Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms (9 Signs to Look Out For)

A doctor holding cannabis for Marijuana withdrawal

If you suddenly stop using cannabis, withdrawal symptoms may appear and range from minor to chronic withdrawal symptoms. These more severe withdrawal symptoms are bothersome and should not be overlooked. 

Following rigorous research, I have compiled all the data you need to read about marijuana addiction and withdrawal signs so that you can be more informed and equipped.

Quick Summary

  • Cannabis withdrawal syndrome can impede abstinence and is often unpleasant. It’s important to remember that using marijuana affects your brain chemistry.
  • At times, marijuana use can result in cannabis use disorder (CUD) or Marijuana Use Disorder for those at risk.
  • Abstaining from marijuana is rarely comfortable, but it can be significantly more problematic if you withdraw from other substances.

What Is Marijuana Withdrawal?

A person smoking MarijuanaMarijuana withdrawal is when someone tries to quit marijuana, otherwise known as cannabis, pot, weed, grass bud, etc. 

People who suffer from severe cannabis use disorder regularly – daily or multiple times a week – can experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to reduce their intake or stop using it altogether drastically.

Although recreational cannabis withdrawal usually does not lead to any serious negative outcomes, reintroducing marijuana can quickly reduce the uncomfortable symptoms associated with discontinuing the drug abuse, thus making it more difficult for people trying to quit and potentially leading them back into relapse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that roughly 3 out of 10 cannabis users are likely to develop a cannabis use disorder, meaning there is an estimated 10% risk associated with the use of marijuana [1].

9 Symptoms Of Marijuana Withdrawal

A woman experiencing symptoms of Marijuana withdrawal

Those who have been using cannabis heavily and suddenly stop may experience Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome – a legitimate diagnosis noted in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fifth edition) [2].

Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal can include:

  • Anger, irritability, and aggression
  • Feelings of nervousness and anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased appetite or weight
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Experiencing strange or unsettling dreams
  • Headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and abdominal pain
  • Tremors

If you’re experiencing three or more of these symptoms in a week due to decreased drug abuse, that may indicate cannabis withdrawal syndrome. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a national helpline that individuals in the United States can easily access for support.

Also Read: Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

What Is The Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline?

A close up shot of Marijuana

The marijuana withdrawal timeline can differ from one person to another, depending on the frequency of substance abuse and other factors such as the usage of other substances. 

Those who suffer from regular or dependent use and strive to reduce their usage or quit entirely may quickly experience unpleasant symptoms.

For example:

  • After 1 to 2 days, the withdrawal signs and symptoms typically begin surfacing.
  • The intensity of symptoms naturally arises between 2 to 6 days.
  • In as little as 3 weeks, most acute symptoms tend to clear up.

Recent research reveals that individuals who abstain from marijuana use may experience psychological symptoms of withdrawal for up to 5 weeks afterward. 

Also Read: How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your System?

What Causes Marijuana Withdrawal?

Cannabis in different formsTHC causes marijuana withdrawal. This is because your body must become accustomed to not having THC consistently. In some instances, cannabis use can grow into a dependency pattern called cannabis use disorder (CUD) or Marijuana Use Disorder.

As the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis, regular consumption leads to built-up tolerance from your brain. When you abstain from marijuana use, it takes some time for this tolerance level to go back down. 

The more you smoke, the more your brain craves THC. As your body adjusts to its lack of THC, it may exhibit unpleasant symptoms – which can be so uncomfortable that some people start using cannabis again just for relief.

While weed withdrawal symptoms may not compare to the intensity of other drugs such as opioids, alcohol, cocaine, and heroin – which can cause fatal effects – they should still not be taken lightly.

“During weed detox, most people have trouble sleeping — especially if they are accustomed to using marijuana to induce sleep. As many as 76 percent of people who quit using marijuana cold turkey experience insomnia.”
Oxford Treatment Center

While CBD may not cause the same psychoactive high as THC, some researchers and healthcare experts still consider it a psychotropic drug. Evidence on potential withdrawal symptoms from using CBD is limited; however, misuse of this substance is possible [3].

