One-fifth of cannabis users struggle with dependency, problematic use

One-fifth of cannabis users struggle with dependency, problematic use

Patients who use cannabis for non-medical purposes are more likely to develop moderate to severe Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD), according to a study published on Tuesday by JAMA Network.

The American Medical Association launched JAMA Network Open in 2018, a monthly open access medical journal that covers all facets of the biomedical sciences. 

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) specialty journals provide enhanced access to the research, reviews, and perspectives that are influencing medicine through a variety of innovative tools.

7.2% of non-medical cannabis users had CUD compared to 1.3% of those who only used it for medical reasons. Those who use cannabis recreationally have an increased chance of having a CUD.

The participants with the highest risk of moderate to severe CUD (7.5%) were those who used cannabis for both medical and non-medical purposes.

6% of patients participating in the study had moderate to severe cannabis use disorder (CUD), while 21% had it. Patients receiving care who use cannabis legally in Washington state were the subject of this study.

“Signs of CUD include trying but failing to quit marijuana use, using more marijuana than intended or for long periods of time, and continuing marijuana use despite problems at home, school, or work,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The finding that CUD was common among primary care patients in a state with legalized marijuana for recreational use, where more than 20% of the population reports using cannabis, underscores the importance of assessing patient cannabis use in clinical settings,” the study concluded. 

Participants who used cannabis for non-medical purposes were also more likely to report withdrawal, usage in risky circumstances, prolonged use despite negative effects, and interference with activities than individuals who exclusively used it for medical purposes.

The study polled 5,000 of the 108,960 adult patients who had routine cannabis screening from March to September 2019. The 1463 respondents who admitted to using cannabis within the previous 30 days out of a total of 1688 respondents were counted in the study.


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