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Is Marijuana Physically or Psychologically Addictive?

Marijuana is the second most widely used drug in the United States, coming right after alcohol. Unsurprisingly, given the drug has been legalized both for medical, as a treatment for health issues, and for recreational purposes use in many states.

But is weed physically or psychologically addictive? Let’s take a deep dive into it and find out.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

One of the reasons why Marijuana might have gained much more popularity than other drugs is society’s more relaxed outlook toward cannabis use. The drug is not perceived to be as dangerous as others. 

Many users can consume marijuana for much longer than drugs like heroin or meth without seeing the same degree of health risks and withdrawal symptoms.

But this perception of the drug could be dangerous and lead people to believe maybe marijuana is not addictive or dangerous at all.

Well, despite popular belief, marijuana can certainly be addictive (and dangerous). 

Is Marijuana Physically Or Psychologically Addictive?

Before we can determine the answer to “Is weed physically or psychologically addictive?” we must first learn about the differences between a physical and psychological addiction.

What is a Physical Addiction? 

The physical dependence on a substance occurs when the body becomes dependent on it to function normally. 


Over time, the body begins to depend on the substance and adapts to it. When you suddenly stop using a substance, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the substance and how long you used it, withdrawal symptoms can occur.

What is a Psychological Addiction?

A psychological addiction instead is one that happens in the mind. It’s an obsession that is linked to behavior or changes in mood rather than a physical or chemical reaction in the body. 

This can show up in ways like using marijuana as a way to get yourself to sleep, as a way to deal with stressors, or used as a habit because it’s just “that time of day.” 

Psychological addiction tends to occur before physical addiction, particularly with marijuana users, as the habit of using tends to happen before the body grows used to the THC.

Physical Addiction To Marijuana

Marijuana is not considered to be a physically addictive drug like opioids, meth, or cocaine can be. 

Yes, mild withdrawal symptoms can occur, especially after prolonged use. But not in the same way that a heroin addict could suffer life-threatening withdrawals and seizures.

Many experts do not consider it to be physically addictive as the withdrawal symptoms are not severe and not life-threatening.

The physical withdrawal symptoms you may experience when quitting marijuana after prolonged use might include: 

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Tremors

Psychological Addiction To Marijuana

When asking the question is weed physically or psychologically addictive, the answer might lean toward the latter.

The psychological dependence caused by marijuana can often be harder to deal with than the withdrawal symptoms caused by it.

Many long-term marijuana users use weed as second nature throughout their day. This reliance on weed is how they perform many day-to-day activities as it levels out their mood and makes them feel normal. 

Getting dependent on any substance to carry out simple tasks can have a significant impact on a person’s life. 

Certain factors can contribute to a psychological addiction including genetics, social environment and even having addiction patterns in your family history. Some of the psychological symptoms you may experience if you are dependent on marijuana are:

  • Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Low Productivity
  • Social Consequences

Breaking A Marijuana Addiction

Now that you know the answer to “Is weed physically or psychologically addictive?” you might have gained insights into your own situation or that of your loved ones. If that is the case, then the good news is that you have options. 

There are many treatment facilities and programs that can offer you assistance to break your habit. 

90210 Recovery is one of them. As California’s leader in cannabis addiction, 90210 offers its patients a unique holistic approach to help them beat both their psychological and physical addiction challenges.

Contact us today and find out how we can help you beat your addiction to weed.


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