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Cannabis withdrawal syndrome: How to ease the symptoms

August 8, 2017
(paolo81/iStock)
When Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant stopped his regular cannabis consumption in order to pass the NFL’s drug test, he encountered an unexpected challenge. Insomnia kept him up at night. “I would get frustrated,” Bryant told Sports Illustrated. “I’d yell, ‘Why can’t I sleep!?’”

Symptoms typically start within the first two days of cessation, and stop within four weeks of abstinence.

The answer may have been cannabis withdrawal syndrome, or CWS.

For regular, long-term cannabis consumers who want to take a tolerance break or need to abstain completely, cannabis withdrawal syndrome can be a mild but very real challenge. It’s nowhere near the severity of withdrawal induced by tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs, but it may be irritating and mildly discomforting for a few days. In fact, it may most resemble the withdrawal a daily coffee drinker might feel upon going cold turkey.

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Tips for Taking a Successful Cannabis Tolerance Break

“For many people who smoke marijuana, withdrawal is a non-issue,” says Roger Roffman, a University of Washington researcher who studied cannabis use for more than 25 years. People who consume cannabis occasionally, or use a higher amount for a short period of time, generally don’t experience any withdrawal symptoms. “But the person who smokes a lot of dope for quite a long period of time is likely to have an experience of withdrawal,” Roffman says.

Insomnia is often an indicator of CWS, but symptoms aren’t limited to sleeplessness.

Related

How Does Cannabis Consumption Affect Insomnia?

According to German researchers who recently published an overview of the current CWS knowledge in Substance Abuse Rehabilitation, discontinuation of regular consumption can lead to one or a number of these symptoms:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Dysphoria, a feeling of general unease or dissatisfaction
  • Craving for resumed cannabis use
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain

Any combination of those symptoms occur in 35% to 75% of patients who quit cannabis after longtime regular use. (It’s a wide percentage range because different percentages were found in several separate studies.)

How severe?

Symptoms of cannabis withdrawal “are much less severe than those associated with withdrawal from chronic opioid or depressant use,” researchers with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) wrote in a 2015 study, “but aversive enough to encourage continued cannabis use and interfere with cessation attempts in some individuals.”

In that NIDA study, scientists noted that the effects induced by simply discontinuing exposure “are not severe and can be hard to detect, probably due to the slow elimination of lipophilic compounds like THC from the brain.”

The symptoms and mild severity of CWS resemble the experience of patients going through caffeine withdrawal.

Because the federal government—specifically, agencies like NIDA itself—has made it so difficult to conduct cannabis research, the NIDA scientists used studies of non-human animals to describe the typical symptoms. So we know what CWS in rats looks like: “symptoms include scratching, face rubbing, licking, wet-dog shakes, arched back and ptosis.” Ptosis is the medical term for droopy eyelids.

If you’re stopping cannabis use after regular intake, face licking and wet-dog shakes are not likely to figure among the symptoms you will experience. The severity of CWS among humans “is dependent on the amount of cannabis used pre-cessation, gender, and heritable and several environmental factors,” the German researchers noted. Women, they wrote, tended to report stronger symptoms of CWS, and their experience included more physical discomfort, nausea, and stomach pain.

These mood and behavioral symptoms are usually “of light to moderate intensity,” the researchers wrote.

Symptoms typically start within the first two days of cessation, and stop within four weeks of abstinence.

The symptoms and mild severity of CWS resemble the experience of patients going through caffeine withdrawal, a condition described in the DSM-5 as including headache, fatigue, drowsiness, dysphoric mood, irritability, depression, nausea, muscle aches and impairment of cognitive or behavioral performance.

Related

Eyes Wide Open: A Podcast About Cannabis and Insomnia

What causes CWS?

Prolonged exposure to cannabinoids causes complex adaptations in the brain’s neuronal circuits and their components. Some researchers believe that regular cannabis intake can desensitize and downregulate human brain cannabinoid (CB1) receptors.

It's a physiological process. The brain is adapting to the absence of cannabinoids.

“If you administer a lot of THC, and you do it at a heavy rate over a pretty intense period of time, you’re going to change the functioning of the brain,” says Roffman. The German study published in Substance Abuse Rehabilitation, Roffman said, confirms what a number of previous researchers have found. “After a couple days of cessation, cannabis withdrawal syndrome starts. It will likely be largely over within two weeks to a month.”

The time span and severity of symptoms will differ from person to person, Roffman adds.

“Ultimately, it’s not a psychological process,” he says. “It’s a physiological change in the brain as the body becomes adapted to marijuana no longer being there.”

What works? What doesn’t?

