Unlike narcotics, barbiturates and other sedatives, and amphetamines and other stimulants,1-3 cannabis (marihuana) has no known use in medical practice in most countries of the world, including the United States. Despite this fact, the practicing physician should understand the nature of cannabis and psychological dependence on it, as well as the treatment of persons involved who may become his patients.
While there is no accurate measure of the prevalence of nonmedical use of cannabis and its preparations, it is clear that they are widely used in many parts of the world, including the United States. Those who utilize cannabis in one form or another include various personality types in diverse socioeconomic and cultural circumstances. In the United States, attitudes of rebellion against authority and thrill seeking are not uncommonly found among marihuana smokers.
History and General Background
As early as 1200 BC the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, was described
Dependence on Cannabis (Marihuana). JAMA. 1967;201(6):368–371. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130060042011
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