With many different names used to describe marijuana including weed, pot, ganja, sativa, bud, grass, or dope, Mary Jane is just another slang word for cannabis.

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant, which contains a psychoactive chemical which can alter your mind. Cannabis plant material can also be in the form of a resin called hashish or a sticky black liquid called hash oil.

Typically smoked as a hand-rolled cigarette, in a pipe, or water pipe, marijuana has a strong and distinctive sweet-sour smell. Some people also mix the plant’s leaves, flowers, stems, or seeds into their food or into their tea.

Marijuana is one of the most controversial and politicised controlled substances in the UK and more so recently in the US. The substance has divided opinions for years as some advocate it for its holistic healing properties, whilst others feel negative about this medically categorised addictive drug.

Cannabis is one of the most widely abused recreational substances in the UK, yet many still perceive it to be harmless. Despite its innocent image, the mind-altering chemical THC found within marijuana causes psychoactive effects which is the catalyst for many addictive responses, increasing the chances of a cannabis use disorder (CUD).


Is Cannabis Addictive?

Like other drug or alcohol addictions, people seem to view a cannabis addiction as a weakness or lack of control, but very often these addictions are a result of trauma, ongoing mental health issues, or high stress. Cannabis can be very dangerous as it causes psychological and physical responses which can take control over you, leading to long-term problems.

When you smoke marijuana, the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, rapidly passes from your lungs into your bloodstream, carrying the substance into your brain and other organs.

When consumed with food or drink, THC is absorbed more slowly. No matter how it’s ingested, the substance impacts your brain cell’s cannabinoid receptors which are part of your neural communication network; this plays an integral part in your brain functionality and development.

These receptors influence your memory, pleasure, concentration, thinking, coordination, and sensory and time perception.

The “high” received from consuming marijuana is a result of your endocannabinoid system over-activating which also decreases your appetite, alters your perception and mood, impairs your coordination, disrupts your learning, and makes it more difficult to problem solve.

Because of these effects, some research shows that consuming marijuana can cause problems in daily life or exacerbate existing issues. When you consume marijuana on a regular basis, you’re more likely to experience lower life satisfaction, poorer mental and physical health, less career or academic success, and problems with relationships.


What are the Effects of Cannabis Addiction?

The greatest risk of being addicted to cannabis is that it affects your physical and psychological health simultaneously.

Both your body and your mind will crave the substance, leaving you unable to concentrate on anything else until your ‘fix’ has been satisfied. In some cases, the physical effects of cannabis can take a while to feel.

Typically, it will relax you, giving you a false sense of fulfilment because of the ‘happy chemical’ dopamine. Some physical symptoms of cannabis addiction are like those of a hangover and include nausea, bloodshot eyes, sweating, headaches, and binge eating.

Psychologically, your brain will also be impacted by the dopamine chemical, changing your usual behaviours and emotions. Over time, regular consumption of marijuana will cause a significant challenge for your brain as it will struggle to digest this increase of dopamine leading to feelings of irritability, paranoia, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

Your brain can identify this dopamine and will therefore crave it, particularly if it’s helping to ease other mental health symptoms, but this is where social cannabis use can turn into a severe addiction.

It’s clear to see why many people become addicted to marijuana as it elevates your mood, suppresses pain, and has the potential to help with mental health symptoms.


Our Services at Ocean Recovery

Addictions to cannabis are often seen as a gateway into other addictions which have the potential to be more serious and life-threatening. Seeking out treatment to rehabilitate from your addiction to marijuana is the best, and for most people, the only solution to fully overcome your addiction.

Here at Ocean Recovery, we provide personalised cannabis rehab treatment programmes which include a mixture of carefully selected physical, psychological, and well-being therapies to help you recover from your addiction to marijuana.

Offering both outpatient and inpatient rehab services, you can choose which option is best for you and your personal journey to recovery.

Whilst many people benefit from the flexibility of outpatient rehab as you can remain to stay overnight at home throughout your treatment, this can also be a disadvantage depending on your personal circumstances. Some people find comfort in staying at home and just visiting our rehab centre each day to undergo their therapy sessions, whereas others find their home environment to be distracting or to have negative influences which can impact their recovery or encourage a relapse.

The most successful recoveries from addiction come from those who join our private rehab centre as an inpatient as they have 24/7 dedicated support from a team of addiction specialists.

Typically, you’ll begin your treatment programme with a visit to our detox clinic where your intake of marijuana will gradually be reduced. Gradually reducing your consumption within a safe and controlled environment like our rehab centre is certainly the most effective and safest way to complete a detox.

Some people attempt to detox at home by cutting themselves off completely from the drug, known as going cold turkey, but without the expertise of a medical team this can be extremely dangerous; you’ll certainly require the support of professionals to ease the discomfort of common withdrawal symptoms.

We also deliver relapse prevention sessions, counselling, stress management, mindfulness and relaxation and sleep management to support your ongoing recovery.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: February 19, 2024

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.