What is Cannabis Use Disorder?

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What is CUD, Cannabis Use Disorder?

Cannabis Use Disorder is also known as an addiction to or dependency on THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), a chemical in the marijuana plant.

Professionals diagnose cannabis use disorder by the following criteria of symptoms that are listed below.

Mild CUD – 2 to 3 symptoms

Moderate CUD – 4 to 5 symptoms

Severe CUD – 6 or more symptoms

Symptoms of Cannabis Use Disorder.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DMS-5), here is a summary of symptoms:

  • Use for at least 1 year
  • Using larger amounts over a longer period of time
  • Failed efforts to discontinue or reduce use
  • A significant amount of time seeking or using cannabis, or recovering from the negative effects of cannabis
  • Cravings or desire to use cannabis
  • Continued use despite adverse consequences
  • Work, school, hygiene, responsibility to family and friends are superseded by the desire to use
  • Use of cannabis during activities like driving and operating heavy equipment
  • Continued use despite physical and/or psychological problems
  • Larger amounts of cannabis needed to get the desired effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Recent data suggest that 30% of those who use marijuana may have some degree of CUD.

Do people experience withdrawal symptoms?

Yes, some people do have withdrawal symptoms which can include:

  • Irritability
  • Anger/aggressiveness
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances/nightmares
  • Decreased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever/chills/sweating
  • Headache
  • Tremors/shakiness

Symptoms usually begin within the first 24 hours, peak by day 3, and can last for up to 2 weeks.

Increased use and more recent use can predict the severity of withdrawal

How long will marijuana users test positive after cessation?

Chronic daily smokers can produce detectable levels of THC and its metabolites one month after their last intake.

Since THC is fat-soluble, it is suggested that it can be released from adipose tissue at various times.

This high lipophilicity (fat-soluble) explains why withdrawal is a slow onset.

Other factors, such as its physical/chemical form, route of administration, genetics, and consumption of alcohol influence how long the level of THC is detected in the body.


Why are more people becoming addicted to marijuana?

  • Increase in potency/concentrations of THC in marijuana products
  • Increased accessibility
  • Decreased perception of risks or harms
  • Normalization and commercialization

For help, please talk to your doctor and/or Marijuana Anonymous