Stopping illegal marijuana usage is a great thing. But it comes with a cost. Yes, it is Marijuana withdrawal. Marijuana withdrawal is a condition people addicted to marijuana will experience after they stop usage. Marijuana withdrawal can occur from a few hours to days or weeks after stopping the consumption, and it usually lasts three weeks or more.
Moreover, in the United States, in 2006, marijuana was the most commonly used illegal drug. It was also the most popular drug for teenagers. Besides, the following article will show you some of the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal and how long it lasts.
Table Of Contents:
- What Is Marijuana Withdrawal?
- Signs And Symptoms Of Marijuana Withdrawal
- How Long Does Marijuana Withdrawal Last?
- Marijuana Withdrawal Symptom Checklist
- How To Detox From Marijuana?
What Is Marijuana Withdrawal?
Marijuana (contains the chemical called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) is a psychoactive drug that's produced in the leaves, stems, and flowers of the hemp plant.
It acts on specific brain cell receptors to alter your mood and makes you feel relaxed. If you're not careful, you may get addicted to this drug. If you start smoking marijuana regularly, it's easy to become addicted.
You will experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly quit because your body needs to adjust to normal. The main reason for withdrawal symptoms is that your neurons are used to the drug's presence, so they can react to some unpleasant feelings or symptoms when dropped abruptly.
Signs And Symptoms Of Marijuana Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms can vary from mild to severe, depending on the severity of your marijuana addiction. They usually start within 24 hours after you stop taking the drug. The symptoms will increase during the first week and then subside until they're gone.
What's more, it's essential to realize that each person will experience different signs and symptoms of withdrawal. It is dependent on how much marijuana you've been using, how long you've been using it and other factors like gender, age, and weight.
Some Common Symptoms Of Marijuana Withdrawal Include:
- Feeling anxious, nervous, or irritable: This is a symptom that many people experience, and it's usually caused by the stress your body is going through because of marijuana withdrawal.
- Unusual cravings: You may suddenly desire to use marijuana again - a sign that your brain has not yet readjusted itself to keep you from using the drug.
- Mood swings: Marijuana may affect your mood when you're using it, but when it stops working on you, it may make your mood unstable.
- Trouble sleeping: This is a common sign of marijuana withdrawal, but it's not the only one. Because some people may be smoking marijuana for sleep enhancement, sleep disturbances might be a symptom also.
- Strange sensations: You might feel a peculiar sensation in your head, mouth, or stomach pain in some instances.
- Vivid dreams: Using marijuana can keep your body and brain in an altered state of consciousness. When it leaves your body, this state will disappear, and you may experience vivid dreams instead. It's also possible that the reverse effect may occur, i.e., your dreams may start to feel strange and scary.
- Chills, sweating, and hot flushes: Sweating and chills are typically caused by withdrawal symptoms that you could experience from any other substance. Hot flushes are another symptom to watch out for if you're a marijuana user.
- Loss Of Appetite: In some cases, people might lose appetite due to marijuana withdrawal.
Moreover, a few other prominent reasons for feeling withdrawal symptoms are as follows:
- The part of your brain that influences emotions, pleasure, and reward may be overactive due to the drug's presence. When you stop using marijuana, your brain may try to adapt by reducing its activity.
- If you use marijuana for many years and then stop, the drug can disappear from the fatty tissues in your body. It can lead to temporary "withdrawal" symptoms as it tries to reappear in these tissues again - much like what happens when there's a lack of specific vitamins or minerals in our bodies.
- If you have been using marijuana for a long time, your body has gone into a state where it's used to having the drug's presence; it's part of your "normal" life. The absence of marijuana will cause this "compromised" system to try to restore itself to normal.
- Stress is another reason that explains how you can experience withdrawal symptoms. When you quit using marijuana, your body will undergo changes that can cause stress, making you feel like you want to use it again.
- Withdrawal symptoms are also a result of your body's standard defense to fight against toxins. When you stop consuming marijuana, your body will react with withdrawal symptoms to protect itself from the "foreign" chemicals that have just left it.
How Long Does Marijuana Withdrawal Last?
Withdrawal symptoms usually disappear within the first week of your last usage. However, some people experience withdrawal symptoms for months or even years after quitting. It can happen if you are particularly dependent and have developed an addiction to the drug.
You might start feeling a little withdrawal from marijuana as soon as you put down the joint, bong, or vaporizer. However, you will typically experience the worst symptoms between three and four days after your last usage.
