Is Weed a Drug? – Experts at Bright Futures Have an Answer

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There probably isn’t a drug out there that is a subject of as many debates as marijuana. Some believe that this substance is practically harmless and that it doesn’t have the potential to cause a more serious addiction. Others believe that there aren’t any differences between marijuana and, let’s say heroin. And then there are those who are so confused about the topic that they need an answer to questions as basic as ‘is weed a drug.’ Well, we here at Bright Futures Treatment Center are experts on the topic. Therefore, we find it our mission to provide you with sufficient and accurate knowledge about the topic.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana is a drug that has quite a few street names, all of which are used to talk about this substance. Weed, Mary Jane, pot, ganja, and reefer are only a few of the names you can encounter when speaking of marijuana. As a psychoactive substance, marijuana has mind-altering properties. It is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, and it’s this fact that people mostly use when defending their view of marijuana being a good thing. After all, if something is derived from a plant and it comes from the natural world, then it’s only right that it would be a good thing. Unfortunately, that’s not really the case.

Marijuana plant.
If you are wondering ‘is weed a drug,’ then you need to start with the basics.

We have to admit that marijuana is a lot less addictive than some other harder drugs. It’s much more common for someone to be in need of a heroin rehab facility in Boynton Beach. However, marijuana can definitely have one reaching out to an addiction treatment center. And it can do so a lot quicker than you might expect. Besides, marijuana is a gateway drug that usually opens up the way for some other harder drugs. Therefore, we advise every person to be very careful if and when smoking weed. Otherwise, what might have started as some innocent fun and experimentation could quickly turn into a full-blown addiction.

How does weed affect your mind?

Marijuana can have many effects on a person’s mind, and these effects can be both short-term and long-term. THC is the substance that is responsible for both of these effects. Once in the brain, THC connects to special cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells, after which it affects the activity of those cells. Therefore, a person will experience many short-term effects almost immediately, including distorted perception, memory problems, loss of coordination, and difficulty speaking. Once the effects of marijuana wear off, these short-term effects tend to disappear, as well.

When it comes to the long-term effects of weed on your mind, they can be felt after regular use of this drug. Of course, the most serious and prominent long-term effects of marijuana would be dependence and addiction. That’s the last stage of marijuana abuse, which is when people usually look for Inpatient or Outpatient treatment in Boynton Beach. It’s important to mention that every person experiences these substances differently. While it might take one person a few uses of a drug to become addicted, another person could take weeks and months before getting to that point. That’s why we suggest that you don’t risk it if you can stay safe and stay away from any drugs.

A woman reading about is weed a drug on a tablet.
Familiarizing yourself with the detrimental effects of weed could keep you away from addiction.

How does weed affect your body?

Whenever a person starts experimenting with substances, they are going to start experiencing certain changes. Those changes can reflect on a person’s mental state, as well as their body and physical appearance. Marijuana abuse is no different, as it can have significant consequences on your body. When it comes to the short-term effects of marijuana on your body, you can expect to experience symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, increased appetite, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and sedation. Keep in mind that different people will experience different symptoms.

The long-term effects of marijuana on the body can be quite serious. People have been known to suffer from emphysema, bronchitis, and bronchial asthma, as long-term smoking of this substance can have detrimental effects on a person’s lungs. In fact, the prolonged use of marijuana can also decrease a person’s immune system, making him or her prone to a variety of different illnesses and conditions. Thus, if you believe that you are developing a problem with weed, it would be smart to search for an Outpatient or Inpatient rehab facility in Florida. When it comes to these matters, you want to react in due time, and prevent any long-term effects from forming and affecting your health.

Is weed a drug?

We believe that our short exposition about the long-term and short-term effects of marijuana should have been enough for you to make a conclusion. However, we don’t mind confirming what you most likely already know – yes, marijuana is a drug. Granted, it’s not a drug that is as addictive as cocaine or heroin. But if not careful, marijuana can definitely get you addicted because it has mind-altering capabilities. It’s these capabilities that produce the feeling that’s known as ‘being high’ and it’s because of them that people constantly seek marijuana and similar drugs.

Two marijuana joints.
Once you notice that your body isn’t reacting the same way to marijuana, you are on your way to addiction.

