Cannabinoid Use, Abuse and Addiction

Cannabinoid use, abuse and addiction are topics that have been ongoing in the U.S. for years. The legalization of marijuana and other cannabinoids has only added to the conversation.

More people are using cannabinoids now than ever before. Unfortunately, they are doing so without much concern regarding the long-term effects of it. What they don't realize is that cannabinoid drugs are much more dangerous now than ever before.

Perhaps you have been participating in cannabinoid use yourself. It's possible that you have even formed an addiction to one or more of these drugs. If that is the case, it's so important for you to learn as much about them as you possibly can.

What are Cannabinoids?

According to Wikipedia, a cannabinoid is one of a class of diverse chemical compounds. It is a drug that acts on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Cannabinoids come from the cannabis plant, or marijuana plant.

More specifically, of the 480 naturally-occurring compounds in the cannabis plant, 66 are cannabinoids.

THC is probably the most well-known of all of the cannabinoids. However, others such as CBD and CBN are becoming more commonly known.

Cannabinoids all have different effects on the brain. Some will actually offset the effects of the others.

Cannabinoid Addiction

A Comprehensive Cannabinoids List for Your Reference

Cannabis is one of the most diverse types of drugs on the market. In the past, marijuana was the most available on this list. Today, people have access to many different types of cannabinoids.

The most commonly used cannabinoids include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cannabis oil
  • Cannabidiol
  • Bubble hash
  • Hybrid
  • Indica
  • Sativa
  • Dabs
  • Hashish
  • K2
  • Wax

The main issue with these drugs is that they are presumed to be safe. Cannabinoids have a long history of use, and users have always believed they were the safest of the drugs.

Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. Cannabis is still quite dangerous, and it can cause a host of problems, both physically and mentally.

Before we get into the issues cannabinoids can lead to, let's take a closer look at each of these drugs.

Marijuana is something that most people are familiar with. It goes by a number of different names. Among them are:

  • Mary Jane
  • Grass
  • Pot
  • Herb
  • Ganja
  • Weed

It is a mixture of dried, shredded leaves and flowers from the cannabis plant. It is green or gray in color. People use it by smoking it either in hand-rolled cigarettes, or though a pipe. Some people will smoke it in a cigar. Marijuana can also be consumed through edible goods or by drinking a marijuana tea.

The active chemical in marijuana is THC. This is the chemical that is responsible for the high the plant produces.

Marijuana is thought to be safe by most people because it is a plant. However, it can have a devastating effect on those who use it frequently.

Cannabis oil is sometimes referred to as cannabinoid oil. It comes from the cannabis plant, and some people use it to treat a number of health conditions. Some of these include:

  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Schizophrenia

Of course, there are different types of cannabis oil. Many doctors and proponents of this drug claim that CBD cannabis oil is non-addictive. Enough scientific studies have not been done to confirm this.

THC cannabis oil can be addictive due to the fact that it contains the chemical that causes psychoactive responses.

Cannabidiol is often referred to as CBD. It is a cannabis compound that may have medical benefits. Unlike THC, it does not cause people to get high. In fact, it can actually counteract the effects of THC.

These facts alone make this compound attractive those who seek to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Some evidence may even suggest that CBD is safe to consume in high doses.

Hash, or hashish is a form of marijuana that is extremely potent. It can be made in a number of ways, but most often, it is made with butane.

Butane is used to extract the THC from the marijuana plant. As this process takes place, the resin is pressed together. The finished product is sold in small or large chunks. The drug is then smoked to experience the high.

Bubble hash is a form of hashish, which comes from the cannabis plant. It is known to be an extremely pure form of marijuana. This means that it contains very high levels of THC. It is made by agitating cannabis flowers, using water and ice.

As the THC is extracted from the marijuana plant, the resin is collected and pressed. This produces the final product. Many people prefer bubble hash because it is not processed with butane.

Indica is a strain of the cannabis plant. It is a type of cannabinoid that is extremely physically sedating. This type of cannabinoid use is often done before going to bed, or when relaxing. It is not a drug that encourages physical activity.

Indica does contain THC. Because of this, it does have psychoactive components to it.