Symptoms are likely to peak on day three or four, and it's also possible that they may continue for a week or so. You will start feeling better every day until all withdrawal symptoms are gone.
If you feel particularly unwell after you quit using marijuana, talk to your doctor and see if you need medication to manage your withdrawal symptoms.
It is important to remember that each person's withdrawal is different and will depend on several factors:
- Your age and weight: If you are young or have low body weight, you could experience more withdrawal symptoms than someone who is older and has a higher body weight.
- The amount of marijuana you have been using: A heavy smoker may need 15 days to a month to completely recover. The less you used, the shorter your withdrawal could be.
- Your health: If you have an illness, disease, or health condition, it may be harder to recover from marijuana use. Some health conditions may even make withdrawal symptoms worse.
- Your tolerance level: If you have built up a resistance to the drug due to long-term usage, your body won't react as strongly to it as someone who is not used to it.
- The method of ingestion: If you are using marijuana differently than you were using it before, you could experience more withdrawal symptoms due to sudden changes.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptom Checklist
You can complete this list to find out your symptoms if you're a heavy user of marijuana. It is advisable to keep in check your symptoms and record them on a calendar to have a reference for future usage. It will help you check if the drug is affecting your health too.
- List your symptoms by the day of the week.
- Write down the date on which you begin to use marijuana again.
- Monitor your mood and your overall sensations after a few days from starting to use marijuana again.
- Check for any changes in your habits and activities over the next month or so. Write them down in detail if possible, as this could help you manage your addiction better in the future.
- Write down any changes in your appetite, energy levels, and sleeping habits over the same period.
- After a month, check once again to see if you can spot any withdrawal symptoms.
How To Detox From Marijuana?
Detoxing from marijuana is a different process from withdrawal. It's essential if you are still on the drug because it can help reset your body and mind during the first few weeks after you have stopped using.
- You must take precautions and avoid using marijuana during the detox. The withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant if you're still high on the substance.
- You must also drink plenty of water and eat healthy food to help your body recover from the drug's withdrawal effects.
- Ensure that you let your body heal appropriately because part of the healing process involves removing toxins that could be toxic to your body, especially if you are a heavy or regular user of marijuana.
- It would help if you took care of yourself by trying to relax and exercise more than usual. Exercising can help to get your blood flowing and boost your overall health.
- It would be good for you to speak with an expert or a friend who has completed the detox so that you have someone to support you through the process.
- Try these relaxation techniques:
- Do breathing exercises to manage stress, depression, and other withdrawal symptoms.
- Take a warm bath and use some baking soda for your skin to exfoliate better.
- Have a self-hypnotic session and resolve to be free of marijuana for good.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Therapeutic treatment is a supervised and monitored program by a health care professional. Treatment therapies primarily focus on helping you quit using marijuana for good and helping you healthily manage your life. These treatment programs include:
- Group therapies: These are usually used by professionals to help people stay away from the drug.
- Individual counseling: A counselor or therapist can help you through quitting and changing your lifestyle for the better.
- Family counseling: Family counseling can help resolve conflicts and help the family work together as a unit. The counselor will discuss any concerns with you as a family member and your individual needs.
It is crucial to remember that marijuana withdrawal is not necessarily an addiction but a symptom of addiction. If you have developed a habit of using marijuana, it can be difficult for you to quit.
An alternative method for dealing with your marijuana addiction would be slowly reducing your dosage or frequency of use. Ensure to monitor your symptoms closely and try some of the tips above, and you should be able to ease your dependency on this drug.
Are There Any Withdrawal Symptoms That Are More Severe Than The Others?
Yes, the worst withdrawal symptoms from marijuana will be depression and anxiety. These symptoms can develop at any time during your last week of usage, but they usually come on around day four or five after you quit marijuana. They may continue for as long as a week until all withdrawal symptoms are gone.
Can I Become Dependent On Marijuana If I Use It Just Once Or Twice?
It is possible to become dependent on marijuana even with a few uses. If you are not careful and plan on using this drug repeatedly, you could develop a dependency.
Are There Any Medications That Can Help Ease Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms?
Some medications can help ease your symptoms, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and painkillers. Yet, these medications can affect how you think, feel and act, making it more challenging to quit using marijuana altogether.
These medications can also leave you feeling unwell after taking them. If you think they could be the right choice for you, consult your doctor to find out whether they are.