Cannabis is not addictive. In fact, many people are currently using cannabis as a long-term, regular treatment for their medical condition without experiencing any of the telltale signs of addiction. According to official statistics, however, about 30 percent of cannabis users overly depend on the plant. Let’s take a look at how to interpret these findings and dispel the myth that cannabis is addictive.
What is Cannabis Use Disorder?
According to the DSM-5, the official diagnostic handbook for psychiatrists, you only need two of the following conditions to be diagnosed with cannabis use disorder:
- You consistently take larger amounts of cannabis to feel the same effects
- You can’t control your dependence on cannabis
- You spend a lot of time getting and using cannabis and recovering from its effects
- You have extremely strong cravings for cannabis
- Cannabis use is impacting your daily life in a negative way
- You continue to use cannabis even after you realize it’s affecting you negatively
- You isolate yourself due to cannabis use
- You engage in risky behavior to acquire and use cannabis
- You experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping cannabis use
Many medical cannabis patients would fit the description of cannabis use disorder, which goes to show how skewed this classification is. Many psychiatrists on the DSM-5 board have received money from big pharmaceutical companies that do not want cannabis on the market. This conflict of interest means that the term “cannabis use disorder” is largely a scare tactic.
How Does Cannabis Tolerance Work?
Cannabis does not lead to addiction. Instead, it works by building up a tolerance in your body. The more you consume cannabis, the more you’ll need to feel the effects of previous times. Tolerance can be reduced by taking frequent breaks from cannabis to build it back up.
During your tolerance breaks, you may experience very mild withdrawal symptoms, all of which can be reduced by using CBD. CBD can reduce your irritability, mood changes, and sleep disturbances, so you can go about your day. Even without CBD, withdrawals are very minimal that should not affect your decision to consume cannabis.
How Addictive Is Cannabis?
Research has shown that a 4-week “tolerance break” from cannabis can get your brain back to normal levels, so you can consume cannabis and feel potent effects. Also, CBD, the non-hallucinogenic chemical compound found in cannabis, does not build a tolerance in your body, so you can take it as much as you want.
To sum up, cannabis is not addictive. Many people have been able to consume it with no problem. Responsible cannabis use can actually be alternative medications to prescribed drugs that are addictive. As more research comes in, we eliminate the myth that cannabis is addictive, while helping other improve their lives.