Marijuana / Cannabis is it an addictive substance? A large proportion of people; many think it is simply a “harmless herb”, or “just a plant”. In reality it can have damaging long term effects, and have an addictive nature. One of the reasons why cannabis is seen as being a less addictive drug is because it is not refined in the same way. Cocaine or heroine comes from the coca leaves and poppy seeds to the form in which the drug is taken.


Therefore people tend to assume that as a result it is not an addictive substance. It is near harmless to use as a recreational drug. This observation is categorically wrong. While many are able to use marijuana / cannabis with minimal affect upon their life. Others will find themselves unable to stop taking marijuana / cannabis as they crave the ability to relax without the substance. This was due to the addict “getting high”, while others where living their lives and progressing.


The addict finds themselves in a rut, with their whole lives revolving around drug use. It’s incredibly difficult to stop taking marijuana / cannabis when their social life is so intertwined with the drug. Social interactions may have previously endured whilst under the influence, thus making sober life a confusing and ultimately frightening prospect.

Drug dependence is the compulsive and regular use of a substance despite ongoing negative consequences. Therefore it is clear that under these criteria that marijuana / cannabis is an addictive drug. Many consider to have no withdrawal symptoms and as a result it is not addictive. However there can be a distinction made between substances which are physiologically addictive and those which are physically addictive. Therefore heroin for example is clearly a physically addictive substance as it has obvious withdrawal symptoms.

Marijuana / Cannabis becoming more potent

Marijuana / Cannabis is becoming steadily more potent because of the different strands which are being developed. Many will have heard of “Skunk” or “Cheese” which are both stronger versions of the marijuana / cannabis. Whereas previously this drug would have had THC levels of around 1 percent, many strains now are near 20%, displaying the way in which marijuana / cannabis use has changed. Furthermore the stronger strains when used for a longer period of time can cause negative effects like paranoia and the deterioration of short term memory to become more common, and also make them far more addictive.


Addicts may often find themselves feeling very alone if they realise that they have a problem. This is especially true with marijuana addicts because of the fact that many people deny marijuana’s addictive properties thus leaving the addict feeling marginalised and excluded. Furthermore the loneliness created by acknowledging that they have a problem, can worsen as they feel that there is no other option. Therefore treatment can often be a very helpful to give the recovering addict a support system, and allow them to interact with others who are on the same path to recovery as themselves.

If you have an alcohol or drug related problem, please call 01462 851414 for free and confidential advice and help.