Whether they use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, people can develop withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it. In recent years, more states have legalized the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana. However, based on a survey from Washington State, legalization does not seem to have ificantly increased marijuana use.
How to handle cannabis withdrawal symptoms
That said, marijuana use has been gaining a lot of attention. There are many misconceptions about whether people can become addicted to marijuana.
The truth is that it is possible to become dependent on, or even addicted to, marijuana with regular use. Overpeople begin treatment for marijuana use disorders in the U. Research from suggests that This article will explore how and why a person can develop withdrawal symptoms from marijuana, as well as how to treat them.
People who use marijuana regularly and then stop abruptly can experience some withdrawal symptoms. While many people use marijuana without experiencing withdrawal effects, regular marijuana use can develop into marijuana use disorder. In severe cases, this can take the form of an addiction.
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms peak within the first week of quitting and can last up to 2 weeks. Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal can include :. Some research suggests that women may experience a greater withdrawal symptoms of higher intensity when compared with men.
However, more research is needed. Marijuana is the name for dried extracts from the plant Cannabis sativa. This plant contains deltatetrahydrocannabinol THCand terpeneswith THC contributing to the primary psychoactive effects associated with marijuana use. THC defines the potency of marijuana, while terpenes define the aroma and flavor.
Coping with cannabis withdrawal symptoms
The more THC the marijuana contains, the greater the effect of marijuana on the brain. Using marijuana regularly means that the brain and body get used to a regular supply of THC. When this supply is stopped, the body takes some time to adjust to not having it.
This causes uncomfortable physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Once the brain and body have adjusted to not having THC, the physical withdrawal symptoms will stop. People may still experience psychological cravings for marijuana for some time, however.
Over the years, based on samples of confiscated marijuana, potency has steadily increased. The THC content has risen from around 3. This indicates that the current effects of marijuana, including withdrawal, may be more extreme compared with their effects in decades.
The mood difficulties and physical discomforts of withdrawal peak in the first week of quitting and can last up to 2 weeks.
More than half of people using cannabis for pain experience multiple withdrawal symptoms
Research states that brain receptors called cannabinoid 1 receptors start to return to normal after 2 days without marijuana, and they regain normal functioning within 4 weeks of stopping the drug. People may feel cravings for marijuana after they have stopped using it, especially in contexts and settings where they are used to using marijuana.
Each year in the U. There are many places that people can go for support, to get help with stopping using marijuana, and to cope with withdrawal symptoms. People in the U. People can also speak to their doctor or a local health clinic about marijuana withdrawal.
Specialists can recommend local resources, including detoxification centers and support groups, that people can use. According to some sourcesthe average adult who seeks treatment for marijuana use disorder has used marijuana nearly daily for the past 10 years and has tried to quit at least six times.
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. Withdrawal symptoms are different for everyone. They also vary in severity based on the length of time a person has used marijuana.
While withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, they are not usually dangerous in comparison with withdrawal from alcohol or opioids, which can be life-threatening.
For a person who uses marijuana daily, slowly reducing use might make quitting easier. If a person only occasionally uses marijuana, they might be able to stop altogether. If a person is ready to quit marijuana, they should make sure to take care of their body during the peak withdrawal period within the first week.
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.
According to the CDC, research has linked marijuana use with numerous negative health consequences. These include memory problems, an increased risk of stroke and heart diseaselung problems from marijuana smoke, and mental health symptoms such as those related to anxiety and paranoia.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse state that there is substantial evidence in both animal and human studies that marijuana exposure early in life can result in cognitive impairments such as problems with memory, learning, and altered reward systems in the brain. People can become dependent on, or even addicted to, marijuana.
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What to know about marijuana withdrawal. Medically reviewed by Dena Westphalen, Pharm.
Withdrawal symptoms Why it causes withdrawal symptoms Timeline Where to look for help Treatment Tips for quitting Negative effects of marijuana Outlook Whether they use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, people can develop withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it. Withdrawal symptoms. Share on Pinterest Marijuana withdrawal symptoms can include restlessness, irritability, and sleep issues.
Why does marijuana cause withdrawal symptoms?
What to expect from marijuana withdrawal
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What to know about marijuana withdrawal
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