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Cannabis Use Disorder Treatment Services

Manhattan Marijuana Addiction Treatment

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana, or Cannabis, is among the most widely used drugs in the world. In 2021, an estimated 128 million people in the United States reported that they had used marijuana at least once in their lifetime. It is ingested by smoking, vaping or taken orally in other ways. Psychologically, it causes altered consciousness, relaxation, giddiness, impaired short-term memory and concentration, and sexual arousal. However, marijuana also has its fair share of adverse effects and potential for long-term damage.

Recently, the potency of marijuana has increased—causing more rapid intoxication with a smaller amount needed for consumption. Gummies, vapes, and joints are now common forms of Cannabis. Blunts, or marijuana “cigars,” are also a popular method for smoking marijuana; reportedly, they provide a better “high” than joints. Blunts have been made by removing cigar tobacco and wrapping the marijuana in cigar leaf, which also contains tobacco and nicotine.

Data from 2020 indicates that around 30% of people who use marijuana have some degree of marijuana use disorder. If you or someone you love is suffering from marijuana dependence, please don’t hesitate to call Fifth Avenue Psychiatry for information and treatment options.

Recent Findings on Marijuana

Earlier studies on Cannabis have suggested that it is a relatively safe recreational drug. These studies were based on low-potency marijuana, and studying its effects on adults (rather than adolescents and teens).  It led to the popular belief that marijuana was non-addictive and fairly harmless. But now, with recreational use legalized in many states, escalating use, more use by teens and adolescents and with even higher potency, many dangerous effects are becoming clear. Marijuana is addictive; in fact, 1 in 10 people who use Cannabis will become addicted, and 1 in 6 who use before they are 18 will become addicted. Cannabis use makes anxiety disorders and mood disorders worse and less responsive to treatment. In some not-so-rare cases, it contributes to paranoid thoughts and psychosis and can be a cause of psychotic disorders later in life.

As a gateway drug, potentially inducing or exacerbating other addictions, Marijuana manipulates the brain’s stress and reward systems in the same way as other reinforcing substances. Withdrawal from marijuana is associated with the release of chemicals in the amygdala. The same release is found during withdrawal from opiates, cocaine, and alcohol. This suggests that long-term marijuana use alters the limbic system similar to other drugs of abuse and may result in future vulnerability to drug dependence.

There is a strong relationship between marijuana use and drug use later in life. Early exposure to marijuana increases the likelihood of years of a subsequent drug problem. The combination of earlier onset and more potent marijuana use may increase anxiety and apathy in teens and make other drugs more attractive.

There are higher rates of marijuana use among people with psychotic disorders than the general population. Marijuana has also been found to aggravate the symptoms and course of schizophrenia. With chronic use, it is also found to exacerbate and contribute to mood and anxiety disorders, as well as cause cognitive decline and lower IQ by 5-8 points.

THC Use in Adolescents and Teens

The negative effects of cannabis are often overlooked in adolescents. As mentioned earlier, earlier studies that reported Marijuana was a “safe” drug did not include adolescents or those who had heavy use as an adolescent. In 2019, however, 37% of US High School students reported cannabis use in the last year, and 22% in the last 30 days. The developing brain is especially susceptible to the negative effects of THC. Adolescence is a time of rapid brain growth and neuronal pruning. Interference with this important stage of brain development affects the prefrontal of the brain and can cause problems with attention, impulsivity, emotional regulation and recognition of consequences of one’s actions. These effects lead to lower IQ, other cognitive difficulties, and a greater chance of developing even more severe addictions later in life.

Adverse Effects of Marijuana Use

Higher doses of marijuana ingestion may cause hallucinations, usually visual, and are sometimes accompanied by paranoid delusions. Using marijuana while pregnant may cause ectopic pregnancy. A long-term effect of prenatal marijuana exposure is an increased likelihood of marijuana use during adolescence.

There are many other long-term findings of marijuana’s effects on users. Using marijuana during adolescence is connected to an increased risk of anxiety in young adulthood. Early onset of marijuana use is also associated with lower grades, a negative attitude towards school, increased absenteeism, and early school dropout.

There are higher rates of marijuana use among people with psychotic disorders than the general population. There is increasing evidence of the involvement of chronic marijuana use in mood and anxiety disorders, as well as earlier onset of schizophrenia and schizophrenic relapse.

How is Marijuana Addiction Treated?

Over the last three decades, we’ve seen an increase in marijuana’s potency and its adverse effects on the population, resulting in more and more individuals seeking treatment for marijuana abuse or dependency.

At Fifth Avenue Psychiatry, Dr. Glazer treats patients struggling with marijuana addiction by developing a personalized treatment plan. What makes our treatment effective is the range of pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods that we implement in the detox and rehabilitation process, from medically assisted detox to psychotherapy, relapse prevention, and office-based treatments.

Begin the process of recovery for you or your loved one today.


Anything more than once every couple of weeks can have serious negative effects on your mental health, especially if you already have an anxiety or mood disorder. Heavy marijuana use may be as much as multiple times daily. Craving marijuana every day may be a sign of a cannabis use disorder.

On average, it takes four weeks from your last marijuana use for cannabinoid receptors to return to normal.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is a rare condition that some marijuana users develop after long-term, consistent use. 

Some of the primary signs of having this condition include:

  • Repeated episodes of vomiting
  • Severe nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Dehydration
  • Fear of throwing up

While exact numbers aren’t known, an estimated 2.75 million Americans may suffer from symptoms that constitute cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.

Recovery from marijuana addiction and the problems associated with it is very possible. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact recovery rate, but studies have shown that recovering marijuana users can stay sober for at least five years after rehab, and there’s a 67% to 90% recovery rate for those who stay in treatment.

If used often as a teen or adolescent, Marijuana can have lifelong effects on personality, including problems with impulsivity, poor emotional regulation, a higher likelihood of addiction and lower I.Q. As an adult, the consistent, heavy use of marijuana can have moderate to severe effects on your mental health,  including higher rates of anxiety and depression, the development of acute psychosis, or even negative effects on cognitive functioning, as some studies show.