Marijuana maintenance is the name given to those who want to get sober from their primary drugs of choice like heroin, cocaine, or alcohol (among others) but continue using marijuana- for either recreational or medicinal purposes. In conservative twelve step thinking, which promotes complete and total abstinence, the idea of using a psychoactive, mind-altering substance while recovering from the abuse of other psychoactive, mind-altering substances seems illogical. As long as a substance can create a euphoric high by triggering the hyperproduction of the neurotransmitter dopamine, it can be harmful to an addict or alcoholic. Chemical dependency does not rely on just one substance. Becoming chemically and emotionally dependent upon marijuana during recovery is the main concern. Though someone may be committed to going to treatment, working the 12 steps, or seeing a therapist, most feel that their efforts are slighted by the fact that they are, without argument, high. Advancements in the medical marijuana field are offering an alternative to that scenario: medicinal marijuana, without the high.
Marijuana Without THC
Marijuana engineers and developers have found a way to produce marijuana without the psychoactive chemicals like cannabinoids or THC. Instead of getting high in any way, users experience the positive and medicinal side effects like relaxation, pain relief, or even focus. Cannabis that is high in CBD offers no high at all. According to an article on sobriety and medical marijuana titled “Why the Addiction Recovery Community Should Accept Medical Marijuana” published by The Rolling Stone, one self-proclaimed sober author informs that “There are over 100 cannabinoids that can be extracted from cannabis…” “CBD, however,” the author explains, “offers many medical benefits without any psychoactive effect. While some conditions warrant a THC/CBD combination (the pain relieving effects of cannabis significantly increase with THC/CBD strains), CBD alone has been proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-seizure effects.”
Ironically, even in recovery, the highly addictive and dependency forming drug class of benzodiazepines, like Xanax and Valium, are prescribed to treat anxiety. Medicinal marijuana is significantly less harmful than benzodiazepines.
Should medical marijuana be used in addiction treatment? Some treatment centers are already offering it and many researchers are exploring the idea more. Ultimately, it will be a person by person experience as well as choice.
Aurora Recovery Center knows that marijuana use can get out of hand in recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with a marijuana use disorder, call us today. Our residential treatment programs are customized to fit the needs of each client in order to effectively heal mind, body, and spirit. For more information, call 844-515-STOP.