their addiction to the point of it being an issue. If it does become an issue, it’s always important to seek treatment.

Cannabis Addiction: Seek Treatment

If you believe you may be addicted to cannabis, it’s important to seek help immediately. If you are a medical patient, seek advice from your doctor. If you’re not a medical patient, you can still seek mental health treatment. Many outpatient services are available to you, should you believe your cannabis consumption is becoming a problem.

If you believe you may have a problem with cannabis addiction or know someone who does, knowledge is power. Learning the most you can about this complex plant is the best course of action for you to get the most out of it while still living a full, healthy life.

What We Learned: Can You Get Addicted to Cannabis?

While rarer than many other drugs, you can still get addicted to cannabis, which is important for consumers to learn. Here’s what else we learned in this chapter:

  • Like any drug, you can get addicted to cannabis.
  • If you’re a problematic cannabis consumer, it could progress to addiction.
  • The first and most important thing to do if you believe you’re facing any addiction is to seek help immediately.
  • 4 million Americans met the criteria for “marijuana use disorder” as of a report published in 2015.
  • This data may be skewed due to cannabis arrests leading to mandatory treatment and misdiagnoses.

Ready to jump into the next chapter in our Cannabis and the Body Guide? Answer the question below and keep learning.

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Chapter Question

What percentage of those who consume cannabis have some degree of “marijuana use disorder”?

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The number of those diagnosed with a “marijuana use disorder” might be inflated by cannabis prohibition, as those on probation might be forced into treatment they don’t need.




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