Help for marijuana withdrawal

Marijuana withdrawal is real. So, how can you cope with the physical and psychological symptoms of dependence? We review treatment suggestions here.

minute read

Marijuana produces withdrawal symptoms when someone who has become physically dependent quits using it. What is withdrawal from marijuana like? The symptoms are similar in type and severity to those of nicotine withdrawal: irritability, sleeping difficulties, anxiety, and craving…which peak a few days after regular marijuana use has stopped.

Withdrawal symptoms can make it hard for someone to stay off marijuana. So how can marijuana withdrawal be treated and how can you ease the associated discomfort? We answer these questions and more in the article below. Then, we invite your questions or comments about getting (and staying) off marijuana at the end.

Is marijuana withdrawal dangerous?


Relatively speaking, marijuana withdrawal can be characterized as a mild set of physical and psychological symptoms. Most symptoms begin during the first week of abstinence and resolve after a few weeks. In fact, only abbout half of patients in treatment for marijuana addiction have reported symptoms of the marijuana withdrawal syndrome. The main symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are:

  • anxiety
  • cravings
  • decreased appetite
  • depressed mood
  • disturbed sleep
  • gastro-intestinal symptoms
  • irritability
  • restlessness

Is marijuana withdrawal hard?

It depends.

The severity and intensity of detox vary on a case-by-case basis. Most symptoms are related to duration of use, frequency of use, and dosing amounts. So, in principle, the longer or more often you used marijuana, the more difficult the withdrawal.  While there is no one best way to withdraw from marijuana, it can help to plan for psychological and social support.

Marijuana withdrawal methods: Help for marijuana withdrawal symptoms

Preparing for marijuana withdrawal symptoms treatment is more than simply addressing physical symptoms. People who want to stop smoking weed need to look into the psycho-emotional reasons for using marijuana to cope with life, stress, or anxiety. Relatively mild withdrawal effects and desire to pursue reducing — rather than abstaining from — use can lead to relapse. This is why many people overcome dependence to weed only after multiple treatment exposures.

Studies show that effectively treating marijuana use disorder via standard treatments involving medications and behavioral therapies may help reduce cannabis use, particularly among heavy users and those with more chronic mental disorders. These can include:

  1. Behavioral treatments
  2. Contingency management
  3. Family based treatments
  4. Group or individual cognitive behavioral therapy
  5. Motivational enhancement therapy

Help with marijuana withdrawal

Researchers are testing different ways to help marijuana users stay off the drug, including some medications. There is a significant increase in the number of treatment admissions for marijuana use disorders in the past few years, and the majority of marijuana-dependent individuals who enter treatment have difficulty in achieving and maintaining abstinence. Thus, there is increased need for medications that can be used to treat this population

However, current treatment programs focus on counseling and group support systems during withdrawal from marijuana. There are also a number of programs designed especially to help teenagers. And so far, no medication has been shown broadly and consistently effective; none has been approved by any national regulatory authority.

Natural help for marijuana withdrawal

For some of the milder detoxing symptoms, a few home remedies have proven to be useful. These can include:

  1. Drink cranberry juice to help purify and cleanse the body.
  2. Drink plenty of water and clear liquids.
  3. Eliminate fat from the diet until digestion is better.
  4. Exercise not only helps depression and other unpleasant emotions, it helps the body speed up the healing process.
  5. Greatly reduce or eliminate caffeine until the sleep pattern is more normal or restlessness is gone.
  6. Hot soaking baths can address emotional and physical symptoms.
  7. Really excessive sweating can deplete the body of potassium, a necessary mineral. A few foods high in potassium are: melons, bananas, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, and tomatoes.
  8. The old fashioned remedy for insomnia, a glass of warm milk before bedtime, helps some people.

One way to address symptoms related to sleep disturbance is to look to increase melatonin during withdrawal. Marijuana deepens our overall sleep, so it may help us get off to sleep and encourages the deep sleep we need to rejuvenate our bodies in the first half of the night. Unfortunately, it also tends to inhibit our brains’ ability to enter the light REM or dreaming sleep we achieve in the second half of the night. This is why people often notice that they no longer dream when they use marijuana.