Certain antidepressants may be given to lessen the symptoms of CWS. Mirtazapine (an antidepressant also known as Remeron) can be prescribed to counteract the insomnia that’s sometimes associated with CWS. But other antidepressants, including Venlafaxine (the antidepressant known as Effexor) were found to worsen the CWS, the researchers wrote.

One thing that might work: an alternate form of cannabinoids. In a study published last year in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependency, Canadian researchers tested the use of Sativex, GW Pharma’s 1:1 THC:CBD pharmaceutical, on patients experiencing symptoms of CWS.

Not surprisingly, “high fixed doses of Sativex were well tolerated and significantly reduced cannabis withdrawal during abstinence,” the researchers found.

Sativex is, after all, composed of the same cannabinoids the patient has ceased to ingest. So is it really withdrawal, or a continuation of the same psychotropic substance in a different form?

Here’s where it gets interesting. In theory, longtime regular cannabis consumers who wish to cease consumption could lessen their CWS symptoms by substituting Sativex for cannabis—and then gradually tapering their daily dosage of Sativex over the course of two to four weeks.

Related

Leafly Medical Studies Roundup: Is Cannabis Addictive Because We ‘Prefer It Over Fruit’?

It’s the form, not the function

Of course, the same sort of tapering could be done with the cannabis itself. But there are also psychological factors at play. It may be easier to taper off when the cannabinoid delivery vehicle (Sativex is usually taken as an oral spray) differs from the cannabis routine to which a patient has grown accustomed. Just as it’s easier to quit tobacco by using a transdermal patch, rather than tapering off cigarettes, it may be easier to ease out of a cannabis routine by using a different form of intake.

'The research evidence supports the idea that most people are able to stop on their own.'

Roger Roffman, University of Washington

By altering the form of cannabinoid intake, “you’re changing the routine of the individual,” says Roffman. “If the person smokes a lot, now you’re giving them something [like Sativex] orally.” Sativex is designed to have fewer psychoactive properties, so the patient may experience it as a gradual step-down from regular cannabis consumption.

Most people, though, probably don’t need the aid of Sativex. “The research evidence supports the idea that most people are able to stop on their own,” says Roffman. “Clearly, there’s some part of the population for whom withdrawal is unpleasant.” He recommends working with a physician who can help the patient through the process, which could include a short-term prescription for a sleeping aid or mood stabilizer.

Going into the adjustment period with a game plan can also be a big help, Roffman says. “We worked with a number of behavioral approaches” in his research, including anticipating difficulties with mood and sleeping, and planning activities—everything from exercise to a warm glass of milk—that can alleviate the difficulties.

Bruce Barcott's Bio Image

Bruce Barcott

Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.

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  • HonkyGeorge

    “Craving for resumed cannabis use”

    Thanks, scientists. I was trying to nail that one down for years.

    • LOL, I know right, this entire article is a joke, fake and made up theories.

    • YouDontKnowWo

      LMAO right!

  • Barbara Baldwin

    Done right, even morphine can be easily stopped. I wouldn’t be concerned with wimpy cannabis…

    • Richard Bale

      Can I just start by admitting I am pro cannabis most of my life,but would just comment on a personal level of what I found with myself in my stopping of 15years of bupranorphine,after a couple days in to my detox I thought I would have a smoke as I knew how good it can be as a medication for mind & body,It was a detox I planned with military precision, the problem I faced after the smoke was not what I expected after all my years on cannabis, straight after I used again as It made me so calm I was caught off guard in the importance of what I was doing, because of my focus on how important it was to me I realized that It wasn’t going to stop my detox,so had to understand I personally can’t do this as I was far too weak after reaching a point where life wasn’t worth living anymore & this would be a last attempt,so laid off the weed for about a month,I’m a little pissed that my loved plant had this happen as the anti cannabis crew would love this, nearly 3years clean and happily returned using the weed for mental health instead of antipsychotics prescribed & have got rid of all my mental health shrinks as it will not be in my lifetime that they will listen to anyone’s life experiences & set in there ways, not realising it may be of help to some.sorry to say to all that have face this situation of no fault of your own,as my addiction was my own fault.I shall point out that this is only a warning in detox & not if you’re lowering your dose or to overcome tolerance.& People you are the only one that knows what works best for you so ignore any scare mongering your not like me a hopeless junky & take whatever meds work for your pain management & quality of life thanks for listening x

    • Cid

      Wow, that just promotes a stigma that doesn’t allow for folks who are overly sensitive and yes addicted to cannabis to find the help they need. Their withdrawal symptoms are just as real as someone on morphine, and last a whole lot longer – so maybe you should do some further research before you dismiss someone else’s pain. Cannabis doesn’t effect everyone in the same way. It’s not a one size fits all substance, and the ignorance surrounding it’s use and effects are staggering. Many articles state that the withdrawal symptoms last a few weeks, but there are folks dealing with these effects for months with no end in sight. Glad things are so “easy” for you, but that’s not the case with others, so a little compassion and education would be called for here.

      • C.L. Parker

        Cid – very much agree. Have been through exactly this a few times and going through it now. I had PAWS from quitting for a long time. It has actually been the harder thing for me to quit because it is so much more acceptable but still a fog. I feel like I got over opioid dependency faster, but was not using them nearly as long as cannabis. Addiction changes the brain in interesting ways.

    • anon dave

      wow, you have no compassion barbara. I am on day 3 of quitting after using concentrates for six months. while i know i will get thru it… you are such a moron for saying “wimpy cannabis”. obviously you have not gone thru cannabis withdrawal. your comments are not welcome here. you dont understand the muscle aches, headaches, nausea, and insomnia that many of us face when we quit. try doing concentrates with 70% to 99% thc for a few months and then give us some advice. Otherwise shut up.

  • Koko Banes

    Here’s what I’ve learned about cannabis and withdrawal since it became legal.

    I suffer from chronic back pain, so I obviously started with Indica strains. The downside of Indica is the overall sluggishness, over eating, and flakiness that comes with “smoking pot”. Then I discovered high-level strains of Sativa. Sativa hits the brain, not the body. I began working full days, full weeks, and still could continue with the day. Why? I asked. It was counter intuitive. Then I made a major breakthrough.

    There are two sides to pain, the physical and the mental. Pain wears down the brain as well as the body. The mind is constantly coping with the pain until the pain because a mental prison. Ingest some Sativa and it breaks the MENTAL side of pain. It snaps your head out of the constant misery. That simple act works from reducing the pain and allowing more fluid movement during the day, and sleep during the night. Your mind is back to churning out thoughts and commands, and life becomes more palatable.

    What’s my point. I believe most people do not understand that they are most likely ingesting Indica which I believe becomes so disruptive that it feels addictive. I know when I go to my dispensaries, they always try to sell me Indica, not only because of the pain I described earlier, but also because it’s the most popular strain. In fact, I have to search for Sativa most of the time. It’s easy to lose it on Indica.

    Okay here’s the punchline. Ingest more Sativa when you feel the need to kick cannabis. The use of Sativa is for the mind. The mind has a lot to do with pain, addiction, and on the flipside, having a good time in life. Sativa seems to naturally regulate itself. You’re not overpowered by it, as you are with Indica. The only withdrawal symptom is getting more sleep and waking up refreshed.

    Then again, I may not know what I’m talking about and I’m merely blurting Sativa laced propaganda . That may be true, but my pain and my brain seem to work in conjunction now, rather than tearing each limb from limb.

    • Jay Tea

      Sativas make me paranoid and psychotic, and that’s basically all I can get. That’s my primary reason I have to stop.

    • Ive only smoked sativa strictly for last 15 years. Now I’ve been trying to quit and I get these super strong nausea, it’s debilitating. I can’t do anything else but feel horrible(physically)

  • Douglas Green

    I smoked cannabis for 23+ years for pain and spasms do to a broken neck which left me a Quadrapoligic, paralyzed from the chest down. Because of some bs rules from my doctor I had no choice but to quit using cannabis so I quit cold turkey and the only issue I had to deal with was getting over the habit which took about a couple of weeks. What I learned from this is that it’s a mental issue if you want to quit or have to quit your mind must be strong enough to do it. Not every body knows how to or that’s even possible to make up your mind to get over what ever vice it might be. Some people need help to get there.

    • Andre

      I find that quitting is hard but if u can stop for just 3 days and drink water water water, then the depression really starts then just like that day 5 no problem you will wonder how you thought that you couldn’t do it. Then after that for me if I keep flushing I can pass a test whatever. That part is real work but it’s not necessarily a whole month! The point is if you have to stop for some reason, it’s hell @ 1st but not for long. I believe the sativa thing. People think it’s not strong but it is. If you are wanting to see what it can do, do a wake and bake with sativa and see how u feel and function. It’s not so deabilitating.

  • There is no such thing as Cannabis withdrawal, it’s a Cannabis deficiency. The subject experiences these symptoms because their endocannabanoid system requires food(Cannabis) to maintain the body’s balance, aka homeostasis. Withdrawal is the assumption the subject is addicted to something they are powerless against and is something that is unhealthy and negatively impacts the body. Therefore, this is an incompatible analogy and is unhelpful misinformation, that is all!
    This is what it looks like when prohibitionists infiltrate our industry to scare people with their fear porn agenda.

