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Is cannabis addictive?

Like many drugs, there is an air of mystery surrounding the use of cannabis, predominantly stemming from the fact that it affects every user differently. Cannabis has the power to alter a user’s senses, making them hear, see or feel things differently to how they would normally. One of the main questions surrounding the drug remains, is cannabis addictive? Drug rehab specialists Port of Call investigate further, demystifying the addictive nature of cannabis.

Can you get addicted to cannabis?

At one time, it was believed that cannabis didn’t have any addictive qualities. Even now, individuals still believe in the casual nature of marijuana. However, extensive research has highlighted just how addictive the substance can be, especially if it is used regularly.

Frequent cannabis use is often associated with dependence, whereby a user feels withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. Cannabis use disorder becomes an addiction when the person can’t stop using the drug, even though it interferes with many aspects of their life.

is cannabis addictive

Facts about cannabis addiction

The signs and symptoms experienced by cannabis users illustrate just how addictive the drug can become. Often, the extent of the addiction will correlate with the frequency of use. However, this may not always be the case and it can depend on the effects that the drug has on each individual.

Common cannabis addiction symptoms can include:

Tolerance to the drug

This means a user must smoke more cannabis in order to get the same effect. A higher tolerance can lead to users smoking more and can even lead some to harder drugs that are more harmful and more addictive. This is known as the ‘gateway effect’.


Craving cannabis is a sure sign symptom of addiction. If a user experiences any cravings, such as an inability to concentrate or unnatural urges to take the drug, there is a high chance that they may be addicted to cannabis.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms from cannabis are arguably more understated than harder drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. However, this does not mean they don’t exist. Common cannabis withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Anxiousness

It is not possible to say exactly how an individual addicted to cannabis may react, but it has been noted that cannabis can be as addictive as cigarettes. Users may feel similar effects to quitting smoking when they are reducing their cannabis use, suggesting how addictive the drug can be.

What to do if you think you have a cannabis addiction

If you believe you or a loved one are addicted to cannabis, it is vital to seek addiction help straight away. At Port of Call, we will make sure you receive the right help, at the right time, helping you to overcome your cannabis addiction and resume daily life. Call our free phone line today on 0800 002 9010 or email help@portofcall.com for specialised addiction support. Our confidential experts can also offer information on ‘free’ rehab.

About the author: Alex Molyneux

Alex is our admissions team leader. Over the last 5 years he has spoken with more than 10,000 people via our helpline and has organised over 1,000 detox and rehabilitation placements.

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