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Cannabis Use Disorder and Its Treatment

Sep 27, 2022

Scientific advances and clinical epidemiology provide clear evidence of cannabis’ potential for addiction and adverse psychosocial and health consequences, yet skepticism about its addictive potential remains, and perceived risk of its potential for harm continues to decrease. Indeed, treatment seeking for cannabis use disorder (CUD) comprises a substantial proportion of all substance use treatment admissions. This chapter is focused on cannabis’ potential for misuse and addiction and reviews what is known about behavioral and pharmacological interventions for cannabis use reduction or cessation. Behavioral treatments, brief interventions, and digital health interventions have demonstrated efficacy, although there remains much room for continued improvement in outcomes. Unfortunately, a growing body of research has yet to identify an effective pharmacotherapy, and no medications are currently approved by the FDA for treating CUD. Continued efforts to identify and increase access to effective interventions for misuse and CUD are imperative to the public health considering the loosening of cannabis laws for both therapeutic and recreational use, the burgeoning of cannabis industry, and societal and cultural trends toward acceptance of cannabis use. The field will continue to benefit from efforts to develop innovative treatments that leverage scientific and technological advances and that better tailor interventions to individuals or subgroups of cannabis users.

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