    • Mike

      You seem educated, but some of your logic is flawed, and you are wrong. Any medical professional can explain addiction, withdrawal and deficiency to you. So, Ill save that conversation for later. (I have a degree in nursing, and Ill assume you will argue back, so I still have it ready if you want).

      You do not have to be addicted (mentally dependent) to something to show signs of physical dependency. If you never drink caffeine (or shoot heroin) in your life, the very first red bull you have is going to affect your body… even if your mind isnt yet dependent. If you keep drinking them every day, your body will get used to the changes that the caffeine has on your body. Still has nothing to do with your mind yet. Some of them include Increased heart rate, increased thirst, energy spike, then a crash. etc. Doing it for long enough will cause an addiction, and your brain will start literally manifesting the idea that you need another dose. That is also not tied to how your body reacts to the substance, but does has a role to play in how your body can react.

      These body or physical alterations are not tied to any dependency or experience of the mind. These body experiences are the work of the drug on the body. Taking that drug away, even if you aren’t mentally dependent, will cause another change in your body to revert back to normal. These changes are what cause your body to feel different. Headaches. Mood swings, fatigue, etc. To feel good with the drug and bad without.

      Now, Moving on. Ill keep this short. Its getting long. The terms, dependence or addiction are not synonyms and can not be used interchangeably. They quite literally mean different things, both in this context and in the English language. I smoke daily. I run a delivery service in a legal state delivering meds. From one weed smoker to another, I want to quit because I want a better job that drug tests. Im here researching to see how bad it might get for me, being the type of guy that averages smoking between an 8th and a quarter of bud a day. It has nothing to do with trying to scare your industry or make weed seem wrong or bad. I am your industry. I may sell to you! Quit trying to be a martyr. Nobody is persecuting you. Some people wanna stop wasting their time with bud and want to know how that might affect their lives.

    • Rockarolla

      you are the uneducated one. ive flipped before, cut myself up, put my fist through walls and lost everyone & everything because of it. the shakes & puking. feeling like i have the flu & body pains with bipolar moods. sounds like withdrawals to me & ive seen people come off fentanyl & xanax. my experience was too bad. i love it but it makes me fel like i want to die when im out.

    • Amanda Brown

      Anyone can be addicted to anything whether it sex food drugs alcohol it’s something that controls you so maybe you should think about that before posting something like this instead of putting people down try encouraging people to better their lives

    • rocmon

      Thanks for sharing some good truths, commonly missed by societal noise.

  • New research shows that one of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of ending marijuana use is withdrawals. If you’ve tried to quit before, you know that how crucial is this to achieve recovery. But you may not know that the feelings that’s why you relapsed previously, do not last forever.

    Source: http://www.healthtion.com/cannabis-withdrawal-symptoms/

  • Incredible techniques

  • Jason Lastname

    12

  • ginko

    Wtf, why every page i go, is happily describing the symptoms with gesture of a stupid doc, i know the f symptoms as they are kicking my ass, give some f advice on how to control this crazy stomach pain, fuseless nerds

    • C.L. Parker

      CBD oil is somewhat helpful for me. No high.

  • Amanda Brown

    Please help
    I quit smoking marijuana a 14 days ago tomorrow and every day around 2 p.m. I suffer from severe sweating I can’t sleep at night after I eat dinner and up throwing up for about an hour I don’t know how to get this to stop and I don’t want to start smoking again so if there’s anyone out there I can give me some advice would be greatly appreciated. I also want to know howhow long this is going to last. I smoke approximately 5 1/2 ounces a month and suffering greatly. Please help me!

    • Rockarolla

      me too. nothing i know helps. i tried to drink a few shots of rum so i would sleep and it did nothing to curb my fiending. just major bipolar ups & downs.

      • Amanda Brown

        I’m over 3 weeks now and it’s getting easier now and I haven’t thrown up in over a week if that gives you any hope the first 3 weeks are living hell but after that the symptoms start smoking easing off. I’m still crave it every day. I don’t have any withdrawal symptoms anymore keep up the good work I know it’s not easy but it’s worth it in the end.

    • Raul L.

      Have been smoking (a moderate amount – nowhere near 5 1/2 a month) daily for about 3 months and am a few days without. Obviously my symptoms are very mild with the exception of the insomnia. I have had zero to little sleep since Tuesday night. (It is currently 1:52 am as I am writing this). I do not know what to do, I am exhausted and I don’t know when this will cease and in what way. Do you just crash eventually or is it a gradual sort of thing? Did you try melatonin, should I?
      Any advice helps. Thanks.

