Cannabis withdrawal symptoms

The longer someone has taken cannabis, the more likely they are to develop withdrawal symptoms when they stop. While withdrawal is not as dangerous as for other substances such as alcohol and cocaine, many users still suffer withdrawal symptoms. The severity will vary from person to person. Someone with mild cannabis dependence may be able to stop on their own. However, chronic users with severe cannabis use disorder or cannabis addiction will usually need professional addiction treatment.

What are the typical cannabis withdrawal symptoms 

The main symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:

  • Restlessness
  • Irritability leading to sudden outbursts of anger
  • Feeling anxious or worried
  • Feeling depressed
  • Having trouble sleeping, with nightmares and vivid dreams
  • Feeling tired during the day
  • Lack of appetite and weight loss.

What are the main physical cannabis withdrawal symptoms?

  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Digestion problems, cramps and nausea.
  • Shakiness
  • Fever or chills 

Which symptoms are the most common?

Insomnia is the most common cannabis withdrawal symptom, followed by depression, vivid dreams and nightmares, and anger. The most common physical symptom is headaches, which can last from a few weeks up to a couple of months. Night and hand sweats are the next most common symptom followed by sweating, which is one of the ways the body naturally gets rid of toxins. Eating problems are also often experienced, starting in the first days after quitting cannabis and continuing up to six weeks.

What causes cannabis withdrawal symptoms?

Cannabis is a psychoactive drug which means that it alters the user’s brain function. The main active chemical in marijuana that causes this change is called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If you smoke marijuana, THC is quickly absorbed from the lungs into the blood, which then carries it to the brain. There it acts on cannabinoid receptors, leading to a series of reactions that ultimately lead to the high, happiness and relaxation that the user hopes to experience. The parts of the brain that influence pleasure, sensory and time perception, memory, thoughts, concentration, and coordinated movement have the highest density of cannabinoid receptors, explaining the pleasurable effects of cannabis.  

THC is stored in the body’s fat cells which means it takes longer for the body to completely remove it than other drugs.

How can I reduce the discomfort of withdrawal?

Exercising helps the body speed up the healing process, and also helps with depression and other emotions. It is a good idea to drink plenty of water which removes toxins from the body. A healthy low-fat diet can help improve digestion. For former users who experience excessive sweating, foods high in potassium are recommended to replenish this mineral, such as green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and various fruits such as citrus fruits, bananas and melons.

How can Triora help me cope with cannabis withdrawal symptoms?

According to one study, around one third of cannabis users who try to quit, will take cannabis again to reduce or avoid withdrawal symptoms. This is one reason why seeking professional treatment to permanently quit cannabis may be necessary.  Before starting treatment for cannabis with Triora, you must first be clean. Triora offers a short 24/7 detox programme for less serious cases, which is possible as an outpatient or at one of our residential centres. Our inpatient residential cannabis addiction treatment follows the Triora Model. and includes an exercise programme and healthy diet to help you cope with cannabis withdrawal symptoms.

How can Triora help prevent a relapse?

Once treatment at an addiction recovery centre has been completed, self-help is an important aspect to maintaining recovery. Marijuana Anonymous is a free self-help group that you can join after completing treatment with Triora. The only requirement to join is a desire to stop using marijuana. There is even a recovery app that you can download for iOS, Android or Windows. Check the Marijuana Anonymous website for more information.

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