Cannabis is a plant derived, psychoactive drug that is generally smoked. Its effects include changes in perception and mood, as well as feelings of euphoria, or relaxation. However, users may also experience negative effects such as paranoia, or anxiety. Increased appetite, sleepiness, and short term memory impairment are more common effects of smoking cannabis.
Negative Health Impact of Smoking Cannabis
Cannabis has a reputation as a ‘soft’ drug, but it can damage both physical and mental health in a number of ways. Cannabis can interrupt the user’s sleep pattern, and cause changes in mood, which can in turn lead to depression. Increasing evidence has linked cannabis use to the emergence of mental health disorders in people that are predisposed to psychological disorders. In extreme cases, heavy cannabis use can trigger a psychotic episode.
These psychological effects have been linked in particular to the potent ‘skunk’ variety of cannabis, which contains high levels of THC. This is now the main type of cannabis which can be found on the street in the UK.
Long-term cannabis use can have a damaging effect on memory and concentration abilities.
Aside from mental well being, cannabis also poses serious implications for physical health. If the user smokes the drug with tobacco, it carries the same health risks as smoking cigarettes. It also raises blood pressure and heart rate, which can be damaging in the long-term.
Cannabis can sometimes act as a ‘gateway drug’, meaning that users may start off taking this drug before moving onto harder drugs in search of a stronger high. Drug dealers selling harder drugs in addition to cannabis will inevitably ask clients if they would like to sample these too.
Castle Craig’s Cannabis Addiction Treatment
At Castle Craig, the goal of treatment is to achieve long-term abstinence from drugs. We consider this the only effective way to combat addiction. Although cannabis is not generally thought of as ‘addictive’, heavy and long-term users can find it very difficult to give up. Chronic users have reported both psychological and physical signs of dependence on the drug. They may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, depression and irritability.
Residential Cannabis Addiction Treatment
Castle Craig has been successfully treating patients for drug and alcohol addiction for over 30 years. As one of the leading addiction clinics in the UK, we provide the highest quality of care to our patients.
Our cannabis addiction treatment programme is personally tailored to each patient based on their history of drug use and their individual treatment goals. Our treatment programme incorporates group therapy and personal therapy, alongside bereavement and family therapy if appropriate.
We also offer a range of complementary therapies, and activities, which provide emotional and spiritual healing. These include:
We continue to support patients after they have completed their treatment with us by providing:
A two year continuing care plan
Weekly group therapy sessions
Helping them to engage with local Narcotics Anonymous groups
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | June 14, 2021