Is Marijuana Addictive?



Desire, Compulsion and Addiction

Whether marijuana use falls into the category of desire, compulsion or addiction depends on the level of a person’s involvement with it.

Do some people get involved with marijuana to a level where their relationship with it has changed their lives to the point where it is impossible on nearly any practical level to distinguish between it and any other form of addiction? Absolutely yes.

Making You Into an Addict

Addictive means to make somebody an addict, or able or likely to do so. To make somebody do something means to force it to occur whether the person wants it to happen or not.

People who are involved with addiction work mostly agree that addicts don’t get that way by force. It happens through a repetitive set of choices that the person makes.

Addiction or Devotion?

An addict is also somebody who is devoted to something. Are there people involved with marijuana who can be described by this definition? Yes there are. Plenty.

Attaining a State of Being

Can people become completely dependent on marijuana to achieve a particular state of being that they want to have? Yes. Do they take larger and larger doses of marijuana in an effort to achieve that state? Yes. Do they go through a hellish withdrawal period if their marijuana gets taken away? Usually not.

Physical Addiction to Marijuana

Can marijuana become addictive on a physiological level by getting bound into a person’s body in the same way that happens with other ‘heavier’ drugs? Most sources say not. I disagree with this view and contend that physiological addiction occurs with marijuana use via the mechanism of downregulation of endogenous cannabinoid receptors. There also may be addictive pathways that occur via the COMT gene’s relationship with the breakdown of dopamine.

Dimensions of Addiction

Can marijuana be addictive? It depends on how many dimensions of addiction you want to include in your definition.




This article was some of the original material that went on to become

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine


Marijuana and Addiction Index

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More Resources


The American Psychological Association’s take on marijuana and addiction in the US.

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Russell Eisenman, Ph.D. presents his views on marijuana use and abuse.

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and further connections between habitual cannabis use and FAAH...


For extensive details on how to balance and optimize the effects of cannabis using Traditional Chinese Medicine, please refer to

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine

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