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Throughout CDC’s marijuana website, the term “cannabis” refers to the plants from the two commonly accepted Cannabis groups (i.e., taxa): Cannabis sativa (or Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa) and Cannabis indica (or Cannabis sativa subsp. indica). Please note that the technique of classification (i.e., taxonomic status) of Cannabis is unclear; thus, the two Cannabis taxa (inidica and sativa) can be ranked at the species or subspecies level.


The term “addiction” is used to describe compulsive drug seeking despite negative consequences. However, we recognize that “addiction” is not considered a specific diagnosis in the fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)—a diagnostic manual used by clinicians that contains descriptions and symptoms of all mental disorders classified by the American Psychiatric Association. Rather, the DSM-5 uses the term “substance use disorder.” However, throughout this document “addiction” is used synonymously with having a substance use disorder for ease of language recognition and understanding.