Marijuana is a mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa. Often referred to as weed, pot, ganja or Mary Jane, marijuana is often smoked in rolled cigarettes (joints), pipes, water pipes (bongs) or cigar blunts. The main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, responsible for most of the high, is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Over the last few years, marijuana has undergone a renaissance: many states have decriminalized marijuana or legalized it outright. Because of this, as well as older Americans’ recollections of the marijuana that they smoked as teenagers, many people presume that marijuana is absolutely safe and has little risk of addiction.
However, recently released data by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that “30 percent of those people who use marijuana have some degree of marijuana use disorder.” People who use marijuana before age 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder. Four million people in the United States meet the criteria for marijuana use disorder, and less than 10% seek treatment.
Increased use of marijuana can lead to tolerance, and once tolerance occurs, dependence can form as the brain become accustomed to it. Therefore, an individual can go through marijuana withdrawal during a marijuana detox. While symptoms are not physically similar to opioid or cocaine withdrawal, there is still a physical and psychological impact of marijuana detox. Best practices indicate to detox and withdraw in a safe, comfortable setting under the supervision of a medical professional.