The public perception of marijuana has radically changed in the last several decades. In 1969, only 12% of people thought that cannabis should be legalized. By 2019, two-thirds of Americans believed that the drug should be available legally.
While many people see this shift in public opinion to be a positive change, there are some potentially negative impacts of such a cultural about-face. Along with these more positive outlooks about cannabis comes along some dangerous misconceptions about the harmlessness of the drug.
Even if cannabis doesn’t pose some of the same risks as harder drugs like heroin, cocaine, or even alcohol, that does not mean that it is completely harmless. On the contrary, marijuana addiction is real and people who stop using cannabis after regular use can experience marijuana withdrawal symptoms.
Are you curious to learn more about marijuana withdrawal and the symptoms associated with it? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about marijuana withdrawal symptoms.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
Individuals who use cannabis on a regular basis and then stop doing so abruptly can sometimes experience withdrawal symptoms. There are a lot of people who smoke marijuana without ever experiencing withdrawal effects. However, it is possible for regular cannabis use to develop into cannabis use disorder.
In the most severe of instances, people can develop marijuana addiction.
Marijuana addiction is defined as continued cannabis use in spite of the negative consequences that it is causing in a person’s life. This might mean issues relating to their jobs, relationships, family, or more.
The withdrawal symptoms of marijuana detox typically peak within the first week of quitting. They can sometimes last up to two weeks.
Withdrawal symptoms are marijuana include:
- Mood changes
- Diminished appetite
- Sleep difficulties, including insomnia
- Loss of focus
- Sweating, including cold sweats
- Cravings for cannabis
- Increased feelings of depression
- Stomach problems
Some people might experience mild symptoms while others might experience more severe symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms that individuals experience will vary between people. While the symptoms might not be dangerous or particularly severe, particularly compared to some other drugs like opioids, they can be quite unpleasant.
The longer an individual uses cannabis, the more likely they are to experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline
The physical discomfort and mood issues that occur during withdrawal will typically peak in the first week after an individual quits. For a large majority, the body will rid itself of marijuana within 30 days. Ultimately, these can last for up to two weeks.
Symptoms can begin as early as 7 days after attempting to stop smoking marijuana. After a week, marijuana withdrawal symptoms usually peak during day 10.
Over a period of 10-20 days, the body follows a steady decline in the severity of marijuana withdrawal symptoms.
The hardest part of marijuana detox is that all these symptoms can simply be resolved by using cannabis again. So, it’s important to seek medical professionals when attempting to detox.
In all, the timeline and severity of symptoms will all depend on the user and how severe their marijuana addiction is. Once the drug has fully left a person’s system, the physical effects of cannabis withdrawal will stop.
Why Does Cannabis Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?
The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. This is typically referred to as THC for short.
THC is a cannabinoid, and there are actually more than one hundred cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. However, it is known that THC is responsible for the high that is associated with using marijuana.
The potency of cannabis is defined by how much THC is in it. The higher the percentage of THC per dry weight in marijuana, the more effect an individual will feel from the drug.
With the legalization of cannabis in certain states, the potency of legally purchased marijuana is written right on the label. These days, it is common for cannabis to have 15 to 20% THC content, while some strains might have upwards of 30% THC. As a reference, marijuana in the 1960s was thought to have an average of 2% THC content and the most potent strains might have 5%.
When a person uses cannabis regularly, their brain and their body get used to receiving a regular supply of THC. When that individual stopped supplying THC to their body, it takes some time for the body to adjust to the change. This is what leads to the uncomfortable psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms that can sometimes occur.
The physical withdrawal symptoms will stop once both the brain and the body have gotten used to no longer having a regular supply of THC. However, the psychological cravings could carry on much longer than that.
Do You Need Help With Marijuana Addiction?
Since cannabis doesn’t so obviously cause the same negative life effects as some other drugs, including alcohol and opioids, people often assume that you can’t become addicted to it or experience marijuana withdrawal symptoms. That isn’t the case, though.
Because cannabis is so potent and available these days, it’s possible that more people are experiencing the withdrawal symptoms of cannabis than ever before. It’s important to understand that addiction recovery is possible and within reach. A better life is waiting!
If you or someone you love needs help with a marijuana addiction, there is help for you. You can take your first step to recovery today by contacting Restore Detox Centers.