If you are using medical cannabis to manage conditions like sleep disturbances or depression, it is possible that discontinuing your use of the product could actually induce worsening symptoms.

Therefore, before stopping any treatment with CBD, please consult a healthcare professional.

Before you consume marijuana for either medical conditions or recreational purposes, you must speak with a doctor and inform them of any other medications you are taking.

This will help minimize the risk of negative interactions between substances.

How To Deal With Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms?

A man asking the doctor how to deal with cannabis withdrawal symptomsTo deal with cannabis withdrawal symptoms, you can talk with a doctor or a cannabis use disorder specialist about your options. 

Although you may not require explicit instructions, consulting someone about your decisions is always a great idea. 

Your confidant can serve as an inspirational and accountable resource to ensure the best possible outcome results from each decision you make.

If you have been a frequent user, weaning off your cannabis consumption might be the way to go as you abstain. But if it was only occasional use, stopping all at once should not pose much of an issue.

Medications to Alleviate Withdrawal Symptoms

If you’re suffering due to weed withdrawal, know that research suggests certain medications have the potential to alleviate your distress.

These may include:

  • Dronabinol (Marinol): This drug is an artificial copycat of THC.
  • Certain anxiety medications: This can assist with reducing psychological distress.
  • Certain sleep medications: These can assist with any sleep disturbance.

Research continues to explore this area, paving the way for potential future applications of additional medications or supplements to assist in treatment [4].

Despite this, no medications are certified by the FDA to address cannabis withdrawal. Nevertheless, these drugs have accompanying side effects and should be discussed with a medical expert before taking them.

Also Read: How Effective Are Detox Drinks for Cannabis?

Self-Help Strategies

A concept image of healthy living to fight cannabis withdrawal symptoms

When you’re ready to quit smoking, you can take some self-help steps that will make the first 24 – 72 hours of withdrawal a breeze.

  • Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is essential, and avoiding sugary and caffeinated drinks like soda is best. To boost your body’s health benefits, try incorporating quality detox drinks into your diet, which can help with the cleansing process.
  • Eat healthy foods: Nourish your body by consuming a generous portion of fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean protein. Steer clear of processed foods, as they can leave you feeling exhausted and irritable.
  • Exercise every day: Make time to move your body for a minimum of half an hour each day – it’s such an easy way to instantly improve your mood while also getting rid of toxins through sweating.
  • Find support: Combat withdrawal symptoms with the assistance of your loved ones and friends, who can provide emotional support throughout this process.

FAQs

Can CBD Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

No, CBD can’t cause withdrawal symptoms. However, if the drug is abused, it can result in withdrawal symptoms.

Why Does Marijuana Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

Marijuana causes withdrawal symptoms due to THC. With a more significant concentration of THC, cannabis has an increased influence on the brain. 

What Are The Common Withdrawal Symptoms Of Marijuana?

The common withdrawal symptoms of marijuana are anxiety, irritability, anger or aggression, disturbed sleep/dreaming, depressed mood, and loss of appetite. 

What Are Withdrawal Symptoms After Long-Term Heavy Marijuana Use Typically?

The withdrawal symptoms after long-term heavy marijuana use typically include anxiety, restlessness, a dip in appetite and quality of sleep, headache, stomachache, depression, and aggression. 

Ease Your Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

If you have a drug test coming up and you want to ease your weed withdrawal symptoms, then you abstain from using the drug.

Another thing you can do to help ease the symptoms is to consume detox drinks such as Clear Choice Rescue Cleanse.

Rescue Cleanse formula effectively triggers particular processes in your body that enable you to eliminate toxins.

The natural ingredients work together, primarily acting as powerful antioxidants that flush free radicals from your bloodstream and filter them through the liver for permanent removal.


References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects/addiction.html
  2. https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7331870/
  4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/20503121211000909

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