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For Clinicians: Dr. Hill on Patients Who Use Cannabis

Writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Drs. Kevin Hill and Arthur Robin Williams describe some of the consequences of expanded access to cannabis and provide guidance to clinicians on the treatment of cannabis use disorder (CUD), some of the potential uses for medical cannabis and cannabis-based medicines, and some of the conditions that may arise from heavy cannabis use.

Many clinicians may be unaware of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, for example. What was once a relatively rare phenomenon has recently become more common with the increase in occurrence of heavy cannabis use (potentially in conjunction with the increase in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations in the majority of commercially available flower cannabis). Similarly, many clinicians may not be aware of the symptoms of cannabis withdrawal (insomnia, anorexia, anxiety, irritability, and restlessness), which may make it difficult to treat patients who are experiencing these symptoms after cessation without fully understanding why. In this regard, the paper adds a great deal to what was said in Chapter 22 of Medical Marijuana (Adverse Effects).

The paper can also be seen as an excellent addendum to Chapter 21, Cannabis Use Disorder. Drs. Hill and Williams offer guidance on how to help patients who are struggling with CUD with a combination of psychosocial, behavioral, and pharmacologic treatments. For clinicians and addiction specialists, it is an invaluable resource.

You can read the whole paper here.


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