Is there evidence for symptoms of cannabis withdrawal in the national epidemiologic survey of alcohol and related conditions?

Am J Addict. May-Jun 2008;17(3):199-208. doi: 10.1080/10550490802019519.


We examined the prevalence of 20 individual symptoms of cannabis withdrawal in the U.S. general population. More than 29% of past 12-month cannabis users reported experiencing at least two cannabis withdrawal symptoms, with 8% reporting impairment from at least two symptoms or withdrawal relief. The most common withdrawal symptom was eating more than usual/gaining weight. Co-occurring tobacco use modestly increased the likelihood of reporting certain symptoms, as did other illicit drug use, though to a lesser degree. Even after controlling for intensity of cannabis use, a history of parental alcohol/drug problems was associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing cannabis withdrawal. Evidence from this and prior studies demonstrating withdrawal strongly suggest that future editions of DSM need to reconsider the exclusion of withdrawal from criteria for cannabis dependence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cannabinoids / adverse effects*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / diagnosis
  • Marijuana Abuse / epidemiology*
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology
  • Motivation
  • Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • United States


  • Cannabinoids