Mental health

Psychosocial support for the management of cannabis dependence and abuse

Question 4: Is psychosocial support effective in the management of cannabis dependence and abuse in non-specialist settings?

  • Population: dependent and harmful cannabis users
  • Interventions (Modeled upon motivational enhancement and/or cognitive-behavioural approaches) :
    • short duration (defined as 1 to 4 sessions) counseling
    • extended counseling (6 or more sessions)
  • Comparison: placebo or treatment as usual
    • short duration counseling vs. no active treatment
    • short duration counseling vs. extended counseling
    • extended counseling vs. no active treatment
  • Outcomes:
    • cannabis consumption (abstinence rates, days used)
    • cannabis related problems
    • quality of life / broader health outcomes.


Short duration psychosocial support (1 to 2 sessions) modeled on motivational principles should be offered for the treatment of cannabis use disorders in non-specialized settings.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Individuals with cannabis use disorders who do not respond to short duration psychosocial support may be referred for treatment in a specialist setting, when available.
Strength of recommendation: STANDARD

Evidence profile