What usually happens when people start chasing that high is that they realize that it’s more difficult to achieve after each session. It might have taken you one-third of a joint to get high in the beginning but, soon enough, that’s going to turn into three joints. As previously mentioned, marijuana could also lead to an addiction to more serious drugs. If you were to ask most of the people who are currently in our crack cocaine rehab FL center, they would tell you that their experimentation with drugs had started with marijuana. Thus, we never advise undermining the addictive properties of weed, even though it might seem harmless in the beginning.

Common risks associated with weed

As a drug, marijuana comes with quite a few risks for the one using it. And since it’s one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States of America, these risks have been thoroughly researched and studied. Keep in mind that not everyone will experience the same problems and obstacles with regular marijuana use. However, by using it regularly, you stand to experience:

  • Mental health problems. Marijuana has been linked to several ailments, such as anxiety, depression, psychotic episodes, and suicide planning.
  • Brain health problems. Many studies have shown that marijuana can cause permanent IQ loss, where a person stands to lose 8 points due to long-term marijuana use.
  • Worsening in your athletic performance. Weed can cause problems with your coordination and movement, both of which can negatively impact your athletic performance.
  • Driving difficulties. Since marijuana alters your state of mind, people shouldn’t be driving while under the influence. If they do, they are at a much higher risk of getting into accidents.
  • Problems in pregnancy. It’s been shown that women who smoke marijuana during pregnancy can negatively impact their baby’s health and development. Fetal growth restriction, problems with brain development, premature birth, and stillbirth are all possible negative outcomes.
  • Daily problems. Overall, marijuana isn’t much different than any other drug, as it can affect every aspect of your life. People can suffer from relationship problems, and they can have professional and financial troubles.
A pregnant woman touching her stomach.
Marijuana use during pregnancy can result in plenty of problems for the mom and the baby.

What’s the best way to avoid ever encountering any of these negative outcomes, you ask? The answer is simple – just avoid any experimentation with marijuana. You never know whether you have a predisposition for addiction, and you can never be sure how you will react to weed. That’s why it would be best to stay on the safe side and say no to drugs.

Can weed kill you or result in an overdose?

The only relatively good thing concerning marijuana is the fact that it’s extremely rare for it to result in an overdose and death. Take heroin or cocaine as an example of the opposite. Long-term consumption of these so-called harder drugs will oftentimes result in the worst possible outcome. However, death and an overdose aren’t the only two concerns when talking about marijuana as a drug. You should know that weed contains ingredients such as herbicides, pesticides, fungi, and bacteria, all of which can wreak havoc on your health. Likewise, prolonged use of this drug can result in altered behavior, and it can damage your brain and lungs. Due to all of these reasons, we suggest you think carefully about your decision to use drugs.

Besides, keep in mind that prolonged use of THC can result in you forming a habit. If that happens, you’ll no longer have to ask yourself questions like ‘is weed a drug.’ Instead, you’ll be asking yourself how you can get off it and preserve your health. And it’s at that moment that you should consider getting in touch with us – or any other treatment facility that can address your addiction or dependence to weed.

How to treat your marijuana addiction?

We’d start by saying that it would be best to nip the problem in the bud and seek treatment early on in the process. However, we are also firm believers that it’s never too late to find yourself sober and recovered. It might take a little more time for you to recover if you develop a severe form of marijuana addiction, but you can certainly get there.

A man holding a phone.
With prolonged marijuana use comes the possibility of having to dial up treatment facilities.

Find a treatment center

The very first thing you need to do is ensure that you find the right kind of care for yourself. Addiction recovery is rarely ever something that you can do by yourself. It might be a possibility if you start withdrawal once your addiction is in its early stages, but it stops being a possibility down the line. Thus, your first step should be to find a rehab facility that can cater to your needs. Your chosen treatment center should be able to answer questions like ‘is weed a drug,’ but they should also have qualified staff and comfortable facilities.

In essence, we suggest that you come up with your own list of dealbreakers when it comes to what you are looking for in a treatment center. For most people, that’s going to depend on their own likes and preferences, as some will like more exclusive facilities, while others will be interested in low-key places.

Choose the optimal program

This is where things could get complicated. If you do your job right, you are going to find a facility that offers plenty of different treatment programs. The two main ones are going to be Inpatient and Outpatient programs. Inpatient treatment requires you to spend a certain amount of time inside a rehab facility. Because of how intense it is, this program is best suited for people with a severe form of addiction. For example, most people who are currently in our meth rehab center in Florida are getting Inpatient care.

