Weed use and addiction

What is weed or cannabis addiction?

Cannabis addiction, and being cross faded (the combined use of alcohol and cannabis) are topics that are gaining more attention globally. This condition affects a significant number of individuals, leading them to seek help. 

Cannabis, known as marijuana among other names, comes from the Cannabis plant. People consume it in various forms, such as smoking dried plant matter, oil, or resin. 

It can also be ingested or used in vapes and patches. The main psychoactive component, THC, affects the brain and central nervous system, leading to a variety of experiences. While some enjoy its euphoric and relaxing effects, others face negative impacts like panic attacks, anxiety, and impaired decision-making.


Cannabis addiction occurs when someone cannot stop using the drug even though it’s causing health and social problems in their life. Symptoms include needing more cannabis to get the same effect and facing withdrawal symptoms like irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, and cravings when not using cannabis.

People might continue to use cannabis despite experiencing negative consequences. Treatment involves counselling and sometimes medications to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. For more detailed information, please refer to the provided sources or consult a healthcare provider.


Interestingly, cannabis has a long history of use, with evidence suggesting its influence on human culture. Despite its ancient roots, modern laws in many countries treat cannabis as a prohibited substance. 

However, recent years have seen a shift, with places like Canada and some US states legalising or decriminalising it. This change reflects a growing acknowledgment of cannabis’s complex role in society and its potential medical benefits, particularly the use of CBD for various health conditions.   

In the UK, where cannabis remains a controlled substance, debates continue about decriminalisation or legalisation. The cannabis industry, including medical marijuana, is expanding, highlighting the plant’s potential benefits alongside the challenges it poses, such as addiction.

Manifestations and being cross faded

Cannabis addiction can manifest in various ways, affecting individuals differently. For some, the quest for the euphoric “high” can lead to a reliance on the substance, impacting daily life and health. The concept of being “cross-faded,” or mixing cannabis with other substances, introduces additional risks and complications. Understanding how to navigate these challenges, including learning how to stop anxiety and other negative effects associated with cannabis use, is crucial.

Addressing cannabis addiction requires a compassionate, informed approach. Recognizing the signs of addiction and seeking appropriate support are essential steps toward recovery. For those struggling with cannabis addiction, there are resources available to help manage and overcome this condition.

InnerLife Recovery in Marbella, Spain, offers support and guidance for individuals dealing with cannabis addiction. With a focus on holistic recovery, InnerLife Recovery provides a sanctuary for healing and transformation, embracing the journey toward a healthier, more balanced life.

What does cross faded mean?

Cross faded use refers to the simultaneous consumption of alcohol and cannabis, resulting in a mixed state of being drunk and high. This experience can vary from person to person, but it often leads to amplified effects of both substances. When cannabis and alcohol are consumed together, the THC levels in the blood can increase, leading to heightened feelings of euphoria initially. 

However, this can quickly turn into an array of less pleasant symptoms such as nausea, sweating, disorientation, and increased anxiety among others. The term “greening out” is sometimes used to describe the overwhelming sensation caused by too much cannabis, exacerbated by alcohol, which can significantly impair cognitive and motor functions.

Crossfading is common among young adults, with studies showing a high percentage of those who consume alcohol also experiencing being crossfaded, despite many not viewing it as a desirable state. The risks associated with crossfading include not just immediate physical and cognitive effects, but also longer-term health risks. 

Is cross faded use worse than cannabis use alone?

Alcohol and cannabis together can impair judgement more severely than either substance alone, increasing the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviours like driving under the influence. The day after cross fading can bring a particularly severe hangover, combining the worst effects of both substances.

The reasons people mix these substances vary. Some seek an enhanced high, while others might not be aware of the risks. Despite its risks, some research suggests cannabis may have protective benefits against certain alcohol-related liver diseases, although these do not mitigate the immediate dangers of crossfading.

If someone finds themselves cross faded, the best advice is to drink water, eat if possible, and try to sleep it off in a safe place. CBD has been noted for its potential to mitigate some of the negative effects of THC, though it won’t counteract alcohol intoxication. Importantly, planning and caution are advised to avoid crossfading, given its unpredictable effects and the significant impairment it can cause.

The phenomenon highlights the importance of understanding how substances can interact within the body and the need for awareness around the use of alcohol and cannabis together. It’s crucial for individuals to be informed about the potential risks and to make choices that prioritise safety and well-being.

