Cannabis or also known on the street under different alias such as ‘weed’, ‘marijuana’ and ‘dope’ is an illegal drug that is made from the cannabis plant. To consume the drug, you can smoke it or eat it through various methods such as baking it in food or brewing it inside the tea.
Cannabis has been noted to be one of the less ‘damaging’ substances compared to stronger drugs such as cocaine, ketamine and heroin but the long-term effects from extended cannabis misuse can be damaging to a person’s physical and mental health.
People use the drug Cannabis for several different reasons, one of the main common uses is for people taking cannabis to relieve their stress or physical symptoms that could be causing them pain. The term is called self-medication. During short-term use, you may feel as if you are getting ‘better’ but extended long-term misuse can increase mental health problems such as depression and anxiety plus it can create new problems.
Cannabis is one of the most widely used drugs in the United Kingdom with users coming from all types of backgrounds. It is more easily accessible compared to many drugs due to its ‘lighter nature’ but cannabis addiction can be seriously damaging to a person’s mental health in the long run. Younger people in the United Kingdom are more likely to use cannabis than older people.
Cannabis addiction is serious and can be one of the strongest vices to break free from due but there is always hope through cannabis rehabilitation where a person can be in a safe space to work on their physical and mental health through therapy and more. Long-term cannabis addiction can seriously damage a person’s mental health.
When you smoke Cannabis, it will enter your bloodstream. Once in your bloodstream, it will be carried to your brain and stuck to your brain receptors. Through this, you will start to feel effects that will change your mood and behaviours – a common response to smoking cannabis is getting the ‘munchies’ where you have an increase of hunger.
Cannabis contains various different chemicals called cannabinoids. Some examples that you may have already heard of when learning about cannabis are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the main active ingredient in the cannabis plant and CBD (Cannabidiol.) The more THC that is in the cannabis plant, the more potent it will be.
A stronger variation of cannabis is ‘Skunk’ which contains a high level of THC and the effects are stronger plus faster than your normal milder types of cannabis. CBD can lessen the powerful effects of THC such as hallucinations and paranoia.
Much like any drug, there is a chance that a person can become hooked on the substance through constant misuse. Cannabis has been known to be an addictive substance. It has been found that at least 1 out of 10 cannabis users will end up becoming dependent on cannabis meaning that they have to take the drug on a daily basis in order to ‘function’ and feel ‘normal.’
People who misuse cannabis on a daily basis will build up a tolerance to the drug which will then end up leading to them taking more of the substance in order to feel the same effects they felt when they first started smoking cannabis which will ultimately lead to a dependency and a full-blown addiction to cannabis.
A cannabis addiction will mean that once you attempt to stop smoking or consuming cannabis you will start to suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as becoming irritable, strong cannabis cravings, mood swings, sleeping problems and more. These withdrawal symptoms can be seriously damaging to a person’s mental health and can cause users to relapse as they want to get rid of the symptoms. Rehabilitation helps people manage their withdrawal symptoms and work through the mental side of cannabis addiction for they to start living a more fulfilled life and battle against any potential relapse triggers.
People will normally associate cannabis users as being happy, giggling and more relaxed than usual but cannabis also has a range of unpleasant effects that can be damaging to a person’s mental health. These effects will usually happen to frequent cannabis misusers.
Cannabis abuse can cause people to have these signs & symptoms –
People who smoke cannabis will generally have a harder time being able to fully concentrate on tasks or start to forget details they need to remember. Cannabis can also affect your sleeping patterns as many users struggle to sleep when off cannabis leaving them to feel that they can’t sleep and feel depressed.
It has been found that regular cannabis abuse is linked to a person being at a much higher risk of suffering from anxiety and depression. There has also been much research into cannabis and psychosis being linked together.
Misusing cannabis on a daily basis can increase a person’s risk of developing a psychotic illness later down the line such as schizophrenia. Cannabis can be one of the causes why someone later develops a mental illness but it is not the only cause for a lot of people. Not every individual who misuses cannabis will later develop schizophrenia and not everyone who has a mental illness will smoke cannabis but if you are abusing cannabis over an extended period of time you are at a higher risk of developing a psychotic illness and are more vulnerable of later having certain mental health problems.
Many people who smoke cannabis are also more ‘genetically vulnerable’ to mental health problems which means that through their genetics they are more naturally at risk of developing mental health problems. An example of this would be if a close family member of yours has a mental health illness such as depression or schizophrenia then you are at a much higher risk of developing these illnesses if you are abusing cannabis.
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