Overcoming Addiction: Cannabis Addiction

Cannabis is the most common abused drug in the world. Many cannabis users tend to hang on to old beliefs about cannabis as justifications for their drug use. The idea that an herbal drug, organic in production cannot be harmful is by far the biggest misconception.

What is cannabis? It’s the most widely-used illegal drug in Britain, although the numbers of people using it are falling.

  • Cannabis is naturally occurring - it is made from the cannabis plant.
  • The main active chemical in it is tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC for short).
  • THC is the ingredient in cannabis that can make you feel very chilled out, happy and relaxed.
  • THC can also make you hallucinate, meaning that it can alter your senses, so that you might see, hear or feel things in a different way to normal.

There are many myths about cannabis - that it’s safe because it’s natural, that using cannabis will completely ruin your life, your health and your future or that using cannabis will lead you into using other, more dangerous drugs. What is true is that cannabis can have some very real, harmful effects on your mind and body, as well as creating longer-term problems. Cannabis also raises your heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was estimated that cannabis users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug. This risk may be greater in older individuals or in those with cardiac vulnerabilities.

A number of studies have linked chronic cannabis use and mental illness. High doses of cannabis can produce a temporary psychotic reaction (involving hallucinations and paranoia) in some users, and using cannabis can worsen the course of illness in patients with schizophrenia. A series of large studies following users across time also showed a link between cannabis use and later development of psychosis. Associations have also been found between cannabis use and other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts among adolescents, and personality disturbances, including a lack of motivation to engage in typically rewarding activities.

Cannabis effects how your brain works. It can make you feel very anxious and even paranoid, it can make it difficult for you to concentrate and learn, make your memory worse and make you feel less motivated. Tobacco and cannabis share some of the same chemical 'nasties' and just like smoking tobacco, smoking cannabis has been linked to lung diseases like tuberculosis and lung cancer.

It is often reported by cannabis users that they become anxious and paranoid while under the influence of the drug . Anyone who has been smoking cannabis for a while knows that they must smoke more and more to feel the same effect that once took just a few hits used to produce. It's not just about the quality of the cannabis; it's the quantity and duration. The brain readjusts to keep balance with the frequent supply of new chemicals being delivered by the pot and needs that supply to function at greater levels.

The misconception that cannabis is not an addictive substance keeps many addicts from seeking treatment for cannabis addiction. As with any drug, cannabis can create a psychological and physical dependency. The dependency upon cannabis often creates withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. Withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, loss of appetite, anxiety, and impaired memory. These symptoms coupled with intense cravings make it hard for cannabis addicts to stop using without help.

There are no medical interventions that are currently available for helping stopping cannabis abuse, however it has been widely documented that hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool that can help over come your addiction. The sessions include the workings of the brain and how we can become addicted to certain substances. By using Cognitive behaviour techniques together with hypnosis I can help reprogramme your mind to overcome the desire for taking cannabis for a more positive you.

Cannabis side effects include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Angry outbursts
  • Depression
  • Hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety, paranoia and fear
  • Poor memory
  • Poor coordination
  • Slow reaction time
  • Loss of control