Instead of using marijuana you can maximize your own natural melatonin production. When you expose your eyes to bright light especially from the new tablets and smart-phones it prevents melatonin release, even a short exposure to blue light will shut down melatonin production for several hours. You need to create normal darkness before bed so you can switch on your melatonin production. Or look into melatonin supplements for help with sleeping.

How to ease marijuana withdrawal?

Any questions about helping ease marijuana withdrawal? Do you have suggestions or experience to share? If you have ANY feedback, please feel free to share by sending us a message in the section below. We are eager to hear your experience and will respond to legitimate queries personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: NIDA: Available treatments for marijuana use disorders
NCBI: Marijuana dependence and its treatment
NCBI: Pharmacological Treatment of Cannabis Dependence
Marijuana Anonymous: Detoxing from Marijuana
BalancingBrainChemistry: Cannabis Marijuana Withdrawal with Natural Remedies
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. I smoked since i was 16 I’m now 20, stopped smoking completely about a week ago, went through all the withdrawals started with nausea and felt like I was dreading something in my stomach, then the shakes started, also had a very watery mouth which was very annoying symptoms have lasted about 2 months as I was a heavy smoker ranging to 6-7 joints a day if I wasn’t working, was just wondering if anybody else gets hot flushes at night? I have no trouble sleeping and my appetite is back with revenge

  2. Hi, I stopped smoking and I’m eating less, sex drive increased, time is my friend. I feel like living with my eight year old and enjoying every second with her. Want to be around ppl more. The lord has given me the strength to make my days productive. Living life like its golden.

  3. I have smoked weed for 25 years and got into some trouble now have to stop bc have to take a drug test every week I jus wanna know when do the headaches and back pain stop I havnt smoked in 2 days so far

    1. because you smoked for so long your muscles have been asleep on a day to day basis under the influence?….And now you have stopped the muscles are starting to do things without the relaxing drug, hence the pain…usually upto 4 days to a week ?

  4. I have always has an addictive personality, possibly due to a traumatic childhood. I have suffered with anxiety and depression almost all my life (I’m 62). Alcohol addiction almost killed me but I got help just in time. After drying out for a whole year, I stupidly started using hashish daily about 4 years ago. I only recently stopped using it (3 weeks ago). I suffered from insomnia for the first week after stopping. I eat very little. I currently suffer from acute anxiety but am not depressed. I understand that my withdrawal symptoms will probably continue for at least a few months. What has helped me most, I believe, is that I have learned to meditate and accept that my psychological symptoms are connected to withdrawal and not to other circumstances, thus reducing worrying. I constantly monitor my thoughts and immediately change negative thoughts for more realistic ones as soon as they arise. This is probably why I don’t feel depressed. It has been hard for me not to use alcohol as a substitute for hash, but so far I’ve stayed away from the drink. After receiving substantial help for alcohol abuse, I know that it is possible to feel much better after the body has repaired itself. My biggest challenge is to repair the damage caused by my excessive hash use. I have lost my job and important friends in my life. My financial situation has been hit hard but I’m just managing to keep my head above water. The Internet has enabled me to read a lot of positive stuff and I stay away from depressing things. I feel that I have stopped just in time.

  5. I’m so sick of people saying marijuana withdrawal/addiction is a myth. “I have never once experienced” blah blah blah. Oh, you’ve never been afraid of heights? Fear of heights must be a myth! Science can’t be dismissed as easily as you may wish it could be. Marijuana, like many substances, is addictive. You don’t have to go through it to accept the medical fact of its impact on your mind/body. If you’re out there struggling to change your life and read one of those moronic responses, ignore it. You’ve already made the choice to quit, so you have good reasons. Don’t give up! Keep going, you’re gonna get there.

  6. Hello..i smoked weed for the past 6 years and its been a week i quit…i was smoking to joints a day one in the morning one at night before bed…now i have nausea not sleeping, anxiety amd vomiting..i also saw a therapist because i have depression..i quot cz my doctor gave me long i have to go through this hell..
    Please help me

  7. I quit weed a couple of years ago and the withdrawal systems where really difficult for me to handle. I think the things that really helped were my family and friends supporting me the entire way and giving myself little rewards for small goal that I achieved, like going one full week without smoking.

