Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Marijuana is the highest abused substance in the world. The causes of high number of patients with marijuana dependence, is the easy availability and low cost of the drug.
Cannabis is now being classified with alcohol and nicotine as a gateway drug. A gateway drug is the first drug which an addict usually gets into addiction.
Various forms of cannabis are weed or grass or bhang or Mary Jane, ganja, charas, hashish and hashish oil. The active component is THC in increasing concentrations.  Cannabis is usually smoked rolled in cigarettes.
Dependence of cannabis can be judged by certain common criteria used for alcoholdependence. However marijuana is ranked the least addictive drug of all the dependence forming drugs.
When a person leaves cannabis he/she experiences withdrawals. Withdrawals characteristic to cannabis includes insomnia, decreased appetite and loss of concentration.
Risk factors associated with cannabis dependence are-
       1.      Younger age of onset
       2.      Family history of cannabis dependence
       3.      Long time use
       4.      Heavy use
       5.      Use of more potent forms
Among complications of marijuana use development of psychosis is very common.
A motivation syndrome- long term use of cannabis can lead to a state called a motivation syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by amotivation, avoilition, apathy, asocialia, alogia lack of effect.

Treatment of cannabis dependence-

Pharmacological intervention
Shifting users from cannabis to benzodiazepines and then tapering them is the main stay of cannabis detoxification. New drugs like cannabinoid receptor antagonist rimonabant have yet to prove efficacy.
Non pharmacological intervention
Cognitive behavioral therapy is of some use.
Relapse prevention and motivation enhancement therapies hold their ground and are important and effective.
Self-help groups like marijuana anonymous as compared to alcohol anonymous are yet to prove their worth.

Wishing you a long and healthy life
Dr Hitesh Sharma
MBBS, MD (Psychiatry)

For asking a query or phone/video consultation with me visit-  https://www.icliniq.com/hitesh