Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has its psychoactive effects primarily from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Some people develop tolerance and dependence on cannabis and experience withdrawal when they try to cut back or stop using the drug. Managing THC withdrawal symptoms is integral to breaking your cannabis addiction and starting a healthier lifestyle. This article discusses the withdrawal symptoms of THC, as well as ways to prevent them and treatments that can alleviate them.
THC Withdrawal Timeline
Time After Last Use
|THC Withdrawal Symptoms|
|24-72 hours||Irritability, anxiety,|
|2-6 days||Insomnia, appetite changes,|
|1-2 weeks||Mood swings, cravings,|
|2-4 weeks||Improved symptoms,|
THC Withdrawal Symptoms
People who decrease or quit using cannabis after regular use may experience withdrawal symptoms due to THC. While cannabis is less likely to cause physical dependence than alcohol or opioids, heavy users may still experience withdrawal symptoms.
- A common side effect of THC withdrawal is irritability, as users become more sensitive to stress and have difficulty keeping their emotions in check.
- Anxiety: Some people feel more anxious after cutting back on cannabis use.
- Insomnia: Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is a common symptom of THC withdrawal, making it difficult for people to get the rest they need.
- Appetite Suppression or Loss While cannabis typically increases hunger, cutting back or quitting can have the opposite effect.
- Mood Swings Mood swings are a common side effect of THC withdrawal and can lead to periods of melancholy or depression.
How Long Do THC Withdrawals Last
The duration of THC withdrawal symptoms can vary based on the user’s metabolism, length of THC usage, and overall health. These symptoms can persist from a few days to a few weeks. The most severe symptoms tend to appear in the first week after quitting, but they gradually subside with time.
THC Withdrawal Facts
What is THC?
- THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis, producing the “high” effect.
- It interacts with the brain’s endocannabinoid system, affecting mood, memory, and perception.
Forms of THC
- Found in various cannabis products, including marijuana and hashish.
- Often consumed through smoking, vaping, edibles, oils, and tinctures.
- Euphoria and relaxation.
- Altered perception of time and space.
- Increased appetite (“munchies”).
- Impaired memory and coordination.
- Impaired cognitive function.
- Respiratory issues (from smoking).
- Potential for addiction and dependence.
- Negative impact on mental health for some individuals.
THC Withdrawal Symptoms
- Irritability and mood swings.
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances.
- Decreased appetite.
- Anxiety and restlessness.
- Headaches and nausea.
- THC is illegal in many countries, while some permit medical or recreational use.
- THC-based medications treat nausea, pain, and muscle spasms in some medical conditions.
- Avoid THC use during pregnancy, as it may harm fetal development.
- Impairment of motor skills and cognition can pose risks, especially while driving.
Addiction and Dependence
- Some users may develop a psychological dependence on THC.
- Regular and heavy use may lead to withdrawal symptoms upon cessation.
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THC Withdrawal Statistics
Withdrawal symptoms can affect 9-25% of people who use THC regularly, typically within 72 hours of quitting. These symptoms can last up to two weeks and may include irritability, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, and loss of appetite. The severity of symptoms varies among individuals, which may make it challenging to remain abstinent. Seeking professional help and counseling is essential to manage withdrawal symptoms and increase the chances of successfully quitting.
9% to 25%
About 9–25% of people who use THC regularly have withdrawal symptoms when they stop.
The number of American adults who currently use marijuana.
The percentage of 12th-graders who have used marijuana in the past year.
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How to Relieve THC Withdrawal
It can be hard to get rid of THC withdrawal symptoms, but there are a few things that can help:
- Gradual tapering: Cutting off THC slowly can make withdrawal symptoms less severe.
- Hydration: Keeping yourself hydrated can help with withdrawal headaches and dry mouth.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity can improve your mood and make you feel less anxious when you withdraw.
- Healthy diet: Eating healthy meals can help with your overall health and help you deal with changes in your appetite.
- Support system: If you have emotional trouble, ask for help from friends, family, or support groups.
- Mindfulness techniques: Meditation and deep breathing can help you relax and feel less stressed.
- Distraction: Do hobbies or other things to take your mind off the withdrawal symptoms.
- Professional help: You might want to try counseling or therapy to figure out what’s happening and learn how to deal with it.
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What Causes THC Withdrawal?
When people use cannabis regularly, their bodies can become dependent on the psychoactive compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This can lead to changes in their brain functions, including alterations in neurotransmitter levels and receptor sensitivity. If someone suddenly stops using cannabis or significantly reduces their intake, their brain may need time to adjust to functioning without THC. This can result in symptoms of withdrawal.
