Though many U.S. states and territories have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use, it remains a Schedule I drug at the federal level. That means the DEA still considers it a drug with a significant potential for abuse, including physical and psychological dependence. Marijuana products sold at dispensaries also tend to have higher concentrations of THC, the drug’s psychoactive component, which can lead to more unpredictable side effects.
What Happens During Weed Withdrawal?
If you’ve been relying on marijuana to loosen up or relieve anxiety, you should be aware of what might happen if you suddenly stop using it. Though weed withdrawal tends to result in fewer dangerous complications than substances like alcohol and opioids, it can still cause long-lasting symptoms, including:
- Mood swings
- Drug cravings
- Appetite changes
- Digestive problems
Since THC can accumulate in your body’s fatty tissues and remain there for prolonged periods, these side effects may be more intense and extended for frequent marijuana users.
Because people’s weed withdrawal experiences vary widely, there is usually no way to predict what you might expect unless you have tried detoxing from marijuana before. Acute symptoms could last up to two weeks, with lingering psychological effects persisting for even longer. Some people begin using pot again if their attempt to quit becomes too uncomfortable.
While the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal may be less severe than some other controlled substances, the potential for dangerous or unpleasant consequences still exists once your brain becomes accustomed to having a consistent supply of THC. In the absence of drugs, your built-in reward system will struggle to self-regulate, leading to a series of unpleasant physical and psychological effects.
If your goal is to stay sober and end your dependence on cannabis, speak to a doctor or therapist for guidance. They may recommend specific lifestyle changes that can help you stay on the right track. Having support and encouragement from a trusted professional can inspire you to stick with your goals.
Do You Need Addiction Treatment?
It can be hard to admit to yourself and others that you have become overly reliant on marijuana, but if you don’t address the underlying issues contributing to your substance use, you will continue to perpetuate the cycle. Addiction can rob you of your physical and mental health, harm your relationships and erode your quality of life.
If you need help quitting weed, alcohol or other drugs, please contact us at Vista Taos. We believe everyone is capable of breaking the chains of substance abuse and achieving holistic health and wellness. Our medical professionals will guide you through a clinical detox process to stabilize you for the subsequent phases of recovery.