Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs and Detoxification

Marijuana withdrawal is a necessary part of treatment for many marijuana addicts who want to stop using the drug. Here's what you need to know.

Questions about treatment?
  • Access to licensed treatment centers
  • Information on treatment plans
  • Financial assistance options
We're available 24/7
Call American Addictions centers help information

Marijuana withdrawal is a necessary part of treatment for many marijuana addicts who want to stop using the drug. Marijuana is the most common illegal drug in the U.S., so many people seek treatment for an addiction to it. Because the active component in marijuana, a compound called THC, directly affects the brain’s reward and motivation system, heavy users can become addicted and may find it difficult to quit. Many people who become addicted to marijuana do so after using the drug illegally, although some people who use it for medical purposes may also become addicted.

Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

A common approach to marijuana treatment is to first have the addicted person immediately stop using the drug and undergo detoxification. In detox, the person’s body recovers from the effects of marijuana use and stops being physically addicted to the drug. During the detoxification process, withdrawal symptoms may occur. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms may include sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, and irritability. Muscle pains, headaches and chills are other potential symptoms of marijuana withdrawal. Some people notice weight gain after quitting marijuana. The individual may also experience strong cravings for marijuana during the detoxification process.

All of these symptoms can be uncomfortable, but they are typically not dangerous. Most recovering users who suffer from withdrawal symptoms notice that their symptoms are worst 48 to 72 hours after quitting marijuana and gradually dissipate over the course of a week or two. People who use marijuana regularly are more prone to developing an addiction that will cause withdrawal symptoms. In chronic users, some effects may remain even after withdrawal symptoms have subsided. For some, learning and memory remain impaired for weeks after the last use.

How Long Do Marijuana Withdrawals Last?

Marijuana withdrawals usually last for up to a month. Because the effects of inhalation stay with your lungs and brain for at least 3 weeks, it takes a longer timeline to ensure you’ve eliminated the drug completely from your system.

Treatment Options for Marijuana Withdrawal

The initial period of detoxification from marijuana can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis. One advantage of an inpatient program is that the staff at the clinic or rehab center can monitor the patient and help manage withdrawal symptoms. This can be useful for preventing relapses since many people who are not being monitored during detoxification start using marijuana again to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms.

However, because marijuana withdrawal is not dangerous, an inpatient program is not a necessity. Outpatient programs may be a better option for people who cannot take the time to participate in an inpatient detoxification and rehabilitation program. In an outpatient marijuana treatment program, the recovering addict visits a treatment clinic one or more times a week but does not reside on the premises while in treatment.

Some people choose a combination of the two, opting to undergo marijuana withdrawal treatment in an inpatient clinic and then transferring to an outpatient basis once detoxification is over.

Once marijuana withdrawal treatment is complete, further addiction treatment is recommended in order to keep from relapsing back into marijuana use. Many treatment programs use a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, and therapy sessions that teach the former user how to avoid relapses using specific behavioral techniques. Some clinics use a holistic approach, which may involve using alternative medicine or techniques.

These can include things like music therapy, acupressure, massage, yoga, and art therapy. These may or may not be used in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychological counseling, or group counseling.

Because different programs may be more or less successful with different individuals, many marijuana treatment programs tailor the rehab process specifically to the person.

Does your insurance cover marijuana withdrawal treatment?

We can help – check your coverage instantly or text us your questions to find out more.

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

If you or a loved one is looking for a natural home remedy instead of going to rehab, there aren’t many alternatives that can alleviate the discomfort of getting clean. Marijuana is an addictive substance, and quitting “cold turkey” isn’t something that is done with ease. If you decide to do your own relief, however, be sure to do plenty of research as self-withdrawal is dangerous.

There isn’t any medicine that will counteract the effects of marijuana, so be sure you’ve got plenty of things to help when you’re trying to relieve your body of marijuana. The best solution is to go to a professional to guide you safely through the withdrawal process.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Marijuana?

There are several programs and systems if you or a loved one is looking for options when trying to detox from marijuana. It can take over a month, but if you seek the right kind of help, it can certainly be done successfully. If you or someone you know wants to take control of their life before it spins out of control, please seek help by calling now. It’s never too late to start over.


Marijuana Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Marijuana
  • Generic Name Variations: Weed, Cannabis, Pot
  • Chemical Name: THC
  • Brand Name: N/A
  • Brand Name Variations: N/A
  • Cost/Price: $300/oz
  • Used to Treat Addiction? Detoxification
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Most use it to get high, but it can also be used medically
  • Function or Use at High Dose: High, medical uses
  • Chemical Makeup: THC
  • System: N/A
  • Duration of Action: 15 minutes to 2 hours
Form, Intake and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Plant/Leaf
  • Administration Routes: Inhaled (Smoked)
  • Dosage: N/A
  • Overdose: N/A
  • Alcohol Interaction: It has been said that those who consume alcohol are much more likely to start smoking pot than people who don’t drink alcohol
  • Illicit Drugs: N/A
  • Prescription Medications: N/A
  • Contraindications: N/A
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Problems with memory/learning, distorted perception of time, sound and touch, trouble thinking, increased heart rate, anxiety
  • Long-Term: Cancer
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: Addiction
  • Signs of Abuse: Neglect of daily activities, finding new friends who find use acceptable
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: Between 2 and 10 days after last use
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Anxiety, change of appetite, weight loss, nightmares and insomnia
  • Tolerance: After building up a tolerance to weed, a user can need up to eight times as much as the original dose in order to achieve the same effects
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: Sleepiness, nausea, vomiting
  • Psychological Dependence: Anxiety, irritability
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule I