Signs Of Marijuana Addiction: Signs to Look Out For


Marijuana addiction or marijuana use disorders affect millions of Americans each year.

Although cannabis use in America is quite common, many people are unaware of the addictive nature of the drug.

It is important to know the warning signs of marijuana addiction as well as when to ask for help.

In this article, we will discuss the signs of marijuana addiction including the behavioral, physical, and psychological signs of marijuana addiction. We will also discuss when and how to seek help – let’s get started.

The Signs of a Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana addiction, also called Marijuana Use Disorder (MUD), occurs when someone develops a dependence on cannabis.

People who become addicted to the drug will be unable to quit using it despite the negative consequences that cannabis use is having on their lives.

Although it may not be entirely clear when someone develops an addiction to marijuana, there are several signs that are suggestive of marijuana dependence.

Behavioral Signs of Marijuana Addiction

Increased tolerance

One of the most common signs of marijuana addiction is an increased tolerance to the drug.

For most people, this means needing to consume increasingly larger amounts of cannabis to experience the same desired effect as previous.

Loss of interest in hobbies or activities

Because long-term marijuana can cause a loss of energy, many people with marijuana addictions may show a loss of interest in previous hobbies.

Spending a significant amount of time obtaining or using marijuana

People with cannabis addictions will spend a large amount of time using marijuana. This may also include spending a large amount of time obtaining the drug or engaging in marijuana-related activities.

Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home

People with addictions will often neglect their responsibilities. This is one of the ways that addiction negatively impacts someone’s life.

Engaging in risky behavior while under the influence

If marijuana use has become common, people will often engage in risky behaviors in order to obtain more of the drug or to continue using the drug while performing activities such as driving

Failed attempts to cut down or control use

One of the main symptoms of marijuana addiction is failing to cut down on marijuana use, especially if the person has intended to cut down on their use.

Quitting marijuana, even for short periods of time, often leads to drug cravings.

Physical Signs of Marijuana Addiction

Bloodshot eyes

When people use marijuana, they will often have bloodshot eyes. Although this is not necessarily a sign of addiction, people who frequently use the drug will often have ‘red eyes’.

Altered coordination and motor skills

People who use marijuana often have slower reaction times and coordination. This may become more evident in people who are addicted to marijuana and frequently use the drug. This makes tasks such as driving much more dangerous.

Changes in appetite

While people are using marijuana, they will often experience an increase in appetite often referred to as the munchies. For most people, this occurs early on in addiction but may decrease over a long period of time.

Decreased hunger: People who frequently use marijuana may find that they have a reduced appetite when they are not consuming the drug. They may only experience hunger after using marijuana.

Weight gain or loss

Depending on how cannabis affects the person, they may experience weight loss or gain.

People who experience ‘the munchies’ may gain weight. However, people who no longer experience ‘the munchies’ and have a reduced appetite when they are not smoking may lose weight.

Impaired memory and concentration

Marijuana negatively impacts the brain. Studies have shown that marijuana use can damage the part of the brain responsible for forming memories and learning.

People who are addicted to marijuana and use it for a long period of time often have notable deficits in their memory and concentration

Respiratory issues (if marijuana is smoked)

If marijuana is smoked with a bong, a joint, or other smoking device, it will negatively impact lung health – especially if used over a long period.

Smoking marijuana can cause various lung conditions including a long-term cough, phlegm production, and bronchitis. You may notice a persistent cough or frequent respiratory illnesses in people who are addicted to smoking cannabis.

Psychological Signs of Marijuana Addiction

Irritability and mood swings

People who suffer from marijuana addiction will often experience mood swings related to their drug use.

When not taking the drug, most people with marijuana addictions will exhibit some level of irritability which is often caused by marijuana use.

They may also experience more mood swings compared to people who do not use the drug

Anxiety or paranoia

Studies have shown that long-term use of marijuana can result in paranoia and other psychological issues.

Displays of paranoia, both while using and while not using cannabis, can be a sign of marijuana addiction

Lack of motivation

People with marijuana dependence have been shown to have a decrease in motivation.

For some people, this may look like spending prolonged periods in bed or less time engaging in other activities such as cleaning, work, and exercise which did not occur before cannabis use.


People who use marijuana are more at risk of developing depression, and bipolar disorder.

This may be because marijuana impacts different parts of the brain that control mood.

People who are addicted to marijuana also often feel a loss of control and have experienced negative consequences of their uncontrolled drug use, which can have negative impacts on someone’s psyche


People who become dependent on cannabis will often depend on the drug to help them get to sleep. A common symptom of dependence is the inability to get to sleep when cannabis has not been used.

Withdrawal symptoms when not using

One of the most tell-tale signs of weed addiction is experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug.

This may include cravings for marijuana, inability to fall asleep, decreased appetite, and irritability. This makes it very difficult for people who have marijuana addictions to decrease or stop their cannabis use.

When and How To Seek Help

If you are concerned about your own (or a loved one’s) marijuana use, it may be time to seek help.

One of the best places to start is by visiting your family doctor. Your doctor will be able to direct you to the appropriate help necessary.

Other ways to seek help include booking an appointment with an addiction counselor or visiting an outpatient addiction treatment center.

It is important to know that you will never be turned away from help. If you are concerned or unsure if you should be concerned, you have reason enough to seek help.

Key Takeaways

Marijuana is a drug that most people mistakenly think cannot result in addiction or dependence.

However, many people who use the drug long-term will become dependent on it.

It is therefore important to know the symptoms of marijuana addiction.

Some of the most tell-tale signs of addiction are the inability to quit, an increase in irritability when not using the drug, and experiencing negative consequences due to cannabis use.

It is never too early or too late to seek help if you are concerned about the potential for marijuana addiction.


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