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Is there Such a Thing as Marijuana Withdrawal?

By April 29, 2015No Comments

Although the idea of marijuana addiction and withdrawal has been widely debated in the past, more and more scientific evidence is beginning to support the fact that cannabis is indeed an addictive substance. Those that use it habitually may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using. By acknowledging that there is such a thing as marijuana withdrawal, we can better help users manage the withdrawal symptoms so they successfully adapt to life without marijuana.

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Factors Influencing Marijuana Withdrawal
Not everyone will suffer symptoms of marijuana withdrawal when they quit using. Factors that impact your likelihood of withdrawal symptoms include:

When you started using pot – those that began using as teens are more likely to become addicted
Length of time you have been using – the longer the duration, the greater the potential for withdrawal symptoms
Frequency of use – Daily users are more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms than those who only use occasionally

Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal
Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal can be both physical and psychological. Physical withdrawal symptoms might include:

  • Sweatiness and night sweats
  • Body shakes and trembling
  • Fever and chills
  • Headaches, some severe
  • Changes in appetite
  • Abdominal pain and nausea

Psychological symptoms were equally troublesome and may include the following:

  • Irritability and anger
  • Depression, mood swings and anxiety
  • General restlessness
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Vivid dreams while asleep

Seeking Treatment
In 2012, researchers from the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia looked at 49 men and women from Sydney that were regular marijuana users. They asked test subjects, who used pot at least five times a week, to refrain from using the substance for two weeks. Ten of the subjects relapsed during that time. Researchers discovered those subjects were more likely to experience impairment in their daily lives due to marijuana withdrawal symptoms.

This study illustrates the importance of addressing withdrawal symptoms in those that want to stop using marijuana for good. When those physical and psychological side effects are not properly managed in a supportive, professional environment, relapse is that much more likely. It can take up to 90 days for withdrawal symptoms to stop completely, which means ongoing support and treatment is necessary for some marijuana users.

At Visions, we understand the complications associated with marijuana withdrawal and we work with patients on both an inpatient and outpatient basis to help manage those symptoms. While there is no medication to help treat marijuana withdrawal symptoms at this time, therapy, sleep aids and motivational incentives have all proven effective in treating this addiction. To learn more, contact Visions at 866-889-3665.