While many patients with cannabis addiction stop using their drug upon leaving their last treatment center, they don’t always stop using other drugs as well. Yet, cannabis is the drug of choice for many recovering patients, so it is important that they know about the other types of treatment options available to them.
The study, led by Yale researchers, looked at the idea that cannabis may help people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) avoid heavy alcohol use. AUD is a prevalent mental disorder characterized by consuming alcohol despite negative consequences. The authors of the paper suggest that cannabis may be a viable alternative to traditional treatment, such as psychotherapy, when treating AUD.
Amid the uproar over cannabis legalization in Connecticut, a study of cannabis addiction conducted nearly 40 miles outside the state is yielding surprising results. According to Cyril Desouza, professor of psychiatry at Yale University, where the study was conducted, about three in ten people develop a disorder of cannabis use. Fortunately for these people, the active ingredients in the cannabis plant, also known as cannabinoids, are being studied for their ability to treat cannabis withdrawal.
Over the past 25 years, Desouza has explored the world of cannabinoid treatment options. He worked for two years on his final study. According to his findings, cannabis withdrawal – contrary to misconceptions – is a reality. People thought that if they smoked pot every day, they could stop and nothing would happen, said Desause, who stressed the importance of controlling use to avoid the unwanted side effects of withdrawal.
This news comes after Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes on Tuesday, June 22. From 1. In July, Connecticut residents will be able to legally possess and smoke cannabis plants. In addition, residents of the state will be allowed to eat and drink products containing cannabis. Under the new law, residents will be allowed to grow their own cones starting in July 2023; the number of plants may not exceed six per person and 12 per family.
A professor of psychiatry at Yale University defines cannabis addiction as a habit that becomes uncontrollable, either through excessive use or long hours of using the plant. We have no proven treatment for cannabis addiction, admits Desouza, whose research focuses on the plant’s ability to suppress cannabis withdrawal symptoms.
Participants in Desouza’s study, all paid for their time and effort, agree to take cannabis-based medication for eight weeks. In addition, each participant in the study was asked to measure the quality of their sleep. In those who received the compound, the third stage of sleep was largely restored, Desouza revealed, confirming that the plant had already shown encouraging results.
Cannabis addiction increases with THC potency
Cannabis products with a high THC content can contribute to the development of addiction. Desouza attributes this phenomenon to the rise of the CUD. According to him, the THC content of street cannabis in the 1960s averaged 3 to 4 percent.
In contrast, street cannabis currently contains about 17%. THC content is also high in other forms of cannabis, such as gummies and gummy bears, which can contain up to 80 to 90 percent of the psychoactive substance.
That’s why Desouza thinks cannabis addiction is becoming more common. However, as the dose of the drug increases, so do concerns about withdrawal symptoms, which he says are becoming increasingly unpleasant.
Young people may be more vulnerable
We are concerned about the potential contribution of cannabis to the development of serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Desause said. I’ve tried to remind our legislators that we know brain development isn’t complete until age 25 or 26, he said, referring to studies that have shown the effects of (cannabis) on attention, learning and memory in adolescents and young adults.
Connecticut’s recently passed cannabis laws apply to persons 21 years of age and older. Once the law is passed, Desouza said, the state should develop monitoring programs to help officials understand exactly how many young people are using the plant, as well as its primary source.
Over the past two years, they have consistently found that children view cannabis as less harmful than tobacco, said Desouza, who believes the consequences are especially serious for young people.
New participants are being sought for a Yale University study on cannabis addiction. Participants receive a stipend of $1340 and must commit to a 12-week period. The start date of the study is scheduled for February 2022. Anyone wishing to attend should call 203-900-4093.
Accompanying studies to study cannabis addiction and withdrawal
Desouza’s views on the abolition of cannabis can be found in previous studies. For example, this study found that 9% of cannabis users exhibited symptoms characteristic of addiction.
The researchers report that withdrawal is considered a diagnostic criterion for a cannabis use disorder (CUD) because it is generally associated with increased functional impairment in normal daily activities, not unlike the degree of functional impairment seen in individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD). This is consistent with the DSM-IV criteria (Volkow et al. 2014a).
Moreover, studies show that cannabis withdrawal symptoms generally disappear within the same time frame as those of other types of substances (Karila et al. 2014). In most cases, withdrawal symptoms occur 1 to 2 days after using a large amount of cannabis and can last 7 to 14 days. Typically, the clinical diagnosis of cannabis withdrawal includes symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
Although cannabis has been used throughout human history, it is now becoming a novelty again after being banned for centuries. THC is, after all, the toxic substance in cannabis, and there is currently no standard or regulated dose. This leaves room for excessive use, which can put them at risk, especially if they are already prone to substance abuse and/or addiction. To reduce these risks, it is always a good idea to consult a medical cannabis treatment specialist who can adjust the treatment with other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes or suggest the best dosage for your needs. Responsible use and proper education can only help to remove the stigma surrounding cannabis and ultimately promote its medicinal value.
Bethan Rose is a cannabis advocate, writer, and homeless traveler. She currently lives in Bali and can usually be found in her hammock creating cannabis content.