Cannabis use is increasingly common. A study in the United States in 2015 revealed that 22 million Americans reported being current users of cannabis. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 9% of marijuana users end up becoming dependent on the drug. There are many different ways in which someone can use cannabis to achieve a high.
People may smoke it, vaporize it, and inhale it in the form of cigarettes, water pipes, and blunts. Some individuals mix it with with candies, as well as some types of foods and beverages. Although users generally experience a feeling of euphoria and relaxation, laughter, sharper senses, an altered sense of time, and a heightened appetite; some experience negative emotions, such as paranoia, fear, anxiety, panic, or distrust.
In most countries, cannabis use is illegal and punishable by law. However, in recent years, several countries legalized recreational use of cannabis, while others only legalized the medicinal use of the substance due to significant research results proving its benefit in improving certain mental and physical illnesses.
Although, a study done in 2017 revealed that in certain States where cannabis for medical use was legal, the percentage of individuals with a cannabis use disorder was significantly higher than the States where it was illegal. Regardless of medically supervised cannabis use, recreational use can result in adverse consequences and addiction. During teenage years, heavy recreational use may affect brain development and an increased risk of mental illness. If a cannabis user decides to quit, they may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which include the following:
- Mood and sleep problems
- Decreased appetite
- Physical discomfort
To determine whether your substance use is problematic, please refer to our Substance Use Self-Assessment here.