Teen Marijuana Addiction Treatment Los Angeles

Is there an adolescent in your Los Angeles household suffering from teen marijuana addiction? We can help.

Read about our Los Angeles Teen IOP.

The decriminalization of recreational marijuana and the mainstream media’s open consumption of the plant don’t help with teens day to day struggle with marijuana addiction. Despite the government’s stern regulatory measures to regulate the sale of marijuana, teens still buy it, especially from the black market.

In 2015, about 22.2 million people living in the USA used marijuana in one form or another, with a large percentage being teens. According to research by Psychology Today, 17% of teen marijuana users end up being addicts. Given that more states are legalizing recreational marijuana and making it more widely available, it’s important to understand the warning signs of teen marijuana addiction.



How to identify a teen who is addicted to marijuana

Identifying a teen who is addicted to marijuana is pretty easy. However, some conditions may require a specialist. Here are some of the most common signs:

  • Academic performance drops gradually, and they become disinterested in their studies.
  • The teen might drop their old friends and pick new ones.
  • The teen might become disinterested in social gatherings.
  • The teen loses interest in activities that were once their favorite.

Teen Marijuana Addiction

Teen Marijuana addiction refers to a condition in which the teenager becomes a frequent user and dependent on marijuana, despite the imminent adverse effects. When teens are addicted to marijuana, they increase the amount they smoke and frequency, making the body tolerant. This condition can disorient the normal functioning of the body and brain. Seeking help from a teen marijuana addiction treatment center like Key Transitions can potentially save your adolescent’s life. 

The risk and extent of adolescent Marijuana addiction depend on the dosage, frequency, and potency of marijuana, as well as the individual. Taking marijuana in liquid, wax, and solid forms increases the chances of addiction than smoking because the concentrates of THC are much higher. On the other hand, smoking marijuana in resin form also increases dependence due to the high THC levels than dried plant parts.

How does Teen Marijuana Addiction occur?

Living in Los Angeles where Cannabis is legal, once a teen smokes for the first time and likes it, odds are they’ll continue smoking. Teen Marijuana addiction is a complex process that involves tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid receptors in the brain. When a teen takes marijuana, the THC activates the brain receptors, improving mood and pleasure.

Long-term marijuana use leaves the receptors activated, making the user experience an abnormal craving for more marijuana. Marijuana addiction might impair brain development in teens, leading to several symptoms.



What are the symptoms of Teen Marijuana Addiction?

The symptoms of marijuana addiction are divided into physical, cognitive, behavioral, and psychological. 

  • Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms of teen marijuana addiction include:

  • Dry mouth: Also referred to as cottonmouth, dry mouth is a common symptom of addiction to marijuana. THC binds with the cannabinoid receptors and submandibular glands, inhibiting the production of saliva, hence dry mouth. 
  • Bloodshot eyes: Marijuana dilates blood capillaries in the eyes, leading to low pressure. The dilated blood capillaries cause more blood to flow into the eyes, hence red eyes. 
  • Intense hunger: Marijuana addiction activates ghrelin and anandamide hormones, which cause feelings of starvation, hence increased appetite.  
  • Fatigue: Some marijuana strains might induce sedative effects upon addiction, leaving the user exhausted and less productive.  
  • Slurred speech and memory- Marijuana addiction impairs the temporal lobe in the brain, leading to slurred speech and short-term memory loss. 

Other physical symptoms of teen weed addiction include paranoia, poor coordination, respiratory infection, irregular heart rate, and stroke. 



  • Cognitive Symptoms

The most cognitive symptoms of marijuana are:

  • Low reaction time: Marijuana addiction might impair the limbic system, leading to low reaction time.
  • Difficulty in thinking: Marijuana addiction is synonymous with poor thinking ability, mainly due to the cerebrum’s impairment.
  • Loss of concentration, distorted perceptions, and cognition: Severe marijuana addiction distorts the prefrontal cortex, leading to adverse effects on memory, concentration, and cognitive abilities. 

Besides the above symptoms, teenage marijuana addicts might find it hard to solve problems due to poor temperament. 

  • Behavioral Symptoms

Here is a breakdown of the behavioral symptoms of marijuana addiction:

  • Mood swings and irritability: Marijuana addicts might become moody and violent.
  • Pilferage: Teens might develop a habit of petty theft to finance marijuana addiction.
  • Social isolation: When teens become addicted to marijuana, especially Indica strains, they avoid interacting with otherl people. 
  • Psychological Symptoms

Psychological symptoms of adolescent marijuana addiction include:

  • Fear and paranoia: Some teens develop paranoia when they are addicted to marijuana. For example, they might hallucinate that police are chasing them. 
  • Anxiety and depression: Anxiety and depression are common among marijuana addicts, especially the youths. Marijuana causes them to overthink, and in the process, end up depressed.  
  • Dissociation: Dissociation is a common psychological symptom of marijuana addiction. It is characterized by derealization, amnesia, identity confusion, and depersonalization.



Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

Quitting marijuana can sometimes lead to withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, the withdrawal symptoms might be so adverse that the addict slip backs to using marijuana, a condition referred to as a relapse. 

Common withdrawal symptoms for teen marijuana use are:

  • Mood swings, including irritability, depression, and anxiety
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Craving for marijuana
  • Eating disorders, especially loss of appetite
  • Sleeplessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions    

Teen Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Key Transitions offers an effective Marijuana Addiction Teen Outpatient Program which helps teens through detox and therapy. Teen marijuana addiction can be very serious and a psychological and physical assessment must be conducted to determine the addiction level and whether to use detox, therapy, or a combination of both.  

Detox treatment for marijuana addiction 

Detox is a medical procedure that removes drug components from the body. The structure of marijuana components is complex, and therefore detox cannot be applied as a treatment plan. 

Therapy treatment for marijuana addiction

Los Angeles Marijuana addiction treatment centers such as Key Transitions mainly use a combination of individual, group, and family therapy due to its high effectiveness. 

Therapists may use Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy involves preparing the addict mentally to cope with a drug-free life. CBT helps the addict to manage withdrawal effects and gain self-control.


Fighting marijuana addiction is the first step towards improving a teen’s life. Key Transitions Teen Marijuana Treatment Center in Los Angeles can help those adolescents suffering from teen marijuana addiction.