Marijuana is derived from the cannabis plant and is legal in several states. It’s nearly as socially acceptable as alcohol. Unfortunately, marijuana is one of the most complex substances to stop using. Why? Many users think they’re functioning normally, which means it can be a real challenge to know and accept when there’s a problem.
Though many women who regularly smoke or consume this substance believe it’s harmless, marijuana addiction can negatively affect the brain’s connections for functions like attention, memory, and learning.
How Marijuana Affects Women
Women who use marijuana habitually may experience fertility issues. It disrupts the hormones responsible for estrogen and progesterone production, affecting menstrual cycles. Marijuana may also impair spatial memory in women more than in men.
The brain’s natural cannabinoid receptors factor into marijuana’s addictive risk. The endocannabinoid system is vital to normal brain development and function. There are 85 known cannabinoids in cannabis; two of the most prominent are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which differ by the placement of one atom.
Substance Use Disorders
The THC cannabinoid is responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. THC commonly affects a woman’s short-term memory, attention, pleasure, motor coordination, thought processes, and time perception. After it attaches directly to a specific cannabinoid receptor in the brain, the body recognizes THC as naturally occurring, and the risk of marijuana addiction rises.
Since THC over-activates the endocannabinoid system, users may also experience:
- Altered perceptions and mood
- Impaired coordination
- Difficulty solving problems
- Disrupted learning
- Memory loss
- Appetite changes
CBD is a chemical responsible for the relaxing effects of marijuana and is sometimes known as “medical marijuana.” Women may use medical marijuana to treat undiagnosed mental disorders, like insomnia or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although CBD offers less risk than THC, some CBD products may also contain THC, which means they can also be addictive.
Signs of Marijuana Addiction
The earlier someone begins using marijuana, the greater their risk of addiction. Heavy users report lower life satisfaction, poorer health, and relationship problems. Workplace absences, tardiness, accidents, workers’ compensation claims, and job turnover associated with marijuana usage are also more likely to impact careers negatively.
Marijuana addiction may cause:
Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:
- Increased irritability
- Physical cravings
- Extreme fatigue
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Mood swings
- Inability to experience pleasure
Restorative Sleep Heals
For many women, sleep can be difficult due to hormonal changes, family responsibilities, and daily stressors. Developing a consistent sleep schedule can help reset the body’s natural circadian rhythm, even after marijuana use.
As part of our comprehensive treatment program, Hannah’s House offers guidance on restoring healthy sleep patterns. Our skilled doctors and psychiatrists help you get back to healthy rest without mind-altering substances using meditation and other unique sleep hygiene rituals.
Our team of multidisciplinary professionals includes physicians, nurses, master’s level clinicians, and more. We evaluate each female patient for co-occurring disorders and create a comprehensive treatment plan based on their unique needs.
Evidence-based therapies available at Hannah’s House include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Medical care (including medication, when appropriate)
- Psychiatric services
- Case management services
- Family education and programming
- Life skills training
- Spiritual support
Contact Hannah’s House
It’s time to achieve lifelong, sustainable, and complete recovery from marijuana addiction. Sobriety is possible, and we can help. Leading-edge care enacts real, lasting change, which means women lead healthier, more confident, and purposeful lives. Call 561.841.1272 and get started on the road toward recovery today.