  • Jay Tea

    Great, a typical “weed fixes everything!” stoner.

    Cannabis can be addictive. Learn the meaning of the word and you’ll understand why.

  • Jay Tea

    You literally have no idea what you’re talking about. THC causes your brain to release dopamine. When you consume it frequently, this happens more often. When you take it away, your brain wants more. Just because you’re not puking or shaking or sweating all over the place when you don’t have it doesn’t mean you can’t be addicted.

    I got to the point where I was dabbing a half gram of 70%+ concentrate every day(that’s a $600 a month habit). This went on for several months. It took weeks for me to force myself to taper down. The only reason I was able to taper down as much as I have now is because the last gram I got was contaminated and also had a big hair in it. Hitting it triggered my asthma so bad that I coughed and wheezed for literally 3 hours, I contemplated going to the hospital because I felt like my lungs were going to collapse. Instead of stopping, I take tiny dabs of it. That’s the epitome of addiction.

    You think you’re so knowledgeable, but you’re just another addicted pothead in denial. Congratulations, you’ve heard of the endocannabinoid system, you still don’t have a clue how THC affects your brain.

    After typing this, I now can’t stop thinking about hitting my rig. I cleaned it and put it away so I could try to stop entirely. But now that’s all I can think about. Again, the epitome of addiction.

  • Camilla B.

    You have terrible arguments all over here. Marijuana withdrawal is due to sudden cannabanoid deficiency so you’re basically aruging the same point. Your body naturally makes cannabanoids so there’s really no real reason (unless you have the appropriate health problems) you should be giving yourself more. Whats even funnier is that your body naturally makes opiates, so by that argument opioid abusers don’t go through withdrawal right? I’ve been a daily smoker for 6 years and have had withdrawal symptoms since I quit 4 days ago. Its hilarious that you are telling a NURSE to educate herself, who TF are you?

  • Travis Cesarone

    False, a heightened Endocannabinoid tone may become regular for your body, and not maintaining this new standard may cause various widespread withdraw symptoms related to ECs deficiency. Pretaining to ‘eat sleep survive,’ and general mood regulatory issues.
    Same can be said with CBD and the serontonic system. A lot can be said about CBD withdraw and FAAH inhibtor dependence. Which is directly related to ECs deficiency. FAAH inhibtors block ECs metabolism so, CBD helps increase endocannabinoid tone through it’s on indirect function as well as a direct on.
    Also CB receptors in midbrain can open reward pathway. Which is an addiction to a feeling. Thankfully caryophyllene regulates ECs, and opens reward pathway no different than THC, through CB2 receptors. With a bonus of a much lower abuse/risk rate, and drastically lower overall side effects list. Despite THC being so low as it is.
    🙂
    Cheers

  • Shade

    Wow, there are a lot of ignorant jerks commenting on this. The truth is I haven’t smoked in almost a week and I’m struggling. Obviously not as much as I would be if I was quitting much harder drugs, but still. Insomnia, constant headaches, nausea, weakness, mood swings, body aches and pains. And on top of it all, I can’t keep anything down. The comments are not helpful for anyone or anything.

    • Bobby Jones

      What did you do to make withdrawal easyer. Smoked for 35 years. I was ok first 3 or 4 days. Now its really difficult. No sleep ill dont wont to eat. Shitty feeling all the time. Any advice will help. Cant smoke anymore. Have to get my licens back so have to go to adsap classes. 3 days a week. 3 1/2 a day

  • chelsea

    HAHAHAHA!!! WTF withdrawal? No I know withdrawal lmao!! If someone is in rehab for weed or having a rough time… they need a friend to make their life worse so they can toughen up, its nothing. You can develop some psychological dependence as with anything, some people have panic attacks in public without their support puppy and those people should have been weeded out by darwanism long ago lol. If you need support see a behavioral psychiatrist bc your issue is all in your head.

  • Rockarolla

    i finally quit. it took 3 months to stop feinding. my brain still feels terrible though. my lungs aren’t better. the only positive is im saving money & being more social. i hope you can feel better.

