IS CANNABIS ADDICTIVE?
"We have need to make a real distinction between the use of substances and the addiction to substances "
– Gabor Maté, Addiction Specialist and Author (Canada, 2014)
Similarly to most drugs including the legal ones caffeine, alcohol and nicotine, frequent cannabis users may experience some physical and/or mental withdrawal symptoms if they discontinue or reduce their use.
These symptoms are similar to those experienced when quitting coffee, and can similarly be easily avoided by maintaining a consistent level of medication. Cannabis is now believed to be less addictive than the legal drugs, and is far less addictive than the other common illegal drugs, as well as many legal pharmaceuticals.
The practice of smoking cannabis mixed with tobacco (common almost everywhere except North America) however, may cause frequent users to experience combined withdrawl from both substances simultaneously when discontinued, which can produce stronger symptoms.
Also, nicotine is a strong stimulant that wears off faster than the cannabinoids, so people who mix these substances often consume more cannabis in servicing their nicotine addictions. When cannabis is scarce many people who usually mix it with tobacco then start smoking tobacco cigarettes until they can find more cannabis to mix with. Mixing cannabis with tobacco and is certainly not advised.
Incidentally, Crystal Meth (AKA "Ice") is Dextro-Methamphetamine-Hydrochloride which is prescribed for treatment of ADHD in the USA and Chile as Desoxyn 5mg tablets to patients for whom methylphenidate and dexamphetamine have failed. Many ADHD sufferers are therefore naturally drawn to illicit Methamphetamine's ability to make them hyper-functional, however its high propensity for addiction, abuse and psychoses are drastically dissimilar from those of cannabis' almost benign side-effects profile.
Using Methamphetamine for ADHD is like putting rocket fuel in a lawn-mower, while using cannabis for ADHD is like using perfectly mixed 2-stroke fuel. Its obvious that cannabis is a much safer option, however the law says cannabis is just a bad as Meth. As both are readily available in most societies, despite the real dangers of Meth the choice is not at all clear for the ADHD suffering population.
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