Treatment for cannabis users

Problem cannabis use can lead to difficulties performing at work and legal problems; cannabis dependence has been associated with adverse psychological and physical consequences.

What works?

  • Any behavioural intervention (including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI) and contingency management) can help to reduce use and improve psychosocial functioning, both in adults and adolescents, at least in the short-term
  • Multidimensional family therapy helps reduce use and keep patients in treatment, especially in high-severity young patients
  • Web- and computer-based interventions can be effective in reducing cannabis use, at least in the short term

What's unclear?

  • Medical preparations containing THC seem of potential value but given the limited evidence these applications should be considered still experimental

What doesn't work?

  • Pharmacotherapies based on antidepressants, anxiolytics and anticonvulsant are probably of little value in the treatment of cannabis dependence
  • Pharmacotherapy for routine treatment of dependent pregnant women is not recommended

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