- Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline
- When Do Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms begin?
- Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline
- How Long Does Marijuana Withdrawal Last?
- Factors Affecting the Length of Marijuana Withdrawal
- Coping with cannabis withdrawal symptoms — With You
- Signs of cannabis withdrawal
- How to handle cannabis withdrawal symptoms
- Sleep problems
- Strange dreams
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Irritability and anger
- Sweats and chills
- Changes in your appetite
- Need help now?
- Common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal and how to get help
- Marijuana withdrawal symptoms
- Marijuana withdrawal timeline
- How to seek help for marijuana addiction
- Insider's takeaway
- Detoxing from Marijuana: What Is Withdrawal ?
- What Causes Marijuana Withdrawal to Happen?
- Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline and Symptoms
- Is Medical Supervision Necessary During Marijuana Detox?
- What to Expect During Medically Supervised Marijuana Detox
- Can Medication Help with Marijuana Withdrawal?
- What Happens After Marijuana Medical Detox?
Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline
Since marijuana contains many different active ingredients tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoids (CBD), an individual may go through withdrawal once they stop smoking or ingesting marijuana.
One of the first steps in the recovery process is going through detoxification or ridding one’s system of the drug completely.
Before detox, it is ly that individuals will experience some uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
The marijuana withdrawal timeline may be different for everyone, though it will ly be more intense for individuals who ingest or smoke marijuana more frequently at high concentrations or doses.
When Do Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms begin?
When do marijuana withdrawal symptoms typically begin? To answer this question, individuals should be familiar with the half-life of marijuana.
The half-life of a substance is the amount of time it takes for half of the substance to be metabolized by the body and excreted. Marijuana has a long half-life of approximately 67 days.
Because of its long half-life, the drug takes a long time to work its way completely a person’s system. Thus, the severity of withdrawal symptoms can be heavily dependent on the frequency and the dose of marijuana.
Particularly for chronic users, heavy marijuana use withdrawal symptoms may be even more severe and uncomfortable. On this basis, marijuana withdrawal symptoms typically begin about two days after a person stops using marijuana but may continue for longer. Typical marijuana withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Increased irritability
- Aggressive behaviors
- Inability to sit still or relax
- Anxiety or depression
- Insomnia or other sleep problems
- Nightmares or crazy dreams
- Changes in appetite
- Increased sweating
- Body shakes
- Stomach issues (e.g. nausea)
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline
Though the weed withdrawal timeline varies among individuals but there are some common symptoms that loved ones can look for during the withdrawal and detoxification process.
With the legalization of medical and/or recreational marijuana in several states, it is ly that more federally-funded research will be conducted in the future on cannabis dependence, withdrawal and detox.
There have been a few studies to assess the weed withdrawal symptoms timeline in different patient cohorts, albeit a small number of patients in each cohort. In general, the marijuana withdrawal symptoms timeline looks something this:
- Day 1: Marijuana withdrawal day 1 can be a difficult day. In a study conducted in 2017, it was found that some individuals will begin to lose their appetite and may be prone to sweating. Individuals may also feel intense cravings for marijuana.
- Week 1: As marijuana withdrawal the first week continues, the same study found that sleeplessness peaked at day 2 and decreased thereafter, cravings for marijuana peaked at day 3 and began to decrease afterward, restlessness, sweating, headaches, nervousness, anger and irritability all peaked at day 4 and began to decrease thereafter, while appetite loss decreased after day 1. It is also possible that weed withdrawal leads to anxiety in some individuals after a week.
- Week 2-4: Marijuana withdrawal at 2 weeks usually leads to the resolution of at least some uncomfortable symptoms. However, by day 8, some individuals’ depression peaked as well as reports of strange dreams. Another study conducted in 2013 found that sleeping problems, restlessness, nervousness, depression, fatigue, general feelings of malaise and shaking decreased from weeks 2-4.
- More than a month: Most individuals will not experience more than 3-4 weeks maximum of marijuana withdrawal. It should be stated that every individual’s experience is ly unique and while some people’s symptoms resolve completely by a month after marijuana cessation, others may still feel uncomfortable side effects vivid dreams, irritability, stomach issues and even marijuana withdrawal depression.
How Long Does Marijuana Withdrawal Last?
Some individuals or their loved ones may wonder, “how long does marijuana withdrawal last?” The duration of cannabis withdrawal symptoms is highly dependent on the individual.
As a rule of thumb, most people will feel many of their withdrawal symptoms resolve after 1-2 weeks, while others may still feel withdrawal side effects close to a month after stopping marijuana.
It is not possible to predict how long marijuana withdrawal symptoms will last for each person. It is ly that some symptoms sleepless resolve more quickly than depression or anxiety, for example.
