Connecticut lawmakers are getting closer to legalizing adult use recreational cannabis. While there has been a lot of buzz about using marijuana, what about not using it?
A Yale study is paving the way for cannabis withdrawal syndrome treatment.
“We are seeing that approximately three out of 10 people are developing a cannabis use disorder,” Yale University Professor of Psychiatry Cyril Desouza said.
Desouza has been studying cannabis and cannabinoids for the last 25 years and his study now has over two years in addresses what he says most of us don’t realize.
“People thought that you know you smoke weed everyday and you quit and nothing’s going to happen. We now know that there is cannabis withdrawal syndrome,” Desouza explained.
According to Desouza, cannabis addiction is defined as use that is out of control either in terms of spending money or time getting high or recovering from getting high. Withdrawal symptoms include disturbances in sleep and appetite.
“We don’t have any proven treatments for cannabis addiction,” Desouza said.
The study ou tof Yale is testing one drug’s ability to block withdrawal symptoms. Paid participants will take the medication for eight weeks and wear what’s called an actigraph to measure their sleep. He says the drug has already proven promising results.
“In those who got the active drug there was a restoration of their stage three sleep to a great extent,” Desouza added.
Desouza says cannabis from the 1960s had an average of about 3% to 4% percent THC but street cannabis now has about 17%. Some forms of cannabis like gummy bears and candy could have up to 80% or 90% THC.
“As these products get more and more potent one would expect the withdrawal symptoms to get more and more troublesome,” Desouza said.
“We have concerns about potential contributions of cannabis to the development of serious mental illness like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” Desouza said.
“One thing that I tried to remind our legislators over and over again is that we know that brain development is only completed by age 25 or 26,” Desouza continued.