A high level of use can cause physical dependency. The psychoactive substance in cannabis is Tetrahydrocannabinol, which creates the feeling of being ‘high’. Having bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and an increased appetite are all associated with the effects of cannabis. Long term use means that Tetrahydrocannabinol is the active ingredient that remains in the system for longer causes a low mood effect, which creates a craving for more Tetrahydrocannabinol. Research suggests approximately 10% of those that try cannabis are at risk of becoming addicted.
Frequent and recreational use can have a harmful effect on mental health and can cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, irritability, and mood swings. All of which can be challenging to manage. It may be that it starts to have negative effects on memory and interfere with work or family life too. Cannabis addiction can also have a negative behavioural and social effects. Causing some people to avoid contact with friends and family leading to isolation and others may be more vulnerable to engaging in risk taking behaviour.
Research suggests that cannabis use in Adolescents can have harmful impacts long term as the human brain can continue developing until early to mid-twenties. Exposure during this time to drugs can be harmful to brain development, there have been links between teens using cannabis and memory use and IQ being negatively impacted.
Adolescents may also be at an increased risk of addiction during teen years and later in life.Those that begin using before age 18, are 5 times more likely to become addicted, this can interfere with their education, social life, mental health and career prospects.