Clinical Approach to the Heavy Cannabis User in the Age of Medical Marijuana

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2016 Jan-Mar;48(1):31-40. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2015.1130279. Epub 2016 Feb 16.


This article begins with a case vignette exemplifying the common clinical problem of heavy marijuana users. The epidemiology and basic science underlying cannabis dependence is outlined, followed by clinical strategies for basing a therapeutic alliance on known research findings and using motivational interviewing to deal with typical patterns of denial.

Keywords: Adolescence; cannabis use disorder; endocannabinoid; treatment; “medical” marijuana.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Dronabinol / adverse effects
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Abuse* / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Abuse* / physiopathology
  • Marijuana Abuse* / therapy
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / metabolism*


  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Dronabinol