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04/04/2016 / By Claire Rankin
Medical marijuana is becoming more popular by the day for both medical and recreational reasons. It’s commonly prescribed for illnesses such as cancer, epilepsy, depression and even pain. With its reputation as a dangerous, addictive substance, however, many are left wondering if they will become addicted if they take it for medical purposes.
The problem with pain killers and pharmaceuticals that are commonly prescribed by doctors is that they can often have severe side effects and can be relentlessly addictive.
A lot more so than medical marijuana, in fact. If you are using the marijuana carefully, under doctor’s supervision and not abusing it, the chances of addiction are much lower. Many report that, with proper moderation, they get the benefits of medical marijuana without the risk of becoming addicted, and can pretty much take it or leave it. Of course, there are always those who abuse substances. Medical marijuana users who show symptoms of psychological addiction typically smoke cannabis as a crutch, use it daily, and don’t care about the consequences.
Any substance addiction can lead to a whole lot of damaging problems in one’s life, such as withdrawal problems, shaking, vomiting, deteriorating relationships and so on, things no one wants to contend with when taking marijuana for medical reasons.
Medical marijuana compounds
The well-known compounds in marijuana are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and cannabidiol (CBD). There are more compounds of course, but these two compounds are present in large amounts and have been studied the most. Of the two, it’s THC that has the psychoactive compound that makes one high. A lot of people taking medical marijuana do not actually like the feeling of being high or even hallucinating and will stick to the oil that is high in CBD because it does not have the same psychological effect.
Marijuana can cause more of a psychological addiction than a physical addiction. Some report that once they have taken marijuana for a sleep disorder, for example, they learn to become dependent on a small dose before bedtime. Psychological symptoms and cravings can often be even stronger than physical addiction and withdrawals.
The vast majority of those who use medical marijuana exhibit no addictive symptoms — no increased tolerance, no cravings and no withdrawal.
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