Sativa is another strain of the cannabis plant. Sativa plants are more invigorating. This type of cannabinoid is usually used prior to creative projects or social events. Again, it contains THC, but in different levels than the Indica strain.

A hybrid cannabis plant is one that is a mixture of the sativa and Indica plants. It may contain properties of both types of cannabinoids. However, usually there is one that tends to be dominant. 

Dabs is a highly concentrated form of cannabis. It is quite controversial, even among those who enjoy using cannabinoids.

Using dabs produces an intense high. The end product is a sticky oil that is heated on a hot surface. Usually, this is a nail. The extraction process of making dabs is extremely dangerous. Some even say that "dabbing" may hurt marijuana legalization in many areas of the U.S.

K2 is a type of synthetic cannabinoid drug. This drug also binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These are sold as designer drugs, and the claim is that they produce the same effects as cannabis.

K2 is a dangerous drug. Research has shown that it can lead to intoxication, and even death.

Wax is another highly controversial cannabinoid drug. Wax users say that using this drug is the highest one could ever get when using marijuana. Sometimes wax is called BHO, which stands for butane hash oil.

Wax is a thick, oily substance that resembles honey. Butane is used to make it, which means creating it is very dangerous. Also, smoking or vaporizing wax produces hallucinogenic effects that some may find disturbing.

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Signs of Cannabinoid Use and Cannabinoid Abuse

The signs of cannabinoid use and cannabinoid abuse are difficult to miss. People who use cannabinoids are likely to experience many of the following:

  • A sensation of euphoria
  • Feelings of relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling as though time has been altered
  • Problems with memory
  • Slower reflexes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • An increased heart rate

Some people may even experience paranoia when they use cannabinoid drugs. This may depend on the type of cannabinoids being used.

Is a Cannabinoid Addiction Possible?

Yes, cannabinoid addiction is possible. Many people believe that cannabinoid use does not lead to addiction. However, they are incorrect.

Research has shown that cannabinoids do lead to both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

It's also normal for prolonged cannabis use to lead to the development of a tolerance. This means that it takes more cannabis to get high than it did previously.

Both of these are signs of cannabinoid addiction. Of course, there are other signs as well.

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Signs You May be a Cannabinoid Addict

There are many signs that indicate you could be a cannabinoid addict. These signs include:

  • Losing your job
  • Experiencing learning problems
  • Problems with your physical and mental health
  • Experiencing financial problems
  • Problems with your close, personal relationships

If you have experienced any of the above, you could be a cannabinoid addict. If you are, you need to be treated.

You may not be sure whether or not you're addicted to cannabinoids. If this is the case, you may find it helpful to take an addiction quiz.

The Effects of Cannabinoids Explained

The psychoactive components of cannabinoids can have a profound effect on the brain, primarily. They can lead to problems like concentration difficulties and impaired memory.

Physically, people who use cannabinoids are more likely to experience tachycardia. Other heart and lung problems are also a possibility.

With prolonged use of cannabinoids, these effects may be enhanced or even multiplied. Some experts even believe that cannabinoids are gateway drugs that could lead to the use of harder drugs.

Cannabis Use Statistics in the United States

Cannabinoids are prevalent in our country, as well as in the rest of the world. Cannabinoid abuse statistics tell us that:

  • Close to 160 million people all over the world use marijuana and other cannabinoids.
  • More than 94 million people in the United States admit to using cannabinoids at least one time.
  • Close to 7% of all 12 to 17 year-olds used marijuana in 2007.
  • In 2005, close to 245,000 emergency room visits in the U.S. were due to marijuana.
  • 62% of adults who used cannabinoids prior to the age of 15 went on to use cocaine.
  • 9% of these individuals went on to use heroin.
  • 54% of them went on to abuse prescription drugs.

Cannabinoid Addiction Treatment Can Help with Recovery

You may have a cannabinoid addiction, even if you thought it wasn't possible. Many people find themselves addicted to cannabinoids each year. If this is the case for you, please know that you can get help.

You may want to consider an IOP program as a way to recover from your addiction to cannabinoids. This type of program will give you the tools you need to heal.

Drug rehab is necessary for anyone who is addicted to cannabinoids. Please know that help is available for you to recover.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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