Pot, grass, weed, marijuana, hash oil, herb, reefer, gangster. It seems as if there are just as many opinions about cannabis as there are names for it. Some places, cannabis use is legal, and in others, it isn’t. Some places allow for medicinal use with a doctor’s supervision; others do not allow any use.
Regardless of where people live or how they may use cannabis, there are people use marijuana in responsible and legal ways. There are also people who use it in illegal and irresponsible ways. People can find themselves losing control of how often they smoke weed and how much they consume. In fact, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) now recognizes cannabis use disorder (CUD). If someone’s use of marijuana continues despite the distress or impairment it causes in a person’s life, then they may struggle with CUD.
If your cannabis use has negatively affected your functioning and your relationships, know that quitting is possible, and you do not have to quit alone. The licensed therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO provide treatment for cannabis use disorder, and our providers know how to support their clients as they overcome addiction.
Marijuana Addiction and Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD)
The plant cannabis contains a psychoactive compound called Delta-9-TetraHydrocannabinol (THC) which can have a depressant effect. THC does not necessarily cause a depressed feeling, but it slows communication between the brain and the body. It may have a hallucinogenic effect if ingested in larger quantities.
Weed has earned a reputation that it is not addictive, but recent studies have shown this to be false. Approximately 17 percent of teens and 9 percent of adults who use cannabis become addicted to it. Using pot daily can increase the risk or addiction as 25-50 percent of daily users form an addiction. Like alcohol, some people become addicted to weed while others do not.
Addiction to marijuana, however, is common enough that the DSM-5 recognizes it as cannabis use disorder. CUD is defined as cannabis use for at least one year wherein a person experiences hindered functioning and increased agitation, displayed through at least two of these symptoms:
- Prioritizing weed over job, hygiene, school, family, and friends.
- Using weed more often than intended.
- Failed attempts to stop or lessen cannabis use.
- Substantial time dedicated to obtaining, ingesting, and recovering from pot.
- Continued weed use despite harm to oneself, family, friends, or work.
- Experiencing cravings such as dreams, images, smells, and obsessive thoughts about cannabis.
- Mixing pot and risky behavior such as driving a car while high.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit use.
- Using more cannabis to experience the same psychoactive or hallucinogenic effect.
DSM-5 gives a range of severity for Cannabis Use Disorder based upon the number of symptoms displayed:
1. DSM-5 (305.20 F12.10) Cannabis Use Disorder, Mild
When individuals display 2-3 symptoms, they may have mild CUD.
2. DSM-5 (304.30 F12.20) Cannabis Use Disorder, Moderate
When individuals display 4-5 symptoms, they may have moderate CUD.
3. DSM-5 (304.30 F12.20) Cannabis Use Disorder, Severe
When individuals display 6 or more symptoms, they may have severe CUD.
The licensed addiction specialists at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO approach substance use in a compassionate, nonjudgmental way and can help clients achieve their recovery goals with evidence-based approaches.
What Are the Health Challenges Associated with CUD?
CUD is associated with other long-term health challenges. In particular, cannabis use may affect the functioning of major body systems, including the following:
Cardiovascular problems. Weed may increase people’s blood pressure and heart rate. For anyone with pre-existing heart disease, cannabis use can be especially harmful.
Respiratory problems. When ingested through smoking, CUD is linked with increased risk for many respiratory problems such as bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, influenza, and rhinovirus.
Reproductive problems. Initial research suggests that cannabis can harm the productive health of both men and women.
What Are the Benefits of Treating CUD?
Detoxing from cannabis is not a quick-fix or an easy path, but many people who have treated their CUD report many benefits, including:
- Better concentration and memory
- Improved sleep
- More energy
- Better relationships
- Balanced mood
- More money in the bank
- Renewed enjoyment of hobbies and interests
The mental health and addiction professionals at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO can use therapeutic approaches like motivation interviewing, strength-based therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and more to help you overcome your addictions and feel in control again.
Schedule an Appointment with an Addiction Counselor at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO
Has your cannabis use become more complicated and consuming? If yes, seeking help may be a good option for you. The exceptional treatment provided at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO may provide the guidance and support you need to overcome CUD.
Here are a few things that may be helpful to know about scheduling treatment at Thriveworks:
- A person will answer your call.
- Evening and weekend appointments are available.
- Thriveworks accepts most major forms of health insurance coverage.
- Thriveworks providers offer online counseling and in-person therapy appointments.
Thriveworks has helped many people treat their cannabis use disorder and learn how to thrive without weed. Are you ready to get started? So are we. Call today.