Author: Gary Jackson

If cannabis becomes a problem: How to manage withdrawal

These short-term programs are designed to help people get through the initial drug-free phase. They provide assistance and medical attention as you manage the symptoms of withdrawal. A 2021 study also found that nearly one-third of female cannabis users ages 50–64 and one-fifth of those ages over 65 are using it nearly daily. Among male users, more than one-third of people in all age groups reported using it nearly daily, and more than 40% of those over 65. Read on to learn about the possible symptoms of cannabis withdrawal and available treatment and prevention options. But even though more and more people are using marijuana and it is less addictive than other drugs, users aren’t exempt from the symptoms of withdrawal.

  • The patient denies suicidal thoughts, but reports dysthymic mood that is typical for him.
  • These therapeutic interventions can be conducted in group or individual therapy settings, and individuals often participate in a combination of group meetings, individual therapy, family therapy, or couples therapy.
  • These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they vary from person to person.
  • If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms and trying to stop the usage of cannabis, reach out to your healthcare provider or mental health professional.

If nothing else, this person can be a good source of inspiration and accountability. You should consult with a doctor before using CBD for either recreational or medical purposes, and let them know of any other medications you are taking to minimize the chance of adverse interactions. The patient is currently on sick leave but has a history of stable employment. Stacey Colino is a Maryland-based writer and author who specializes in health and psychological issues.

Supporting information

Again, the number of people who become addicted or dependent is somewhere between the 0% that cannabis advocates believe and the 100% that cannabis opponents cite. If you’re ready to quit, talk with a doctor or a substance use disorder specialist about your options. You may not need special instructions, but it’s always a good idea to consult someone about your decision.

  • In 2020, over 49 million people 12 years old or older reported using marijuana within the past year.
  • There are insufficient studies to recommend either treating multiple substances sequentially or concurrently.
  • Three in four cannabis users seeking treatment for a CUD will have another SUD [1].
  • There are many places that people can go for support, to get help with stopping using cannabis, and to cope with withdrawal symptoms.
  • He states that his cannabis use is heavier at night in an attempt to improve his sleep, and ceasing use has impaired sleep quality.

While the effects are usually short-lived, they can be highly uncomfortable. According to the CDC, research has linked cannabis use with numerous negative health consequences. These include memory problems, an increased risk of stroke and heart disease, lung problems from smoke, and mental health symptoms such as those related to anxiety and paranoia.

Does sleeping with an eye mask improve learning and alertness?

These feelings can often be used to bring about the positive changes you want to make in your life. They can also be signs that additional help may be needed to ease or resolve your depressive symptoms. BetterHelp makes professional therapy available anywhere through a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

  • For this reason, cannabis agonists have been cautiously used ‘off‐label’ for cannabis withdrawal.
  • Common treatment modalities include cognitive behavioral therapy, for example.
  • In most instances, cannabis withdrawal is not severe and does not have a high risk of severe adverse outcomes.
  • Irritability and mood effects can also negatively impact personal relationships and work productivity.

As cannabis withdrawal symptoms can mirror other physical disorders, a comprehensive medical review with an emphasis on gastrointestinal and neurological systems is recommended. In nationally representative US surveys, people with a CUD in the past 12 months were six times more likely to have an alcohol use disorder and nine times more likely to have another drug use disorder [27]. Three in four cannabis users seeking treatment for a CUD will have another SUD [1]. Because of the high prevalence of comorbid substance use and dependence, it is important to know if the patient only wants to cease cannabis use, or some or all of the substances that they use. In outpatient settings the patient may prefer to continue to use other substances. There are insufficient studies to decide whether it is better to withdraw from multiple substances sequentially or concurrently.


The cannabis plant contains approximately 120 cannabinoids, the most studied of which are THC and CBD. The body’s own endogenous cannabinoids act as partial agonists of the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors [10, 11], as does THC [12], whereas CBD acts as an allosteric modulator of these receptors [13, 14]. The psychoactive effects of THC are underpinned by its strong affinity for CB1 receptors, which are predominantly distributed within the brain.

marijuana withdrawal symptoms

These symptoms occur most often in regular and heavy cannabis users and the most common symptoms are anxiety, irritability, anger or aggression, disturbed sleep/dreaming, depressed mood and loss of appetite. Less commonly reported physical symptoms include chills, headaches, physical tension, sweating and stomach pain [1, 2]. Cessation of short‐term cannabidiol (CBD), a non‐psychoactive cannabinoid, does not appear to result in withdrawal [3]. For individuals who experience anxiety or panic as a result of cannabis withdrawal, prescription anti-anxiety medications can be given in a controlled treatment setting to ease weed withdrawal symptoms. Getting professional treatment that includes evidence-based addiction therapies, can help someone not only get sober but remain in long-term recovery. That doesn’t necessarily mean someone will feel the effects of marijuana withdrawal that long though.