Whether you have become addicted to marijuana or another substance, the first step toward recovery is withdrawal. Once the drug is out of your system and all of the withdrawal symptoms are behind you, you can turn your focus to regaining your physical strength and delving into the root causes of your addiction.
The key thing is to get through withdrawal safely. For many substances, coming off a drug involves a lot more than simply ceasing your usage of it. It can entail withdrawal symptoms that are at best uncomfortable, and at worst fatal. This is why it is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you are considering quitting marijuana or any other substance. In some cases, you will be referred to a medical detox facility, where doctors can monitor your withdrawal and treat withdrawal symptoms as they arise.
The good news is that withdrawal from marijuana is generally not harmful or complicated as long as it is the only substance you have been using. The bad news is that use of other substances can create more intense withdrawal symptoms.
In this article, we will describe some common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal, and when it is safe to go through detox at home without professional help.
Is Marijuana Withdrawal Real?
An unintended effect of the normalization of marijuana for medical purposes is the misconception that “marijuana is good for you”. This notion is problematic for several reasons, one of which is that out of hundreds of strains of cannabis, only a few have applications as medical treatments. It also gives rise to the idea that since marijuana is not a harmful drug in the same way that heroin or cocaine are harmful drugs, withdrawal doesn’t happen.
Cannabis withdrawal is very real, though. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) cites that up to 47% of people who use marijuana regularly experience some form of withdrawal. Moreover, since the withdrawal symptoms include mood imbalances, some people may be thinking the cannabis is medicating their anxiety or depression when in actuality, it is alleviating withdrawal symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms Of Marijuana Withdrawal?
As with most substances, the withdrawal symptoms vary from one person to the next. Factors affecting the nature and intensity of withdrawal symptoms include:
- Your age, weight, sex assigned at birth, and general state of health
- How much marijuana you were using and with what frequency
- Whether you are using other substances, including prescription medications
The more common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include the following:
- Irritability or mood swings
- Increased feelings of anxiety and/or depression
- Cravings for marijuana
- Decreased appetite that may be accompanied by nausea
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
What Causes Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal symptoms of some kind happen when you stop regular use of almost any substance, including everyday substances like caffeine or sugar. Using a substance like marijuana on a daily basis causes an artificial boost in certain chemicals released by the brain. These chemicals control things like how good we feel and how creative we are in any given moment.
If you stop using marijuana after prolonged regular use, your body is in a position of having to rely on natural production of these chemicals. The problem is that it takes time for the natural receptors to return to normal. You experience withdrawal symptoms as your body and mind struggle to adjust to the deprivation.
Is It Safe To Go Through Marijuana Detox At Home?
Withdrawal from some substances, such as alcohol and methamphetamine, can be extremely dangerous when there is no medical supervision. Fortunately, marijuana does not fall into this category. If you are not using any other substances, you will probably be able to go through detox at home.
The most successful at-home detox efforts are well planned. Here are some things you should take into consideration:
- Stock up on a good source of hydration, such as sports drinks. You may not feel like eating during your withdrawal, but you have to stay hydrated. Sipping on a sports drink that contains electrolytes can help with your fluid intake if you are experiencing nausea or abdominal pain.
- Don’t go through this alone. Even though cannabis withdrawal symptoms are relatively benign, you may experience mood swings or anxiety that seem overwhelming. Having a trusted friend or family member with you can help get you through those moments.
- Plan some activities. Withdrawal often comes with feelings of restlessness, and this can be hard to bear, especially when combined with cravings. You may be able to alleviate this by going for walks or keeping your hands busy.
- Make a plan to manage your cravings. If you are making a concerted effort to quit marijuana, the last thing you need is for your friendly neighbourhood dealer to pop around for a cup of coffee. This is another reason it’s beneficial to have a trusted loved one with you: they can screen any visitors or calls for you, and they can help ensure that you do not get your hands on any marijuana.
- Be prepared to seek medical attention if needed. Marijuana does not produce medically harmful withdrawal symptoms, but if you are taking other substances, your withdrawal may be complicated. Even a legitimate prescription medication can make your body or mind behave differently if you are in a state of withdrawal.
Marijuana Detox And Rehab In A Beautiful Location
At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we provide everything you will need for a safe detox and a comprehensive addiction recovery. People start using marijuana for all kinds of reasons. In younger people in particular, marijuana use can be a sign of a troubled home or school life, and getting away from that environment can be hugely beneficial to healing. We will put together a marijuana addiction treatment plan that is customized to your needs and circumstances. With perseverance and determination on your part and compassion on ours, you can recover from a marijuana addiction and go on to lead a happy, fulfilling life.