Addiction and withdrawal
Like other psychoactive substances, cannabis can be both psychologically and physically addictive.
Psychological addiction is tied to the anticipated effects of cannabis. An addicted person may consume cannabis to feel good, to relax or to fall asleep. When addicted persons stop using, they may experience symptoms such as:
- An irresistible urge to consume (cravings)
- Irritability, anger, restlessness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Reduced appetite
Physical addiction stems from the body’s addiction to the effects of cannabis. When addicted persons stop using, they may experience symptoms such as:
- abdominal pain
- heavy sweating, fever
In Canada, it is estimated that nine percent of users will develop an addiction to cannabis. This figure rises to 17 percent when use begins in adolescence. The risk of addiction is higher when the brain is still developing. The brain reaches maturity around the age of 25. Among daily users, 25 to 50 percent will develop some form of addiction.