Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment

Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment

Withdrawal symptoms of marijuana can disturb sleep, cause vivid dreams, and even make one feel depressed and anxious. Read this Buzzle article to know more about the symptoms that occur after an individual quits this drug.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Did You Know?
People who give up marijuana tend to report symptoms that are opposite to those visible after quitting cigarettes, like appetite loss and nausea, to name a few.

If you have decided to kick the marijuana habit, then that certainly deserves a round of applause, for you have taken the right decision towards better health and wellness. However, as you wean the habit by either going cold turkey or gradually reducing the addictive dose, you will be confronted with withdrawal symptoms that are initially tough to deal with.

After an individual quits, the body takes time to adjust with drug abstinence, due to which, one experiences withdrawal symptoms that are pretty irritable. However, these symptoms are temporary and fade away with time.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Marijuana

Insomnia
"I have stopped smoking marijuana but now I cannot sleep." Well, this is the most common complaint among people who quit. So, you may face a hard time falling asleep after leaving the habit. People keep tossing and turning in the bed for hours without getting a wink of sleep. This symptom of insomnia usually lasts for a week or two, but may vary depending upon how long you have been in the habit. In some cases, occasional sleeping problems are reported that may last for a few months.

Headaches
Weaning off the drug can also cause headaches. It occurs almost everyday, which can be quite annoying, throwing your day-to-day routine out of gear. The headaches reach their peak intensity in the first few days after quitting the drug. They usually subside in around two weeks time, or thereabouts.

Depression
When you stay from marijuana, post heavy consumption, you may feel depressed. Reports of people struggling with depression after leaving the drug are common. So, initially, quitting marijuana may take a toll on your mental health, and you may feel that your life is going downhill. This phase of emotional turmoil usually lasts for a couple of weeks, after which things start getting better. Here, the support of friends and family plays an important role in getting the individual through this difficult phase.

Crazy Dreams
After kicking the habit, you may find that you are flooded with unusual dreams. Nightmares plaque your sleeping time, thereby making it difficult to get adequate 'shut eye'. Easier said than done, but some meditation in the late evenings might help get though this without much trouble.

Anger
A drastic changer in behavior is often observed in people who quit smoking marijuana. They get too aggressive and vent their feelings of anger for small things. Frustration and irritability are the other two common emotional responses experienced after quitting marijuana. Again, friends and family need to understand this and be more supportive throughout.

Appetite Loss
Smoking marijuana acts like an appetite stimulant; hence, weaning off the habit is likely to cause appetite loss. So, in most cases, leaving marijuana after years of chronic use causes the appetite to shrivel. The fairly good appetite that you had suddenly diminishes after stopping the drug. But care needs to be taken that one eats properly and at regular intervals.

Digestion Problems
Apart from appetite loss, discontinuing marijuana can cause digestion problems, that manifest in the form of diarrhea and stomach cramps. If these problems are severe, consulting a doctor would be the best options to combat such symptoms.

Sweating
After you 'turn off' that marijuana cigarette once and for all, you may sweat profusely. Years of chronic smoking causes marijuana to accumulate in the body. Excessive sweating allows your body to get rid of the toxins. Sweating is a natural way in which the body detoxifies. Many people find that their hands are always sweaty, which may be quite bothersome. Sometimes, the sweat is so bad that it can drench your clothes and bedding.

Dizziness
You may experience moderate to serious dizzy spells too. This feeling of dizziness usually lasts for a brief period during the day. Some experience pressure in their head while feeling dizzy.

Nausea and Vomiting
Quitting the habitual use of marijuana can also cause nausea. Digestion problems, particularly after having meals, can trigger that terrible feeling of nausea. Sometimes, the nausea can be so terrible that you vomit whenever you have a meal.

Difficulty Concentrating
Although you have quit, sometimes, it can be difficult to control the cravings. So, when the cravings get the better of you, it can be difficult to concentrate and stay attentive.

Tremors
You may occasionally suffer from tremors, that are usually mild and not a cause for concern. This occasional shaking usually occurs for brief moments, and is not that difficult to cope with.

How Long Do These Symptoms Last?
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms are intense in the first week, as the drug is still present in the body. After the drug exits the body, a couple of weeks more are required for the symptoms to disappear completely. Usually, the symptoms are completely gone after 3 to 6 months, post discontinuation of the habit.

Treatment Options

Although the symptoms can be quite bothersome, one does not have to necessarily visit a doctor to ease the discomfort. Here are some simple home remedies that may help quell the symptoms:
  • As long as the digestion problems do not subside, make sure you stay away from foods high in fats. So, avoid having red meat, fried and processed foods, dairy products that include cheese and butter, as well as alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Practicing yoga and meditation daily can bring emotional stability, and relieve anxiety and depression. It is one of the best ways to enhance mental well-being.
  • In order to ease insomnia, avoid elaborate meals at night, and have foods high in L-tryptophan, an amino acid that is known to promote healthy sleep.
  • Excessive sweating can cause loss of essential electrolytes like potassium, which needs to be replenished by eating appropriate food. So, make sure your diet includes some good sources of potassium, such as sweet potatoes, bananas, and green-leafy vegetables.
  • Soaking in a hot bath can ease anxiety and relieve tension. It is mentally relaxing, and can certainly help mitigate emotional or psychological problems.
  • Keeping yourself occupied with some sort of activity that you like can also assist in controlling those cravings, as well as ease the symptoms of depression.
  • Exercise too can be helpful to get through the withdrawal symptoms. Remaining physically active will not only improve mental health, but can also clamp the urge to smoke marijuana again.

On the whole, initially, you may struggle with the withdrawal symptoms of marijuana, but that shouldn't deter you from giving up this unhealthy habit once and for all. Remember, quitting the drug is the first step on the path to recovery. As the symptoms subside, you will surely feel comfortable and at ease, and probably discover your new-found sobriety.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.