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Marijuana: Findings, Transformations, Cannabis Use Disorder, and Treatment

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Many states have now legalized both medical and recreational use of marijuana despite increasing medical evidence that demonstrate its use, especially in its newer highly potent forms (“dabs, vapes, edibles”) and synthetic cannabinoids (“Spice”), result in addiction and medical or mental health problems. Increased use, especially by youth, has resulted in increased reports and studies associating its use to accidents, adverse medical/law enforcement interventions, psychosis, thought disorders, loss of IQ, seizures, syncope, hyperemesis, as well as heart and other medical complications. This presentation will look at marijuana as a drug: Its mental health and abuse complications as well as its potential benefits in the treatment of some medical disorders. The botany, chemistry, pharmacology, impact on the adolescent brain, and especially the 8-9% of users who develop Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) will be explored. Current treatments of CUD will also be reviewed.

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