Substance Abuse – Cannabis | Pacific Solstice


Cannabis Use Disorder


Cannabis Use Disorder affects many people who are trying to cope with mood, sleep, pain, or other symptoms of physical and/or psychological problems. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit psychoactive substance used in the United States. Those diagnosed with Cannabis Use Disorder are clearly not alone. However, cannabis can keep you from living your life to your full potential socially and academically/professionally. Please know we, at Pacific Solstice Outpatient Rehab, know what you or your loved one is experiencing. We know that cannabis use creates a stronger psychological dependence than physiological dependence. We know it is the psychological dependencies that are harder to overcome. A physiological dependence for many drugs is over within a month. However, a psychological dependence lasts much longer. At Pacific Solstice, we at our outpatient rehab also ask that the information provided here is only to be used as a start to understanding those with cannabis use disorder. It is not intended to explain everyone who has abused cannabis. Lastly, please note that as well educated and trained mental health and substance abuse clinicians, we borrow our information and research from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-V) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to define the different types and descriptions of Cannabis Use Disorder.


According to the DSM-V, there are 11 symptoms of Cannabis Use Disorder and in order for a person to be diagnosed with Cannabis Use Disorder, he or she must have two of the following symptoms in the past 12 months.

  • Larger amounts of cannabis are used over a longer period of time than the individual originally intended. (“I can’t believe I am smoking in the morning before school now.”)
  • Although there is a desire to control the use and cut down on the amount of cannabis used, efforts usually prove to be unsuccessful and do not last. (“I am only going to smoke tonight.”)
  • A great deal of time is spent during waking hours to either used to get cannabis or get high from its effects. (“I have to smoke more than I used to to get high.”)
  • A person experiences an intense need to use. (“If I don’t smoke, I am not going to get to sleep.”)
  • Cannabis use interferes in a person’s ability to function at home and in work. (“I have no motivation to go to school.”)
  • Someone continues to use cannabis even though their using has caused personal problems, such as marital problems, conflicts with children or parents, and peer problems. (Your partner says, “It is either me or pot!”)
  • Activities in the workplace, at home or with friends are missed as a result of using cannabis. (“I was so high I just couldn’t.”)
  • Using causes an individual to be in harm’s way. (“I was so high that I didn’t even notice the guy coming at me.”)
  • A person continues to use even though they have physical or psychological issues with smoking or eating cannabis. (Your doctor says, “If you don’t stop using, your bronchitis…”)
  • A person needs more and more of the drug to get high or a person appears less high when using the same amount of the drug that previously caused them to be high. (“I need more…”)
  • There are symptoms of withdrawal, such as irritability, anger or depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, decreased appetite/weight loss, restlessness, abdominal pain, shakes, sweating fever/chills or a headache. Or the drug is taken to relieve these symptoms of withdrawal or avoid the symptoms of withdrawal from even beginning. (“I have to have more pot or I am going to lose my cool!”)

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