What is Marijuana Withdrawal

How to Reduce Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms With CBD

March 23, 2023 8:00 pm

How to Reduce Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms With CBD

CBD does help relieve specific symptoms caused by marijuana withdrawal such as anxiety and insomnia. A few research studies have found that it helps people feel calm and experience an improved quality of sleep. According to Forbes Health, CBD cigarettes  has also shown a promising impact in reducing cravings for marijuana which prevents occasions of relapse.

Marijuana withdrawal is not as severe nor as fatal as withdrawal from other substances such as opioids and benzodiazepines. However, undermining its psychoactive potential can lead to serious health risks such as developing a cannabis withdrawal syndrome (CWS) according to the medical journals of Prof. Dr. Udo Bonnet of the National Library of Medicine.

Cannabis use disorder is a condition where a person finds their drug use unstoppable even though it is already taking over their life. This is the typical outcome for people who regularly use the drug over a period of time. This can manifest through intense cravings or experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon attempts of reducing drug intake.

Eventually, these signs will only make it hard for anyone to cut off their substance use and get out from the loop of addiction since they strongly indicate that the brain is already entirely incapable of working normally unless it is fueled by the drug.

Withdrawal symptoms are basically a negative reaction of the brain from the major chemical changes that come with quitting its use. It struggles in functioning properly again after being highly dependent on the potency of the substance.

What are the symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal?

The symptoms of marijuana withdrawal affect both the physical and psychological aspects of an individual, and the level of its severity may range from mild to serious depending on many factors according to Jason P. Connor of Wiley Online Library.

While it is true that some people do not experience any withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug, those who use it on a regular basis cannot expect themselves to experience the same thing.

Typically, the longer a person has been taking the substance, the longer the withdrawal is most likely to last. And when the body has been used to high doses, it may be incredibly difficult for it to cope with its absence in its system.

The following are the common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal which can be particularly experienced by those who excessively used the drug:


Nausea is just one of the gastrointestinal problems that anyone can experience as a withdrawal symptom. Some may even experience vomiting, stomach cramps, and loss of appetite on top of feeling nauseous.

It has been known that women are more prone to suffer from nausea than men, and that compared to tremors and chills, nausea is a less common symptom. However, those who have been heavily intoxicated by smoking the substance or taking it intravenously are more likely to suffer this condition.


Headaches are one of the symptoms which occur at the beginning of the withdrawal. It can be accompanied by fatigue, body pain, and even episodes of tremors and chills. It has been noted that suffering from headaches can be so intense that it can lead to migraines.

Migraines are triggered by the reduced amount of kynurenic acid (KYNA) in the body. KYNA’s role is to regulate the pain from migraines. Its reduction is influenced by high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from marijuana. THC typically destroys the natural cannabinoids which sustain the normal levels of KYNA.


Psychosis is one of the most serious withdrawal symptoms from marijuana. This includes episodes of hallucinations or a distorted perception of reality, as well as delusion. It may lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, and self-harm or violence to others.

Experts suggest seeking immediate medical help when signs of psychosis begin to manifest. The early signs to watch out for include difficulty focusing and thinking, enduring stress, and practicing self care. One of the primary triggers of psychosis is the sudden changes in the brain such as that when withdrawal happens.


Although it is a normal reaction during withdrawal, it may be a sign of an underlying mental health problem once it persists for more than a week. When this happens, it is highly recommended to consult medical help.

Feeling irritable means being easily annoyed by certain things. Stress can particularly add up to this condition. The trouble about irritability is its nature which can turn into a serious case of temper and aggression in the long run.


Constipation can cause a huge discomfort when withdrawal happens, and this is really a common reality with most withdrawals. Having trouble with fetal excretion can be an outcome of being deprived of specific nutrients that the body needs due to the intoxication of the drug.

Typically, drug dependence affects certain functions in the body including bowel movement. While some people suffer from constipation, others may also experience diarrhea. Individuals with constipation may find relief by taking laxatives or switching to a healthy diet specifically with an increase in fiber intake.

