Medical cannabis and addiction

2018-09-06
Kevin P. Hill

Can medical cannabis cause addiction?

Kevin P. Hill, MD: Medical cannabis generally would not cause addiction, depending on how it is used. Again, any cannabis has the potential to be addictive, it is a potentially addictive substance. About 9% of adult users develop addiction, so it is possible that a patient would develop an addiction to cannabis, a physical dependence upon it.

But I think that overall, you have to weigh the risks and the benefits of medical cannabis. If you are going to use it, a physician generally would like to certify its use for a pretty serious medical condition, so those potential benefits would outweigh the risks. Certainly, addiction is possible, but you also have to consider that a physician would continue to monitor the use of medical cannabis in a patient.

Overall, the potential for somebody to use medical cannabis in an addictive fashion to have it be a detrimental factor to their work, school, relationships would probably be unlikely.

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