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Cannabis Addiction

Cannabis users are often considered as happy, laid-back and relaxed but cannabis use can easily become highly addictive and cannabis addiction can lead to serious physical and mental health problems.

Are you asking yourself how to stop using cannabis? Are you experiencing cannabis withdrawal symptoms? Are you concerned that a loved one may be suffering from cannabis addiction? Most sufferers cannot stop taking cannabis without treatment for their addiction.

About Cannabis Addiction

The most common illegal drug used in Australia is cannabis, with 35% of people reporting to have used this drug. Cannabis or marijuana is often referred to as a gateway drug and users will often experiment with other harder drugs once they have tried cannabis. As it is a depressant drug it slows the central nervous system and the messages which go between your brain and body. The forms of cannabis include marijuana, hashish and hash oil. THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical that makes users feel high, with this THC psychoactive substance travelling in the bloodstream to the brain, and disrupting the brains normal functioning. Other names include for cannabis include pot, grass, weed, cone or spliff, and if smoked the effects are generally felt straight away, and if eaten it can take about an hour to feel the effects of cannabis.

Don’t be fooled by movements to make cannabis legal, it is a psychoactive substance that can have significant effects on mental health, in some cases these can be more severe than with other ‘harder’ drugs. Not all cannabis is the same. Recreational use marijuana has high levels of THC, the psychoactive substance that makes users experience the high feeling. Medicinal Marijuana has low levels of THC and high levels of CBD or cannabidol, the chances of experiencing a high from Medicinal Marijuana is low

Signs of Cannabis Addiction

There are certain signs you can look for that will help you identify a case of a cannabis addict. We have divided them into two categories: those to look for in yourself and those to look for in a loved one.

If you are concerned about your own situation, consider the following symptoms of cannabis addiction:

  • Thoughts of cannabis consume a good portion of your day
  • You find yourself looking for new ways of procuring cannabis
  • You use cannabis daily or multiple times a day
  • You frequently worry you won’t have access to cannabis during your day
  • Cannabis is affecting your job, finances or relationship
  • You get upset when others question you about your cannabis use
  • You are willing to go to great lengths to get cannabis
  • You must regularly increase your cannabis intake to achieve the same feeling.
  • You find yourself concealing cannabis or your use

If you are concerned about a loved one rather than yourself, signs to look for include:

  • Unreasonable sensitivity when the topic of cannabis is discussed
  • Smell of weed around the house or in the bedroom
  • Cannabis lying around the house for their next hit
  • Unexplained withdrawal from family relationships
  • Increased isolation and episodes of social withdrawal
  • Lack of concern for employment
  • Unexplained financial problems
  • Unexplained mood swings
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Cannabis can exacerbate a person’s existing psychotic symptoms; therefore, you may notice disorientation, memory problems and hallucinations

Any combination of signs or symptoms that suggest a potential cannabis addiction should not be ignored. As already mentioned, even a minor cannabis misuse problem can quickly become an addiction if left untreated. The good news is that proper treatment is very effective at helping cannabis addicts find recovery. Success is achieved through a combination of physical, emotional, social and psychological treatments that address every aspect of addiction.

Withdrawl Symptoms

If you regularly use cannabis, your body needs to learn to work without the drug which causes withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are the various physical and psychological effects of detox and can occur after reducing or stopping cannabis use.

Minor Withdrawl Symptoms
  • Sweating at night
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cravings
  • Aches and pains
  • Restless sleep and nightmares
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
Severe Withdrawl Symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Nervousness
  • Aggression
  • Angry


  • Smoking cannabis can lead to lung, mouth, throat and tongue cancer
  • Smoking cannabis can lead to persistent or frequent bronchitis
  • Users experience a sense of euphoria and relaxation
  • Cannabis is most often smoked in cigarettes or through a water pipe (known as a bong)
  • Is first tried when 16.7 years old
  • It is the most common used drug in 12-17 year olds


The first step toward recovering from cannabis addiction is a cannabis detox which involves cleansing the body of the substance. Detox without medical attention is possible for some individuals but it is hard and a medically reviewed detox is always recommended.

At the Hader Clinic, we provide a safe and calm environment for people in need of cannabis treatment and a holistic recovery program. As detox from cannabis is difficult, on admission a detailed assessment and medical examination is undertaken to ensure that a safe and effective detox process is established immediately.

The Hader Clinic has a long and successful history treating cannabis addicts with proven cannabis treatment programs. In Queensland, our rehabilitation clinic and retreat is located just north of Brisbane in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Remember it can be difficult to convince a loved one that they need treatment for their cannabis addiction, if you’ve tried to talk to a friend or family member about their drug taking habits and they’ve been resistant, you should consider a family intervention. Contact us for advice on this process as we have useful resources and can support you through to conducting the intervention.

Does a loved one need help? Call 1300 856 847 for a free, confidential consultation.

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