Primary Mental Disorders
Cannabis-Induced Disorders may be characterized by symptoms (e.g., anxiety) that resemble primary mental disorders (e.g., Generalized Anxiety Disorder versus Cannabis-Induced Anxiety Disorder, With Generalized Anxiety, With Onset During Intoxication). Chronic intake of cannabis can produce symptoms that resemble Dysthymic Disorder. Acute adverse reactions to cannabis should be differentiated from the symptoms of Panic Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Delusional Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, or Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type. Physical examination will usually show an increased pulse and injected conjunctivas. Urine toxicological testing can be helpful in making a diagnosis.
In contrast to Cannabis Intoxication, Alcohol Intoxication and Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Intoxication frequently decrease appetite, increase aggressive behavior, and produce nystagmus or ataxia. Hallucinogens in low doses may cause a clinical picture that resembles Cannabis Intoxication. Phencyclidine (PCP), like cannabis, can be smoked and also has hallucinogenic effects, but Phencyclidine Intoxication is much more likely to cause ataxia and aggressive behavior. Cannabis Intoxication is distinguished from the other Cannabis-Inducd Disorders (e.g., Cannabis-Induced Anxiety Disorder, With Onset During Intoxication) because the symtpoms in these latter disorders are in excess of those usually associated with Cannabis Intoxication and are severe enough to warrant independent clinical attention.
Recreational use of cannabis
The distinction between recreational use of cannabis and Cannabis Dependence or Abuse can be difficult to make because social, behavioral, or psychological problems may be difficult to attribute to the substance, especially in the context of use of other substances. Denial of heavy use is common, and people appear to seek treatment for Cannabis Dependence or Abuse less often than for other types of Substance-Related Disorders.