We originally published this post in 2015. This update reflects current research from January 2020.
In the 2019 Future Surveillance Survey, the number of teenagers who reported having vaporized marijuana (weed) in 2019 increased dramatically from 2018. And while the number of adolescents who reported smoking marijuana did not change significantly in 2019, fewer adolescents said they believed marijuana use was generally harmful.
The truth is, whether marijuana is smoked or vaporized, marijuana use can affect the developing adolescent brain, just like most other drugs, including alcohol and nicotine.
You can also become addicted to marijuana – especially if you use it during your teenage years. A recent study found that adolescents and young adults (12 to 20 years) had a much higher rate of marijuana use disorder than adults 21 and older.
Dependency vs. Addiction
A marijuana use disorder can include both addiction and addiction.
If you are “dependent” on a drug, you need the drug to feel physically fine. However, being addicted does not necessarily mean that you are addicted.
People who are addicted start to think about the drug all the time and make it more important than other things in their lives. They are also constantly concerned about how they can get more drugs.
Repeated drug use can change the brain in a way that makes it difficult to quit. People who are addicted to drugs cannot stop, although this creates problems with school, a job, or relationships.
If someone is addicted or addicted, withdrawal can occur if they suddenly stop using the drug. Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable; it is part of what makes it difficult for someone to stop using a drug.
A study found that marijuana withdrawal is a reality for teenagers. Of the teenagers who received drug treatment in an outpatient clinic, 40 percent experienced withdrawal symptoms when they stopped using marijuana.
You may have a mental picture of drug withdrawal based on television and movies: sweating, shaking, and curling up in bed with unbearable discomfort and depression. These symptoms occur in people who are addicted to drugs, such as opioids, alcohol, or cocaine. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms are not as pronounced as some other drugs, but they are just as real.
The main behavioral symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are:
I feel anxious or worried
Physical symptoms may include:
Have trouble sleeping at night and feel tired during the day
Loss of appetite or weight loss
People who consume marijuana regularly may not realize that their symptoms may actually be part of the withdrawal. Every sixth teenager who tries marijuana becomes addicted to it, and this increases to half of all teenagers who consume it every day.
Regardless of whether you are addicted or addicted, you should consult a doctor if you experience drug withdrawal.
Can you go high with CBD? Find out here.