Cannabis has been in the news over the past several years as many states legalize its use for various purposes. With the spotlight on cannabis, there are innumerable controversies over when, how, where, and if people should use it. Whatever people may think of cannabis, it does not change the reality that many people use it. Some use it in legal and responsible ways. Others experience problems as their cannabis use grows out of control. If people experience impaired functioning or distress as a result of their cannabis use, then they may have formed a dependency. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders acknowledges this dependency as Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD).
Is your cannabis use negatively affecting your relationships and daily life? If so, know that treatment is possible, and you do not have to detox alone. Thriveworks Kennesaw offers therapy for Cannabis Use Disorder that has helped many people regain control of their cannabis use.
Cannabis, Weed, Pot
There are a lot of slang names for cannabis: pot, grass, boom, weed, reefer, herb, hash oil, gangster, flower, and many more. These names refer to the cannabis plant that has psychoactive effects when ingested. The stems, buds, and leaves of cannabis contain a compound called Delta-9-TetraHydrocannabinol (THC) that causes the psychoactive effects. It slows the brain-body communication. In large quantities, THC has hallucinogen effects as well.
Weed has a reputation as a non-addictive substance, but this is not the whole truth. Weed is similar to alcohol in that many people use it without forming a dependency, but many people who use it become addicted. People who use weed every day have the highest rates of addiction: 25-50 percent. Cannabis addiction has become widespread, and the DSM-5 now acknowledges it as Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD).
Symptoms of Cannabis Use Disorder
The DSM-5 defines Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) as cannabis use for at least one year with impaired daily functioning and increased agitation, which are measured through the following symptoms:
- Unsuccessful attempts to curb or stop cannabis use.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit.
- Using more pot to achieve the same psychoactive or hallucinogenic effects.
- Engaging in risky behavior after using pot (e.g., driving a car while high).
- Dedicating substantial energy and time to obtaining, ingesting, and recovering from weed use.
- Continued cannabis usage despite harm personally, legally, or professionally.
- Using cannabis at increasingly more frequent intervals.
- Craving cannabis through images, dreams, smells, and obsessive thoughts.
- Prioritizing weed over friends, job, hygiene, family, and school.
Cannabis Use Disorder can vary by degree, according to how many symptoms people experience. The DSM-5 acknowledges variances with CUD through the following range:
- DSM-5 (305.20 F12.10) Cannabis Use Disorder, Mild
Two to three displayed symptoms
- DSM-5 (304.30 F12.20) Cannabis Use Disorder, Moderate
Four to five displayed symptoms
- DSM-5 (304.30 F12.20) Cannabis Use Disorder, Severe
Six or more displayed symptoms
Health Risks of Cannabis Use Disorder
Many other long-term health problems can accompany CUD. In particular, cannabis can negatively impact the body’s major systems, especially their respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
- Cardiovascular System
Cannabis raises blood sure and heart rates, and they can rise to unsafe levels. Its use is associated with heart attacks, and people who have heart disease face particular risks when they use pot.
- Respiratory System
Particular when ingested through smoking, CUD may increase respiratory problems. People with CUD face higher rates of chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, influenza, rhinovirus, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Benefits of Treatment
There is no silver bullet or quick fix for treating CUD. Many people face withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, shakes, digestive problems, nightmares, and insomnia. But people who have overcome their CUD are usually very happy they have regained control. The benefits to each person will differ, but many people experience the following:
- Elevated energy
- Improved relationships
- Better sleep
- More money in the bank
- Stabilized mood
- Renewed enjoyment in interests and hobbies
- Improved concentration and memory
Schedule an Appointment for Treatment at Thriveworks Kennesaw
Did any of the symptoms of CUD sound familiar to you? Have you lost some control over how often and how much you use pot? Choosing to treat CUD takes courage and honesty. Know that it may also take a little help. Thriveworks Kennesaw, GA is ready to support you on your journey to regaining control of your cannabis use.
When you call Thriveworks Kennesaw, a real person will answer your call and schedule your treatment. Many first-time clients are able to meet with their therapist within a week of their call. Weekend and evening appointments are available, and we work with many insurance companies. Are you ready to get started? Call today.