Marijuana is a green or
gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant (Cannabis
sativa). It is the most often used illegal drug in this country. All forms of
cannabis are mind-altering (psychoactive) drugs; they all contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol),
the main active chemical in marijuana. There are about 400 chemicals in a cannabis
plant, but THC is the one that affects the brain the most.
Marijuana addiction is a
phenomenon experienced by more than 150,000 individuals each year who enter
treatment for their proclaimed addiction to marijuana. Marijuana addiction is
characterized as compulsive, often uncontrollable marijuana craving, seeking,
and use, even when the individual knows that marijuana use is not in his best
interest. Marijuana addiction could be defined as chronically making the firm
decision not to use marijuana followed shortly by a relapse due to experiencing
overwhelming compulsive urges to use marijuana despite the firm decision not
to. This contradiction is characteristic of an addiction problem.
Withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:
in appetite and mood
of marijuana withdrawal first appear in chronic users within 24 hours. Marijuana withdrawal
is most pronounced for the first 10 days and can last up to 28 days.