Signs of Cannabis Disorder and Addiction


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“When a person is physically addicted to a drug, they will experience physical or mental withdrawal symptoms when they stop consuming it.”

Studies have shown that up to 30% of marijuana users are likely to suffer from marijuana use disorders or dependence, which means they will continue to use or rely on marijuana despite the negative effects.

To help you judge the symptoms, here’s what you need to know about the signs of cannabis addiction and cannabis use disorder.

Cannabis Use Disorder

Cannabis use disorder is defined as “a problematic pattern of cannabis use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress,” according to the DSM-5. 

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) is used by health professionals to diagnose and classify mental disorders. It says that a person must meet two of the following requirements to be diagnosed with cannabis use disorder: 

  • You frequently use cannabis in larger amounts or for more time than you intended       
  • You have unsuccessfully tried to cut down on your cannabis use        
  • You spend a significant amount of time acquiring or using cannabis
  • You often feel strong desires or cravings to use cannabis         
  • Your cannabis use interferes with responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • You continue to use cannabis despite it causing social or interpersonal problems    
  • You give up social, occupational, or recreational activities because of cannabis use
  • You use cannabis in situations where it’s physically dangerous, such as driving         
  • You continue to use cannabis despite having a physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or made worse by the drug 
  • You’ve built a tolerance to cannabis, which means you’re increasing the amount you consume to achieve effects      
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms when cannabis use is stopped

When a person is physically addicted to a drug, they will experience physical or mental withdrawal symptoms when they stop consuming it. Physical dependence occurs when the body builds a tolerance to a drug and requires more of it to achieve a certain effect. 

Cannabis Addiction

Symptoms of marijuana addiction can be similar to symptoms of other drug addictions, like alcohol or cigarettes. 

Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors generally include: 

  • Feeling you have to use the drug regularly — daily or even several times a day
  • Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
  • Spending money on the drug, even though you can’t afford it
  • Continuing to use the drug, even though you know it’s causing problems in your life or causing you physical or psychological harm
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug

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