Factors Affecting the Length of Marijuana Withdrawal
The marijuana withdrawal timeline is not an exact science, but rather a complex prediction current and somewhat limited marijuana research. Furthermore, there are many different factors beyond the half-life of marijuana that can affect the duration of marijuana withdrawal. The length of marijuana withdrawal may be impacted by various factors including:
- Amount of marijuana used
- Frequency of marijuana use
- Co-occurring mental health conditions anxiety or depression
- Environmental factors
- Polysubstance abuse
Do you or a loved one struggle with marijuana addiction? Contact the Orlando Recovery Center for more information about treatment options for marijuana addiction and any co-occurring mental health conditions. Speak with a representative today about how to get started on your road to recovery.
Bonnet, Udo; Preuss, Ulrich. “The cannabis withdrawal syndrome: current insights.” Substance Abuse Rehabilitation, April 27, 2017. Accessed October 30, 2019.
Hesse, Morton; Thylstrup, Birgitte. “Time-course of the DSM-5 cannabis withdrawal symptoms in poly-substance abusers.” BMC Psychiatry, October 12, 2013. Accessed October 30, 2019.
Sharma, P.; et al. “Chemistry, metabolism, and toxicology of cannabis: clinical implications.” Iran J Psychiatry., 2012. Accessed October 30, 2019.
Medical Disclaimer: Orlando Recovery Center aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.
We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
Coping with cannabis withdrawal symptoms — With You
If you use cannabis (weed) regularly you may get withdrawal symptoms when you cut down or stop.
Withdrawal symptoms are a positive sign that your body is recovering. They usually stop within a few weeks.
Here’s some advice to help you get through them.
Signs of cannabis withdrawal
It’s normal to experience low mood and cravings when you cut down or stop any drug.
If you cut down or stop cannabis, you may also experience:
- sleep problems
- strange dreams
- anxiety and restlessness
- irritability and anger
- sweats and chills
- changes in your appetite
- nicotine withdrawal (if you smoke cannabis with tobacco)
How long do cannabis withdrawal symptoms last?
Cannabis withdrawal symptoms usually peak about four days after you stop or cut down.
They will probably be more intense if:
- you stop completely rather than cutting down
- you smoke cannabis every day or most days
Most symptoms stop by 10 days but some people carry on getting them for up to four weeks.
This is because the active ingredients in cannabis are stored in fat cells in your body. It takes up to four weeks for your fat cells to release them all.
How to handle cannabis withdrawal symptoms
Cannabis withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to deal with but they don’t last forever.
Be kind and patient with yourself as your body recovers.
You can expect a few sleepless nights when you give up cannabis, especially if you use it to help you sleep.
To help you sleep better:
- Get up and go to bed at the same times each day – having a regular sleep routine helps to train your body to fall asleep at the same time each night.
- Have a calming bedtime routine – having the same routine each night tells your body it’s time to sleep. Include calming things a warm bath, reading or watching TV in your routine – whatever helps you feel relaxed and sleepy.
- Avoid going on your phone just before bed – the light from the screen makes it harder for your brain to switch off and go to sleep.
- Get out and about during the day – even a short walk in daylight hours will improve your mood and your sleep, and help with stress and anxiety too.
You'll find 10 tips to beat insomnia on the NHS website.
Some people start having strange or disturbing dreams when they stop using cannabis. These should start to fade after about a week.
Follow the sleep tips above till they pass.
Anxiety and restlessness
It’s quite common to feel anxious when you stop using cannabis. This is more ly if you use cannabis to manage anxiety.
The trick is to find new ways to handle your anxiety.
Writing your worries down can help. So can using simple breathing exercises to calm your breath.
Try our deep breathing tool
Avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks as well.
Without the sedating effects of cannabis, caffeine can make you feel more jittery and anxious than usual.
Visit the MIND website for more tips on managing anxiety.
Irritability and anger
Some people say they feel irritable and angry when they stop using cannabis.
These feelings are normal and they will pass.
Try to cut down stress in your life and build in more things that you find relaxing, such as playing games or listening to music.
Telling a close friend or family member how you are feeling can be a great source of support.
If you don’t want to tell them you're irritable because you’ve stopped using cannabis, you could just say you’re feeling under the weather.
Sweats and chills
You may get flu- symptoms sweats, chills, headaches and muscle pains when you give up cannabis.
If this happens, look after yourself as though you had a cold or flu.
Wrap up and take it easy. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids and take paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease any aches and pains.
Changes in your appetite
Food may taste different when you’re withdrawing from cannabis, and your appetite may change.
If you don’t feel eating, try to eat little and often or have smoothies instead. Getting some exercise and fresh air may help to build your appetite too.
Some people get nausea and stomach pains. These should go away in a week or two.