    I actually talk about this quite a lot on my blog “how to stop smoking pot” so if anyone reading this wants any tips or help with getting over weed addiction themselves then I could really help you out!

  8. Marijuana withdrawal is a myth. I’ve never in decades felt the slightest bit of withdrawal even after years of heavy use then just stopping cold turkey. This is a farce.

  9. I have been smoking for 10 years. suddenly I am going through an 8th daily! I have stopped for about 2 weeks now
    I have been experiencing mood swings, anxiety, depression, nausea, fatigue and body pains. I am completely miserable but I like the $600 I saved and I am not sweating bullets about my bills. why does it always feel like FOREVER when not feeling good . ? but hanging in there and staying strong. I do have severe urges to where I can actually taste it. cinnamon gum , ginger ale and hot showers have helped

    thanks for letting me share ?

  10. Hi, I was smoking weed every day (only about a gram) for about 4 years, and came off it 3 weeks ago, I noticed major withdrawals with everything specified on the list above for about a week, then it all went away for a week, but now it’s back again. Is this normal?? because it’s starting to worry me a lot, I cant stop thinking about it and commonly have these episodes where my perception isnt the same, I feel as though my vision is really weird and has gotten worse, I constantly feel anxious about everything, I cant stand properly wihtout getting dizzy and I’m almost always tired and could very easily sleep at any point. I also get this strange high pitched ringing in my ear when I’m in a silent room. It’s starting to scare me a little bit now as I’m not sure it is withdrawals and there’s actually something wrong with me.

    1. Hi Andy. It seems to me that these are post-acute withdrawal symptoms, and these may last for months. I suggest that you enroll into some support groups that will give you the strength to pass this period. Stay strong!

  11. I smoked weed for 7 years straight all day everyday. I quit smoking after my 1st trimester of pregnancy. NO WITHDRAWAL! My kid was born very intelligent and was allowed to skip 8th grade. My daughter smoked throughout her pregnancy it was no secret and my grand daughter is smart and intellingent as all get out. Don’t bad mouth marijuana as if it’s some type of substance that ruins lives because it doesn’t. It helps more than ppl realize. They should go ahead and tax it so that the U.S. can come out of the remainder of its deficit. TAX IT WE DONT CARE!! #LegalizeIt

  12. This is an excellent and marvelous article about cannabis withdrawal symptoms and ho to ease them.
    We are registered general physician. From the last 2 years, we are working for weed/marijuana addicted persons to back them into society with productive life. We are able to encourage & quit marijuana with overcoming withdrawals by 107 people in last 2 years.
    We described your provided information to them and they understand easily. From our observation and experience, recently we published an article about drug tests and how to ease withdrawal symptoms briefly. You are invited to visit Hopefully you will be benefited.

  13. I am feeling mixed reaction after reading messages of many as above in the internet. I would like to share that everything is possible, to quit smoking, alcohol, marijuana using etc. I know I used to take marijuana (in its pure form like black tablet) with cigerattes as the same was and is available easily in the village i used to live since the days of highschool sessions. When I started living in metropolican city like Delhi, India, the use of pot stopped automatically as I would not be knowing how to get it becajuse of fear so else. I used to take alcohol seldomly with friends after 1980s. I became a regular alcoholic since 1990 daily user. I felt during this period that two men are living within me, the one during evening to night and the other during day time. Wife used to get angry with my alcoholic habits and frequent unnecessary fight took place. During 2008 I got operated for a mild Appendix operation. During this, I admitted to hospital for a week and there I got great, loving and honest support from my wife, son and daughter. That movement, that support changed my life. I thought that I am living for whom. My family helped me for no cost. They want me. I strongly decided at that moment to quit the alcohol and somiking together. I forgot to tell you that I used to smoke cigeratte from pre high school days. When I left somking (without any marijuana etc), I used to take two packs of cigs daily. From that day, I do not take any drugs for name sake. My family is very happy with my decision. I dont remember any withdrawal symptoms exactly. But I feel at time little anger. Now I am at 60 years, doing Yoga since 1993 with meditation, pranayams, and live a spiritual life with simple diet every day. With the help of Yoga, I overcome irritability, anger, memory loss, anxiety etc. I pray for all of you to be good in your life and be useful for society. But at present I am suffering with a paid that my young son, a law graduate suffering from withdrawal symptoms of marijuana. He quit this for the last one year and appears trying to cope with this problem. Hopefully he will be okay in the near future of time. Pray for him also. Any thing bad from out of my words appear to you, please execuse me and forget me. I find really and really your blogs beneficial and helping to marijuana user to quit. Should I expect any help regarding curing withdrawal symtoms of marijuana for my son. Thanks.

