Cannabis Use Disorder
Marijuana is the most-used drug after alcohol and tobacco in the United States. According to SAMHSA data:
- In 2014, about 22.2 million people ages 12 and up reported using marijuana during the past month.
- Also in 2014, there were 2.6 million people in that age range who had used marijuana for the first time within the past 12 months. People between the ages of 12 and 49 report first using the drug at an average age of 18.5.
4.2 million people ages 12 and up met criteria for a substance use disorder.
Some symptoms of cannabis use disorder include disruptions in functioning due to cannabis use, the development of tolerance, cravings for cannabis, and the development of withdrawal symptoms, such as the inability to sleep, restlessness, nervousness, anger, or depression within a week of ceasing heavy use.
How does cannabis affect
the brain and body?
Marijuana’s immediate effects include distorted perception, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and loss of motor coordination.
Long-term use of the drug can contribute to respiratory infection, impaired memory, and exposure to cancer-causing compounds. Heavy marijuana use in youth has also been linked to increased risk for developing mental illness and poorer cognitive functioning.