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A new review provides practical advice for physicians on how to care for patients using cannabis and those with cannabis use disorder. The review offers evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about cannabis use, including the health consequences, medical benefits, legal issues, and available treatments. In the Clinic: Care of the Patient Using Cannabis is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The past 20 years have witnessed an explosion nationwide in legal access to cannabis and cannabis-derived products for medical and recreational purposes. With expanded legal access, there has been great concern that use, especially among adolescents, could increase, fueling the pipeline of addiction. In addition, increased availability of edible cannabis-derived products sparks fears of child poisonings and public intoxication, such as drugged driving.

The authors from New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School present the evidence and offer advice on how to treat the medical and psychological issues related to cannabis use, especially when use becomes problematic. Currently, millions of adults now meet the criteria for cannabis use disorder in a given year, and all clinicians have a vital role in improving clinical management from screening and diagnosis to overseeing treatment plans, according to the authors. While there are no medications specifically approved for cannabis use disorder, the authors provide advice for the pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments available to practitioners.