  14. I’m a 63 year old guy. I started drinking and smoking tobacco at age 15, started smoking pot and experimented with any drug that came my way by 17 years old, I love to get high and other than the illegality of it I have no worries. I had a brother drown way back in 1976 and realized that life can be very short, (my mother died 13 month after my brother at 59 years old) Like most other adults I am well aware of the health issues involved and how I “SHOULD” live my life but I’ve already outlived my mother (who never smoked or drank) and have “Partied Hearty” for almost half a century. I am not condoning drug use for everyone but some of us need to escape reality every now and then or just mellow out after a hard days work. Nobodies perfect. and sometimes life really really sucks……So I suggest to whoever might read this to have a few drinks, a few puffs and maybe a few snorts of something good and dance the night away with someone you love (or like) or with yourself, because we may not be here tomorrow…..

  15. I have been smoking for 34 years, I’m not sure if I can quit. I use it for my emotional state and chronic pain mostly. I am on day 2 and struggling badly. I need to figure out how to get away from it. Cigs and pot withdrawal is awful. I have quit alcohol, crack, heroin, speed, extacy, mushrooms, acid, and more, this is the worst thing I have tried to quit. Argh!

  16. Hi im 19 years old today and have been smoking for about 2-3 years but id say the last year was the only year that i smoked a lot the other two were very little just take a couple pulls of a splif. i ended up quiting on December-25-2015 as i had a panic attack while smoking so i decided to quit cold turkey as i knew id get another panic attack if i was to smoke again. so i decided to quit cold turkey not knowing there was and withdrawals from weed. Today ive been clean for 47 days(1 month and weekk and a half) i understand that these withdrawals are noraml and shoiuld happen as to my brain is not used to without the drug, i dont crave weed AT ALL matter of fact ive come the poin that i hate weed as that is the reason in the first place that im dealing with this, my only question is how long would withdrawls last for someone like me?
    Also if you are reading this and going through the same thing i assure you everything will be okay even if it seems hard to believe right now it will, there is a saying “everything happens for a reason” and i believe that people like who who go through these withdraws and actually wanna quit qill get through it as hard as it is believe in your self do everything that it takes and what ever you fo DONT START SMOKING WEED AGAIN!
    Please reply to my email

  17. I once did an experiment where I bought a large amount of grass(Organic autofem) and decided that I would smoke it when and as I wanted until it ran out(weed is often hard to obtain here – especially grass as opposed to hash – I far prefer grass(the flowers)) . This I did and a few times before I used it up I would randomly have none in a day – I had no negative reactions on those days at all, when it ran out I had no grass or weed for a long time and I was totally and completely without withdrawal symptoms, I simply had one less sacred tool.

  18. I smoked marijuana here and there after high school, never became an everyday thing, just a weekend thing. At the beginning of 2014 is when it escalated to smoking more and more. Around 2015 is when it started to be an everyday thing, usually by like 9 or 10pm. Then around April-May I smoked 3 times a day, I was mostly all day except at work which was 8 to 4pm. But I craved it knowing that after work I’ll be able to smoke. I stopped it all together on labor day weekend. I’m on my 15th day sober from it and the withdrawal symptoms has confused and scared me. I’ve been to the er, and seen 3 doctors before I was able to accept the fact I’m going through withdrawal since they’ve all told me that my body was fine and that there isn’t anything wrong with me. I had no idea that this was even possible to go through with just marijuana. I’ve had severe anxiety, nausea, insomnia, shivers, fatigue, loss of appetite, and I just wasn’t that same person anymore I’ve went to MA, had help and support from family, and I actually started Meditation which definitely helped me get through the anxiety and insomnia. It’s funny though because it was the last thing in mind to try but it ended up being one of the most effective. Two weeks have passed since my last hit from the bong; my appetite is alot better, I’m sleeping just a little more, my anxiety has subsided a bit but it just sucks because sometimes I think I’ll never get back to normal. Then I usually go back to thinking positively and tell myself I will get better eventually. It’s just scary going through this since this I my first time ever. Just wanted to share my experience with it. I think I’m only half way there, so hopefully in two more weeks I’ll be feeling even more like myself. Some days are ups and downs like today I was looking at Valium to help with my anxiety but I’ve been told that’s a bad idea so I’m trying to stay strong and not give in. Thanks for letting me share.