  • creature9997

    Cannabis isn’t good for everyone. You can be pro-cannabis but still realize that it isn’t for everyone and that it does negatively effect some people psychologically. Whether it’s “in their head” or not, it’s still cannabis induced. I’ve been a heavy smoker for almost 4 years now and decided to quit this year. I’m a week in and I haven’t been able to sleep for about two days now and my anxiety is through the roof. No physical symptoms and i will admit compared to withdrawals on substances such as opiates or stims that withdrawal from cannabis is very minor, but still draining to the person experiencing it. I’m tired of seeing all these ignorant comments from people who refuse to admit that cannabis can effect some people negatively. You’re Ignorant if you really think every single human beings brain chemistry is the Same. And as for your “food” argument, it’s possible to get addicted to eating habitually, just like it’s possible for some to get addicted to cannabis habitually. Any sudden change to your way of life that includes no longer using a substance with psychoactive properties will cause withdraw symptoms if you have become addicted to doing it habitually, and whether it’s psychological or not, it’s still withdrawing. There’s a difference between being pro cannabis and being stupid enough to believe that it can’t play a negative effect on some people, both while smoking it and withdrawing from it (which I’d say most people who smoke heavily would definitely experience)

  • creature9997

    Cannabis isn’t good for everyone. You can be pro-cannabis but still realize that it isn’t for everyone and that it does negatively effect some people psychologically. Whether it’s “in their head” or not, it’s still cannabis induced. I’ve been a heavy smoker for almost 4 years now and decided to quit this year. I’m a week in and I haven’t been able to sleep for about two days now and my anxiety is through the roof. No physical symptoms and i will admit compared to withdrawals on substances such as opiates or stims that withdrawal from cannabis is very minor, but still draining to the person experiencing it. I’m tired of seeing all these ignorant comments from people who refuse to admit that cannabis can effect some people negatively. You’re obviously ignorant on the topic if you really think every single human beings brain chemistry is the Same. And as for your “food” argument, it’s possible to get addicted to eating habitually, just like it’s possible for some to get addicted to cannabis habitually. Any sudden change to your way of life that includes no longer using a substance with psychoactive properties will cause withdraw symptoms if you have become addicted to doing it habitually, and whether it’s psychological or not, it’s still withdrawing. There’s a difference between being pro cannabis and being ignorant enough to believe that it can’t play a negative effect on some people, both while smoking it and withdrawing from it (which I’d say most people who smoke heavily would definitely experience)

  • Tony Batchlor

    Ive resently quit cannabis after 22 years of smoking a 3.5g to 7g a day.. n i ended up fully depressed with my lifestyle and lack of enthusiasm to improve it.. the depression got worse n worse till i felt so low i just smoked n smoked cannabis wasnt the reason for depression but it made me not have the drive to change my life n the situation i was in… i live in England where its not legal.. most my friends smoke it n its easily obtained.. i had to make drastic measures b4 i got too low.. i booked a flight to usa (to stay with family) but alternatively just get somewhere away from where yu can get it n simply cold turkey for 3/5 weeks yes will power is required n u really want to change ur life.. but no substitutes is tge best way make urself busy.. gardening.. gym running walking anytging to tire the body out… but overall you just gta ride it n be strong im in week 3.. nightmares are killing me off sweats anxiety the lot but im enjoyin the gym n that will be my new addiction as i got an addictive personality.. but its not easy n like i said be strong as it does get better n your whole out look on life will improve tho yu will have moments.. the 1st week i cried daily.. second every otherday as the anxiety n tge fact ive had to leave my family.. temp but in the end i will improve my life and theres.. for years i thought weed was my “friend ” when really it was my ” enemy” my depression is abating n i feel sharper already.. so ppl just cold turkey it out be strong n dont n i mean dont look back write a list of goals put on the wall or fridge to remind yu why ur doing this.. yu aint alone so stay strong…

  • Michael

    I literally laughed out loud at this comment. I don’t want to drag this down with an essay but to touch on a few ludicrous points:

    “Stop spreading the lies the schools have taught us” Ohh God another “Colleges are brainwashing us” lunatic – Go back to school bro and see for yourself if there is any indoctrination going on. The primary thing that universities teach their students, regardless of major, is critical thinking, something you clearly lack.

    Red Wine has health benefits, right? 100% can be addictive. To say that something that can be good for you can not, therefore, be bad for you is 100% a false equivalency statement.

    You’re drinking the kool-aid as much as the reefer madness folks did back in the day. Weed is not as bad as they made it out to be (you probably won’t go on a murderous rampage like portrayed in that film), nor is it as harmless as you make it out to be. The truth is, as with most things, neither far to the left nor far to the right, but somewhere in the middle. My great-uncle, in his 80s, is one of those who listened to Reefer Madness and thinks that all illegal drugs are essentially on the same plane. You, on the other hand, probably listened intently to some buddies spewing pseudo-science with confirmation bias tinted ears.