If you smoke cannabis with tobacco
If you usually smoke cannabis mixed with tobacco, be aware that you’ll also get nicotine withdrawal symptoms if you stop.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are similar to those for cannabis. You may feel irritable, restless and you can’t concentrate on anything.
To avoid withdrawing from nicotine at the same time as cannabis, you can use nicotine replacement treatments patches or gum.
It’s best to avoid things vaping or e-cigarettes. Anything that reminds you of smoking could be a trigger to use cannabis again.
Need help now?
For support with giving up cannabis and coping with withdrawal symptoms chat to us online or get in touch with one of our local services.
Common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal and how to get help
Marijuana has a growing list of medicinal uses and many enjoy occasionally using it for recreational purposes. However, marijuana can be addictive, resulting in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when some stop using the substance.
Withdrawal is more commonly associated with substances opioids, nicotine, and alcohol, but experts say it also occurs with cannabis.
«It's usually seen in people who smoke on a regular basis, every day, and it's becoming more prevalent and more of a problem,» says Joseph DeSanto, MD, an addiction specialist at BioCorRx Recovery Program.
In fact, according to one study, nearly half of all people, about 47%, who regularly used cannabis experienced withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.
Here are common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal, how long symptoms will last, and how to seek help for an addiction to marijuana.
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms
The DSM-5 — the guide that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental health disorders — first recognized cannabis withdrawal as a diagnosis in 2015. According to its criteria, people with cannabis withdrawal experience at least three of the following symptoms within seven days of stopping:
Un withdrawing from benzodiazepines or alcohol, marijuana withdrawal isn't life-threatening — but it can be an uncomfortable, anxiety-provoking experience.
The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies: «Most people can get through mild withdrawal periods without much effect on their daily life,» DeSanto says. «But sometimes they get so control that you need to see a doctor.»
For example, some may experience mild anxiety while others may feel they cannot socialize at all without the drug.
Marijuana withdrawal timeline
Un nicotine withdrawal which is well researched, the high variability of marijuana strains, doses, and preparations makes it hard to predict how the withdrawal will play out in individual users, DeSanto says. Plus, research is limited.
While symptoms and exact timing can vary, here's a timeline of what you can expect:
«In most of my patients, typically within a week, most withdrawal physical symptoms are gone,» DeSanto says
However, even after physical withdrawal symptoms anxiety and insomnia have faded, regular users can experience psychological dependence lasting for weeks or months. These users might feel they need marijuana for social interactions, to unwind after work, or just to get through the day.
This is more ly to be true for those who use marijuana as a crutch for other problems depression or social anxiety, says Amol Soin, MD, the medical director of the Ohio Pain Clinic and member of the Ohio Medical Marijuana board.
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid caffeine which can exacerbate anxiety or tremors
- Keep a journal to track progress
How to seek help for marijuana addiction
Related Yes, marijuana can be addictive — how to recognize the signs of cannabis use disorder
If you experience severe withdrawal symptoms or are unable to stop using on your own, you should seek professional help.
DeSanto recommends seeing your doctor or an addiction specialist if you:
- Have no appetite and are unable to eat
- Are vomiting and unable to keep fluids down
- Are unable to sleep for more than one or two nights
- Feel severe depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts
- Have failed to quit numerous times
Treatment options include in-patient addiction centers and outpatient therapy. You can also join 12-step groups Marijuana Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Most people who enroll in marijuana addiction programs have been smoking daily for 10 years and have tried to quit more than six times.
Important: If you think you or a loved one is dealing with cannabis use disorder, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)'s free, confidential 24/7 treatment referral and information hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Soin and DeSanto stress marijuana withdrawal symptoms are often connected to other underlying issues, untreated anxiety and depression. Both doctors say you could benefit from seeking psychotherapy if you've been using cannabis to cope with a mental health issue and haven't yet engaged in treatment.
Withdrawing from marijuana can be uncomfortable, but you'll feel less intimidated if you know what to expect. Common signs of marijuana withdrawal include decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, and anxiety. If you have concerns about your cannabis use and how to stop it, reach out to a doctor or addiction specialist.
Detoxing from Marijuana: What Is Withdrawal ?
Marijuana is the street name for the cannabis plant. It’s the number one drug used by Americans; an estimated 4.4 million people suffer from a marijuana use disorder. Many states in the U.S.
are legalizing recreational and/or medical cannabis use.
But just because it may be legal in your state doesn’t necessarily make it safe, and it definitely doesn’t change the fact that using marijuana affects your brain chemistry.
There is a lot we still don’t know about this drug, but we do know that marijuana is addictive. If you’re attempting to stop using it, you’re ly to experience cannabis withdrawal syndrome.
What Causes Marijuana Withdrawal to Happen?
