Pot, Herb, Grass, Weed, Reefer, Hash oil, Gangster. Everyone, seemingly, has a slang name and an opinion about cannabis use. The variety of views about when, where, how, and if cannabis should be used shows in the varying state laws about it. Pot is legal for recreational use in some states, but in others it is not. Some states allow for medicinal use but not recreational. Some do not allow for any use at all. Regardless of how people feel about cannabis use or where they live, one constant remains: there are people who use pot.
Some people use cannabis and do not struggle with dependency or harm in their daily life because of it. Others use it and form a harmful addiction. Contrary to a common myth, cannabis can be habit forming. But much like alcohol, not everyone who uses it has trouble. And yet, addiction is common enough that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) acknowledges Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD).
Is pot negatively impacting your relationships and/or daily functioning? If yes, then you may have formed a dependency.
Thriveworks Pflugerville offers treatment for Cannabis Use Disorder. Our therapists know what guidance and support people need as they regain control over their cannabis use.
Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) and Its Symptoms
Cannabis contains a compound called THC that has a psychoactive effect, that is, it affects people’s minds. THC is found in cannabis’s leaves, stems, and buds, and when it is ingested, it slows the brain’s connection to the body. In higher volumes, THC has a hallucinogen effect as well.
Approximately 17 percent of teens and 9 percent of adults who use cannabis will form a dependency. For daily users, the percentages rise to 25-50 percent.
Because some but not all users form a dependency, knowing when use has crossed into misuse is tricky.
The DSM-5’s definitions can clarify. Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) occurs when people have used cannabis for at least a year while they experience hindered daily functioning and increased daily agitation. DSM-5 gives the following symptoms to measure a person’s daily functioning and agitation with regard to their cannabis use:
- Prioritizing weed over school, job, hygiene, family, and friends.
- Using pot more and more frequently.
- Substantial time spent obtaining, ingesting, and recovering from marijuana use.
- Continued cannabis use despite harm to oneself, friends, family, or work.
- Craving marijuana, even experiencing dreams, images, smells, and obsessive thoughts about it.
- Using pot while engaging in risky behavior such as driving a car while high.
- Unsuccessful attempts to stop or lessen cannabis use.
- Feeling withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit or to curb use.
- Using more weed to experience the same high.
People must display at least two symptoms to be diagnosed with CUD, and there are varying levels of CUD based upon the number of symptoms experienced:
1. DSM-5 (305.20 F12.10) Cannabis Use Disorder, Mild
A person with Mild CUD experiences 2-3 symptoms.
2. DSM-5 (304.30 F12.20) Cannabis Use Disorder, Moderate
A person with Moderate CUD experiences 4-5 symptoms.
3. DSM-5 (304.30 F12.20) Cannabis Use Disorder, Severe
A person with Severe CUD experiences 6 or more symptoms.
CUD is associated with many long-term health problems, in particular ones that affect the body’s major systems. CUD is associated with higher risks of cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Ingesting pot can increase a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. It is particularly harmful for someone with a heart condition. Similarly, ingesting weed through smoking it is linked with many respiratory problems, including bronchitis, rhinovirus, chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract, influenza, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Benefits of Treating CUD
Detoxing from pot can produce unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, digestive problems, the shakes, and more. Learning to live without cannabis may mean that people have to change their daily habits or learn healthier coping skills. It takes work to treat CUD, but many people can testify that it is worth the effort. Some of the benefits of treating CUD may include…
- Restored enjoyment of interests and hobbies
- Better sleep
- Improved memory and concentration
- Healthier relationships
- More money in the bank
- Increased energy
- Stable mood
Scheduling Treatment for CUD
Could you identify any of your own behaviors on the list of symptoms for CUD? Has an occasional stress-reliever turned into a dependency? Are you ready to be in control of your cannabis use again? If so, know that Thriveworks Pflugerville, TX offers treatment for CUD.
The therapist at Thriveworks Pflugerville offer client-centered care from the moment you first call our office throughout your care. When you call, know that a person will answer and help schedule your appointment. You may even be able to start treatment the next day. We also work with many insurance providers.
Is it time to make a change? We are ready to support you. Call today.