    Now to the meat and potatoes. I can tell you from firsthand experience that Marijuana Withdrawal is a VERY REAL thing. Marijuana fucks with the dopamine driven rewards zone of the brain. This is exactly what happens with cocaine addiction, sex addiction, etc. Objectively it may not manifest itself as violently as heroin, for example, but subjectively the worst withdrawals a person can go through are the ones they are currently suffering from. Stating otherwise is alright in an academic context (if backed up with data) but is counterproductive to tell people suffering from addiction. This isn’t a scholarly journal. Most people making their way to a leafly page on marijuana addiction are doing so because they are suffering from marijuana addiction and seeking support. Your statements therefore are condescending and frankly my leading theory is that you’re a sad little person who came here just to troll.

  • Michael

    I literally laughed out loud at this comment after reading your other ramblings on here. I don’t want to drag this down with an essay (I could) but to touch on a few points:

    “Stop spreading the lies the schools have taught us” Ohh great it’s another “Colleges are brainwashing us” lunatic – Go back to school and see for yourself if there is any indoctrination going on. The primary thing that universities teach their students, regardless of major, is critical thinking. Challenge claims yourself, don’t believe everything you are told, and so on. In other words, they teach how not to be indoctrinated.

    Red Wine has health benefits, right? 100% can be addictive. To say that something that can be good for you can not, therefore, be bad for you is 100% a false equivalency statement. I do think weed should be legal though. As with alcohol, just because some people can become addicted doesn’t mean that every person will become addicted to it.

    You’re drinking the kool-aid as much as the Reefer Madness folks did back in the day. Weed is clearly not as bad as they made it out to be (you won’t go on a murderous rampage like portrayed in that film), nor is it as harmless as you make it out to be. The truth is, as with most things, neither far to the left nor far to the right, but somewhere in the middle. Don’t be so defensive when people question the awesomeness of bud. It has a lot of great uses but too much of anything can be a bad thing.

    Now to the meat and potatoes. I can tell you from firsthand experience that Marijuana Withdrawal is a VERY REAL thing. Not only is it real, but it really really really sucks. I’m talking like you want to lie in bed all day as if you have the flu level of suck. Marijuana messes with the dopamine driven rewards zone of the brain. This is exactly what happens with cocaine addiction, sex addiction, etc. Objectively it may not manifest itself as violently as heroin, for example, but subjectively the worst withdrawals a person can go through are the ones they are currently suffering from. Stating otherwise is fine in an academic context but can be counterproductive to tell people currently suffering from addiction, it marginalizes their own personal struggle. This isn’t a scholarly journal. Most people making their way to a leafly page on marijuana addiction are doing so because they are suffering from marijuana addiction. Your statements therefore are condescending and, frankly, I think you came here just to troll…

  • mike

    You are absolutely damaged – “Iambroken” – whose freaking username advertises how ‘broken’ he is. Do you think you gain credibility with a name like that?

    Do you know what homeostasis is? Do you think your body evolved to consume/absorb the smoke of cannabis? Do you know what is likely happening right now? You are not only addicted to weed physically i.e. the cells throughout your body have increased their cannabinoid receptors numbers (which is what happens whenever an endogenously produced chemical interacts with an exogenous chemical that resembles its structure) but you apparently need to lie to yourself and everyone else that weed smoking isn’t problematic. You are confusing your own needs for reality. And given the sheer arrogance of your claims (which are full of anger) I can’t help but see the presence of a personality disorder i.e. borderline personality disorder.

    Cannabis disrupts HPA axis activity for the obvious reason that the endocannabinoid system is a basic part of the neuroendocrine axis. After smoking weed for 12 years, not only am I dealing with the debilitating effects of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (toxicity), but in trying to get off (17 days now) I am still experiencing nausea and stomach pains. What do you think the cause of this is? The probable answer is: a dysregulation of the relationship between the hypothalamus – the chief regulatory structure of the body’s processes – the pituitary gland, and all the glands in the body which are integrated with these dynamics. Look at a chart of the endocannabinoid system. The receptors are everywhere, and in having STUPIDLY believed in the innocuous nature of weed for so long, I have learned the hard way how painful and uncomfortable withdrawal can be. From muscle pain, to headaches, to nausea, to intense gastrointestinal discomfort – spasms, gas etc – all these systems are the logical result of having discontinued my use, and the subsequent wear/tear my body is now going through to epigenetically restructure my cell dynamics. Since the cellular system is fundamentally based in memory, my body ‘knows’ how to restructure itself back to the species-norm, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seriously damaged/stressed my system in the process. The entropy – i.e. wasted energy – of what I’m going through is severe enough to reassess everything I once thought about weed.

