Treatment for Cannabis

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What is Cannabis Addiction?

Cannabis, often referred to as marijuana, is a plant that contains compounds called cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the most recognized and studied psychoactive compounds in the cannabis plant. It is often used regularly for its mind-altering (psychoactive) effects, though the impact can vary from person to person.

Those who use cannabis regularly may be at risk for developing a cannabis use disorder, or addiction, meaning that they are unable to stop or reduce their use despite development of repeated negative adverse effects.

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1 in 5

people age 12 or older reported using cannabis in 2022.

3 in 10*

number of active cannabis users who have a cannabis use disorder. *estimate


Likelihood of developing addiction for adults who start using.

Research has estimated that approximately 3 in 10 active cannabis users have a cannabis use disorder and adults who start using have around a 10% likelihood of developing an addiction. This risk may be even higher for those who start using during youth or adolescence.

Frequently asked questions

What are the reasons for addiction?

Studies have shown that prolonged and heavy use of cannabis may alter specific areas of the brain. 

The primary component of cannabis that is thought to be responsible for these reinforcing properties and increase risk for addiction is THC. The potency of cannabis has increased steadily over the last several decades. Higher concentrations of THC and concentrated forms of use (e.g., dab, wax) may increase the risk for adverse effects, including addiction. 

What symptoms accompany cannabis use disorder?

Cannabis use disorder is diagnosed by a healthcare provider based on the presence of symptoms listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The symptoms that make up the diagnosis may include problems developing in the following areas: 

- Difficulty controlling the use of cannabis 

- Cravings, or strong urges, for cannabis 

- Cannabis impacting ability to complete important responsibilities 

- Persistent use despite cannabis interfering with daily functioning 

- Tolerance to cannabis(needing a higher amount for the same effect) 

- Development of withdrawal symptoms if stopping (e.g., irritability, insomnia) 

Symptoms may vary from person to person and a qualified medical professional can assist in diagnosing and discussing treatment options to address symptoms. 

What are the medical issues with cannabis use disorder?

Cannabis use may contribute to short-term changes in brain function including altered senses, changes in mood, reduced reaction time, difficulty concentrating, heightened anxiety, and impaired memory. It may also contribute to the development of psychosis including delusions and hallucinations. 

Long term effects on the brain may include impacting brain development and growth in children and adolescents. Research is currently underway to investigate how these changes affect brain functioning as an adult. 

Physical effects of cannabis include breathing problems from smoking cannabis regularly, increased heart rate which may affect those with heart conditions, intense nausea and vomiting, and problems with child development if used during pregnancy. 

Treatment options

Cannabis use disorder is similar to other substance use disorders and can successfully be treated with behavioral treatments, therapy, and evaluating and treating any previously undiagnosed mental health conditions may also support making changes.

There are currently no FDA-approved medications for cannabis use disorder, though medications may be considered on an individual basis to address withdrawal symptoms, craving, and untreated co-occurring mental health conditions if present to support recovery.

It is important to speak with a qualified medical provider who can help understand your goals and discuss what treatment options are appropriate for you.

How Frontier Recovery works

Empowering you on a path to healthy living


Comprehensive assessment to understand your goals


Personalized medical treatment plan based on shared decision-making


Coaching sessions to develop new skills and support change


Digital tracking to assess progress toward your goals


Regular follow-up to assess treatment response & support long-term success
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