Cannabis Use and Misuse

Mitch Earleywine

in Understanding Marijuana

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195138931
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893270 | DOI:
Cannabis Use and Misuse

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This chapter describes the use and misuse of cannabis. Marijuana is the most commonly consumed illicit drug, with 200 to 300 million users worldwide. Approximately one-third of Americans have tried the substance at least once. Despite its popularity, few people smoke marijuana regularly. Less than 5% of Americans report using the drug every week. Estimating the number of users is difficult because people lie or forget about their use. The amounts that people consume are also hard to estimate. A variety of definitions of misuse of the drug exist that include addiction, dependence, abuse, and problems. Addiction does not have a universal definition, making the term difficult to use scientifically. Abuse and dependence are diagnosed reliably and can clearly apply to problem marijuana users. Nevertheless, the abuse and dependence diagnoses may not provide the clear information one might learn from a simple list of marijuana problems.

Keywords: marijuana; cannabis; drug use; substance abuse; drug abuse

Chapter.  7403 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

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