Pot, Hash Oil, Grass, Weed, Herb, Ganger, Reefer. In the past few years, cannabis use has received significant attention as many states are legalizing recreational and/or medicinal use. With all the attention, there seems to be as many disputes over cannabis as there are nicknames for it.
Regardless of where people stand on the legalization of cannabis, the reality is that people use it. Some people use it responsibly and legally—they do not form an addiction or face serious life impairments. However, some people experience serious difficulties because they use weed.
Enough people are experiencing enough difficulty with cannabis that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) now acknowledges Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD). If weed is inhibiting your everyday functioning and/or causing distress in your life, you are in good company. Many people need and seek out professional help for their cannabis use. The cannabis use disorder therapists at Thriveworks Charleston know what it takes to help people detox and equip them with the tools to live without cannabis.
What Is Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD)? What Are the Symptoms?
Cannabis is a plant that contains Delta-9-TetraHydrocannabinol (THC) in its stems, buds, and leaves. THC is a psychoactive compound that slows communication between the brain and the body. When ingested in large quantities, it also has a hallucinogenic effect. Cannabis earned a reputation as a non-addictive substance, but this is not the whole story. Like alcohol, many people who use marijuana do not form a dependency, but many people who use it will become addicted. When people use cannabis on a daily basis, the percentages of addiction are even as high as 50 percent.
DSM-5 acknowledges the addiction as Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD), and it defines CUD as marijuana use for a minimum of one year while experiencing lowered daily functioning and increased agitation as displayed by two or more of these symptoms:
- Spending considerable time to obtain, ingest, and recover from marijuana.
- Craving weed, possibly through images, obsessive thoughts, dreams, and smells.
- Neglecting one’s job, school, hygiene, family, and friends while prioritizing marijuana use.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to curb or quit use.
- Using pot while engaging in risky behavior such as driving a car.
- Continued pot use despite harm to friends, oneself, family, or work.
- Trying to lessen or stop cannabis use without success.
- Using weed with greater frequency.
- Increase the amount of weed to experience the same psychoactive or hallucinogenic effects.
Not everyone who has CUD experiences it with the same intensity level. DSM-5 offers a scale of dependence that is based upon the number of symptoms a person displays.
- DSM-5 (305.20 F12.10) Cannabis Use Disorder, Mild: Two to three symptoms indicate Mild CUD.
- DSM-5 (304.30 F12.20) Cannabis Use Disorder, Moderate: Four to five symptoms indicate Moderate CUD.
- DSM-5 (304.30 F12.20) Cannabis Use Disorder, Severe: Six or more symptoms indicate Severe CUD.
What Are the Benefits of Detox and Treatment?
The body stores THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, in its fat cells. Cleansing the body, therefore, is more difficult than if it were water soluble. Some people have reported feeling the effects of cannabis for months after their last use.
Many people will also experience withdrawal symptoms as their bodies detox from cannabis. Normal symptoms include insomnia, depression, nightmares, headaches, digestive problems, and more. A common problem people face is intense and varied emotional expression. Some feel as if they are on an emotional rollercoaster, feeling angry one moment, euphoric the next, then depressed only to cycle through a range of emotions all over again.
Therapy may help people navigate detox and its challenges. Especially if people have used cannabis to avoid or relieve emotional pain, a skilled therapist can help people process and resolve the emotions that flood them during detox. Therapy may also equip people to handle life’s challenges in a healthier way. Recovering from CUD has a lot of challenges, and there are no quick-fixes. But people who seek help and overcome their CUD are usually happier they did. Some of the potential benefits of recovery include…
- Improved concentration and memory
- Renewed enjoyment of interests and hobbies
- Better sleep
- Increased energy
- Stable mood
- Better relationships
- More money in the bank
Work with a Cannabis Use Disorder Counselor at Thriveworks Charleston, SC
Thriveworks Charleston has appointments available for treating Cannabis Use Disorder. Think about the symptoms for CUD. Did you recognize any of the behaviors in your own life? If so, it may be time to seek help.
When you call our office, our goal is to provide client-centered care. That is why a person will answer your call and help you schedule your therapy on a day/time that is convenient for you. Also, know that we accept most most insurance plans. Call today to make your appointment for Cannabis Use Disorder.