Experts weigh in: is cannabis addictive?

January 29, 2016
Written by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers
Jan. 29, 2016 — What are the symptoms, risks, and health consequences of “cannabis use disorder,” and what is the status of current research efforts to identify effective treatments for cannabis addiction?

The answers to these questions, and whether cannabis is more or less addictive than tobacco or alcohol, are presented in a timely and informative Roundtable Discussion, “Legal or Illegal, Cannabis Is Still Addictive,” published in the new peer-reviewed journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

The article is available open access on the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research ( website.

Roundtable moderator and journal editor-in-chief Daniele Piomelli, PhD, University of California-Irvine, School of Medicine, leads a vibrant discussion among the distinguished panelists: Margaret Haney, PhD, New York State Psychiatric Institute-Columbia University Medical Centre, New York, NY; Alan Budney, PhD, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Lebanon, NH; and Pier Vincenzo Piazza, MD, PhD, Magendie Neurocenter, INSERM, Bordeaux, France.

The roundtable participants focus on topics such as the specific features of cannabis use disorder, cannabis withdrawal, and the lack of U.S. FDA-approved treatments for cannabis addiction and ongoing clinical trials to test investigational agents and approaches.

Piomelli asks the panelists to respond to the provocative question of whether studies to discover therapies for cannabis addiction should continue.

“Laws and attitudes toward cannabis are changing, and this is a welcome development after so many years of irrational closure,” says Piomelli.

“Still, we should not forget that cannabis is a drug and, as such, is far from harmless. This roundtable explores the addictive potential of cannabis, which both preclinical and clinical studies have now firmly established.”

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