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Is Cannabis Addictive?

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Is Cannabis Addictive?


Concerned about cannabis addiction? Many people ask us whether cannabis is addictive and will lead to serious health concerns if too much is used for too long. CBD is non-intoxicating and not addictive. However, THC is intoxicating and may become addictive for some users.

The concern – Yes, cannabis (specifically THC) is addictive to approximately 9% of the people who use it. Of that 9%, many will feel unpleasant side effects if they discontinue the use of THC. Those suffering from THC addiction (marijuana use disorder) may develop social or work problems if they are using too much or at inappropriate times. As with any intoxicating substance, it is important to understand how to use THC responsibly. If you or someone you know struggles with overuse of THC, there are many resources available. You can read more at


The physical effects of withdrawal are not life threatening (as with opioids and alcohol).

No tapering off is required – “cold turkey” is OK, though it may not be fun.

Withdrawal typically involves anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, headaches, loss of appetite etc. They are typically mild to moderate.

Symptoms typically peak at 5-10 days and are gone by 3 weeks post use.

The reality for those with chronic pain, sleeplessness, anxiety and depression is that THC may be a safer choice than other more addictive and dangerous drugs.

While we would never make light of any struggle with addiction, it is important to put THC in the context of other drugs (legal and illegal) used to treat various ailments:

◾️ 60,000+ people die in the US every year from Opioid overdose

◾️ 2,500+ people die each year from alcohol overdose

◾️ 12,000+ people die from benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium etc.)

While it is possible to die from THC use if a consumer drives or engages in dangerous behavior while their judgement is impaired, THC overdose is essentially unheard of.

Responsible, adult use is essential!

Is Cannabis Addictive?

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