Author: Alex Thompson

Marijuana withdrawal: Symptoms, timeline, and tips for coping

marijuana withdrawal symptoms

These medical facilities are designed to assist people for more than 25 days. These facilities help a person stop using drugs, including cannabis, and then manage the underlying issues that led to drug use and may lead to relapse if not dealt with correctly. These are also helpful for people dealing with multiple addictions at once, such as alcohol abuse and cannabis abuse. If you’re stopping cannabis use after regular intake, face licking and wet-dog shakes are not likely to figure among the symptoms you will experience. The severity of CWS among humans “is dependent on the amount of cannabis used pre-cessation, gender, and heritable and several environmental factors,” the German researchers noted. Women, they wrote, tended to report stronger symptoms of CWS, and their experience included more physical discomfort, nausea, and stomach pain.

The type of treatment may depend on whether or not the person has any comorbid disorders, such as psychiatric problems or addiction to other substances. The mood difficulties and physical discomforts of withdrawal peak in the first week of quitting and can last up to 2 weeks. When withdrawing from marijuana, you might feel extra edgy and irritable, have trouble sleeping and eating, and may even get a stomachache or headache. Some people compare it to the feeling you get when trying to quit caffeine.

marijuana withdrawal symptoms

The longer you used cannabis, the more likely you are to experience withdrawal symptoms. Cannabis withdrawal was not recognized until the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5) in 2013. It is characterized by a withdrawal syndrome that develops after stopping or significantly decreasing heavy or long-term cannabis use. If a person is ready to quit cannabis use, they should make sure to take care of their body during the peak withdrawal period within the first week. According to some sources, the average adult who seeks treatment for cannabis use disorder has used cannabis nearly daily for the past 10 years and has tried to quit at least six times. Over 300,000 people begin treatment for cannabis use disorders in the U.S. each year.

Other tips for managing and preventing marijuana withdrawal

Detox helps prepare people for rehab by managing weed withdrawal symptoms and making the process as comfortable and safe as possible. Professional addiction treatment specialists are on hand to promptly address any issues that may arise. If any of your symptoms are bothersome or seem to be lingering, seek professional treatment. A healthcare provider or mental health professional can help determine the symptom’s root cause and provide options for easing its effects. Anxiety can be a sign of cannabis intoxication, but it is also a symptom of cannabis withdrawal.

  1. These feelings can often be used to bring about the positive changes you want to make in your life.
  2. These symptoms are rarely dangerous, and most will stop within about 72 hours after your last use of cannabis.
  3. Insomnia is often an indicator of CWS, but symptoms aren’t limited to sleeplessness.

This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC legal at the federal level. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them illegal at the federal level. Some states have legalized CBD, so be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling.

How to Prevent Marijuana Withdrawal

Read on to learn about the possible symptoms of cannabis withdrawal and available treatment and prevention options. “The research evidence supports the idea that most people are able to stop on their own,” says Roffman. Once a person has discontinued cannabis use for 20 days, withdrawal symptoms will begin to decline.

A recent study showed that it is common in those who regularly or dependently use cannabis, at about 47%. In some cases, marijuana users have experienced several weeks or months of withdrawal symptoms. This is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and can also be effectively treated with professional intervention. Still, many people who stop using cannabis experience physical and psychological symptoms. That’s because your body has to adjust to not having a regular supply of THC. Cannabis withdrawal is important because it can cause symptoms that affect daily functioning, as well as lead to continued use due to relapse.

Going into the adjustment period with a game plan can also be a big help, Roffman says. By altering the form of cannabinoid intake, “you’re changing the routine of the individual,” says Roffman. The time span and severity of symptoms will differ from person to person, Roffman adds. The symptoms and mild severity of CWS resemble the experience of patients going through caffeine withdrawal. Studies have shown that somewhere between 9% and 30% of people using cannabis may develop some form of a cannabis use disorder.

Cannabis is a commonly used substance and is the most widely used drug after tobacco and alcohol. It can cause both short- and long-term effects and potentially lead to addiction, making it hard for someone to quit. If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms and trying to stop the usage of cannabis, reach out to your healthcare provider or mental health professional.

In most cases, the discomfort of weed withdrawal symptoms lasts only around three weeks, sometimes a little less. Usually, cannabis withdrawal syndrome is not as severe as alcohol or opioid withdrawal, but it still can cause significant distress and make quitting difficult, as well as lead to relapse. The severity of withdrawal symptoms can relate to the amount and potency of cannabis used, gender, and other environmental and genetic factors.

Bottom Line on Weed Withdrawal Symptoms

If someone is concerned about themselves or a loved one having cannabis use disorder and/or withdrawal, it is important to tell their doctor or mental health professional. They will perform a thorough history, asking questions about cannabis use and any effects it may have had both while using it and stopping. They may also refer you or your loved one to a psychiatrist or addiction medicine specialist, who has further training in the diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders. For regular, long-term cannabis consumers who want to take a tolerance break or need to abstain completely, cannabis withdrawal syndrome can be a mild but very real challenge. It’s nowhere near the severity of withdrawal induced by tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs, but it may be irritating and mildly discomforting for a few days. In fact, it may most resemble the withdrawal a daily coffee drinker might feel upon going cold turkey.

In 2020, over 49 million people 12 years old or older reported using marijuana within the past year. With more and more states legalizing marijuana, use is increasing — and more information is coming to light about marijuana addiction and cannabis withdrawal. Though specialists currently consider them to be off-label uses, the National Institute on Drug Abuse say that certain medications may help with the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal. Such medications include those that people use for sleep disorders or anxiety. Once the brain and body have adjusted to not having THC, the physical withdrawal symptoms will stop. If you have decided to quit smoking weed after regular use, chances are you will experience some kind of withdrawal symptoms.

Getting support for withdrawal symptoms

As with irritability, it can be helpful to remember that your worries and fears are common weed withdrawal symptoms. “For many people who smoke marijuana, withdrawal is a non-issue,” says Roger Roffman, a University of Washington researcher who studied cannabis use for more than 25 years. People who consume cannabis occasionally, or use a higher amount for a short period of time, generally don’t experience any withdrawal symptoms. “But the person who smokes a lot of dope for quite a long period of time is likely to have an experience of withdrawal,” Roffman says.

Some researchers believe that regular cannabis intake can desensitize and downregulate human brain cannabinoid (CB1) receptors. These mood and behavioral symptoms are usually “of light to moderate intensity,” the researchers wrote. Experts define addiction as continued cannabis use despite negative consequences in a person’s life, such as issues relating to their family, job, or relationships. Weed, or cannabis, is the “most commonly used illicit drug in the United States,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But for those who do, these headaches can be very intense, especially during the first few days after quitting. However, in some cases, you may be better able to quit and stick with quitting if you have guidance and medical assistance.

If you only used cannabis occasionally, you may be able to stop entirely without any step-down. It is also possible that if you take CBD to treat a condition like insomnia or depression, you may experience a worsening of these symptoms if you abruptly stop taking CBD. This effect may be more likely after long-term use of CBD than short-term use.