How to Detox from Marijuana
It is possible for people who use marijuana frequently to become addicted to the drug and dependent on its effects. According to the National Library of Medicine, “It is more likely to happen if they use marijuana every day, or started using it when they were teenagers.” Even so, if you think you may be likely to go through marijuana withdrawal when you decide to quit using the drug, it is important to take the steps necessary when detoxing from marijuana for it to be as effective and safe as possible.
Step One: Learn the Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal
You will experience some withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to go through marijuana detox. For the most part, they are not dangerous or life-threatening, but some individuals can experience issues, especially if they do not know what the syndrome itself entails. Therefore, learning the symptoms you will be likely to encounter beforehand will make your experience safer and much less difficult.
As stated in a study from Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, “Most symptoms begin within 24 to 48 hours of abstinence, peak within 4 to 6 days, and last from 1 to 3 weeks, although significant individual differences occur in withdrawal expression.” The common marijuana withdrawal symptoms include:
- Strange dreams
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Shaking and tremors
- Depressive symptoms
As stated, most of these symptoms are not dangerous, but some can be if they are not kept in check. For these reasons, it is important to know what you should be cautious of when going through marijuana detox.
Step Two: Consult a Doctor
Many individuals choose not to consult a physician during marijuana withdrawal, but it can be much safer and healthier to do so. A doctor could give you advice on where to go for help or even prescribe certain medications when necessary to help curb withdrawal symptoms.
As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are no official medications indicated for the treatment of marijuana addiction, but “because sleep problems feature prominently in marijuana withdrawal, some studies are examining the effectiveness of medications that aid sleep.” It is always safer to go through a procedure like detox with a doctor’s advice, and if your symptoms become extremely intense, you may want to consider searching for a detox center in your area where you can be cared for by medical professionals who are trained in helping patients work through detox.
Step Three: Reduce Your Stresses
One of the most difficult parts of marijuana detox is feeling anxious or stressed due to the body missing the calming effects of the drug. This can be eased by reducing the stresses in your life; you should consider taking some time off of work or school or limiting the projects you take on for a while in order to put your health first and focus on your detox. The more stresses you add to your life, the more intense your withdrawal symptoms will feel and the more you will want to return to using marijuana.
Step Four: Ask Your Friends and Family for Help
Having a support system will make it much easier to detox from marijuana. People who have their loved ones on their side helping to remind them of why they quit the drug in the first place often fare much better during detox and are less likely to relapse. If you live alone, you may want to ask someone you trust to stay with you, especially during the first few weeks of your detox. This is much safer than being alone.
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Step Five: Take Over-the-Counter Medication and Supplements for Your Symptoms
A number of over-the-counter medications and/or supplements can be used to reduce the symptoms you’re experiencing. For example, NSAIDS, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, can help reduce the pain of your headaches and make it easier to focus and sleep. You may also be able to find supplements that can help you sleep. However, make sure to consult a doctor first before taking any of these because certain medications and even supplements may be dangerous to use together.
Step Six: Recognize the Dangers of Marijuana Withdrawal
In most cases, marijuana withdrawal is not dangerous, but it can cause issues for a person that may become harmful. Depressive symptoms are common among those going through marijuana detox, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, “mood disorders like depression” were more common in teens who experienced withdrawal symptoms from marijuana than teens who did not.
The depressive symptoms can be mild, but if a person has been abusing marijuana for a long time and suddenly quits, it is more likely that they will have severe depressive symptoms. Some individuals even experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm. You must be able to recognize the harmful symptoms caused by marijuana withdrawal if they begin to occur, and it is also very important to make sure that a friend or family member you trust is with you during your withdrawal who also has this knowledge.
Weight loss, depressive symptoms, and insomnia can all become more problematic if the individual going through detox does not receive help from a doctor and/or loved one. Therefore, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms that let you know you might be in trouble before something worse occurs.
Step Seven: Seek Counseling
Whether you decide to speak to a therapist in individualized drug counseling or attend Marijuana Anonymous or another type of mutual-help group, it is important to seek out some sort of counseling. Through this type of treatment, it will become easier for you to recover from marijuana withdrawal and addiction, fight cravings, avoid triggers, and become stronger every day. As stated by the NIDA, behavioral treatments have shown promise in helping marijuana-dependent individuals stop abusing the drug and work toward sobriety.
Do You Need Help Detoxing from Marijuana?
If you are ready to detox from marijuana or need help finding out the best way to do so, call 800-483-2193(Who Answers?). We can help you find a marijuana detox center in your area or give you advice on how to detox safely from the drug.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2018). Marijuana.
- Addiction Science & Clinical Practice. (2007). Marijuana Dependence and Its Treatment.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Available Treatments for Marijuana Use Disorders.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015). Marijuana Withdrawal Is Real.
- Marijuana Anonymous. (n.d.). How It Works.