Is Marijuana Addictive?

Can recreational pot smokers become addicted? A realistic concern for recreational users of marijuana is whether or not they will become addicted.

There are no easy answers to this question. In my opinion, the most unbiased book on this and other related topics is The Science of Marijuana (2008).

The Science of Marijuana is written by Leslie L. Iverson, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Cambridge in England. In the book, he reviews decades of international research on marijuana, both laboratory research and survey research. Based on his review of the scientific literature, between 10 to 30% of regular users will develop dependency. Only about 9% will have a serious addiction.

The large majority of people who try marijuana do it experimentally and never become addicted. Unlike other substances, pot has very few severe withdrawal symptoms and most people can quit rather easily. When present, withdrawal symptoms might include: anxiety, depression, nausea, sleep disturbances and GI problems.

Compared to other substances, marijuana is not very addicting. It is estimated that 32% of tobacco users will become addicted, 23% of heroin users, 17% of cocaine users, and 15% of alcohol users. Cocaine and heroin are more physically harmful and nicotine is much more addictive. It is much harder to quit

About 10% of recreational users will develop problems serve enough to impair their work and relationships.

Read More: on this article published on December 5, 2010 by Jann Gumbiner, Ph.D. in The Teenage Mind

Marijuana and other Drug Addictions will be addressed at The Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference . ADDICTION 2015  is an initiative of the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association. The Call for Abstracts is now open for more information about the conference email the or visit our website

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