Cannabis, Mental Health and Addiction

Is it possible to become addicted to cannabis?

Yes, it is possible to become addicted to cannabis. This is also called problematic cannabis use or cannabis use disorder. Some signs may include:

  • Failing to fulfill major duties at work, school, or home
  • Giving up important social, work, or recreational activities because of cannabis use
  • Consuming cannabis often and in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than intended
  • Being unable to cut down on or control cannabis use
  • Having to use more cannabis to get the same result (also called tolerance)
  • Continuing to use despite negative consequences

If someone has used cannabis for a long time or uses it often, they may feel sick if it is suddenly stopped. This is called withdrawal. Some symptoms of withdrawal are anger, anxiety, depressed feelings, restlessness, sleep difficulties, intense cravings, and decreased appetite.

Why Do Some People Use Cannabis?

  • Individuals use cannabis for a variety of reasons, such as relaxation, socialization, spiritual ceremonies, to enhance the experience of doing certain activities, or to treat specific medical symptoms. Others might use it as a coping strategy to block uncomfortable feelings, negative thoughts, self-doubt, and insecurities.
  • Individuals who have experienced negative life events, who have been through trauma, or who experience difficulties coping with stress may use cannabis or other drugs to relieve uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. If you find that you do this, you are not alone and there is help available.

If you would like to get help for problematic cannabis use or a cannabis use disorder, you can speak with a mental health nurse or another health professional at your local health centre. For anonymous support, contact:

  • Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week) at 867-979-3333 or toll-free at 1-800-265-3333;
  • Crisis Services Canada (CPC)Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) (use the online chat), call, or send a text to 1-833-456-4566;
  • Isaksimagit Inuusirmi Kataujjiqatigiit Embrace Life Council website, (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week) at 867-979-3333, or call the toll-free line at 1-800-265-3333.

This website also has more information about Mental Wellness and Addiction.

 

Resources:

Cannabis Rack Card