    For others: Do not let this extremely dumb user mislead you. Dissociation/Idealization are also homeostasis processes related to ‘affect regulation’. That is, your forebrain has certain narratives about its addictions to things which it very much wants to keep believing i.e. to keep its values/ideals real to them, they have to persuade themselves – AND OTHERS – that its fantasies are truth.

    Like other poorly educated people, they cherry-pick studies that fit their feeling needs and call it a day. They cannot think theoretically about why weed is harmful. Chronic long-term usage PERIOD is harmful, if not to ones physical experience of embodiment (i.e. like with nausea or other endocrine effects), it will sap your ambition and make you nice and docile to take in the propaganda of the ruling class – this being a goal of that class with weed addiction. Since addiction to any psychoactive substance is fundamentally a bodily (look at the dissociation; since when are psychological processes not biological? Clearly people confuse cliché/convention with reality; all addictions are physical; they just differ in their intensity. No one is arguing that weed addiction/withdrawal is the same as opiates) process, immoral elites are always eager to make a profit off other peoples’ suffering. This is the history of ALL drugs – opiates in the 1800’s (until today), alcohol, cigarettes, and now its weeds turn. Just as people were naïve about the harmful effects of opium/heroin, and then alcohol addiction, and then cigarettes, up to 3 million long term users are discovering cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome,, and frankly, logic dictates that it shouldn’t be surprising. Perhaps its a godsend: the stripping away of all life ambition is already a big problem – and the reliance on a drug to feel good (when the drug is creating the very effect of making you feel like you need it to feel good) is bound to have massive social consequences down the road.

  • MoFoh

    Fuck this time to roll another one🤷🏽‍♂️🚀

  • Yourmother

    You havent smoked enough to comment on this thread.

  • TheWeakShouldFearTheStrong

    I dealt w/ some withdrawals recently. They were mild, but definitely noticeable. I’d been consuming edibles on a regular basis since January. The withdrawals felt a bit like my caffeine withdrawals (I used to go hard w/ the caffeine) in terms of stomach pain, light nausea, lack of motivation and feeling plain miserable. Right now, I’m taking a break from the edibles.

  • Jade Theriault

    This is nonsense, the last time i quit it was FAR from mild, and WAAAY harder than when i quit tobacco.

  • Mac

    I have over 45 years experience with cannabis and I respect it and myself. Periodlically, I reduce my use and if I quit cold turkey, I get all the symptoms of withdrawl. The only thing that works for me and many others is reduction by 25% each week. I am currently in withdrawl using edibles.
    Every week I reduce my use by 25% and I have virtually no symptoms of withdrawl. Today, I am at 3/4 teaspoon dose which is about 32mg of THC. Three weeks ago I was using 130 mg a day. In two more weeks, my dose will be small enough to stop completely with no signs of physiological symtptoms. No sweating. No restlessness and underway to restoring my CB1 receptors (two weeks) and when I start using again, it won’t be like the first time, but I won’t have the tolerance build up allowing me to enjoy it more and using less to get there. That really is the beauty of using cannabis. If you use it too much, your receptor sites decline or the opposite for caffiene whose receptors increase making you drink more to get the same buzz. Cannabis is opposite. You do too much, the receptor hides which in turn makes you use more. You use more, but you don’t get the buzz you did when you first started getting wrecked. You can only get back to that by reduction. Even if you use the strongest cannabis on the planet, eventually you hit the tolerance point and reset. It’s a catch-22 proposal. If you are using cannabis responsibly this method I have explained will work. If you are the type of person with mental disorders that are destructive to your being or have no will to respect yourself, your in for a tough ride and shouldn’t be doing drugs until you got your psychology in order. Acting responsibly to yourself using cannabis has gotten us where we are today in legalization. Respect yourself and cannabis. You can enjoy it for the rest of your life.

  • Caleb Smith

    Sativa takes a lot longer to grow and doesnt produce as much product per harvest. So theres alot of indica out there. Not my thing. Also, prolonged use of sativa dominant only weed has shown to increase metabolism and even curb appetite.

  • David

    Cbd oil helped me quit using weed It significantly reduced my withdrawal symptoms and my urge to use. This case study illustrates the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil to decrease the addictive use of marijuana https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4718203/ I hope this helps.

  • Andrew Jackson

    How to sensibly buy LEGAL CBD oil? Because I got a letter saying customs have confiscated my package two times already and I’m pissed.

  • Bobby Jones

    Shade What did you do to help withdrawal. First 3 or 4 days I was ok. Bur now it’s getring rough. Smoked for 35 years. Smoke good bud not bullshit weed. Need to stop for adsap classes to get driver license back. Yardboss45@gmail.com