Cannabis-related disorders

Diagnostic criteria
Cannabis use disorder is a condition characterized by compulsive use of cannabis and the
physiological dependence of this substance and all substances derived from this plant. Other
names for this plant include weed, pot, herb, reefer, Mary Jane, dagga dope and bhang among
many others (APA, 2013) Cannabis use disorder (CUD) is defined as the persistent and
problematic use of cannabis, or marijuana, despite significant impairment to the body and
senses. Cannabis-induced impairments can range from moderate to severe. CUD is also
referred to as cannabis addiction and marijuana addiction (Caffrey., 2019). It causes impairment
in normal daily activities of the addicted.
The diagnosis criteria according to the DSM 5 focuses at least two of the following should be
present, occurring within the12 month period.
Craving to use the substance
Wanting to cut down or stop but unable
Taking substances in larger amounts or longer than intended
Neglecting other aspects of life
Continues to use even when it causes problems
Using substances even when it puts the patient in danger (APA, 2013).
Psychotherapy and psychopharmacologic treatment of cannabis
Although cannabis is the most widely used illicit psychoactive substance worldwide, no
medication is approved for its treatment. However, N- acetylcysteine, and gabapentin can be
used. Psychotherapy can be used to help counsel the patient into recognizing and modifying
behavior. Human laboratory studies and clinical trials have tested multiple medications normally
approved for other conditions, such as antidepressants, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, and
antiepileptic drugs 43– 49. For example, the anticonvulsant gabapentin, a GABA/calcium
channel modulator, reduced cannabis use, and withdrawal symptoms in adults with CUD
(Sabioni et al., 2018). Psychotherapy can be used to help counsel the patient into recognizing
and modifying behavior. Face-to-face psychological interventions (e.g., Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy- [CBT], Motivation Enhancement Therapy- [MET]) is widely used in treating
problematic cannabis use (Tatar et al., 2020)
Clinical features for cannabis use
Some of the signs and symptoms that can be observed on a cannabis addict include; Red eyes,
increased appetite, Chronic cough, Cannabis odor on clothes, Yellowing of fingertips Burning of
incense (to hide odor), Exaggerated craving and impulse for specific foods, Grandiosity,
Impaired judgment, Impaired motor performance, and Inappropriate laughter. During
withdrawal, the patient may present with anxiety, depression, and suicidal withdrawal (APA,

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