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Frequent users of cannabis may have 'disabling' withdrawal symptoms, researchers warn.

This condition is included in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which was published in 2013.

According to the DSM-5, a formerly frequent user of the drug has cannabis withdrawal syndrome when they experience at least three of the following symptoms within a week from cessation:

  • irritability or hostility
  • nervousness or anxiety
  • poor sleep
  • loss of appetite
  • restlessness
  • feelings of depression
  • shakiness or tremors
  • sweating
  • fever
  • headaches

Withdrawal linked with psychiatric disorders

The researchers started from interviews with 36,309 participants who registered for the 2012–2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III, a national survey that takes into consideration clinically diagnosed cannabis withdrawal syndrome.

For the study analysis, the investigators used data collected from 1,527 participants who identified as frequent cannabis users. This means that they used cannabis at least three times per week for 12 months before they took part in the interview.


 

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