Marijuana contains cannabinoids, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive component of the drug. When you consume marijuana, THC activates receptors in your brain and body. It is THC that’s responsible for making you feel “high.”
When using marijuana, you’re ingesting a surge of the plant’s cannabinoids, but your body also creates its own cannabinoids. Over time, marijuana use can cause your body to decrease its own natural production of cannabinoids. This is because your brain and body have built-in mechanisms to ensure that you keep the number of cannabinoids at your natural level.
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms happen as a result of this decrease in your body’s natural cannabinoid level. This imbalance without a substance is referred to as being “physically dependent.”
Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline and Symptoms
Stopping the use of marijuana can lead to signs and symptoms of withdrawal. The marijuana withdrawal timeline can start in as little as a few hours after taking the drug. For many, the peak of marijuana withdrawal symptoms may not occur until around the seven-day mark. Withdrawal symptoms can last up to two weeks.
The most typical marijuana withdrawal symptoms include:
- Irritability, anger, or aggression
- Reduced appetite or weight loss
- Depressed mood
- Stomach pain
- Shakiness or tremors
These are some of the most common symptoms that individuals physically dependent on cannabis experience. Other symptoms are also reported. Less common signs and symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include, but are not limited, to:
- Trouble concentrating
- Racing heart
- Runny nose
Is Medical Supervision Necessary During Marijuana Detox?
No. You’re unly to die while detoxing from marijuana, but the process can be uncomfortable and distressing. It can be made much more comfortable under the supervision and treatment of medical professionals.
Since the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are uncomfortable, some people begin using the drug again to relieve their discomfort. Using a substance to ease withdrawal symptoms can become a vicious cycle.
For some people, it can prevent them from successfully stopping their marijuana use on their own.
When you have the support of experienced professionals in medical detox, you know you’re not alone, and you have the help and encouragement of others to keep you on your path.
Some people who are addicted to marijuana sometimes also use tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs. In these complex cases, medically supervised detox may be necessary because withdrawal from certain substances can be dangerous. For example, alcohol withdrawal can lead to death.
The side effects of quitting marijuana can be unpleasant enough without adding in the withdrawal of other substances.
Medically supervised detox is a good option because you’re able to work with healthcare providers, who can use medications to make the detox experience more bearable.
What to Expect During Medically Supervised Marijuana Detox
The first step in taking control of your addiction is getting past the detoxification stage. Cannabis withdrawal syndrome, as we mentioned before, can be unpleasant and a barrier to sobriety.
During medically supervised detox, you’ll be under the supervision and care of medical personnel. The medical team is trained to understand what you’re experiencing and how best to keep you comfortable. The medical staff will keep a close eye on you and your health to ensure you’re not in too much discomfort throughout the marijuana detox process.
In some medically supervised detox settings, at Footprints to Recovery, working on co-occurring disorders is possible. Common co-occurring disorders include depression and anxiety.
Perhaps depression or anxiety is the reason you use marijuana in the first place. If that’s true, addressing depression and/or anxiety is key to overcoming your marijuana addiction.
During detox, you can also participate in one-on-one counseling and group therapy sessions.
Can Medication Help with Marijuana Withdrawal?
Currently, there is no medication-assisted treatment (MAT) that is FDA-approved for cannabis use disorder, but other medications may be useful in decreasing unpleasant marijuana withdrawal effects. These could include medications that help with:
- Muscle aches
When you detox from marijuana under medical supervision, medical professionals will check in on you often to assess whether medications are a good option for you.
What Happens After Marijuana Medical Detox?
After you detox off marijuana and any other drugs on which you’re physically dependent, you should think about entering treatment for your addiction. As you enter normal life again, the temptation to use marijuana will still be there, especially because it’s easy to acquire in many states. Treatment will teach you coping skills to handle your triggers without marijuana.
There are various treatment options available, :
- Partial care programs
- Inpatient programs
- Outpatient programs
Each person’s path is different.
Throughout the detox process, you’ll work with a dedicated group of counselors, medical professionals, and other personnel. This team of people is trained to evaluate your substance use disorder and guide you toward the program that will give you the best chance at remaining free from marijuana and other addictive drugs in your future.
After completing treatment, you may want to consider a sober living house. Sober living houses are supportive, live-in facilities that house people in the early stages of recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. You’ll live with people who understand your daily struggles and are supportive of you staying sober.
You’re not alone, there’s a program available to meet your specific needs. And those suffering from addiction to marijuana have an excellent chance of remaining sober after a structured treatment program. According to research, the relapse rate of cannabis use disorder after successfully completing treatment is only 6.63% over three years.
If you’re ready for a life free from marijuana addiction, contact Footprints to Recovery today to learn about our detox program and our other treatment options.