What is Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome?

Cannabis withdrawal, or more specifically withdrawal from marijuana, is a real thing to discuss.

There is a belief that cannabis withdrawal is not something that needs to be considered or worried about, which is wrong. 

There is a growing concern over the consequences of cannabis use on mental and physical health, especially in young people who regularly use drugs.

It's estimated that 70-80% of people who use cannabis habitually develop a physical dependence on the drug. 

The withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, but most are tolerable and do not require medical intervention. 


Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome


Unfortunately, many people who become dependent on cannabis choose to quit "cold turkey," which can create lasting problems.

It is wise to break the addiction to marijuana as slowly as possible.

That means not quitting overnight and introducing other relaxation techniques and coping skills into your life until you no longer feel a need to use pot.

Withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 24 hours of the last time you use cannabis.

What Is It Exactly?

This is a question that has gained enough notoriety in recent years. 

Some people who use marijuana cannot recognize that they are addicted, while others who are more sensitive to this drug's dangers experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it.

This is the reason why medical marijuana users are increasingly finding treatment programs to be so important.

How is Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome defined?

Cannabis withdrawal syndrome (CWS) is a cluster of symptoms that occur after stopping heavy, frequent use of cannabis. 

What Are The Symptoms?

CWS is not life-threatening, but the side affects when you stop smoking cannabis can make life difficult, and people who suddenly stop using cannabis may experience:

  • Diminished hunger
  • Changes in mood
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia and other sleep difficulties
  • Headaches
  • Focus loss
  • Cannabis cravings
  • Cold sweats
  • Excessive sweating
  • Feeling depressed
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Lack Of Appetite

The most common manifestation of withdrawal from medical marijuana is a severe lack of appetite. 

Since the active ingredient in this drug is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, it will bind to receptors in the human body and force a rapid and strong onset of nausea and vomiting upon cessation of use. 

Mental Illness

Another symptom that can be expected with cannabis withdrawal is that people will begin to feel depressed and anxious. 

This is because the brain chemistry has been altered by the presence of THC in the body. 

People who are highly addicted to marijuana are typically in a state of constant euphoria, but they will become highly irritable when withdrawal symptoms kick in. 

This is one of the most dangerous effects of cannabis addiction because it causes severe illnesses that can be fatal if not treated immediately.

If you do not go into treatment as soon as possible, then the sickness may worsen, and you could even die. 

It is vital to treat withdrawal symptoms properly for your addiction to be curtailed permanently. 

This is especially true with the more dangerous forms of withdrawal, such as psychosis and schizophrenia.

Patients experiencing Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome experience various physiological and psychological symptoms when stopping high levels of cannabis consumption. 

In severe cases, the symptoms mentioned above can become debilitating.


People can manage cannabis withdrawal by making sure that they have support available at all times. 

The best way to get through this period is to try to relax as much as possible. 

When someone is going through withdrawal, they may feel as though they are going backward in time. 

This should always be encouraged, as it helps them stay focused on their goals. 

It may also help re-introduce things into the patient's daily routine as they embark upon the journey to recovery from cannabis addiction. 

This could include having them do some exercise to get the body back into shape. 

It is also essential to make sure that there are no changes made to the patient's diet, leading to relapse.

What is cannabis withdrawal does not have to be a long and arduous experience if the patient is ready to make an effort.


Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome

How To Seek Help

For most people, quitting cannabis won't take professional help.

However, some people find that medical assistance can make it easier to quit and stay smoke-free if given guidance and support.

Detox Center

People can undergo these short-term programs to help them complete the initial phase of drug-free living. 

Professionals assist you with the symptoms of withdrawal and provide you with medical attention.

These are often extremely expensive but provide the best results for those suffering from severe addiction.

Rehab Center For Inpatients

In those facilities, an individual can stop using drugs, including marijuana, and address the issues that led to drugs, leading to relapse if not handled correctly. 

People who suffer from more than one addiction will also benefit from these treatments, such as those addicted to alcohol and marijuana at the same time.

Outpatient Programs

In outpatient rehabilitation programs, therapists, substance abuse specialists, or other mental health specialists meet regularly with patients. 

However, you're free to move around, and you are not required to check into a facility.

Support Groups 

You may benefit from one-to-one therapy while you work through the underlying problems that lead to drug use. 

In a similar vein, finding people who have faced similar circumstances and questions as you in a support group can be a positive way to get help and accountability while transitioning to your new phase of life.

Tips How To Quit

If you feel as though you are smoking too much weed to be a detriment to your life, you can follow some simple tips to wean yourself off it.

Remove Temptation

One of the first tips to stop smoking cannabis is to stop smoking in the company of others

If you are a social smoker, you may find that there are always people around. It is effortless to start smoking when alone, but you will be much more likely to stop if others surround you.

Change Your Lifestyle

Another of the best tips to stop smoking cannabis is to change your lifestyle and eliminate anything and everything that will cause you to smoke. 

It would be best to prepare yourself for no snacking, no drinking, and no taking in anything that will have you lighting up. 

You will be amazed at how quickly you will begin to notice an absence of your favorite habits. 

By making these few changes to your lifestyle, you will notice a dramatic difference in your life and how you feel about yourself.

Speak To Family and Friends

Your loved ones can do their bit to help get through what is a difficult thing to attempt.

They can help by:

  • providing you with ideas for hobbies and diversions
  • exercising, or meditating, together
  • Inspiring you when the cravings and withdrawals hit

The mere knowledge that you have the support of others can motivate you, enabling you to succeed.


As more and more states are legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, more and more people are using it. Some of those people are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. 

The mental and physical withdrawal symptoms of cannabis can be just as intense as alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, and other drugs.

The topic of cannabis withdrawal has been a controversial issue in the medical community for years. 

Over the past decade, however, there has been a push for more research on the topic. For example, a recent survey found that 90% of physicians questioned believe that cannabis withdrawal exists. 

Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome (CWS) is a cluster of psychological symptoms that occur in an otherwise healthy person after cessation of cannabis use.

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