Marijuana Withdrawal

What is Marijuana Withdrawal?

Marijuana withdrawal occurs when an individual reduces or stops the use of marijuana or weed. Excessive use of marijuana makes the nervous system dependent on tetrahydrocannabinol which is the compound that causes marijuana addiction. It is responsible for the experience of euphoria.

As a result of this, the nervous system adapts itself to accommodate the effect of the chemical. When the level of tetrahydrocannabinol is reduced after quitting marijuana, the nervous system cannot maintain homeostasis and manifests itself in the form this condition.

Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms or Side Effects of Quitting Weed

  • Excessive sweating
  • Decreased appetite/increased appetite
  • Chills
  • Nervousness
  • Aggression/irritability/anger
  • Nightmares/insomnia/hypersomnia
  • Discomfort due to headache/stomach ache
  • Depression
  • Loss of concentration
  • Fatigue


A detailed and well researched assessment of a marijuana addict is important to decide on the most effective treatment. Doctors also need to take the patient’s medical history into consideration. The following information is important to make correct assessment of the impairment experienced by the patient:

  • Identifying the dosage, type of drug used and the time of consumption
  • Regular clinical observation of the patient to gather evidence
  • Study the assessment again
  • Enquiring about the quantity, potential of the marijuana consumed as well as the route of administration
  • Dependence on the drug
  • Examining mental health issues
  • Examining pregnancy that may be specific to a certain case
  • Enquiring about the severity of any previous withdrawal effects


  • Medication: There is no medication that has been approved by the FDA in order to treat this condition. However, antidepressants are prescribed to tackle mental problems and medication that help in sleeping to tackle insomnia for patients.
  • Motivational enhancement therapy: The therapy encourages individuals to give up on the addiction by finding the commitment and mental stamina to change their habits.
  • Social support: Support from friends and family is important to promote positivity and encourage the person to abstain from the addiction.
  • Contingency management: In this treatment the practice of providing incentives in the form of rewards to abstain from the addiction is followed.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: In this treatment self-talk strategies and positive coping skills are taught by the therapist after examining the relations between behavior, feelings and thoughts and how they are connected to marijuana abuse.


  • Completely avoiding marijuana
  • Use of herbal drinks or indulging in recreational activities offers soothing effect and ease anxiety
  • Indulge in productive activities to avoid thinking about the addiction
  • Exercise or play sports that tire the body and helps in improving sleeping patterns
  • Seek help from help groups or rehabilitation centers

Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline

Detoxification from marijuana requires about two weeks. The time of great discomfort is essentially between 2 to 3 days after the last use. However, people who are heavily dependent on marijuana feel uncomfortable whenever their next date of consumption was supposed to be. Insomnia due to withdrawal may last for 30 days before the individual gets back into the normal sleep cycle.

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