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Marijuana also referred to as weed, is the dried leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis plant.

It contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the active chemical that produces psychological effects. There is a notion that because marijuana is an organic substance, there are no adverse effects with its use, but when it is abused, this is not entirely true. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2018 more than 11.8 million young adults reported using marijuana in the past year, and it remains is the second most commonly used psychotropic drug in America. 

Abusing marijuana can potentially disrupt dopamine levels in the brain. Some people who abuse marijuana have reduced levels of dopamine and can show signs of motivation. Motivation, also known as avolition is a psychological condition that is defined as “a reduction in the motivation to initiate or persist in goal-directed behavior.” Marijuana abuse could also result in the opposite, where dopamine levels become elevated. Recent medical reports have found marijuana abusers to exhibit symptoms of severe mental illness such as paranoid schizophrenia even when there is no family history of such severe mental illness. An addiction occurs when an individual’s body becomes more accustomed to operating with the presence of a foreign substance (e.g., marijuana) in its system than without. When the substance is absent from one’s system it will physiologically react, and withdrawal symptoms will ensue.

Withdrawal Symptoms

The negative emotional, physical, and/ or behavioral withdrawal symptoms from marijuana can manifest with varying levels of severity. Common examples of withdrawal symptoms could include, but are not limited to, any combination of the following, provided by Medical News Today:

  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Diminished appetite
  • Concentration difficulty
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Aggression 
  • Depression
  • Restlessness 
  • Fever
  • Irritability 
  • Anxiety
  • Marijuana cravings
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea

Every individual is different and will have a somewhat unique set of withdrawal symptoms when it comes to detoxing from marijuana. While marijuana is not as innately addictive as other commonly abused substances (e.g., cocaine, heroin, alcohol, etc.), it is important to note that any person that engages in chronic marijuana abuse is at increased risk for experiencing adverse withdrawal symptoms during detox. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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