There is a debate over whether marijuana is addictive or not. Some pot smokers swear that they have never become addicted to weed, while others believe some components of marijuana can be classified as addictive substances.
It’s the active ingredient in weed — THC — that’s addictive, Dr. Samuel Ball of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia Universiaty says. And it turns out that the potency of marijuana’s THC has actually increased in recent times, making it more addictive than before. “I think what’s changed a bit over the years is — over time, the concentration of the active ingredient, THC, has increased dramatically in the marijuana that is available for people to smoke,” Ball said in a video.
Advocates of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana use may argue that addictive or not, marijuana is still safer than other addictive substances that are legal and on the market, such as cigarettes and alcohol. And these people might have President Barrack Obama on their side, too, as he told New Yorker editor David Remnick: “As has been well-documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.”
Of course, whether or not you get addicted to marijuana is really a personal experience: It may not have the same addictive effects on certain people than it does on others. But Ball believes that things have changed, and marijuana is indeed more addictive now than before: “You’ll frequently hear people saying, the marijuana they smoke today is not the marijuana we smoked when we were kids,” he said. Watch the video below to judge for yourself.