Get access

Cannabis withdrawal syndrome: An important diagnostic consideration in adolescents presenting with disordered eating

Authors

  • Tyler Chesney MD, MSc,

    1. University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Laura Matsos MD, FRCPC,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jennifer Couturier MSc, MD, FRCPC,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
    2. Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
    3. Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
    • Correspondence to: Dr. Jennifer Couturier; Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, ON, Canada. E-mail: coutur@mcmaster.ca

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Natasha Johnson MD, FRCPC

    1. Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

ABSTRACT

Although previously thought to have no withdrawal symptoms, there is now convergent evidence for a cannabis withdrawal syndrome (CWS), criteria for its diagnosis, and evidence of its impact in the adolescent population. Cannabis withdrawal syndrome represents an important and under-recognized consideration in adolescents with disordered eating. We describe three clinical cases of adolescents presenting to an eating disorders program with primary complaints of gastrointestinal symptoms, food avoidance, and associated weight loss. They did not meet the criteria for an eating disorder, but did fulfill the DSM-5 criteria for CWS. This report emphasizes the importance of considering the impact of heavy cannabis use in adolescents presenting with gastrointestinal complaints, and eating disorder symptoms, including weight loss. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014; 47:219–223)

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary