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Can Weed change your personality? (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will answer the question ‘Can weed change your personality?’. We will do that by describing what weed is and explain how it works. We will then explain the physical and psychological effects it can have. Then, we will explain how it impacts our personality. After that, we will give reasons for not using weed. Finally, we shall discuss the treatment of weed addiction.

Can weed change your personality? 

Yes, weed can change our personality if it is used for too long. It can affect our brain quite negatively especially the amygdala and nucleus accumbens which are the feeling parts of the brain. Weed affects our functioning in a slow and gradual way. Furthermore, it increases vulnerability for developing psychological problems. Paranoia, thinking, concentration, processing ability, and anxiety are a few changes that remain with a person for a long time as a result of prolonged usage of weed. Many people take weed lightly and think it is a recreational drug with not much negative impact. However, its effect may be gradual and slowly destroy a person’s life in a quiet manner. 

Weed/Cannabis/Marijuana

Cannabis or marijuana more commonly known as weed or pot is a psychoactive drug that comes from the cannabis plant. Many people believe that since it is a naturally occurring plant it is safe and not quite harmful. However, that is a misconception. It contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 65 other cannabinoids. It is used for medicinal and recreational purposes. People can take weed through different forms including through food, smoking, as an extract, or by vaporizing. 

Can Weed change your personality? (A Complete Guide)

Weed working and effects

When weed is smoked, it gets absorbed into our bloodstream. From here, it gets to our brains and sticks to our receptors. Ultimately it starts influencing our behavior and mood. It can have both pleasant and unpleasant effects. People are usually drawn to this drug as it makes them feel calm, relaxed, and happy. They laugh more and their senses sharpen. They see the world more clearly and are willing to take risks. However, this ‘high’ ultimately wears off. 

Usage of cannabis can have various physiological and mental effects. This includes trouble concentrating, impairment in memory, difficulty in body movement and relaxation, and an increase in appetite. High usage may contribute to psychological symptoms like anxiety, hallucinations, panic attack, disorientation, amnesia, depersonalization, and paranoia. Some people may also develop vulnerability for psychosis due to prolonged usage. There are physical symptoms including increased heartbeat, trouble breathing, dryness, nausea, trouble sleeping etc.

The effect of weed ranges from 30 minutes to one hour and even more depending on the dosage used. With frequent use, the amount of weed required increases as well in order to achieve the ‘high’ state. Accordingly, the withdrawal period increases too. So, ultimately the person increases his dose gradually and becomes dependent on it. He/She finds it difficult to function without it. In the same way, whenever they face difficulties, they turn to weed as a means of coping with their problems which can be quite harmful for their mental health. So, gradually this turns into an addiction and a way of life.

Relationship between weed and Personality

Prior research has indicated if someone uses weed for too long, it can have an impact on our brain. Particularly, the amygdala and nucleus accumbens which control our feelings of fear, aggression, paranoia, etc, are affected. According to Hans Breiter, one of the researchers, it can not only affect a person’s functioning in a slow and gradual way but also put them at a risk for other psychological problems. If someone already has some psychological symptoms, they are more likely to get aggravated and manifest as personality changes, paranoia, psychosis, etc. 

People who have a history of poor academic performance, have rebellious traits, are deviant in childhood and adolescents, have parents with a history of drug use, or come from a family that is dysfunctional are more likely to get addicted to weed.

Although such people may be able to maintain daily functionality in the initial stages, it can have a long term impact. Furthermore, these people may suffer from paranoia and suffer by themself. They might feel unsafe around others and experience anxiety. The way they think and process information gets affected permanently. These people also get affected in terms of emotional stability and overall coping ability.

Reasons for not using weed

There are many reasons one should avoid using weed. A few of these are stated as follows:

Weed contains carcinogens. 

Apart from tobacco smoking, weed also includes carcinogens. It does not matter how it is used, it releases chemical substances in all forms that can affect our lungs just like smoke from cigarettes does.

Weed may affect our lungs negatively

Research supports the claim that people who regularly smoke weed are at a higher risk of having lung damage. Respiratory system damage by cannabis and smoking is equivalent. People may have difficulty breathing due to it and also suffer from other lung-related problems.

It can lead to addiction

Usage of weed regularly may lead to dependence on the drug and ultimately addiction. So, the negative impacts become more severe with every use. If they stop using it, they may experience withdrawal symptoms including irritability, mood swings, trouble sleeping, restlessness, craving etc. 

