Marijuana Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, and Coping

These short-term programs are designed to help people get through the initial drug-free phase. They provide assistance and medical attention as you manage the symptoms of withdrawal. The longer you used cannabis, the more likely you are to experience withdrawal symptoms. Your health and wellness is unique to you, and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. 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. Though the physical effects of withdrawal will stop after the drug has left a person’s system, the psychological symptoms can last longer.

  1. Because of all these factors, there is no single standard detection time.
  2. There are several ways to alleviate some of the marijuana withdrawal symptoms.
  3. Even after completing a marijuana detox regime, THC can remain detectable in urine for anywhere from a couple of days to a full month.
  4. This can be helpful for anyone experiencing mental health issues as part of marijuana withdrawal symptoms.

Or if you’re struggling with insomnia or other sleep disturbances, you could ask your doctor about medication solutions or try a sleep meditation app, says Dr. Fehling. The latter approach is likely to give you “the best bang for the buck,” he adds, because it can help relieve restlessness and set the stage for better sleep. For a person who uses cannabis daily, slowly reducing use might make quitting easier. If a person only occasionally uses cannabis, they might be able to stop altogether.

You can also join 12-step groups like Marijuana Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Most people who enroll in cannabis addiction programs have been smoking daily for 10 years and have tried to quit more than six times. If you experience severe withdrawal symptoms or are unable to stop using on your own, you should seek professional help.

How long THC sticks around

This is because a user will usually increase the amount of marijuana they consume. When this happens, discontinuing use or even reducing THC consumption can lead to marijuana withdrawal symptoms as the body adjusts and craves the substance. In simple terms, the cause of marijuana withdrawal symptoms is just the body and brain adapting to functioning without the substance. The body will be craving the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana known as THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and trying to adjust to life without it. However, marijuana addiction does exist, and many addicts will experience some marijuana withdrawal symptoms when they discontinue use, whether physical or psychological.

In contrast, tapering consists of gradually lowering a marijuana dosage over time to make withdrawal symptoms more bearable. Further, participating in a rehab program or visiting a detox center can often be more effective than what you can do at home to detox from marijuana. Although some believe marijuana is not addictive, marijuana addiction is possible — especially in adolescents. People who use marijuana alcohol’s effects on the body national institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism niaaa before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop marijuana addiction than adults. In other words, the earlier in life a person starts using marijuana, the more likely they are to become addicted to the substance. It is also very important to be properly assessed by a mental health professional if you experience extended paranoia—especially if you have hallucinations or delusions.

What to know about marijuana (cannabis) detox

Studies have shown that treating a patient’s co-morbid psychiatric disorders with standard treatments, like therapy and medication, may lead to a decrease in cannabis use, especially those who are heavy users. 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. Treatment options include in-patient addiction centers and outpatient therapy.

By undergoing marijuana detox at a licensed facility with supportive staff, you’ll get the help you need to move forward without substances. While some medications exist to help people detox from drugs like heroin and cocaine more easily, there is currently no specific taper medication for marijuana withdrawal. Doctors can administer medications to treat individual symptoms, but there is no specific medication to help stop marijuana cravings or the withdrawal process in its entirety.

Outpatient rehabilitation programs often require multiple meetings or sessions each week with a therapist, substance use disorder expert, or another mental health specialist. However, you’re not required medication for alcohol use disorder to check into a facility, and you’re free to come and go on your own. However, in some cases, you may be better able to quit and stick with quitting if you have guidance and medical assistance.

What Causes Marijuana Withdrawal?

This is because detoxes that affect the urine work by flushing out the kidneys. In the process of removing THC, they can also remove creatine and reduce the natural density of the urine. Both of these issues can make the test appear contaminated, which could mean the person needs to do the test again.

That doesn’t necessarily mean someone will feel the effects of marijuana withdrawal that long though. In most cases, the discomfort of weed withdrawal symptoms lasts only around three weeks, sometimes a little less. There are also no life-or-death dangers in quitting marijuana cold turkey or detoxing on your own. That said, consulting a medical professional can help you better manage the physical and psychological symptoms of weed withdrawal and prevent relapse. One person’s experience with marijuana withdrawal can be quite different from another’s. However, there are some cannabis withdrawal symptoms that are more common, the severity of which depends on a host of factors, including frequency of use and overall health.

Being surrounded by recovery success stories is also motivation that can help keep someone on track as they detox. Fortunately, many non-addictive pharmacologic options exist for anxiety, as well as non-drug treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). “Cannabis metabolites accumulate in body fat and can take weeks to leach out of the body, so some effects of withdrawal may last a long time,” says Umhau. If you’re ready to quit, talk with a doctor or a substance use disorder specialist about your options. You may not need special instructions, but it’s always a good idea to consult someone about your decision. If nothing else, this person can be a good source of inspiration and accountability.

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