Cannabis addiction symptoms

Outlining the signs and symptoms of cannabis addiction, as well as the long and short-term effects.

Call Us
Tap on a number to call
Free addiction assessment

Page clinically reviewed by Dee Johnson (Mbacp, MNCS), Addiction Therapist at Priory Hospital Chelmsford in March 2024.

Also commonly referred to as 'marijuana', 'grass' and 'weed', cannabis is a mixture of dried leaves, flowers and stems from the cannabis sativa plant. It's the most commonly misused illegal substance in the UK. Cannabis is typically smoked, either in a cigarette form or via a pipe. However, it can also be brewed into tea or cooked in certain foods.

Cannabis affects your central nervous system and causes sensations such as relaxation, mild euphoria, increased appetite and distorted perceptions of space and time. Many people mistakenly believe that cannabis is a safe or harmless substance, although if you misuse cannabis you expose yourself to both immediate harm and long-term damage, including addiction.

If you become addicted to cannabis, you'll feel compelled to continue to abuse this substance, often in increasingly greater amounts, negatively impacting your physical and mental health. However, cannabis addiction treatment is available, to help you get back to a healthy version of yourself.

Signs of cannabis addiction

As with all forms of substance addiction, cannabis misuse causes a range of signs and symptoms. These can vary in appearance and severity from person to person. Weed can stay in your system for quite a long time too, so these symptoms of addiction can present themselves at different times.

The following are the most common signs of cannabis misuse.

  • Frequent, unexplained absences from work or school
  • Declining performance at work or in school
  • Losing interest in activities or events that were previously significant
  • Lying, secrecy or other forms of deception involving your whereabouts and/or activities
  • Possessing rolling papers, water pipes and other paraphernalia
  • Continuing to misuse cannabis even after experiencing negative repercussions of this
  • Trying but being unable to stop or reduce your cannabis use
  • Using cannabis when it's clearly dangerous to do so, such as before to driving a car
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased appetite
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Impaired balance
  • Poor co-ordination
  • Lack of attention to grooming and hygiene
  • Problems concentrating or focusing
  • Delayed responsiveness
  • Poor judgement
  • Impaired ability to track the passage of time
  • Indecisiveness
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Associating with new peers
  • Struggling to keep up with workload and focus on tasks
  • More likely to lose motivation and drop out of school or quit your job
  • Problems with finances due to regularly paying for the drug or as a consequence of becoming unemployed
  • Loss of interest in hobbies you previously enjoyed, as well as reduced desire to engage with partners or friends

Free addiction assessment

We recognise that reaching out for help can be daunting. That’s why we offer a free assessment with a Priory expert at your nearest Priory hospital. Call our dedicated team today to arrange an assessment.

Call Us
Tap on a number to call
Book now

Weed withdrawal symptoms

When you become dependent on cannabis, your body will adapt to the presence of this drug in your system. When you then attempt to stop misusing cannabis, your body may react with a variety of unpleasant symptoms.

As is the case with all aspects of substance misuse, cannabis withdrawal symptoms can vary from person-to-person, based on a number of factors. However, the following are among the more common cannabis withdrawal symptoms:

  • Strong cravings for cannabis
  • Sleep problems
  • Persistent dizziness
  • Problems focusing or concentrating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Your potential for experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and their ability to push you back to using cannabis, are among the many reasons why choosing to enter an effective treatment programme may be the ideal choice for you.

At Priory hospitals and clinics, you can participate in detoxification prior to starting residential treatment for your cannabis problem. During a drug detox, you'll be in a safe environment, under the care of experienced professionals.

Detox can help you to stop using cannabis with maximum safety and minimal discomfort. A successful detox experience can be an essential first step along your path to long-term abstinence.

Short-term effects of cannabis use

Cannabis use can have an impact on the mind and body, even if it's used infrequently. From a single use, you may experience:

  • Relaxed and positive mood
  • Become more talkative and prone to fits of laughter
  • Exaggerated feelings of hunger, otherwise known as ‘the munchies’
  • Amplified senses, such as observing intensely vivid colours
  • Feeling as though time has slowed down
  • Memory problems
  • Feeling sleepy and lethargic
  • Feelings of confusion and panic
  • Paranoia and anxiety
  • Hallucinations

Long-term effects of cannabis misuse

Depending on the duration and severity of your misuse of cannabis, you may experience the following negative outcomes:

  • Heart and/or lung problems
  • Delayed mental processing
  • Injuries sustained while under the influence of cannabis
  • Financial problems
  • Legal problems, including being arrested, fined and imprisoned
  • Family difficulties
  • Problems in friendships and other personal relationships
  • Diminished self-esteem and persistent sense of hopelessness

When you choose to enter a comprehensive treatment programme to get help for your cannabis addiction, you can avoid future damage and begin to heal from any past harm you've experienced. In addition to helping you overcome the compulsion to misuse cannabis, professional treatment can also help you develop the skills that will empower you to pursue a much more productive and satisfying life.

Contact us to make an enquiry or for more information

Call Us
Tap on a number to call