Marijuana withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable. If you are looking to quit marijuana, it is important to know what to expect and how to deal with the withdrawal symptoms associated with dependence.
There are currently over 300,000 people that begin treatment for marijuana addiction and use disorders in the U.S. each year. In this blog article, we’ll discuss the symptoms of marijuana and THC dependence and provide some tips on what you can do in order to cope and lead a better life.
What is Marijuana Withdrawal?
Marijuana withdrawal occurs when a person stops using marijuana after having used it for an extended period of time. It can be caused by quitting cold turkey or tapering off gradually, but both methods are equally effective at reducing both physical and mental withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
The withdrawal symptoms usually begin one to two days after stopping use and typically last approximately five to seven days, although they may persist longer than this in some cases.
Medicinal vs Recreational Use
Whether you use marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, it’s very possible for people to develop symptoms when the habit is abandoned. The withdrawal is not considered to be life threatening, but it can make you very uncomfortable if it is left unchecked!
Get The Help You Need Today
Whether you are experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms from cannabis, whether they be mild or severe symptoms, it is best to seek professional help from a doctor and addiction counselor as soon as possible.
What to Expect When Seeking Treatment
If one of our medical professionals believes you are going through alcohol withdrawal or marijuana withdrawal, they will likely put you through a detoxification process. This is to rid your body of the toxins that have built up over time.
During withdrawal, it’s common to experience mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, and cravings for the drug. You may also feel restless or irritable. In more severe cases, people can experience hallucinations.
We will discuss your symptoms and look for other medical conditions which may be to blame as well. Our mental health services administration members at CTI are ready to help 24/7 to discuss treatment and offer advice. Give us a call today at 833-957-2690 for a free consultation!
Causes of THC Withdrawal
There are many potential causes of marijuana withdrawal. The most common one is, of course, when a person decides to suddenly stop taking the drug after a long period of habitual use. This can cause withdrawal symptoms because the body and brain has become used to having delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in its system and now must re-adjust when it suddenly disappears.
The National Library of Medicine says that withdrawal symptoms may be more likely to occur if a person has taken marijuana heavily over a long period of time. However, withdrawal symptoms can also happen in people who have only used the drug for short periods of time or who are habitual users but do not use it heavily.
Another cause of marijuana withdrawal can be if you abruptly decrease your dosage after being regularly taking high doses or concentrations of the drug. Similarly, if you stop smoking weed after frequently consuming edibles or concentrates, withdrawal may occur due to the large amount of THC that has been absorbed by your body over time.
Withdrawal Symptoms Include:
- Depression: Many people report feeling depressed during withdrawal periods where their mood drops significantly lower than usual levels – which makes sense given how marijuana affects people’s mood.
- Loss of Focus: During withdrawal, many people report feeling less focused on their work or schoolwork than they would normally be during periods when they were using the drug regularly.
- Insomnia: People who smoke marijuana often report that they have trouble sleeping when not using cannabis, especially if it has been a long time since their last use. If this is happening to you, then try changing up your routine by exercising before bedtime or taking melatonin supplements which can help ease withdrawal symptoms associated with sleep cycles being off balance due to lack of THC in the system.
- Sweating or Cold Sweats: Sweating and cold sweats are most often experienced by those who are quitting after heavy or frequent THC use.
- Anger, Irritability, and/or Aggressiveness: Withdrawal symptoms can cause people to feel angry, irritable and/or aggressive more than usual. This is likely due to THC’s effect on serotonin levels in the brain. When it’s not being regularly introduced into the system, those levels can drop which may lead to an increase in negative emotions.
- Nausea: This is one of the most commonly reported withdrawal symptoms from those who quit the drug. Often this symptom will go away after a day or two but if it persists for longer periods of time then you should seek medical attention as it could be a sign of another issue.
- Stomach Problems: Along with nausea, many people who quit marijuana also experience stomach problems such as: cramps, diarrhea and/or constipation.
- Loss of Appetite: A loss of appetite is also common among people going through withdrawals. Like with nausea, this symptom often goes away after a short period of time but it could also be a sign that something else is wrong with your body.
- Anxiety and/or Panic Attacks: Anxiety and panic attacks are other common withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting marijuana use, especially if the person was using it regularly at high doses (such as daily use or the use of concentrates and other more potent forms of THC).
More Severe Symptoms of Withdrawal
Some withdrawal symptoms can be more severe and may require medical attention. These include hallucinations, seizures, delirium tremens (DTs) and others. If you are experience severe symptoms , it is important to seek medical help.
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant and can last for weeks or even months after quitting cannabis, but it’s worth it. According to the national cancer institute, smoking marijuana may also cause cancer.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous and even life-threatening, and don’t take long to start from your last drink. Some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
The world health organization estimates that withdrawal from alcohol is one of the most common forms of substance withdrawal. If you are experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you should seek medical treatment immediately. This is because withdrawal from alcohol can be very dangerous and even life-threatening.
When Do Symptoms Begin?
Withdrawal symptoms usually begin within two days after heavy use is diminished or when a person stops using altogether. These symptoms are usually mild and could include: irritability, restlessness and insomnia, cravings for marijuana (which may lead them back into relapse), depression that can last up to 12 weeks post-detox period as well as increased appetite with weight gain. This occurs primarily because people tend eat more while under withdrawal stressors, which can make it hard on anyone who has been using THC products regularly over time.
Less Common Side Effects Include:
Patients usually report flu like symptoms such as nausea and/or vomiting along with a headache, in general feeling physically bad all the time – either from being sick or just experiencing withdrawal symptoms without any type of medication, and a sense of feeling “flat” or emotionally numb.
