Some people believe marijuana is not an addictive drug, but there is proof marijuana withdrawal exists. It is well documented, and many people who use marijuana could be at risk of experiencing it when discontinuing use. Learn about marijuana withdrawal symptoms and ways to treat them ahead.
What is Marijuana Withdrawal
Regular use of marijuana can lead to the body developing a physical dependence on THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. When marijuana is used, THC enters the central nervous system and the brain automatically changes some of its functions to provide space for the drug’s effects. The purpose of this is to maintain what would normally be a naturally occurring equilibrium, or homeostasis. After a while of regular use, the brain becomes used to the presence of THC and cannot function properly without it—and this is when withdrawal symptoms will begin to show up.
When the brain and body begin to miss THC they would normally get, they have a hard time functioning without it. For some people, they won’t notice any negative side effects of marijuana withdrawal. For others, they will experience both physical and psychological symptoms. These can include:
- intense cravings
- poor appetite
- sleep problems
Typically, symptoms begin anywhere from several hours to a few days after the last time marijuana was used. Withdrawal symptoms can last from one to four weeks, depending on the user. Long time, heavy users will have a more difficult time withdrawing from marijuana, which is why it may be smart to gradually taper usage rather than quitting cold turkey. However, it is always a good idea to seek the help of a medical professional for those who have an especially challenging time during detox.
There are inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities that include treatment for marijuana detox. Synthetic THC is an available medication and is sometimes used to treat withdrawal symptoms. If detoxing at home, try using natural remedies to treat symptoms. These include exercise, drinking plenty of water, cutting out caffeine, drinking herbal tea, breathing exercises, and gastrointestinal relief medication. These can all help treat anxiety, agitation, stomach issues, and sleep problems.
Make sure to reach out to family and friends for support during the potentially difficult time of marijuana detox. Being alone won’t make it any easier. Treatment Now has a staff of recovery experts available to answer any questions.
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