Marijuana Tolerance and Abuse

Marijuana Tolerance and Abuse

When people develop tolerance to marijuana, they need increasing amounts of it to achieve the results a smaller amount used to provide. Tolerance is a sign that a user’s body is adapting to the presence of marijuana, and tolerance leads to drug dependence and addiction.

The Development of Marijuana Tolerance

There are various biological mechanisms by which people develop tolerance to marijuana. A drug produces physical effects, and a user’s body in an attempt to restore homeostasis or balance counteracts those effects. This is often related to neurotransmitter levels, as some drugs increase a particular neurotransmitter and the body reacts by producing less, but tolerance may also involve other processes. The development of tolerance to marijuana may be affected by various factors such as the following:

  • Amount of marijuana used
  • Strength of marijuana used
  • Biological differences
  • Genetic factors

Early life stress may also change the brain in ways that make the development of marijuana tolerance and dependence more likely.

The Progression from Marijuana Tolerance to Addiction

It is important for people to be alert to their response to any drug consumed on a regular basis. If a body adapts to the presence of marijuana to the extent that tolerance is noted, it is likely to continue adapting. A user’s body will come to see the presence of marijuana as normal and will become biochemically out of balance when the drug isn’t present. This causes withdrawal symptoms and leads to drug cravings. It is a small step from this physical drug dependence to full addiction. Marijuana addiction occurs when a user loses control over drug consumption and continues to use it despite negative consequences. Society tends to minimize marijuana’s risk and addiction potential. However drug rehab facilities help many people who are unable to quit using marijuana alone. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that in 2008 17% of admissions to addiction treatment programs were related to marijuana use.

Take the Next Step toward Freedom from Marijuana

If you or a loved one is experiencing marijuana tolerance, abuse or addiction, we can help you figure out your next step. Call our toll-free helpline, and talk with us about your questions and concerns. We can discuss options with you and verify your insurance coverage. The call is confidential, and we are available around the clock. There is no need to face marijuana on your own. Call today.