Marijuana withdrawal is a bit like the Sasquatch. Many people claim they’ve seen it. Some dedicate their lives to studying it. Others question whether it exists at all. And a few even ridicule the idea that a plant as perfect as marijuana could lead to anything as sinister-sounding as withdrawal.
The simple truth is that quitting anything you’re used to and enjoy can be hard. I could stop eating snack cakes and watching Bob’s Burgers if I had to, but I wouldn’t be happy about it.
Whether or not marijuana is physically addictive, some people experience physical symptoms when they quit using. And, adjusting to life without weed can leave many frequent smokers feeling… off.
While I personally plan on naming my first child Mary Jane – or Pot if it’s a boy, I guess – I understand that there are many reasons why someone might want or need to quit or scale back their cannabis use.
So in an effort to better understand weed withdrawal I quit smoking for one month… just kidding. But I did dig into the data.
For Heavy Users, Quitting Cannabis Can Be Hard
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association included cannabis withdrawal in its widely referenced Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Thousands of adults seek professional help quitting every year.
Clearly, weening off the weed isn’t easy for everyone.
Think about the first day back to the office after a long vacation. Some people wake up like they would on any other day – ready to work. Others have been out climbing mountains or partying with friends or just staying up all night watching movies, and going back to the office can be a shock to the system.
Quitting smoking works along the same lines. If your marijuana use is light– once a week or less – you aren’t changing your physical or psychological routine significantly by cutting out cannabis, so it’s less likely you’d feel any ill effects.
While marijuana withdrawal is more subtle than alcohol and other drugs, it is still one of the largest barriers when someone wishes to quit smoking pot.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
If you work out every day, your body and mind get used to the routine. The same thing happens if you spend most of your time sitting down smoking pot. If you suddenly change the routine, you might feel physically or mentally uncomfortable or stressed.
Physical symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are largely due to your body working through toxins and relearning how to function without the extra THC. Some heavy users experience stomach discomfort, headaches, tremors, and sweating, though most physical withdrawal symptoms aren’t too severe and subside within several days.
Psychological symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, or depression, can be harder to manage, and some daily users experienced strange dreams for up to 45 days after quitting. It is worth noting that many marijuana consumers began or continued using pot as a way to treat stress, anxiety, and depression. As such, the fear of giving up marijuana can end up being worse than the actual process of quitting.
The truth is that more studies are needed to fully understand the impact of going from heavy cannabis use to none. For now, however, it looks like marijuana withdrawal is real (though it doesn’t affect everyone) and manageable for those who want to make a change.
That said, nobody likes a quitter.
Karing Kind is Boulder’s First Recreational Marijuana Dispensary
Whether you’re stopping by for the first or last time, we strive to offer a top-tier experience every time you enter our store. Our extensive menu, award-winning budtenders, incredible deals, and the lowest marijuana tax rate in the state make us the perfect Colorado cannabis destination.
Karing Kind is located just off of US-36, one mile north of Broadway, open MON-SUN from 9am to 10pm.
While we carry a variety of strains, concentrates, edibles, salves and tinctures, inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week and month to month. Check our menu and follow us on Twitter for an up-to-date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available now.