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Effectiveness of cannabis use and cannabis use disorder interventions: a European and international data synthesis.

This data synthesis examined the effectiveness of behavioural and pharmacological approaches for cannabis treatment. We integrated findings from high level evidence studies and prioritised data from Europe when available. The synthesis found that only a relatively small number of published behavioural and pharmacological studies on cannabis interventions have been conducted in Europe. Applying both European and non-European data, it was found that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and/or Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) improved short-term outcomes in the frequency of cannabis use and dependency severity, although abstinence outcomes were less consistent. These improvements were typically not maintained nine months after treatment. CBT and MET (or combined CBT + MET) treatments that extend beyond four sessions were more effective than fewer sessions over a shorter duration. Combining CBT or MET (or combined CBT + MET) with adjunctive Contingency Management (CM) improved therapeutic outcomes. No pharmacotherapies have been approved for the management of cannabis use, cannabis use disorders or cannabis withdrawal. Despite only weak evidence to support the use of pharmacological agents, some are used 'off-label' to manage withdrawal symptoms outside clinical trials.

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