Marijuana Withdrawal & Detox

The use of marijuana continues to remain a controversial issue in the United States. Research shows that chronic use of marijuana can result in addiction. Recent data estimates that upwards of 30 percent of people who use marijuana live with marijuana addiction.

When someone is addicted to marijuana, they develop a tolerance to the substance, which means that the brain adapts to the drug and requires more of it to achieve the desired effects. Furthermore, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the THC levels in marijuana have become more potent in recent years. Increased tolerance with higher potency can undoubtedly lead to more problems, as individuals may use more marijuana to achieve the desired effect. This increase in use can exacerbate the chance of developing tolerance.

People who use marijuana also experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug, which can create inherent physical and psychological safety risks. Using marijuana for an extended time can lead to mental issues that include paranoia, hallucinations, disorganized or erratic thinking, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.

Marijuana Withdrawal

In 2013, cannabis withdrawal syndrome was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The most common symptoms of withdrawal include heightened anxiety and feelings of hostility.

Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

In addition to anxiety and hostility, other marijuana withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Insomnia and related sleep problems, like nightmares
  • Negative or depressed mood
  • Lack of appetite
  • Intensified cravings to use the drug
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pains
  • Shakiness
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Increased sweating

The severity of these symptoms will depend on a variety of factors that include physical and mental health. If the individual also uses other substances, like alcohol or illicit drugs, these substances can exacerbate the withdrawal process. While it’s possible to detox from marijuana on your own, many people struggle with a heightened risk for relapse without adequate supervision.

Find a Marijuana Detox Center in Washington

During any detox process, the person’s body eliminates toxins from the body. As substances leave the body, the symptoms of withdrawal emerge. This process can range from mildly distressing to severely uncomfortable, which is why it’s important to receive appropriate support during withdrawal.

While marijuana detox symptoms are not necessarily fatal, the process of detox can be challenging. Due to these challenges, many people benefit from receiving specialized, medical attention.

Marijuana Detox Timeline

Just how long does it take to detox from marijuana? This answer depends on several factors, including the length and frequency of marijuana use and the individual’s mental and physical health status.

Withdrawal symptoms tend to start within 24–48 hours after last using THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it is unclear how much THC one needs to consume to experience withdrawal.

The initial symptoms of marijuana withdrawal tend to include mood swings, irritability and some mild discomfort, such as headaches, body pain and fever-like symptoms. Symptoms tend to peak within the first week. By 10 days, most physical symptoms wane and mood begins to restabilize. By the third week, the body rids itself of the last of marijuana metabolites. Most individuals stop experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms by the end of the first month. However, long-term, heavy use can result in protracted withdrawal.

If you or a loved one are looking for a marijuana detox program, The Recovery Village Ridgefield can help you find a plan that works for you. The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers personalized treatment for co-occurring marijuana use along with another substance use disorder. Contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield today to learn more about treatment programs for marijuana and other addictions.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.