Marijuana withdrawal was once thought not to exist due to its lack of similarity to other known withdrawal syndromes for drugs like heroin and alcohol. However, it's now known that marijuana withdrawal exists although exact marijuana withdrawal symptoms are under debate. Marijuana withdrawal is mentioned in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of mental illness as part of marijuana dependenceand marijuana abuse. Cannabis withdrawal, which would include marijuana withdrawal, is being considered for its own entry in the next version of the DSM.
Marijuana withdrawal, also known as weed withdrawal or pot withdrawal, is known to include mild psychological and physical pot withdrawal symptoms compared to other drugs.
Marijuana Withdrawal -Weed Withdrawal Symptoms
Pot withdrawal symptoms are more common in heavy, chronic users although pot withdrawal still only occurs to a subset of people. It is commonly thought pot withdrawal symptoms generally appear 1-2 days after cessation of marijuana to 7-14 days after. Weed withdrawal symptoms are at their most severe 3 days into abstinence.
While weed withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person, common weed withdrawal symptoms include:1
- Anger, aggression, irritation
- Anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, paranoia (read: anxiety and marijuana)
- Decreased appetite, weight loss
- Sleep difficulty
- Depression (read: marijuana and depression)
Less common weed withdrawal symptoms include:
- Stomach pain
- Physical discomfort
Marijuana Withdrawal - Weed Detox
Managing weed withdrawal symptoms medically is known as weed detox, pot detox or marijuana detox. Weed detox is uncommon in North America as no treatment has proven to be effective in managing weed withdrawal symptoms, in spite of substantial research.
Australia's Cannabis Centre currently offers pot detox and weed withdrawal treatment. Australia's Institute of Health and Welfare report states that 16% - 19% of marijuana treatment was marijuana withdrawal management, or marijuana detox.2
Marijuana Withdrawal - Managing Weed Withdrawal Symptoms
Managing pot withdrawal symptoms is not generally done in a hospital unless there are additional complications. Managing weed withdrawal symptoms involves preparation and support, including the support of addiction services when needed.
Pot withdrawal symptoms can be handled with the aid of addiction specialists like:
- Drug counselors - able to counsel on marijuana treatment and marijuana withdrawal options and make referrals.
- Therapists-able to educate about pot abuse and pot withdrawal as well as focus on changing thoughts, behaviors and motivations around drug use. Therapists also discuss interpersonal, family and other issues.
- Peer groups - support groups consisting of other drug addicts able to support each other through weed withdrawal and weed treatments.