The brain’s endocannabinoid system regulates various bodily functions such as mood, hunger, sleep, and pain. THC affects this system by interacting with the receptors, which can reduce sensitivity to the brain’s natural cannabinoids. Studies have linked long-term cannabis use to receptor downregulation.
Some individuals can encounter withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly cease using cannabis. This is due to the brain’s endocannabinoid system needing time to readjust. Various factors, such as the frequency and duration of cannabis use, individual tolerance levels, and overall health, can influence the severity and duration of these symptoms.
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We Level Up CA THC Withdrawal Treatment
Level Up recognizes that THC withdrawal is a distinct experience for everyone, and we customize our care to meet each patient’s specific requirements. Our all-encompassing strategy for conquering THC withdrawal includes evidence-based therapies, empathetic support, and cutting-edge techniques.
- Personalized Counseling: Our experienced counselors and therapists work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan. One-on-one counseling allows us to get to the bottom of what’s driving your cannabis use and give you tools to deal with the discomfort of withdrawal.
- Holistic Therapies: We believe in a holistic approach to healing. Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness-based stress reduction are among the therapeutic approaches we offer to enhance mental health and alleviate anxiety during detox.
- Group Support: Group therapy sessions offer a safe space to share experiences, gain insights, and build a support network. It can be very reassuring to make contact with people who can relate to your situation.
- Medication Management: Sometimes, medication may be prescribed to alleviate specific withdrawal symptoms or co-occurring conditions. Our doctors will keep tabs on how you’re doing and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment.
- Aftercare Support: We understand that recovery doesn’t end with withdrawal. Our aftercare services will help you maintain your sobriety and move forward with your life after THC.
Pick We Level Up and take charge of your future health and happiness. Help us get you through THC withdrawal so you can start living a sober, fulfilling life.
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Popular THC Withdrawal FAQs
Does THC help with alcohol withdrawal?
Some people find relief from alcohol withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and nausea when they use THC. However, it also risks adverse outcomes such as elevated heart rate, diminished mental performance, and worsening withdrawal symptoms in some users. THC use during alcohol withdrawal has been linked to an increased risk of developing cannabis use disorder or dependence.
Can THC withdrawal cause diarrhea?
Yes, THC withdrawal can cause diarrhea in some individuals. When someone has been regularly using THC or cannabis products and suddenly stops or reduces their consumption, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, varying from person to person. Diarrhea is one of the potential symptoms that some individuals may experience during THC withdrawal.
Does THC help with opioid withdrawal?
The psychoactive component of cannabis, THC, has shown promise in treating various medical conditions. More extensive studies are required to understand THC’s effectiveness in this context, but remember that the research on this topic is still in its early stages.
Some research suggests that THC-containing medical cannabis could be used in conjunction with standard treatment for opioid withdrawal. THC’s potential to ease withdrawal symptoms by decreasing anxiety, lifting mood, and numbing pain is promising.
This potential use of THC must be approached with extreme caution and under medical supervision. Using cannabis for opioid withdrawal should be carefully considered, and any potential risks and side effects should be discussed with a healthcare professional. Opioid withdrawal is a complex condition, and it is essential to consider the full range of treatments and medications available.
How to Sober up Fast from THC Informative Video
In this helpful video, we provide practical tips on how to sober up quickly after consuming THC. Discover practical strategies to reduce the psychoactive effects of cannabis, including hydration, fresh air, and light physical activity. Learn about potential remedies to alleviate discomfort and regain clarity, allowing you to navigate daily activities more comfortably. Everyone’s response to THC varies, so these tips can serve as general guidelines to promote a more comfortable experience.
Search We Level CA Drug & Alcohol Rehab / Detox & Mental Health. THC Withdrawal, Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment Topics & Resources
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Marijuana: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/marijuana
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Drug Testing: https://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/legal/federal-laws/drug-testing
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/812440-drugsandhumanperformancefactshheet.pdf
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Drugs of Abuse: https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Drugs_of_Abuse_2020_Web.pdf
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Marijuana and Public Health: https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/index.htm
- National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) – Marijuana Overview: https://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/marijuana-overview.aspx
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Compounds: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-compounds
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) – Alcohol and Marijuana: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-and-marijuana
- National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) – State Laws: https://norml.org/states
- Department of Justice (DOJ) – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Drugs of Abuse Resource Guide: https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2021-06/Drugs_of_Abuse_Resource_Guide_2020%20%281%29.pdf