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What Is Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD)?

Updated: Feb 12, 2022


Are you wondering whether or not Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) exists? If you've ever smoked weed, then you already know that it has some pretty powerful effects. But did you know that some people experience cannabis dependence?


Cannabis Use Disorder is a condition where someone uses marijuana regularly despite negative consequences that can include mental health symptoms like anxiety, depression, paranoia, and other conditions.


What Is Cannabis Use Disorder?


Cannabis use disorder is the medical term for cannabis dependence. It's when a person experiences symptoms of cannabis dependence after using it consistently. Some people who experience these symptoms may be diagnosed with substance abuse disorder. However, this isn't always the case.



Marijuana Dependence


When someone becomes dependent on marijuana, their body starts producing its endocannabinoid system, which regulates specific biological processes in your brain. This makes them feel better and less stressed.


Symptoms of Cannabis Use Disorder caused by dependency may include Insomnia, hallucinations, trouble concentrating, Cravings for drugs, increased appetite, dreams about smoking pot, etc.


How Do I Know If I Have CUD?


If you're struggling with these symptoms, then there's a chance you might be suffering from cannabis addiction disorder. However, this isn't always easy to tell because many people who smoke weed will go through their moods change. Some people might get angry and aggressive during these times. Others might become happy and carefree.


As long as you're following the proper steps, you'll probably be fine. It's best to seek professional help before any serious problems occur.


Cannabis Use Disorder: What Causes It?


It's hard to say exactly what causes cannabis addiction disorder. Several factors could contribute to this type of addiction. For example, genetics play a role. People whose parents were heavy users tend to be at higher risk of developing CUD.


Another factor is trauma. If you grew up experiencing a lot of stress or violence, you're more likely to develop CUD later in life. Consider how often you use the drug. Someone who smoked once a week was more likely to create CMD than someone who smoked every day.


Other factors could include:

  • Not being able to control an urge to use marijuana

  • Not wanting to give up smoking

  • Not knowing how to stop using marijuana

  • Seeing marijuana as a way to relax

  • Using marijuana for reasons other than getting high

  • Taking the drug without realizing that you may have a problem

  • Using marijuana while drinking alcohol

  • Making excuses for why you shouldn't stop using

  • Finding ways to hide your marijuana use

  • Thinking that others disapprove of you for using marijuana

Who Gets CUD?


Someone who smokes marijuana every day could develop a cannabis addiction disorder. Studies show that people who use cannabis daily report higher depression, anxiety, and insomnia rates than those who occasionally use it.


Some studies suggest that men are three times more likely than women to develop cannabis addiction disorder. People who grow up in poverty, especially children, are at greater risk of developing CUD. Also, people who grew up around heavy drinkers are more likely to drink heavily.


People with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are also at a high risk of developing CUD due to their medications. These conditions cause changes in brain chemistry and make people more susceptible to weed addiction.



How Does CUD Affect My Life?


When you have a cannabis addiction disorder, you may find yourself unable to function properly at work or home. You might lose interest in activities that used to bring you joy. You may struggle with relationships because of how you behave around others. And you might start drinking or taking other substances to cope with your feelings.


You may begin to think about using cannabis for relief from pain or stress. But once you've started, it can be hard to stop. If you want to recover, it's essential to learn to manage your emotions without getting hooked on the drug.


To Avoid Cannabis Dependence, Follow These Tips:


  • Don't smoke every day. Try going days without using the drug.

  • Stop using marijuana altogether for six months. Then slowly wean off by reducing the amount you smoke each week until you no longer need it.

  • Take breaks away from marijuana. Go out with friends, play sports, or volunteer.

  • Talk to your doctor, counselor or drug treatment professional about care options.

How Do I Know If I'm Addicted to Marijuana?


It's not very easy to determine whether or not you are addicted to marijuana. The most apparent signs of weed addiction include: loss of control over your substance use, spending more money on drugs than you would typically pay, not being able to cut back or quit when things get tough, and having trouble managing your time while using cannabis.


While these aren't always accurate indicators of addiction, they can give you a better idea of what's happening inside your head. When you're experiencing withdrawal symptoms from stopping marijuana use, you should talk to a physician. They will help you identify which type of treatment is best suited for you. In addition, they can refer you to a therapist that specializes in treating substance abuse disorders.


Cannabis Addiction: Who Gets Hooked and Why?


Marijuana has recently been legalized and promoted for its therapeutic properties. But how can you recognize when use has crossed the line into abuse?


Several Americans have easy access to marijuana. Marijuana use increases the risk of developing a weed addiction to some people. Some people become dependent on the drug after just one or two uses. Others experience problems after years of regular service.


The following factors can influence someone's likelihood of becoming dependent on marijuana:

  • Growing up in a household where drugs and alcohol was consumed regularly

  • Family history of alcoholism

  • Unhealthy peer group influences

  • Experiencing physical trauma during childhood

  • Experience with other types of addictive drugs such as cocaine or heroin

Although there are many different reasons some people get hooked on marijuana, there are three major categories of users who develop a dependency. These groups are:


Recreational Users


This category includes those who use marijuana recreationally. They don't see their use as problematic and haven't experienced any negative consequences. If you fall under this classification, congratulations!


You are probably among the most fortunate individuals who enjoy smoking pot without feeling any ill effects. Your recreational use doesn't interfere with your daily life, so you're unlikely to become dependent.


Dependent Users


Those who meet the criteria for a cannabis addiction disorder often feel depressed, anxious, irritable, and guilty. This category comprises people who have used marijuana frequently for at least two years. Most of them report having enjoyed it at first but eventually became addicted. Most of these folks were introduced to marijuana through friends or family members.


Problematic Users


People who have developed a severe cannabis dependence. They may have tried to stop but failed. They usually suffer from anxiety, depression, panic attacks, Insomnia, and cognitive impairment. This group contains people who have developed a severe problem because of their marijuana use.


They typically have smoked weed for several years, and their use patterns have become compulsive. They may have felt physically sick, moody, aggressive, or depressed when they tried to quit.


Can I Quit Smoking Pot?


Yes! Preventing weed addiction is a personal decision, and with a proper plan, anyone can learn to live a healthy, productive life free of cannabis addiction disorder.


If you decide to try to quit, make sure you have support. Ask friends or relatives to come over to keep you company while you detox. Spend time in the CannaQuit forums. Occupy yourself in others ways and think about a future that's less hazy, more productive and happier!




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Hi! I'm Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds

I write many of the articles here on Cannaquit and make sure I personally review every piece of information that appears on the site, so as to make sure you are getting facts and information supported by evidence.

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