Cannabis use disorders for problematic cannabis users

Marijuana use disorder is a diagnosis of problematic cannabis use.The diagnosis is Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition Or DSM-5. In the previous edition, DSM-IV-TR divided the problematic use of cannabis or cannabis into two different diseases, namely cannabis abuse and cannabis dependence.

Does this mean that marijuana is not addictive?

With the disappearance of cannabis dependence, some people may interpret the change in the name of the disease as a single disease to imply that cannabis is not addictive and that cannabis does not cause drug dependence. After all, it has long been known for soft drugs.

When deciding how to describe cannabis use disorder in DSM-5, a lot of consideration was given. Many marijuana users deny that the drug is addictive, but many people seem to be addicted.

Marijuana use disorder captures the possibility that people may be negatively affected by marijuana use without having to become addicted. However, if it happens, it also has room to identify addiction.

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Just because the name has changed and the word “use” replaces “abuse” or “dependence” does not mean that cannabis is not addictive. In fact, research has finally shown that marijuana can be addictive.

Cannabis dependence expert Dr. Alan Budney reviewed the research on marijuana withdrawal and found that both laboratory studies on inpatients and studies on outpatients consistently showed that among cannabis users who stopped using cannabis, the pattern of physical withdrawal syndrome was consistent with Other well-known drugs are similar. Addictions, such as cocaine and heroin. Withdrawal symptoms start within 24 to 48 hours after not using marijuana, reach a peak in 4 to 6 days, and last for 1 to 3 weeks.

Why replace two diseases with one disease?

After determining the addictive basis of cannabis use disorder, the DSM-5 working group also focused on determining whether general substance use disorder and specific cannabis use disorder should be classified as one or two disorders.

In the previous version of DSM, cannabis abuse was considered a less serious disease. The use of cannabis would cause problems, but there was no sign of dependence. In contrast, cannabis dependence focuses on the signs and symptoms of addiction, especially tolerance and withdrawal.

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Various experts use different analysis methods to determine whether the problems people encounter due to drug use are the single dimension of substance use disorder or the two separate categories of substance abuse and substance dependence to best explain. Based on the results of the analysis, they determine that the dimensional view is the most meaningful.

Instead of using separate categories of cannabis abuse and cannabis dependence, each category has different types of issues, but a dimension that includes all issues that have previously appeared in both categories.

You can capture the severity of this person’s problem by including an additional indicator:

  • Mild: two to three symptoms
  • Moderate: Four to five symptoms
  • Severe: six or more symptoms

Symptoms of cannabis use disorder

At least two of the following symptoms within 12 months indicate cannabis use disorder:

  • Taking more marijuana than expected
  • Difficulty controlling or reducing cannabis use
  • Spend a lot of time using marijuana
  • Craving marijuana
  • Work, school, and family problems caused by marijuana use
  • Continue to use marijuana despite social or relationship issues
  • Give up or reduce other cannabis-friendly activities
  • Taking marijuana in high-risk situations
  • Continue to use marijuana despite physical or psychological problems
  • Tolerance to cannabis
  • Quit when you stop using marijuana.
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Remember, the new way of describing cannabis use disorder means that the severity of the person’s physical addiction has nothing to do with the severity of the disorder. There are 11 symptoms to choose from. Someone may have a severe cannabis use disorder without any tolerance or withdrawal, which is a sign of addiction. For the same reason, even though they experienced severe physical tolerance and withdrawal, they were still able to meet the criteria for mild cannabis use disorder.


Cannabis use disorders for problematic cannabis users
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