Review of the validity and significance of cannabis withdrawal syndrome

Alan J. Budney, John R. Hughes, Brent A. Moore, Ryan Vandrey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The authors review the literature examining the validity and significance of cannabis withdrawal syndrome. Findings from animal laboratory research are briefly reviewed, and human laboratory and clinical studies are surveyed in more detail. Converging evidence from basic laboratory and clinical studies indicates that a withdrawal syndrome reliably follows discontinuation of chronic heavy use of cannabis or tetrahydrocannabinol. Common symptoms are primarily emotional and behavioral, although appetite change, weight loss, and physical discomfort are also frequently reported. The onset and time course of these symptoms appear similar to those of other substance withdrawal syndromes. The magnitude and severity of these symptoms appear substantial, and these findings suggest that the syndrome has clinical importance. Diagnostic criteria for cannabis withdrawal syndrome are proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1967-1977
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume161
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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