Cross faded use of alcohol and cannabis info graphic

How to stop anxiety caused by marijuana use

Anxiety from marijuana use can arise due to THC’s impact on the brain, leading to heightened sensory perceptions and altered processing, which can overwhelm and trigger anxiety. To mitigate this anxiety, strategies include deep breathing, seeking calm environments, staying hydrated, reducing caffeine, and using lower THC strains. 

Professional guidance is essential for persistent anxiety, providing tailored advice and treatment. Recognizing anxiety signs like rapid heartbeat, sweating, and dread is crucial for timely intervention. For more detailed strategies and understanding, consulting health professionals and exploring resources on anxiety management such as those provided by InnerLife Recovery is recommended.

Signs of anxiety

Signs of cannabis-induced anxiety include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Feeling panicked or fearful
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nervousness or restlessness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

Inner workings of cannabis addiction and use: How it affects the brain, psychosis and panic attacks

What are cannabinoid receptors?

A cannabinoid receptor is a type of receptor in the body that interacts with cannabinoids. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate various physiological processes including mood, memory, appetite, and pain sensation. 

There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1, primarily located in the brain and central nervous system, and CB2, found mostly in the peripheral tissues and immune cells. They allow for the effects of cannabinoids like THC from cannabis to influence bodily functions.

How does cannabis act on cannabinoid receptors? 

When cannabis is used, its THC interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body, affecting mood, memory, appetite, and sensation. These receptors, mainly CB1 and CB2, are in the brain and elsewhere. THC boosts dopamine and alters certain cell activities. Cannabis varieties include Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and potentially Cannabis ruderalis. 

Indica, known for high THC, offers a strong effect. Ruderalis has low THC but is interesting medically due to its CBD. Sativa, with more CBD than THC, is preferred for a milder high and also attracts medical research interest.

What is cannabis-induced psychosis?

Cannabis-induced psychosis (CIP) is a condition where cannabis use triggers psychotic episodes, including hallucinations and delusions. It’s linked to the drug’s interaction with the brain, particularly affecting dopamine release. Symptoms can appear quickly after use, especially with high THC strains. 

Diagnosis distinguishes CIP from primary psychosis by the timing and specifics of symptoms. Treatment focuses on abstinence from cannabis, with some evidence suggesting medications like olanzapine and haloperidol can be helpful. Understanding and addressing CIP is crucial, especially in areas with high cannabis use.

How long does cannabis-induced psychosis last?

Cannabis-induced psychosis symptoms can start when cannabis enters the body, varying by consumption method. For smoked cannabis, effects can manifest in minutes, while edibles might take hours. Symptoms typically last a few days, resolving once cannabis exits the system. Severity can depend on the cannabis strain and presence of other drugs. If symptoms occur, it might indicate an undiagnosed mental health issue, necessitating cessation of cannabis use and seeking mental health support.

What is a marijuana-induced panic attack

Cannabis-induced panic attacks can occur when THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, interacts with the brain’s endocannabinoid system, specifically affecting areas like the amygdala which is involved in fear and anxiety responses. The intensity of these panic attacks can vary depending on factors such as the amount of THC consumed, the method of consumption, and the individual’s susceptibility to anxiety. Symptoms include sweating, shaking, rapid heartbeat, and intense feelings of dread or fear.

How to stop a marijuana induced panic attack

To manage and stop these panic attacks, several strategies can be effective. First, recognizing and accepting the onset of anxiety can help in taking proactive steps to mitigate it. Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, taking a cold shower, or engaging in a distraction like a walk or listening to calming music can help shift focus away from the panic. 

Consuming food or drink can also help by shifting your focus and helping to ground you in the present. Reminding yourself that the heightened state of anxiety will pass can also be comforting.

How to stop anxiety over the longer term

Preventing cannabis-induced anxiety involves understanding your limits with THC and opting for strains or products with a lower THC to CBD ratio, as CBD can counteract the anxiety-inducing effects of THC. Microdosing, especially for those new to cannabis or prone to anxiety, can help avoid overwhelming experiences. Creating a comfortable and safe environment during consumption and being in the company of trusted individuals can also significantly reduce the likelihood of a panic attack.

It’s important to note that the effects of cannabis, including anxiety, are temporary and acknowledging this can be reassuring during a panic attack. However, if someone frequently experiences cannabis-induced anxiety, they might consider evaluating their use of cannabis or seeking professional advice such as that offered by InnerLife Recovery.

Understanding addiction:

What is addiction?