What is the timeline of Marijuana Withdrawal?

The following shows the timeline for marijuana withdrawal. Research about marijuana withdrawal remains limited. However, a few studies have given this perspective as a general guide to know what to expect during withdrawal.

Week 1

Within a week from the last dose, withdrawal symptoms are expected to mildly kick in. Some people begin to experience physical discomfort 2 to 3 days after they quit using the drug. There are also heavy users who express that certain symptoms occur in a few hours specifically when the substance wears off.

The initial symptoms are comparable to having a terrible flu. Headaches and muscle pain accompanied by fever, chills, and tremors are the usual reports. Fatigue is common especially because withdrawal may cause insomnia as well as loss of appetite. Irritability and anxiety can also strongly manifest during this time frame.

Week 2

On the 10th day from the last dose, the symptoms are expected to peak. This means that the intensity of the discomfort increases gradually by this time.As the days progress, the physical symptoms may begin to subside, although the psychological ones may continue to persist for a few more weeks.

This week is a critical period during withdrawal since the temptation to return to substance use could be very strong. With a single dose of the drug, the symptoms can be relieved. However, withdrawal resets may cause serious consequences in the long run.

Week 3

Withdrawal symptoms are normally expected to last for at least three weeks. Although by this time, the physical symptoms are more manageable or even less likely, the psychological ones may continue to persist . Cases are always different from person to person.

Mild episodes of mood swing and depression can still be expected even for months. The tendencies for a person to be mostly caught into accidents, poor judgment, demotivation, and distress can still occur. This is the reason why the aid of a professional help is crucial during withdrawal.

How to speed up Marijuana Withdrawal?

Speeding up the process of marijuana withdrawal is out of anyone’s control. The depth of the strain that the substance has caused the body cannot be clinically diagnosed in one glance. Proper medical interventions must be applied to effectively get through this phase of substance use. More than the speed, it is the safety of the withdrawal that should be given a priority.

By seeking medical advice, relapse can be prevented and progress becomes more imminent. Tapering off doses is even the most recommended option to take when a person is determined to quit marijuana. By doing this, withdrawal symptoms are prevented to surge and the body is given enough time to cope with the chemical changes brought by the absence of the drug.

What are the treatments for Marijuana Withdrawal?

Treatment for marijuana withdrawal can be classified into two phases. First is detox and second is therapy (individual or group therapies). It is important to note that medical supervision is vital during treatment. It ensures safety and effectiveness of care.

Detox is the phase of getting rid of the substance in the body. Quitting cold turkey is highly discouraged during detox. Tapering off doses is a more effective option.

There are no FDA-approved drugs intended for marijuana withdrawal yet. However, some medications can be prescribed to relieve specific symptoms such as over-the-counter drugs for headache and nausea, and sleep aids for insomnia.

Therapies can progress as soon as the body becomes stable from detox. Individual therapies help patients identify their triggers for substance abuse and build skills to cope with these triggers.

There are also support groups which consist of people who have gone through cannabis use disorder and recovered. They offer support to individuals who have just completed their detox care and extend guidance to help them achieve sustained recovery.

How long does it take for cannabinoid receptors to return to normal?

According to Medical News Today, this can take at least four weeks. However, this duration varies from person to person.

Increased levels of THC in the brain causes an imbalance in the brain chemistry. The role of the receptors (CB1) is to down regulate themselves to make way for the THC and sustain the balance. This results in inducing euphoria that marijuana users enjoy.

For individuals who use the drug occasionally, CB1 receptors will return to normal level as soon as THC wears off in the body. It is for this reason that some athletes skip their dose of marijuana for a few days before their scheduled game to play.

With excessive use of marijuana, THC levels become constantly present in the brain. This results in a sustained down regulation of CB1 receptors which can impair cognitive and psychomotor function. After two days of marijuana abstinence, CB1 receptors will slowly upregulate until it returns to normal.