Marijuana Withdrawal & Detox

Despite its legalization, marijuana remains a hot-button and debated issue in Colorado. Regardless of how you feel regarding the legality of marijuana, using it chronically or in excess can lead to issues in your life.

People may want to stop using marijuana but have questions about whether or not they will experience marijuana withdrawal symptoms and whether or not marijuana withdrawal even occurs at all. The following provides information about what marijuana withdrawal could look like, and what the symptoms might be.

Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal

A few general things to know about marijuana withdrawal include the fact that it is possible. However, marijuana withdrawal symptoms aren’t necessarily as severe or apparent as they might be with other drugs. With that being said, marijuana is potentially addictive, and along with that comes psychological withdrawal symptoms that can be difficult to manage for some people. Also relevant is the fact that a lot of people abuse multiple drugs when they use marijuana, so their detox and withdrawal needs can be complex.

There’s some research showing that the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal can be particularly difficult for teens and young adults because they use the drug while their brain is still in key development stages.

Some of the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Problems concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Cravings
  • Depression

Marijuana withdrawal is frequently compared to nicotine withdrawal.

The symptoms of marijuana withdrawal depend on factors including the extent of use and how long the drug has been used. Someone who is a casual, recreational user of marijuana may experience some mild symptoms like a headache or restlessness, while a chronic user might have symptoms like sweating, chills, and fever.

Something else to consider with the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal is the type of drug used. Users of more potent marijuana also tend to have more pronounced withdrawal symptoms.

Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline

Marijuana stays in your system along with cannabinoid metabolites between 4 days to 2 months. There are several factors that may affect the timeline for your withdrawal. These include the length and frequency of use, as well as the potency of the hashish.  Because of this, the duration of withdrawal symptoms is different for everyone.

For heavy cannabis users, symptoms begin the day after stopping, and peak within 2-3 days. Most symptoms generally last two weeks—three for heavy users—then dissipate over time.

The following is a general overview of the marijuana withdrawal timeline:

  • During day one after using marijuana for the last time, the person will likely have sleep problems such as insomnia and also experience anxiety and irritability.
  • Days two to three are when the peak symptoms occur, and this includes strong cravings and in some people stomach pain, chills, and sweating.
  • From days four to 14 people start to see an improvement in their symptoms, but for some depression becomes an issue because their brain is adapting to functioning without THC present. There may also be some lingering cravings.

After day 15 most people have few symptoms if any at all, but for people who were heavy users of marijuana some psychological symptoms like depression or anxiety can persist for several months.

Marijuana Withdrawal & Marijuana Detox

Tips for Dealing With Marijuana Withdrawal

Dealing with withdrawal from marijuana can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips and tools to help get you through it:

  • Dealing with insomnia: Insomnia may last a night or two where you’re getting little or no sleep at all or you may experience occasional sleepless nights here or there. Take a look at these 15 scientifically proven methods to help you fall and stay asleep.
  • Dealing with depression: Depression is its own issue. Many people turn to drugs to deal with depression. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go away permanently, and after going through withdrawal, it’s still going to be there.  Getting professional help with depression is important, but you may also want to try something like the Fisher Wallace Stimulator, which stimulates the brain to produce serotonin and norepinephrine while lowering cortisol (the stress hormone). Exercise may help too, not only with depression but with other emotions like anxiety as well.
  • Dealing with body aches and pains: Soaking in a warm bath can help ease anxiety and stress, as well as relieve body aches and pains. Drinking plenty of water will help you flush toxins and cranberry juice is not only great for purifying and cleansing the body, it also helps your kidneys (if you’re experiencing kidney pain). You may want to try a juice cleanse. Headaches are one of the most common withdrawal symptoms. You should avoid caffeine and over-the-counter medications during marijuana withdrawal. Here are some natural tips for getting rid of headaches.
  • Dealing with night sweats: Excessive sweating depletes your body of potassium. Eating foods high in potassium, like bananas, citrus, and leafy green vegetables can really help.  It also soaks your sheets, so keep a clean set close by in case to switch them out in the middle of the night. If you find yourself lying awake, unable to get back to sleep, try getting up and doing some yoga.
  • Dealing with shakiness: Reducing or eliminating caffeine until your shakes are gone is probably a good idea. If you go through detox at a drug rehab center, doctors may provide you with medication to help relieve trembling, shaking, twitching, or tremors.

Marijuana Detox Kits

If you’re in search of information about marijuana detox, you’re likely to come across a lot of marijuana detox kits and even marijuana detox drinks. People often rely on these detox kits to pass an upcoming drug test more than anything else, but there are a few things to know before purchasing one.

First, these kits and drinks don’t deal with marijuana detox symptoms. They may help you eliminate marijuana from your system more quickly, but you will still experience the symptoms of detox, particularly the psychological symptoms.

Also, many people turn to marijuana and abuse it because they want to self-medicate and deal with the symptoms of an existing mental health issue like depression or anxiety.

This requires therapy and treatment to overcome. If you just rely on a marijuana detox kit or marijuana detox drinks, it’s not a long-term, effective way to recover from your dependence on marijuana.

The best course of action to detox from marijuana is to participate in either an inpatient or outpatient program. These programs not only help you safely eliminate the drugs from your system, but marijuana detox methods can help you be more comfortable while doing so.

Marijuana Detox Programs in Colorado

Quitting marijuana isn’t easy. If you don’t think you can make it through withdrawal on your own, get some professional help. Reach out to our trained staff to see how our individualized treatment programs can help start you on the road to recovery and provide you with a safe way to detox from marijuana.

Gorelick, David A., Kenneth H. Levin, Marc L. Copersino, Stephen J. Heishman, Fang Liu, Douglas L. Boggs, and Deanna L. Kelly. “Diagnostic Criteria for Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 01 June 2012. Web. 01 Aug. 2016.

Hasin, Deborah S., Bradley T. Kerridge, Tulshi D. Saha, Boji Huang, Roger Pickering, Sharon M. Smith, Jeesun Jung, Haitao Zhang, and Bridget F. Grant. “Prevalence and Correlates of DSM-5 Cannabis Use Disorder, 2012-2013: Findings from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions–III.” American Journal of Psychiatry AJP 173.6 (2016): 588-99.

Lee, Dayong, Jennifer R. Schroeder, Erin L. Karschner, Robert S. Goodwin, Jussi Hirvonen, David A. Gorelick, and Marilyn A. Huestis. “Cannabis Withdrawal in Chronic, Frequent Cannabis Smokers during Sustained Abstinence within a Closed Residential Environment.” The American Journal on Addictions Am J Addict (2013): 234-42.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Drug Addiction.” Symptoms. Mayo Clinic, 5 Dec. 2014. Web. 01 Aug. 2016.

“Treatment Statistics.” DrugFacts:. National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services., Mar. 2011. Web. 01 Aug. 2016.