Cannabinoid Addiction, Abuse and Options for Recovery Programs in WA State

Over the last few years, cannabinoid abuse has skyrocketed in Washington State, as well as elsewhere in the U.S. .

We now know that it is possible to form an addiction to these drugs. But this is something that many people are not aware of. They also often do not realize that treatment can help them stop using

The legalization of marijuana and other cannabinoids in Washington has only added to the conversation. It has also added to the confusion surrounding marijuana, dabs and other forms of the drug. More people are now using these drugs than ever before, and they are doing so with little regard about the long-term outcome.

The cannabis products that are available today are much more potent than they were just twenty years ago. More people need to be made aware of the risks involved with using them. For those who are addicted to cannabinoids, we want them to know that there is hope for recovery.

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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.

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.

Cannabinoid Addiction

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.

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.

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.

The Washington State Department of Health reports that:

  • In 2016, 14% of Washington State adults said that they had used marijuana during the last 30 days.
  • That percentage was an increase from 2011 when it was just over 8%, prior to the drug becoming legal in the state.
  • 17% of tenth graders reported using marijuana within the last 30 days.
  • That percentage was the same as previous years.
  • The prevalence of marijuana among youth appears to be increasing with each grade level.

These numbers will most likely only increase in the years to come. But the question is, what is being done to curb them? There are a few actions being taken, such as:

Establishing a public health hotline in Washington State. This would allow people to call in to get support and referrals for treatment options.

Implementing new evidence-based treatment methods and strategies.

Increasing research on ways to prevent cannabis abuse or addiction.

Starting media-based public education campaigns for both adults and young people.

Implementing the goals of the state’s 5-year plan to prevent substance abuse and promote mental health awareness.

The Importance of Getting Treatment for Cannabis Addiction

Although there is no research that says that cannabis is physically addictive, it is known to be psychologically addictive.

Once a person believes that they need to the drug to be OK, it can be very difficult for them to stop using it. While there may be some who are able to quit without professional help, it is much easier to recover with support.

A cannabinoid rehab program can be so beneficial for someone in this situation. They get the opportunity to talk with a therapist and other clients to work through their addictive behaviors.

Getting the right support is a critical part of recovery. It can make all the difference in the world. More people need to know that help is available if they are addicted to cannabinoids, and that drug rehab can help.

At Northpoint the Evergreen, we offer a high quality outpatient drug rehab program that can help people with cannabinoid addictions. We know how hard it is to stop using drugs once a person starts. But we also know that people experience addiction differently, which is why they need personalized treatment.

We have three levels of care at both of our facilities in Bellevue and Seattle. Our clients can attend our partial hospitalization program, our IOP, or our traditional outpatient rehab. We also work with many health insurance companies to make getting treatment more affordable.

Learn More About Cannabinoids and Getting Recovery Help in Washington State

At Northpoint the Evergreen, we know how benign cannabinoid addiction can appear. But we have also seen how these drugs have devastated individuals and families. Getting treatment can make such a difference for those who are abusing marijuana or other cannabinoids.

Would you like to know more about cannabinoid abuse or addiction? Do you have questions about our outpatient program or other possible treatment options? Please contact us today.

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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