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Why Is THC Considered a Hallucinogen?

THC is the active chemical in marijuana, and while marijuana itself is not presently considered to be a hallucinogenic drug, THC does have properties that fit into this category. Call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) now to find a rehab center that can treat your THC addiction in the best way for your particular needs.

The Breakdown of Marijuana and THC

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa.” The plant itself contains a number of chemicals, chief among them the mind-altering delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol,” also known as THC. THC is what causes the drug’s hallucinogenic effects, so in many ways, it is considered to be a hallucinogen.

However, marijuana itself is not because it causes a number of other effects that do not fit into this category. Instead, it is most commonly considered to be a depressant.

The Hallucinogenic Effects of THC

Marijuana users are often prepared for the common effects of smoking or using the drug through another method. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, these normally include:


Demotivation and dizziness are common THC side effects.

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling silly or giggling
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Problems with memory
  • Demotivation

The THC in the drug, however, can cause certain effects that are often linked with hallucinogens. Altered senses and sense of time both often occur with marijuana abuse, and a person can experience mood changes as well.

Memory problems often occur with the long-term and even the short-term use of hallucinogens and are caused by THC. Since the depressant effects of the drug are usually much stronger and are the main effects most individuals experience, marijuana itself is considered a depressant, but it can still cause certain hallucinogenic effects thanks to the THC in the drug.

In addition, marijuana abuse can cause a number of other effects, especially if the drug is used over a long period of time and frequently. According to the National Library of Medicine, addiction “is more likely to happen if [people use] marijuana every day, or started using it when they were teenagers.” Other long-term effects caused by the THC in the drug can include:

  • Temporary hallucinations
  • Temporary paranoia
  • Worsening symptoms of schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Rising THC Levels in Marijuana?

Many changes have been made to the way marijuana is grown and used in the last few decades. Because the drug is the most commonly abused illicit substance, these changes have occurred in leaps and bounds as people try to create a better, stronger, more intense drug. One of these changes is that “the amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades” (NIDA).

People are being exposed to more THC than ever before, and these alterations may not only change the drug itself but also the way it affects users. Unfortunately, though, not enough research is yet available for us to fully know the intensity of these effects.

If I’m Addicted to Marijuana, Am I Addicted to a Hallucinogen?

If you are addicted to marijuana, you are addicted to a depressant drug with hallucinogenic effects. Therefore, certain psychological issues, like those described above, may be likely to occur in your life.

Sadly, marijuana addiction treatment is not as well researched and, therefore, not as effective as some other treatment programs associated with addiction. Much of this information was documented by a study in the medical journal Addiction Science & Clinical Practice.

However, if you do believe you are addicted to this drug, it is important to still seek treatment for a number of reasons.

  • Marijuana is an addictive drug, and most people who lose their control over the substance will need professional treatment in order to stop.
  • Many marijuana addicts are also polydrug abusers. If this is your case, it is still important to seek treatment for your marijuana abuse, as any untreated addiction could cause your progress with a treated one to diminish.
  • Long-term, uninhibited marijuana abuse can create serious psychological effects in some individuals. This is something that is likely created by the THC in the drug. It is important to seek help if you are experiencing these effects.

Seek Treatment Today

If you are struggling with THC addiction or are worried that your marijuana abuse has gotten out of control, call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) now. We can help you find the best rehab program for your needs.

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By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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