Negative impact on life

People who are dependent on weed get strayed from their goals and ambitions in life. They are unable to fulfill their life’s responsibilities and lag behind others. So, we can say that their family, social, work, and academic life gets affected.

Negative impact on the body

Regular usage of weed may deplete the natural magnesium reserve in our body. This helps us feel relaxed naturally, but after its depletion, people start to feel more on edge and turn to weed to feel relaxed again. This becomes an endless cycle and ultimately becomes an addiction. 

Expensive in the long run

Regular usage of weed can have financial implications. Its Prices may range from 140-400$ which may vary depending on the quality and the country. Long term usage can deplete financial resources while reducing an individual’s ability to maintain his/her earning capacity. It also affects a person’s overall job performance which can decrease a person’s chances to get a promotion, bonuses, or even being laid off due to it. So, weed usage proves to be an expensive habit in the long run. 

Illegal in multiple countries

Even though weed or cannabis has medicinal powers, its usage is predominantly popular for recreational purposes. Due to its negative physiological and psychological effects, it is banned in different countries. People who use it are actually violating the law and can get arrested for it. It can affect a person’s criminal record and destroy academic, family, and career life. 

Intellectual Development

Studies show that heavy usage of weed in teenage to adulthood can negatively affect intellectual development. One study found that those who used weed had lower levels of IQ than their peers.

Social isolation

Since the usage of weed is considered illegal, people who use it have to be discreet and private. This leads to them being confined to their homes on a regular basis and disrupts their social life. Especially as their friends and social events start declining with their regular usage. 

Personality changes

Paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, etc. are some of the side effects of regular weed usage. Furthermore, users lack the motivation to get their life together and gradually lose their ‘self’ to this drug.

Treatment of weed addiction

Treatment of weed addiction includes seeking help from a drug rehabilitation group which can help in reducing addiction to it. Professional counseling can also help. Particularly, motivational interviewing can help build up the motivation of a person to reduce its usage and negative impact on their life. Furthermore, a therapist can help a person figure out why they use weed. They can teach them other adaptive means of coping especially self-help strategies. Gradually, goals may be established to gradually resume the user’s functioning at a social, occupational, and daily level. 

FAQs: Can weed change your personality?

What are the physical effects of using weed?

Physical effects of using weed can include increased heartbeat. Users may experience dryness and nauseous. Some people report having trouble breathing and trouble sleeping at night. Similarly, after using it, a lot of people have trouble walking and maintaining body coordination. They may experience extreme cravings or other appetite changes. 

What are the psychological effects of using weed?

A lot of people who use weed report its negative psychological effects. This can include periods of anxiety and even panic attacks. Some people may feel disoriented and not in tune with their surroundings as well as themself. They may experience memory problems, trouble thinking, and concentrating. A few people who have been using weed for a long time are at risk of developing psychosis. This can include experiencing paranoia as well as hallucinations.

Is weed addictive?

Yes. weed can be addictive. Although people think that it is a recreational drug so it is safe to use as it does not affect functioning too severely in the beginning. However, studies show that it depletes magnesium from our body which usually keeps us calm. So, people turn to weed to achieve that same effect. Ultimately, it becomes a cycle of dependence and turns into an addiction.

Does weed permanently damage our brain?

Yes. Weed can have a negative impact on our brain. It can cause changes in our amygdala and nucleus accumbens which control our emotions. People with prolonged weed usage have permanent changes in the way they think and concentrate. Personality changes may also become apparent with regular weed usage. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed Can weed change your personality?. We found that weed can change personality if it is used for too long. It can affect our brain quite negatively especially the amygdala and nucleus accumbens which are the feeling parts of the brain. Weed affects our functioning in a slow and gradual way. Furthermore, it increases vulnerability for developing psychological problems. Paranoia, thinking, concentration, processing ability, and anxiety are a few changes that remain with a person for a long time as a result of prolonged usage of weed. Many people take weed lightly and think it is a recreational drug with not much negative impact. However, its effect may be gradual and slowly destroy a person’s life in a quiet manner.

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_(drug)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-creativity-cure/201405/could-smoking-pot-change-my-friends-personality

https://www.narconon.org/blog/marijuana-2/10-reasons-to-stay-away-from-weed/

https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/about-mental-illness/learn-more-about-conditions/cannabis-and-mental-health/

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Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.