Cannabis Addiction:
Understanding Natural Drug Addiction


Cannabis: Natural Drug Addiction

Cannabis has always retained the image of a “soft” drug. It is often confused with being a “safe” drug to use, but “soft” actually means that cannabis and cannabis addiction damages a person slowly. Cannabis is classed as a hallucinogen. It goes by many names including dagga, weed, grass, zol, Mary-Jane, marijuana and dope.

The damage caused by cannabis is something we address with our cannabis addiction treatment programme. Understanding why marijuana addiction in South Africa should be taken seriously will help patients to choose the help that best suits them.


What Is Marijuana Addiction?

Cannabis is a natural recreational drug, and this means that marijuana addiction in South Africa is often overlooked. The mindset is that because it is “organic” it is not harmful, but it can cause an addiction where a person cannot stop using the drug despite obvious negative consequences.

Marijuana has two main chemical compounds THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive component, which is addictive and is found in cannabis that is grown for recreational purposes.

Marijuana is considered a psychoactive, meaning it changes how the brain works. It affects specific sites in the brain known as cannabinoid receptors, which send messages to the nervous system and impact learning and memory, appetite, coordination, and pleasure.

Some of the behavioural signs linked with cannabis addiction include:

  • An overly relaxed or euphoric demeanour
  • Some people might experience paranoia or anxiety
  • Lying to family members about drug use and control over it
  • Feeling the need to smoke or ingest marijuana at inappropriate times
  • Feeling the need to use marijuana to deal with emotional stressors
  • Becoming less focused on daily life and more focused on using the drug

The use of marijuana, also known as cannabis, weed or dagga may lead to the use of other more extreme drugs, however, the majority of marijuana users do not follow this path. People who use marijuana are more likely to use other substances within their environment, such as nicotine or alcohol.

Cannabis use has been associated with worsening alcohol use disorder and sensitising the brain to other substances that are potentially addictive.

recognise symptoms

Symptoms Of Cannabis Addiction

Because cannabis is natural, many people do not believe that it can become addictive. However, a dependency can quickly develop if the level and frequency of use are not monitored. At our weed addiction rehab in Cape Town, we understand and offer effective treatment.

The symptoms of marijuana addiction include:

  • Memory loss 
  • Attention problems and lack of concentration
  • Inaccurate time and space perceptions
  • Intellectual function is impaired, including the ability to process and recall information
  • Executive function is restricted, such as the ability to be proactive, organise and coordinate activity
  • Weed (also known as zol, dagga, and chronic) use induces depression, despite being a mild euphoriant. Daily users are not inspired by or active in daily life
  • Procrastination is endemic amongst regular users
  • Chronic users often become a shadow of their former selves

When it comes to marijuana rehab, stopping the treatment can lead to withdrawal symptoms. These can include irritability and anxiety, sleeplessness, a decreased appetite, aggression and even depression. 

As a leading marijuana addiction rehab, Tharagay has expertise in treating these withdrawal symptoms, to help aid and maintain a successful recovery.

treatment options

Cannabis Addiction Treatment Options

Many people are reluctant to seek weed addiction help, but it can help to alleviate the burden of addiction for both the patient and their family. At Tharagay, we have tailored weed addiction rehab programmes to treat the different phases of addiction. Tharagay believes the first step to recovery from marijuana addiction is abstinence.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Programme

The Rustenberg clinic is our partner clinic and is ideal for the addict suffering from chronic cannabis dependence disorder. The cannabis rehab option is a 42 day clinical programme, where the patient will receive one-to-one and group therapy sessions and undergo detoxification, if required, during the primary phase of treatment. The patient’s mental state, mood, and sleep disorders will be closely monitored and addressed . The patient will be guided on to how to implement a healthy and balanced style without the use of cannabis.

Sober Living Programme

Good Hope works with a number of sober living facilities both in South Africa and in Holland. If patients require extended treatment in such a facility, we will actively support the application. You can leave the picture of Good Hope House (not Good Hope Place) as the sober living facility which is on the website.

a healthier life

Take Back Your Life

Cannabis addiction treatment is the first step towards a positive and more healthy life. With the help of Tharagay, you can take back your life and recover from addiction. 

Tharagay Addiction Services offers a free initial assessment where, based on the findings of the assessment, the person enquiring will be provided with recommendations on a way forward for treatment for marijuana addiction.