Addiction transcends the mere consumption of substances; it’s deeply rooted in one’s emotional state in their absence. Individuals often resort to addictive behaviours or substances as a fleeting respite from emotional distress, neglecting the core issues at play.

Addiction can precede any substance use, originating from emotional struggles that may have been a part of one’s life from the onset. 

Understanding addiction requires recognizing that it’s not exclusively the product of adverse experiences or environments. People from diverse backgrounds might find themselves trapped in addiction.

External validation

Addiction frequently represents a search for fulfilment and validation from outside sources, beyond just substance abuse. It encompasses a range of pursuits, including the quest for achievement and societal approval.

Substance use might provide momentary solace but falls short of addressing the underlying, more intricate issues.

Cyclical nature

As addiction deepens, the dependency on external sources for comfort intensifies, leading to a vicious cycle of brief relief and subsequent distress. Tackling addiction effectively necessitates confronting the emotional and psychological underpinnings fueling it.

This requires a holistic approach focusing on the individual’s emotional and mental well-being. Resources like hotlines and counselling are crucial in steering those affected towards a more balanced and healthier direction, underscoring the importance of addressing addiction’s complex nature. For rehab treatment in Spain, see more about how InnerLife Recovery can help.

Craving versus Obsession

Is craving synonymous with obsession?

The distinction between craving and obsession in addiction is nuanced yet critical. Cravings are intense urges that surface in response to a substance’s effect on the body, prompting an immediate desire for more. On the other hand, obsession is a continuous fixation on the substance or the act of using it, marked by constant thoughts about it, even when not actively using.

Obsession involves long-term preoccupations, affecting behaviour without the immediate presence or recent use of the substance.

In addiction treatment, understanding the difference between craving and obsession is essential. Addressing cravings typically involves managing immediate physical and psychological responses, whereas tackling obsession requires a long-term strategy to modify deep-seated thought patterns and emotional connections to addiction.

What is craving?

Craving in addiction denotes a compelling desire for substance use, such as alcohol or drugs. It is a psychological trigger activated once a substance or behaviour is introduced to the body.

For example, alcohol consumption can spark a strong craving for more alcohol or drugs, overpowering the individual’s control and driving them to continue their substance use despite their better judgement. This relentless pursuit of the substance overrides rational decision-making due to the psychological relief it promises, often in an attempt to escape negative emotions.

In this context, substance use becomes a compulsion rather than a choice, with craving dictating the individual’s actions.

What is obsession?

Obsession in addiction extends beyond mere compulsion to use substances; it represents a deep-seated belief that the outcomes of such behaviours will differ with each attempt, ignoring evidence to the contrary.

This cognitive distortion leads to repeated uncontrolled actions, highlighting the disparity between one’s behaviour while under the influence and their sober personality. The nature of obsession underscores that addiction does not differentiate based on one’s external achievements or social status.

Though obsession in addiction involves more than physiological responses, changes in brain chemistry and the reward system are still significant. Obsession often reflects a person’s core identity and their self-perception and societal role.

Recovery from obsession entails acknowledging and addressing its emotional foundations, necessitating a profound shift in self-perception and interaction with the world. This transformation involves adopting new values, emphasising tolerance, acceptance, and love over resentment and obsessive perfectionism.

Overcoming obsession means embracing life’s realities, opting for genuine happiness and acceptance over the false security of control and perfection.

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Cross fading refers to the simultaneous consumption of alcohol and cannabis, leading to compounded effects of both substances. This state often results in intensified intoxication, which can significantly alter perception, mood, and physical coordination.

To mitigate anxiety caused by marijuana, consider reducing consumption, focusing on strains with higher CBD to THC ratios, practising deep breathing or mindfulness techniques, and engaging in calming activities. Seeking professional guidance can also be beneficial.

Signs include increased heart rate, sweating, feelings of panic or dread, difficulty concentrating, and a sense of impending doom. Users may also experience physical symptoms such as nausea or dizziness.

Cannabis-induced psychosis duration varies, with symptoms typically subsiding a few days after cessation of use. Persistent symptoms may suggest underlying mental health issues, requiring professional evaluation and treatment.

To halt a marijuana-induced panic attack, move to a quiet, comfortable space, practise deep breathing or grounding exercises, and remind yourself that the effects are temporary. Seeking support from a trusted individual can also help.

While fatal overdoses from cannabis alone are extremely rare, overconsumption can lead to uncomfortable physical and psychological effects such as severe anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. It’s important to use cannabis responsibly and be aware of personal limits.