THC Withdrawal, Coping With Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms

THC withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the user’s metabolism, the length of time they’ve been using THC and their overall health. Withdrawal symptoms are at their worst in the first week after quitting and gradually lessen afterward.


THC Withdrawal

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, more commonly known as marijuana. Tolerance and dependence on cannabis can develop over time, and discontinuing use can cause withdrawal symptoms in some people. To kick your cannabis habit and start living a healthier life, you’ll need to learn how to handle THC withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms of THC withdrawal, as well as ways to avoid them and the treatments that can alleviate them, are discussed in detail in this article.

THC Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone using cannabis regularly decides to stop or cut back, they may have THC withdrawal symptoms. Cannabis is often considered less physically addicting than opioids or alcohol, but some people who use it may experience withdrawal symptoms. The strength and length of these symptoms can be different for each person.

  • Irritability: It’s common to feel irritable and restless when coming off THC. Users may be more sensitive to stressors and have trouble maintaining their emotions.
  • Anxiety: When you stop using cannabis, your anxiety levels may increase, making you feel nervous or uneasy.
  • Insomnia: Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is another sign of THC withdrawal that can make it hard for people to get enough rest.
  • Changes in Appetite: Cannabis makes people hungrier, but quitting can have the opposite effect, making people less hungry or sick.
  • Mood Swings: Withdrawing from THC can cause mood swings, including when a person feels sad or down.

How Long Do THC Withdrawals Last

Depending on factors like the user’s metabolism, how long they’ve been using THC, and their general health, THC withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The worst withdrawal symptoms occur during the first week after quitting, and things improve steadily.

THC Withdrawal Timeline


Time After Last Use
THC Withdrawal Symptoms
24-72 hoursIrritability, anxiety,
2-6 daysInsomnia, appetite changes,
1-2 weeksMood swings, cravings,
2-4 weeksImproved symptoms,
This table provides a high-level overview of the THC withdrawal process. Individuals may experience irritability and anxiety within 24-72 hours of their last use. Insomnia and appetite changes can occur within 2-6 days, followed by mood swings and cravings for 1-2 weeks. Symptoms usually improve in 2-4 weeks, but this varies from person to person.

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.

Short-Term Effects

  • Euphoria and relaxation.
  • Altered perception of time and space.
  • Increased appetite (“munchies”).
  • Impaired memory and coordination.

Long-Term Effects

  • 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.

Legality

  • THC is illegal in many countries, while some permit medical or recreational use.

Medical Use

  • THC-based medications treat nausea, pain, and muscle spasms in some medical conditions.

Precautions

  • 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

Approximately 9–25% of chronic THC users experience withdrawal symptoms within 72 hours after stopping use. These symptoms can last for up to two weeks. Irritability, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, and loss of appetite are typical manifestations. The severity varies from person to person, and withdrawal symptoms may make it harder to maintain abstinence. It is crucial to seek professional support and counseling to manage withdrawal symptoms and increase the likelihood of a successful quit.


9% to 25%

About 9–25% of people who use THC regularly have withdrawal symptoms when they stop.

Source: CDC

55 Million

The number of American adults who currently use marijuana.

Source: NIDA

24%

The percentage of 12th-graders who have used marijuana in the past year.

Source: NIDA


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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?

The physical dependence on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in cannabis, is the primary cause of THC withdrawal. Adaptations in neurotransmitter levels and receptor sensitivity can occur in chronic cannabis users due to repeated exposure to THC. Withdrawal symptoms occur when cannabis use is suddenly stopped or drastically reduced because the brain needs time to readjust to functioning without the constant influence of THC.

Mood, hunger, sleep, and the experience of pain are just some of the many bodily functions the brain’s endocannabinoid system regulates. THC messes with the endocannabinoid system by interacting with the receptors there. Long-term cannabis use has been linked to receptor downregulation, which reduces the brain’s sensitivity to its endogenous cannabinoids.

Some people experience withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop using cannabis because it can take time for the brain’s endocannabinoid system to readjust. The frequency and duration of cannabis use, individual tolerance levels, and general health can all affect the severity and duration of these symptoms.

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THC Withdrawal Treatment

We Level Up recognize that each person’s experience with THC withdrawal is unique so we customize our care to meet each patient’s requirements. To help you conquer THC withdrawal, we employ a multifaceted strategy that includes evidence-based therapies, compassionate support, and cutting-edge methods.

  • 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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Weed Withdrawal & Detox

For people who have become dependent on marijuana, going through withdrawal can be a trying and unpleasant experience. The good news is that there are ways to reduce the severity of withdrawal and plenty of resources to get you through it.

Seeking medical or addiction professional assistance is one method for dealing with cannabis withdrawal. They can help you gradually reduce your marijuana use and provide medication to ease the discomfort of withdrawal.

In addition to medical care, weed withdrawal supplements may help reduce the severity of withdrawal. Supplements like melatonin, valerian root, and magnesium can alleviate withdrawal-related sleeplessness, anxiety, and muscle tension.

  1. 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 carries the risk of 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 clearly 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.

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Sources
  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Marijuana: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/marijuana
  2. 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
  3. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Drugs of Abuse Resource Guide: https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2022-12/2022_DOA_eBook_File_Final.pdf
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Marijuana and Public Health: https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/index.htm
  5. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) – Marijuana Overview: https://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/marijuana-overview.aspx
  6. National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) – State Laws: https://norml.org/states