Cannabis Use Disorder

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If you are fighting an addiction to marijuana or cannabis, the IAC Associates patient care team can help guide you to a durable recovery at home. You can remain at home and work while incorporating addiction treatment into your daily life in the greater Memphis or Jackson TN area. Our team will assess your physical, mental, emotional and social health while working with you to create your comprehensive treatment plan.

Marijuana Dependence is a Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

The most commonly used/“abused” illicit or recreational drug in the US is cannabis/marijuana. Everyone is aware of the “high” associated with smoking marijuana.  The concern that has been raised in recent years is the possible association of “heavy use” of high potency cannabinoids with subsequent mental illness and cognitive problems, such as impaired short-term memory. 

Marijuana can be addictive, and such addiction is a substance use disorder (SUD):  cannabis or marijuana use disorder.  As with other forms of addiction, the definition derives from continued use despite clear evidence of harmful effects on the individual, her/his activities-functions and those around her/him.

Addiction creates physical dependence on the drug, creating compulsive seeking and craving when the drug is available, and agonies of withdrawal when it is not. Science has recently learned much more about the chronic disease of addiction, which changes the person’s brain chemistry in a way that he/she cannot understand or control. 


There are approaches that can be helpful to patients in withdrawal and those seeking to cease intake of cannabis.  As with all forms of SUD, the patient’s motivation to change behavior is the first and most important step in moving ahead with therapy.  The therapeutic plan at IAC is developed together with the patient and is driven by the patient’s personal goals. You are able to remain at home and work while incorporating treatment into your daily life in the greater Memphis or Jackson TN area. 

Just like diabetes, heart disease, and other progressive, chronic conditions, marijuana addiction must be diagnosed and treated with both a short term and long-term treatment plan. Your team of medical professionals, therapists, and social workers are seasoned experts in the field of addiction medicine and will help you devise a plan for your durable recovery at home. 

  • Your physicians will work with you on your physical health, withdrawal symptoms, medication assisted therapy, and manage your overall plan of care.  
  • Your therapist will work with you on behavioral treatments that may include motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and contingency management, as well as family-based treatments. 
  • Your social worker will help identify social issues that interfere with an your desire to change your life. These issues will be explored and a plan made to address each of them.  We especially focus of housing, workforce preparedness/job placement, family and legal issues, transportation, and benefits eligibility in the greater Memphis TN and Jackson TN areas.
  • Your social worker will help identify and carefully select with you the appropriate peer support groups, 12-step programs, online chat rooms, and/or other approaches to help sustain a path to a durable recovery.  

Marijuana Dependence – Risk if Left Untreated

Withdrawal syndrome associated with cessation of cannabis begins 1-2 days later and can include irritability, anger, depression, insomnia, drug craving and decreased appetite. Symptoms of withdrawal are very evident in the first 4-6 days, and can last up to 3 weeks.

The Science of Cannabis

Cannabis refers to the plant which contains compounds called cannabinoids.  The most psychoactive of these plant-derived chemical substances is delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol or THC.  Synthetic cannabinoids have been prepared in the laboratory, and they can be of high potency.

As with opioids, our body produces cannabinoids, which are called “endogenous cannabinoids.” They contribute to regulation of multiple activities including appetite, pain, sensation, body movement, memory, cognition, as well as inflammatory or immune responses.  Thus, consuming cannabinoids “highjacks” our body’s system of endogenous cannabinoids interacting with specific cell surface acceptor sites called receptors (CR1 and CR2), and triggers strong cellular responses.

Marijuana Use By Pregnant or Nursing Women

Cannabinoids are in the family of eicosanoids.  These are lipid mediators that have effects in multiple situations.  Since they are lipids, cannabinoids are very soluble in fat tissue and biological membranes.  If one ingests cannabinoids by any route (smoking, eating, etc.), they become deposited in fat tissue which acts as a depot from which they can be released over a long period of time (two weeks is not at all unusual).  This persistent release of cannabinoids will result in their presence in the urine, despite a lack of recent consumption of a cannabinoid.

For pregnant or nursing women, lipid solubility also facilitates the passage of cannabinoids across the placenta to the baby and their presence in the breast milk of nursing mothers.  In these settings, there is a reported association of marijuana use with developmental abnormalities in children.  For this reason, use of marijuana has been strongly discouraged in these settings by the medical profession in general.

Marijuana Use By Those Under the Age of 25

Cannabis use during adolescence is a particular concern because brain development does not approach completion until the mid-20’s, use of psychoactive substances in individuals who are considerably younger raises the possibility of altering the course of such development.  In some studies, investigators have concluded that there may be a lowering of IQ when young people are heavy users of marijuana.

Call our marijuana addiction treatment specialists at 901-746-9438. We serve patients seeking outpatient recovery in the greater Jackson TN and Memphis TN areas, including Bartlett, Cordova, Lakeland, Oakland, Eads, Arlington, Raleigh, Germantown, Collierville, Millington, Munford, Atoka, Jackson, Covington, Brownsville, Somerville, Bolivar, Selmer, Henderson, Lexington, Huntingdon, McKenzie, Medina, Trenton, Humboldt, Milan, Martin, Dyersburg, Newbern, Ripley, Camden, Paris, Union City, Southaven MS, Olive Branch MS, Hernando, MS, Corinth, MS, West Memphis AR, Marion AR and all surrounding areas.

Please note that the information mentioned above (and elsewhere on this website) is meant to provide general education, and is not intended, and should not be used, to make treatment decision for any particular person. All therapeutic decisions should be made only after consultation with the care team at IAC or other capable providers, that will take into account the patient’s specific circumstances.  Healthcare decisions made without such consultation can be harmful or even fatal.  Any use of information on this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.