Effectiveness and safety of different psychosocial interventions for the treatment of cannabinoid use disorder

Project details:

In March 2024, Bristol ESG were asked to undertake a systematic review of the evidence for the effectiveness and safety of psychosocial interventions for the treatment of cannabis use disorder. The review is funded by the NIHR Evidence Synthesis Programme (project number: NIHR167862) and is one of four projects allocated to Bristol ESG examining the effects and safety of psychosocial or pharmacological interventions for the treatment of drug use disorders.

Project status: ongoing

What is the problem? 

Cannabis is commonly used worldwide as a recreational drug. Cannabis use disorder is a condition characterised by frequent use, craving and inability to stop using cannabis even when it is causing physical or psychological problems for the user. This condition has become much more common during the past three decades and this has led to an increase in the number of people seeking treatment for it. While specific medicines are not widely available and none are approved for this purpose, psychosocial treatments (such as talking therapies, or giving people incentives like vouchers for staying in treatment) are currently the first choice of treatment. 

What are we trying to find out?  

We will systematically search the existing literature to find studies that have assessed psychosocial or psychological treatments for cannabis use disorder. We will then assess what treatments (or combination of treatments) work better for the people with cannabis use disorder. We also want to know the costs of these treatments, and which ones provide the best value for money. The knowledge generated by this review will help policy makers in the UK.