Why do people use marijuana?  The psychology behind weed addiction

Smoking pot has become so common in American culture even with the law punishing those who get caught using cannabis.

There are several reasons why people smoke weed and while you may have heard of it’s potential beneficial uses, that doesn’t deter from marijuana’s various side effects, potential for addiction, and legal repercussions.

In this article, we will be discussing the reason behind why people smoke weed as well as what it does to your brain and overall lifestyle. If you wondering, why do people use marijuana? Or is marijuana considered a drug? Keep reading to find out.

 

Is it really that bad for you?

There are several states who have now legalized marijuana for medicinal uses. Many stoners like to believe that just because there are some medical benefits to weed, that it’s okay to abuse the drug every day.

Fact of the matter is, many people who smoke weed do it just because it makes them feel good and not because they actually need it.

We have found that smoking marijuana can negatively impact your life in many ways.

From using it as a crutch for whenever times get tough, to just using it while boredom hits – marijuana is a substance that should never be abused and we recommend to not use it at all unless it is prescribed by doctors orders.

Weed makes it hard for people to keep track of time and may end up losing out on a whole day sitting on the couch doing nothing. On top of that, people who use it have more difficulty concentrating, learning, and solving problems.

 

Is marijuana considered a drug?

A drug is a substance that alters your brain and its chemicals in some way or another. Marijuana is no exception.

Cannabis is a mind altering drug and can even have hallucinating properties if taken at very high doses.

The main compound in marijuana – THC, is the chemical that is considered a schedule 1 drug. While it may not be as addictive and harmful as other drugs such as LSD, ecstasy, meth, or heroin, it is still a drug that should only be taken under doctor supervision.

Marijuana is known as a gateway drug for a reason. People think that smoking weed won’t cause any harm when in reality, it can lead to a very bad path of trying out other drugs.

 

Psychological addiction

If you’ve been wondering, why do people use marijuana? A huge reason why is because of the way it makes people feel. As mentioned before, smoking weed alters your brain and its chemicals.

So, when smoking frequently, your brain begins to get used to this external substance always altering your thoughts, perceptions, and overall mentality.

Think about it, if you smoke weed on a daily basis, you are feeding your brain something that isn’t created by your body on its’ own. This means you’ll crave it more and more.

Then, the days where you don’t smoke, you’ll crave that feeling of “being high”. You’ll never feel perfectly happy WITHOUT weed.

If you feel like you can’t control your bad weed smoking habit, please let us help you by clicking here.

 

Smoking weed can cause a drop in dopamine

There was a recent study, that shows evidence on the dopamine system in heavy smokers of cannabis. The study goes on to talk about how there was a lower release of dopamine found in the striatum – a region of the brain which is involved in impulse behaviors, attention, and memory.

According to Psychology Today, “Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, one of those chemicals that is responsible for transmitting signals in between the nerve cells (neurons) of the brain. Very few neurons actually make dopamine.”

Dopamine just so happens to be the neurotransmitter in our brain that is responsible for many of our cravings and behaviors.

 

Feelings like love, motivation, attention, addiction, lust, and pleasure are ALL attributed to our dopamine neurotransmitter.

So when you begin to smoke marijuana frequently, you are causing a decrease of dopamine in your brain. There’s a reason why smoking weed is known to make you feel lazy and/or stupid. It’s because you are literally altering the way that your brain feels emotions.

After realizing what marijuana does to your brain, you now have your answer to your question, “is marijuana considered a drug?” (Hint: Yes, it is!)

 

Boredom

Another huge cause for getting high all the time is because people think there is, “nothing better to do”.

We have noticed that starting as a teenager, many drug addicts turn to drugs as a way to fill the void of boredom. The obvious cure to this is to fill your days with SOBER activities that take up a lot of your time.

We recommend joining different social groups, attending classes like yoga, spin class, martial arts, and many other social events that involve you being in a sober, social scenario where there is NO drugs or alcohol in sight.

It’s important to find something you personally enjoy doing. Don’t choose an activity that you don’t find fun because you will end up wanting to get high instead.

 

Peer Pressure

Just like being bored, peer pressure is a huge factor in why you may have started smoking.

There is an age old saying that the 5 people you surround yourself with, the 5 people you hang out with the most – makes up who you are whether you like it or not.

This means if you find yourself hanging out with a lot of stoners who have no other hobbies aside from sitting on the couch, smoking the bong, and watching TV – then you are going to be doing the same thing.

Make it a priority to find a group of friends who don’t smoke weed. It’s a lot easier to change your environment and the people you surround yourself with rather than trying to change your pothead friends.

 

Stress

Whether it’s stress from your day job, stress from a toxic relationship, or just everyday stress that everyone experiences – smoking marijuana should NOT be the way to destress.

Fact of the matter is, everyone gets stressed. It’s your responsibility, your duty to yourself – to find sober ways to cope with stress.

The most successful people in the world lead the most stressful lives and the majority of them don’t smoke weed when they are having a stressful day.

Stress is actually good for you in moderation. We need it to survive.

When you decide to get high every time you feel stressed, you are becoming dependent on a drug to help you feel good. Instead, you need to find ways to cope with stress that doesn’t involve any drugs.

Meditation and exercise are two of the most effective and natural ways to reduce stress without having to turn to weed every time you feel the slightest bit tense.

 

Medicinal Use

Yes, there are medicinal benefits to marijuana. In fact, the legalization of weed is changing many opinions on whether or not cannabis is bad for you.

The truth is, marijuana is still a drug that when ABUSED, can lead to serious long-term side effects. Since it alters your brain, decreases dopamine, and creates a psychological addiction – heavy usage of cannabis can and will severely lower your quality of life.

With that being said, unless you have a serious illness in which your doctor has prescribed marijuana to you as a prescription, we highly recommend you steering away from marijuana as a means to self-medication.

 

Closing Thoughts

It’s clear that the popular question of, “why do people use marijuana?” has many explanations.

Unless you’re prescribed marijuana by a doctor, we cannot emphasize enough that living a sober, drug-free life is a much better alternative to smoking weed.

Everyone is different and the reason why people smoke shouldn’t deter you from the fact that there are major legal repercussions as well as health detriments that come with smoking marijuana.

If you find yourself unable to quit smoking weed, please visit us by clicking this link and let us help you.

 

Sources

https://www.verywell.com/why-do-young-people-use-marijuana-63525

https://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/visions/cannabis-vol5/why-people-use-cannabis

https://herb.co/2015/12/16/weed-called-drug/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mouse-man/200904/what-is-dopamine

https://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v22/n1/full/mp201621a.html

https://www.salon.com/2013/09/08/science_for_potheads_why_they_love_to_get_high/

https://www.iflscience.com/brain/smoking-too-much-dope-causes-dopamine-deficits-brain/