weed withdrawal

Is a Weed Withdrawal Real? How to Manage Symptoms

What happens if your body goes into weed withdrawal? Does such a thing exist?

Whether you’ve experienced green out, a weed hangover, or want to take a tolerance break. There are multiple reasons why withdrawal symptoms could happen.

In this way, stopping regular, long-term cannabis use, cold-turkey, may not be as easy as you might think. 

Weed withdrawal symptoms can present a genuine challenge. They may not be as severe as withdrawal from alcohol or other substances. Still, marijuana withdrawal comes with its own set of annoying and uncomfortable side effects. Some could even last upwards of weeks.

Users who only practice marijuana use occasionally or over shorter periods will likely not experience cannabis withdrawal symptoms. 

However, those partial to medicating every day may be confronted with how their bodies react to discontinuing regular cannabis use.

Today, we will cover the crucial things to know about weed withdrawal, including what it is, symptoms, and treatment methods.

What is Weed Withdrawal?

Cannabis withdrawal, also known as cannabis withdrawal syndrome, happens when your body reacts to the absence of tetrahydrocannabinol THC after prolonged exposure. This sensation occurs when your body becomes accustomed to receiving regular THC doses and develops a tolerance for it.

Essentially, the more marijuana use you enact, the more your body and brain will depend on this supply of THC. So, when you stop ingesting weed altogether, your body will likely react negatively. At least, at first. This impact will translate into various withdrawal symptoms.

Weed withdrawal symptoms are your body’s way of becoming accustomed to a new normal. They illustrate the transition period between receiving daily THC doses and learning to adjust to living without them.

As we said before, these withdrawal symptoms will likely not be as intense as alcohol withdrawal symptoms, but they are unpleasant nonetheless.

What are the Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal?

what are the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal

If you are a regular cannabis user and want to wean yourself off or have a tolerance break, it is important to understand the criteria for weed withdrawal. In this way, you can know what to expect if your body starts to present negative side effects.

While only severe cases would be classified as weed addiction, if you are a daily cannabis user, you could classify for something called cannabis use disorder

This condition is when users develop a dependency on cannabis due to the brain and body adapting to frequent THC doses. So, when you cut off that supply, you will experience marijuana withdrawal or cannabis withdrawal syndrome.

These symptoms can impact physical and behavioural health. They may also influence mental health and cause psychological symptoms.

Physical symptoms of marijuana withdrawal may include:

Psychological and behavioural symptoms include:

  • Feelings of irritability anxiety
  • Increased feelings of depression
  • Restlessness
  • A general feeling of unease or dissatisfaction
  • Cravings for the use of marijuana

While the combination of any of these elements will be unpleasant, users can take solace in the fact that marijuana withdrawal is not life-threatening. 

The intensity of the symptoms will also depend on the level of cannabis intake before quitting. Physical features such as body weight, gender, and heritable elements will also play a role.

Cannabis use disorder and marijuana withdrawal symptoms are heavily dependent on the individual. 

Symptoms will typically start to present within the first week of ceasing marijuana use. For most, the body will excrete the substance completely within 30 days.

30 days may sound like a long time, but it doesn’t mean that the person will experience the symptoms for that long. 

According to the American Addiction Centers and Oxford Treatment Facility, the discomfort will last around three weeks at most, sometimes a little less.

Cannabis Withdrawal Timeline

cannabis withdrawal timeline

In terms of a more complex timeline, according to research surrounding the course of marijuana withdrawal symptoms, this is what users can expect:

Within One Week

Users will begin to feel symptoms of withdrawal within the first week of discontinuing cannabis use. These include physical and psychological effects, such as irritability, trouble sleeping and anxiety, to list a few examples.

Within Ten Days

The withdrawal symptoms will hit their hardest and be their most intense during the initial ten days of ingesting or smoking marijuana.

Within 20 Days

After 20 days, the unpleasant sensations associated with withdrawal symptoms will begin to decline.

Within 28 Days

After four weeks, the cannabinoid receptors in the brain will return to a state of homeostasis, and regular function and the withdrawal will end.

How to Treat Weed Withdrawal

If you have made the difficult, albeit responsible, decision to recognize that there may be an issue with your marijuana use, quitting can be intimidating.

When you’re ready to take the plunge, there are a few helpful steps you can follow to help combat the inevitable withdrawal symptoms you may experience, particularly within the first ten days, when the symptoms are the most intense.

Stay Hydrated

how to treat cannabis withdrawal

When you’re focusing on how uncomfortable you are feeling, it can be not easy to think about much else. 

Ensuring that you are taking in the appropriate amount of water per day gives you something to hone your attention repeatedly throughout the day.

Hydration will also help with weed withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and nausea. Steer clear of sugar and caffeinated beverages that could facilitate these symptoms and increase restlessness and anxiety.

Eat Healthy Foods

Keeping your body full of healthy and nutritious items is an excellent and easy way to ensure you feel better from the inside out. 

Foods such as vegetables, fruit and lean proteins are an excellent source of energy.

While it may be difficult, avoid eating junk food. These items will further contribute to feelings of tiredness and irritability.


While exercising will probably be the furthest thing from your mind, getting out and increasing your heart rate will release endorphins. These endorphins serve as a natural mood-booster, which will help combat feelings of anxiety and depression.

Sweating will also help release toxins from your body.


cbd tincture

It may seem counterintuitive to combat weed withdrawal symptoms with more marijuana, CBD can help. CBD possesses various healing properties without the psychoactive ‘high’ that comes with ingesting THC.

CBD has also been shown to help to treat multiple conditions, including pain, nausea, insomnia and anxiety.

Find Support

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Let your family or friends, or even just one person, know what you’re going through. It will establish a support system that can help you ride out this unpleasant experience.

Not only that, having someone to hold you accountable so that you don’t cave into your cravings is essential in coming out on the other side successfully. 

If you feel that things have gotten to a point where you cannot handle it on your own, seek help from a medical professional.

Weed Withdrawal – You’re Not Alone

If you believe you are indulging too heavily to the point where it is a problem and want to stop using marijuana, reaching out for help is the first step. 

Even if you don’t think the problem is too large, it’s always good to let someone know what’s going on. 

Letting a friend in and having someone hold you accountable can be a useful and valuable source of inspiration and staying on track.

The symptoms of cannabis withdrawal are unpleasant. 

Quitting can be scary. Still, others have walked in your shoes, gone through it, and live healthier lives for it. Luckily, none of what you or someone you may know will experience is fatal, but that isn’t to say that it won’t be difficult.

It also isn’t to say that you can never touch weed again because that isn’t the case!

Establishing healthy consumption limits and taking tolerance breaks is a healthy and responsible way to approach your cannabis intake.

Stay safe and stay strong!

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