Pharmacotherapies for Cannabis Use Disorders: Clinical Challenges and Promising Therapeutic Agents

Suzanne Nielsen, Pamela Sabioni, Linda Gowing, Bernard Le Foll

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Other

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter reviews pharmacotherapies that have been trialled for cannabis dependence, identifying those that warrant further research and those of little or uncertain value. A diverse range of medicines have been tested, representing a broad range of pharmacological strategies. These include tetrahydrocannabinol preparations, various types of antidepressant, anxiolytics, a glutamatergic modulator and the neuropeptide oxytocin. Cannabinoid agonists warrant further research. For the FAAH inhibitor PF-04457845, oxytocin, varenicline and gabapentin, although there is a signal to indicate further research is warranted, these medications do not yet have sufficient evidence to support clinical use, and larger, longer-term trials are needed in representative treatment-seeking populations. Special populations that warrant consideration are those with cannabis dependence and concurrent mental health conditions and those that develop dependence through therapeutic use.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSubstance Use Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Etiology to Treatment
EditorsMichael A. Nader, Yasmin L. Hurd
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030336790
ISBN (Print)9783030336783
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
ISSN (Print)0171-2004
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0325


  • Cannabis
  • Cannabis dependence
  • Cannabis use disorder
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Treatment

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