Cannabis is a drug that many see as harmless, recreational fun and are often not aware of how dangerous it is.
Users who admit to frequently taking cannabis because they miss the euphoria they would get when first taking the drug and the cannabis addiction no longer gives them the same feeling.
Many people see it as a harmless drug due to the relaxed attitude towards it in the UK and are frequently used in outdoor spaces – such as popular events like Glastonbury and outdoor sporting games and events.
The reason behind taking cannabis
Those who have smoke cannabis have given different reasons, all of them are linked to being in social situations where taking cannabis was seen as something that would make the individual fit in with the crowd.
Around 44% of university students admitted that they have tried cannabis for a variety of reasons, ranging from:
- Self-medicating themselves for issues such as anxiety
- Being pressured into taking it from other students
- Not being able to relax without the drug
- Feeling bored and wanting to pass the time
Roughly two in five university students have used drugs at some point, and 39% of students that have tried drugs admitted to using cannabis.
Individuals are also likely to take it in relaxed environments, such as parties where other people are taking the drug, and indirectly feel obligated to fit in with the people around them.
Some people also take holidays to places such as Amsterdam which is popular for their cannabis cafes, this allows individuals who may be developing a cannabis addiction (or want to try it safely) to take the drug in a monitored and safe way.
To tackle the rise in tourists going to Amsterdam to visit the cannabis cafes, British tourists could reportedly be banned from purchasing cannabis to reduce the overcrowding experienced in the city.
People who smoke cannabis may also take it because they want a distraction from their own lives.
Similar to developing an addiction to alcohol, it is easy for users to unknowingly develop a cannabis addiction.
If you feel you are developing a cannabis addiction, refer to here for more information and treatment methods.
To what extent is cannabis dangerous?
Cannabis addiction is possible for anyone to develop if they use it regularly. Despite people believing it cannot be addictive, users can still develop a dependency issue towards cannabis in the same way they can with alcohol or stronger drugs.
The long term effects of a cannabis addiction range from:
- Lung cancer
- Breathing issues
- Heart problems
- Issues with mental health
One study showed that out of 281,000 people questioned about the correlation between cannabis and mental health found out the following about the participants:
- 9% of the participants without depression that used cannabis daily stated they experienced contemplating suicide
- 53% of the participants that used cannabis daily thought about suicide
- Women who take cannabis have a greater risk of contemplating suicide in comparison to the men
Cannabis may not be the main factor behind the suicidal intentions of the participants that answered ‘yes’ it can still play a role in their thoughts.
Cannabis use has as much of an impact as an individual’s background and genes contribute towards someone’s risk of suicide and mental health issues.
Cannabis addiction can be treated with access to a good treatment method and getting help with the problem before the addiction is harder to control.
Click here for free information from the NHS about overcoming a cannabis addiction.