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Cannabis Use Disorders

Cannabis use disorders are varied, despite the fact that most people still think that the use of this drug is not as serious as it is claimed.
Cannabis Use Disorders

Last update: 27 November, 2021

Cannabis use disorders are much more prevalent in our society than we would think. Contrary to what many people think, consuming this drug can become a problem that can lead to a serious clinical addiction.

Cannabis use disorders are conditions that develop in which people can’t stop consuming the substance. Dependence on this drug can be diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the number of symptoms present.

Do you know what exactly cannabis is?

Cannabis, whose scientific name is Cannabis sativa, is a popular plant. With its resin, leaves, and flowers, people make the best known psychoactive substances, such as hashish and marijuana, and is the most used among all illegal drugs.

A boy smoking cannabis.

The consumption of this drug has accompanied humanity since time immemorial. It has been used for religious, medicinal, and recreational purposes. Being a psychoactive drug, it changes brain function and can alter mood, perception, and consciousness.

Its psychoactive effects are due to one of its main active principles, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The concentration of this active principle varies depending on the form in which the cannabis is found. Hash has a higher concentration of THC than marijuana, so the toxicity is higher.

When consumed by smoking, it’s easily absorbed through the lungs and reaches the brain quickly. In a few minutes, its effects begin to manifest themselves, which can last between 2 and 3 hours. Among the most frequent are:

  • Relaxation
  • Lack of inhibition
  • A sensation of slowness in the passage of time
  • Drowsiness
  • Sensory disturbances
  • Difficulty expressing oneself, concentrating, or memorizing

More about this traumatic issue: How to Know if Your Child is Doing Drugs

Cannabis use disorders

Excessive use of this drug, like that of the others, can lead to acute poisoning. This progresses with variable symptoms, depending on the dose, the concentration of THC, and the previous experience of the subject, among others.

In addition, consumption is related to the development of serious mental, psychotic, depressive or anxiety disorders. That’s why it’s considered a serious situation. There are several common cannabis use disorders such as:

These cannabis use disorders include:

  • Delirium due to intoxication. Typical symptoms are confusion, memory disturbances, suspicion, or sensory-perceptual disturbances. It’s usually transitory but recurrent. It can appear in people who are using it for the first time.
  • Amotivational syndrome. Its chronic use has been associated with a state of apathy and loss of motivation. This symptomatology usually disappears after prolonged abstinence from cannabis.

Anxiety disorder

It is estimated that 22% of cannabis users and dependents suffer from symptoms of anxiety disorders. Temporary anxiety symptoms similar to generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder or phobias usually appear when the patient is suffering from intoxication and withdrawal.

  • After a few days they usually disappear, but it must be taken into account that they can persist for months.
Anxiety is one of the cannabis use disorders.

On the other hand, patients who have already had panic attacks and use cannabis are more likely to develop anxiety symptoms and to suffer these attacks again. Another interesting fact is that of all the anxiety disorders that are known today, only the social one is considered a risk factor for developing cannabis dependence.

You may be interested in this article: Anxiety in Children: When Should I Be Concerned?

Schizophrenia and induced psychosis

The psychotic episodes that cannabis use can cause are short-lived. However, they can persist even if use is discontinued. The typical psychotic symptoms that can appear in cannabis users are:

Furthermore, cannabis use is considered to be a risk factor in people who are predisposed to suffering from schizophrenia, influencing already diagnosed schizophrenia. The use of this drug can increase the risk of psychosis development by 2 to 3 times throughout life.

This risk increases if consumption begins in adolescence and in greater quantity and frequency.

Mood disorders

Sometimes described as anhedonia (an inability to feel pleasure), suicidal ideation and attempted suicide can occur among cannabis users. However, a relationship between depressive symptoms and excessive use of the drug hasn’t been observed.

However, when you start consuming it at an early age, and on a regular basis, a relationship has been established with the onset of depression. People who already suffer from mood disorders and are cannabis users can suffer complications in the depressive medical condition.

Cannabis use disorder

Cannabis use disorders can be less serious and take longer to develop than others. However, it can also have serious social and psychological effects on the person who is addicted.

Now we know the health risks of cannabis use. Therefore, it’s important to realize the dangers before it’s too late, and avoid its consequences on a physical, psychological, and social level.

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The Effects of Cannabis on the Brain

The effects of cannabis on the brain are many and are due to its ability to interact with neuronal receptors that humans already possess.