Approximately 20 million adults in the U.S. have a substance use disorder
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who experience these types of symptoms which are associated with marijuana dependence should speak to a doctor, therapist, or other qualified mental health services member about physical dependence or addiction, detox, and other drug treatment options that may be available to you.
The signs and symptoms of marijuana or THC withdrawal can be severe, but research has shown that there are certain timelines to expect when one is addicted or attempting to quit the use of the drug. The individual must exhibit three or more of the listed withdrawal symptoms, including one physical, in order for it to qualify as an addiction disorder with this particular set of drugs.
If one were experiencing these symptoms then they would likely benefit from talking with a substance or drug abuse professional, such as those at Mindflow Recovery Institute, who can help find out what is going on and how best handle their situation.
The research world is still unclear on the withdrawal symptoms for marijuana and THC, however there are some generalities that can be made. Generally speaking, withdrawal symptoms will depend on how long someone has been using the drug.
Marijuana Withdrawal Syndrome (MWS)
Marijuana withdrawal syndrome is a condition that can occur in any person who decides to abruptly stop using marijuana. The symptoms of this specific syndrome can include irritability, anger, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and cravings for marijuana.
The most common withdrawal symptom is cravings for the drug. These cravings can be very strong and can lead to relapse. It is important to resist the temptation to use marijuana when you are experiencing cravings. There are several strategies that you can use to deal with cravings for certain drugs, including distraction techniques and self-talk strategies from national institutes.
Is Addiction Treatment Right For Me?
If you or a loved one are struggling with withdrawals or drug abuse, you may benefit from professional addiction treatment, whether it’s online or in-person. At Mindflow Recovery Institute, we have extensive experience in treating people who struggle with drug dependence and substance use disorders. We can help you get on the path to recovery today! Reach out to us today for more information about your treatment options and how we can help.
What Can I Do To Ease Symptoms?
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer as the best approach depends on the person’s individual situation and their specific marijuana use history. If you’re a frequent user of marijuana, tapering off and reducing your intake may help ease into an almost completely THC-free lifestyle. If it was only occasional use that led to this decision then there’s no need for any step down in terms or severity when stopping the drug all together.
Some tips that may be helpful to ease symptoms include:
- Check in with a mental health professional during detox and beyond if needed for additional support
- Try out different relaxation techniques – such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises
- Eat healthy foods and stay hydrated
- Stop drinking alcohol
- Exercise regularly
- Take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help pain relief, headaches, or other body discomfort
- Supportive environment – speak to a family member or loved one, or join peer support groups
Medications to Assist with Marijuana and THC Withdrawal
There are a few medications, including benzodiazepines, that have been shown to be effective in assisting people with drug withdrawal and severe to mild symptoms when used under medical supervision.
Clonidine, Bupropion, and Nortriptyline are all anti-depressant medications that have been used in clinical trials to help people reduce a person’s cravings for marijuana and other drugs. Additionally, Topiramate is a medication that has been found to be effective in reducing marijuana use among those who struggle with drug addiction.
While these medications can be helpful in some cases, it is important to consult with a doctor before starting any new medications during withdrawal. There may also be side effects or complications associated with taking these medications, so it is critical to weigh the pros and cons of using them before making an informed decision.
Drug Prevention Programs
If you want to stop drinking or quit smoking weed, there are many resources available to help you get started. There are also drug prevention programs that can teach you the risks associated with marijuana and other drugs, and how to stay safe.
Quitting marijuana can be difficult, but it is possible. Withdrawal symptoms usually peak within the first week or two after quitting, but they may last for longer than expected. According to the center for disease control, withdrawal symptoms can last up to eight weeks.
Quitting marijuana use is possible, but it requires motivation and commitment. The withdrawal symptoms of drug abuse may be uncomfortable at first, so your doctor may prescribe medications that help manage these withdrawal symptoms while you get used to not using marijuana anymore. If you have been using marijuana for a long time or if quitting cannabis, it can be a lot more difficult to stop.
What is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse is the use of drugs or alcohol in a way that negatively impacts a person’s life. This can include using drugs or alcohol to the point where it interferes with work, school, or home life; using drugs or alcohol in dangerous situations; and continued use despite negative consequences.
According to the mental health services administration (MHSA), in 2010, 22.0 million Americans aged 12 or older needed treatment for a substance abuse problem with marijuana being one of the most abused drugs.
Cannabis withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to manage if you don’t know what to expect and how to cope with them.
Substance Abuse Statistics
Among the American public, there are an estimated 31.9 million current illegal drug users age 12 or older.
- 53 million Americans, 12 years of age and older, have admitted to using illegal drugs or having misused prescription drugs within the past year.
- When you include alcohol and tobacco, 165 million Americans age 12 and older currently abuse drugs.
The long-term effects of marijuana use are still being studied, but research suggests that THC use may have a negative effect on brain development, especially in young people. Marijuana use has also been linked with mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
People who smoke regularly are more likely to develop lung cancer than those who don’t smoke it. Marijuana also has been shown to increase the risk of heart attack.
Marijuana Withdrawal Research & Treatment
There is still much research to be done on marijuana withdrawal, but as legalization continues and the stigma around marijuana use decreases, there will likely be more studies conducted in this area. Withdrawal management specialists at national institute are also working to develop specific treatment protocols for withdrawal from marijuana and other drugs of abuse.
If you or a loved one are having trouble coping with withdrawing from this or other drugs, please reach out to one of our helpful and experienced staff members at the drug withdrawal hotline to discuss treatment.
Dial (833) 957-2690 or click here to contact an experienced member of our admissions team who can help answer any questions that you may have about detoxing from weed/THC, substance abuse, or online addiction treatment.