As marijuana laws are becoming more relaxed, there are proponents who believe that marijuana is a cure-all,while others believe marijuana is just as damaging as any other illicit substance. The truth, however, is somewhere in the middle. Marijuana does have major health benefits for those who need it, but when taken recreationally, frequently, and in large amounts, it can cause severe health problems. A common myth is that marijuana is not an addictive drug. While it certainly does have less addiction potential than drugs like heroin or cocaine, it is entirely possible for a person to become addicted to marijuana. It is important to remember that there is a difference between physical dependence and addiction. Marijuana may cause very little physical dependence, but it can be highly psychologically addictive. According to the CDC, about one in ten marijuana users will become addicted, but for those who use marijuana before the age of eighteen, the number rises to one in six. Recent research has also found that there is a strong link between marijuana use and hypertension. The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology published a study of 332 deaths among 1,213 people, with 57 percent of the subjects being marijuana users. The study found that marijuana users were three times more likely to die from hypertension-related causes. Nicholas Bakalar, in a 2017 New York Times article entitled Marijuana Tied to Hypertension Risk, explained, “In addition to being a risk for heart disease, hypertension can lead to kidney disease, heart failure and aneurysm. The scientists also noted a link to cardiovascular disease and stroke, both also caused by hypertension, but it was not statistically significant.” Another risk arises from people who smoke marijuana with great frequency and in large amounts. Increased rates of marijuana use have given rise to a new clinical condition known as Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS). Dr. Stephen Sullivan, in a 2010 Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology publication entitled Cannabinoid Hyperemesis, explains that classical features of CHS include: “chronic, heavy use of cannabis; recurrent episodes of severe nausea and intractable vomiting; abdominal pain; temporary relief of symptoms by taking a hot bath or shower; and resolution of the problem when cannabis use is stopped.” Fortunately, all symptoms of CHS can be relieved with sobriety, but marijuana is addictive and may require treatment to maintain abstinence.
Your story doesn’t have to be one of health problems as a result of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help today and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a modern and effective Substance Abuse Disorder and Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Center in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with a passionate team of clinicians and care providers to create the perfect environment for you or your loved one to begin the process of healing from addiction. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777