Cannabis has provided some helpful effects with the latest discoveries about its medicinal properties. Some states within the US paved the way to make its use legal. Whether this would be for medical or recreational purposes.
This came in the form of CBD products that are now easier to access. Aside from these CBD products available. There are still others who opt to consume cannabis through conventional methods. The most prominent one in using cannabis is by smoking it.
Despite this, too much of something can prove to have problematic results.
Let us look at what these withdrawal symptoms are and how you can overcome them.
Defining Withdrawal Symptoms
The heavy or prolonged use of cannabis brings in risks. These risks involve dependency and with it, withdrawal symptoms upon stopping. As with various addictive substances like alcohol.
While it is not as harmful as cocaine or heroin, the withdrawal symptoms can be a hindrance when trying to quit.
To the uninitiated, withdrawal symptoms manifest in many aspects. They come as physical, emotional, and even behavioral negative symptoms. These would occur after one stops using a certain drug or substance.
While these symptoms lessen over time, they can reverse the effects immediately. In this case, by using the drug in question once more.
Although cannabis is not as addictive when compared to other substances. For instance, alcohol and heroin have a higher potential with abuse and dependency. With cannabis, it poses mild levels of such.
What Are Withdrawal Symptoms?
Stopping after heavy or prolonged use of marijuana can bring these negative effects. We will look into these in two different aspects: physical, and mental symptoms.
Physical Effects of Cannabis Withdrawal
There are physical symptoms that you would encounter when your body experiences withdrawal. While these vary from one person to another, there are some common ones that you would notice. Here are some of those symptoms
- Headaches – This is one of the most common symptoms associated with cannabis withdrawal. This usually surfaces during the first few days, in which the headaches come off as severe. From that point, it would taper down in intensity as time goes on.
- Night Sweating – Sweating is also another withdrawal symptom that you have to be aware of. The body employs sweating as a method to purge and flush out toxins. Despite this, night sweating can be pretty intense during withdrawal. Excessive sweating can be a problem. Consider having extra baths or showers to help address this issue. You would also need to change clothes and bedsheets at an increased frequency.
- Issues with Appetite – There are also symptoms that you would encounter which involves eating issues. One of which involves the loss of appetite while undergoing withdrawal. This can also come together with weight changes. Other symptoms affecting your appetite also include nausea and digestion issues.
- Other Symptoms and Issues – Other physical symptoms that you would encounter include shaking and dizziness. Chronic fatigue and kidney pains are also among the issues you encounter. Although these withdrawal issues tend to be less frequent.
Mental Effects of Cannabis Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms also manifest in the mental and psychological aspects of a person. These can also affect their emotional state. These symptoms taper off after a certain amount of time, which tends to vary. But despite this, it can also prove to be an obstacle when undergoing detox.
Here are the symptoms.
- Anger, Irritability, and Aggressiveness – Cannabis has a psychoactive component called THC. This component alters both the brain and body as it causes your body to produce dopamine. Thus, people use to elicit euphoria and help them relax.
This is the reason behind its heavy usage among marijuana users. They turn to smoke to help them cope with difficult emotions. Due to this manner of escape, the same people find it hard to regulate these emotions naturally.
The anger experienced during withdrawal comes in different intensities. It can come as a steady and mild stream of rage. It can also come off as a sudden, violent outburst.
- Insomnia – Another symptom that surfaces during withdrawal are lack of sleep. This form of insomnia can vary in terms of frequency. It usually comes in a few consecutive sleepless nights. Or it can also come as occasional episodes over the course of several months.
- Emotional Instability – Emotional jags tend to manifest during withdrawal periods. It swings between aggression, then depression, and then euphoria. This tends to go back and forth and it can affect your other physiological functions. Despite this, it normalizes over the course of three months.
- Nightmares – marijuana use also dampens the dreaming mechanism whenever used. Due to this, dreams come in rather vivid intensities as withdrawal sets it. These dreams occur during the later stages of withdrawal.
These dreams (and at times, nightmares) tend to be vivid in color and they also tend to be highly emotional. These usually occur within a week and would tend to last for a month at most before it tapers off.
There are also “using dreams”, where the dream’s subject involves the use of marijuana. These tend to be not as vivid or emotionally intense as before, they tend to last for years. These are but a normal part of the recovery process.
Withdrawal Timeline and Duration
Now that we know what is likely to occur during the withdrawal periods. Let us look at the duration of each stage and when these would take place. The detox process takes a lot of time and it would also need some supervision.
At most, the body takes up to 30 days to excrete cannabis out of its system. Though the discomfort from the detox would not last that long, instead of lasting for up to three weeks or less.
During the first week of stopping, this is when most of the symptoms would surface. During this time, these symptoms would peak within 10 days after discontinuing marijuana use. After that point, the symptoms would fall off to a steady decline over a 10-20 day period.
Other symptoms would take months or even years to fade as some of these deal with the mental aspect of the person. With proper care, these can be easier to deal with and may soon normalize.
Methods in Coping and Relief
Withdrawal may seem scary and it would prove daunting when you plan to quit. To help you with this, there are a number of methods that you can take upon to help you cope and be free from the addiction.
One method is to be physically active. This lifestyle change can help you with easing bodily tension. Consider taking on exercise regimens and other fitness programs to help you in staying fit.
Relaxation techniques also help in such circumstances. Among these include meditation and mindfulness exercises.
Another is to enlist the help of your family and friends in getting the support that you need to get through this transition period.
Make sure to avoid anxiety-provoking situations while you are undergoing this process. For instance, stay away from loud and crowded areas such as parties.
To help with insomnia, consider avoiding caffeine intake during hours close to bedtime. Also, consider the use of sleep rituals to help you reset your body clock.
Diet is also another aspect that you should pay attention too. Consider having green leafy vegetables and fruits as part of your diet. Eliminating fat from your diet also helps with your digestion.
Long-Term Treatment and Addressing Relapse
While going through the detox process, one thing you should be careful of is a relapse. Relapsing into using a substance like marijuana can bring all your efforts of detoxing in vain, even if it can help you get rid of the symptoms.
With that said, consult a medical professional about this matter. They can help you in achieving the goal with the proper guidance to manage both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Though do mention that you are on marijuana withdrawal when talking about how you feel. This helps them in addressing the symptoms without making it worse with the prescription medication provided.
A medical professional can also help you in how to address the other withdrawal symptoms that take a longer time to subside and fade. For this, consider getting medical advice to have a better means of addressing them.
Along with this, get a support group to help you with the journey. Similar to others with alcohol addiction, you can also find groups like Marijuana Anonymous to help you with your recovery.
We all make mistakes and take wrong decisions along the way. But there is always a chance to get back on the right track. Don’t be afraid to take that step and surround yourself with people that can help you make that journey possible.