On the other hand, Outpatient programs are suited for those people who have a mild or moderate form of addiction. People in this program don’t have to stay inside a rehab facility, and they get to spend their nights in the comfort of their own homes. However, they are required to attend treatment during the day. How long a person spends in treatment will depend on a couple of things. If you have a moderate to severe addiction to marijuana, you will be advised to spend five to eight hours in rehab, five to seven days per week. On the other hand, if your addiction is a mild to moderate one, then you can get away with a few hours every other day.

Living room furniture.
The duration of your stay inside rehab will depend on the intensity of your addiction.

How can you tell which program is going to be the best one for you? Truth be told, it might be very difficult, as you might not be able to look at the situation objectively. That’s why it’s best to let a professional assess your situation and needs. Due to their rich experience with addiction and recovery, they will be able to suggest the best program for your needs. It will be up to you to decide whether you want to listen to their advice or choose a different program.

Think about Medically-Assisted Treatment

Most often, severe alcohol or drug addiction requires one thing – a Medically-Assisted Treatment in FL. If you have been misusing marijuana for many years, then it’s very likely that you will need to start with this program. A MAT program entails using FDA-approved drugs to treat the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Medicines like Suboxone are going to be prescribed by a doctor who is going to monitor your general health and condition. The trick with using these medications is to use them as per instructions. That’s why it’s important to have a professional oversee your dosage and usage.

At Bright Futures Treatment Center, we don’t leave an issue as important as this one up to chance. Instead, we make sure that you are always in the good and capable hands of our experts. They are going to ensure that you don’t develop another addiction to these drugs. Quite the contrary – you will get to reap all the long-term and short-term effects of this group of drugs. There are many studies that show that they can even positively influence your long-term sobriety.

A blood pressure monitor and some medications.
Using these medications entails medical supervision and monitoring at all times.

The symptoms of withdrawal

The main reason why we use these drugs during treatment is because of withdrawal. When going through marijuana withdrawal, you can expect a host of symptoms to appear. We won’t lie to you – they are going to be uncomfortable and unpleasant. However, if you have been using high doses of marijuana, then you are in for a particularly tricky situation. There are many symptoms that could appear in the days to come, including:

  • Restlessness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Shakiness
  • Irritability
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pains and problems

Just reading about them could be enough to make you decide against getting any form of help for your addiction. However, by using US Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, we can greatly impact their intensity. Since they diminish their intensity, a person finds it easier to remain strong in the face of temptation. Ultimately, it’s important to realize that these symptoms are going to pass and are only temporary. Likewise, everyone going through withdrawal will experience them, so you are not alone.

What is the legal status of marijuana in the United States of America?

We’ve already touched upon the fact that there is a lot of controversy surrounding marijuana. For many people, that controversy revolves around the decision of whether or not marijuana should be legal. As of right now, marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that weed has a high potential for abuse and it doesn’t have a largely accepted medicinal use in the states. However, there are other synthetic versions of THC that one could use in medicine. Likewise, we should state that some states have allowed marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes.

The word health spelled out with pills.
The US Food and Drug Administration recognizes marijuana as a form of drug, making it illegal in the states.

Once you know that marijuana is illegal, you will no longer be wondering ‘is weed a drug.’ All illegal substances are drugs, and they have a high potential for abuse and addiction. If you are suffering from any conditions where you think marijuana could help, it would be best to seek proper care. You should never diagnose yourself, especially when you believe that marijuana is the cure. More often than not, people will only incur additional problems by doing so. A healthcare provider will be able to suggest the best course of treatment for you. And you can be certain that the treatment plan is almost never going to include smoking weed.

What’s the final verdict on weed?

You shouldn’t be asking yourself questions such as ‘is weed a drug,’ because it is. What you should be doing is finding out the best ways to stay away from it. Likewise, you should keep your risks of marijuana addiction to a very minimum. And the only way to be completely safe is by staying away from marijuana altogether. Now, we know that this is easier said than done. Therefore, if you are experiencing any negative effects of marijuana and don’t know how to stop them, feel free to contact us. We here at Bright Futures Treatment Center understand how difficult marijuana addiction can be. Likewise, we know how to treat your addiction to this drug so that you can get back to your normal life.

The good news is that weed doesn’t belong to the group of hard drugs. Therefore, your prognosis and the chances of long-term recovery are actually good. Many people go on to develop an addiction to marijuana, treat it, and then remain sober for the rest of their lives. This is especially true when you leave your recovery in the hands of our experts. We’ll make sure to provide you with all the tools that you are currently lacking. Your only job is to make that initial phone call and have the desire to get better.


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