  19. Load of shite a moked daily for 20 yrs, was grower for many. I got bust yrs ago before all the
    med weed shops opened. I stopped didnt smoke for 2 yrs not withrawls yeah ok habit because you
    smoke certain time or before certan things going to do.Thats brekaing a pattern but a physical withdrawl is stupid i never felt anything other then as side a habit of wake in bake. i got bust had to go to jailfor 4 months no big deal i didnt need to go to nurse with sweats or any of that maybe for week was irritable but i did just land in jail for 4 months. I got out didnt smoke for 2 yrs. Then tried it again i can smoke here and there i dont even care for it anymore.Now alcohol is nasty get sweats vomit cant eat moody as all fuck, excuse as all frick. Though i been sober for yrs at a time and then feel can do it socially again and can and actually well im an alcoholic but never been black drinker maybe a party beinger but i can have just few drinks and be good but its a few daily.
    recently at 46 was with a girl did herion for 1st time did it 2 nights in a row never did it again didnt see what the big deal with the shit was.Next gf meth now watch out for that shit. I didnt miss but a day or two for 6 months straight. was in gret shape racing dh mtb bikes riding 3 to 4 times a week, care provide for my pops and was a cook at buddhist retreat which lead me to about or helped me stay alcohol free for about 2 yrs but in beginning of that dating girl smoked and help me not drink butnow been smoking for 4 yrs and at 43 when started never had my whole life and thats been the hardest. Back to meth in 6 months i sold most my mtn bike gear tools ect. 3 mtn bikes worth total 10 grand tools and gear least another 2000 grand lost my job only hung out with chic introduced it to me she didnt do shit but leach off me and finally couple months ago i quiet had few days well say for week 5 to 7 days a lot of sleeping probably because i was staying up at days , mean like 2 to 4 days at time with maybe 4 hrs sleep in that stretch. 1st couple days moody tired but had work to do so would bust it out is good to have physical chores least for me.I started eating a lot but working helped.slept a lot always tired but nothing like i hear or have been reading.Just if you do it on own cant be around those people any more and i admit i had a hell of a time for a while then woke up going i have nothing left to self, all my old close friends i blew off but whole nother story on there stuff and judgements blah lol. Hardest of all is smoking cigs and drinking and found cigs be hardest and those are 2 legal ones. Depending how long and how much drink a day yeah probably need a treatment for least detox. I dont know what to do with cigs they help you or me get through the others, yet they are the legal and i feel ost dangiours and damaging things i have delt with.I have 3 months clean off both well 4 meth and the from drinking.I decided to work on meth while still drinking but cutting back slowly over 1 st month.Least time i quiet drinking i was doing no drugs nor smoking cigs i got a dui and said no mas. Was 2 yrs sober.I have never had treatment and very little aa and crap like that i seen it its another addiction for addicts. FInd a healthy addiction. I got bike again riding again thats my drug. 4 days with out cig and want to kill lol but its hardest thing for me.Hope helps some but understand im my own freak of nature i have always kinda done things backward and works for me. Dont jump at a treatment everything i read says to but yeah well they make good money most of cant afford. Surround yourself with postive people living healthy lifestyle ask for help and for patients from them. Do make sure to listen to body sleep when need eat well and tons of water.Healthy food places have great detox drinks pills help flush system. Be honest with people when ask for advice and or help they need to know what getting into if gonna help and what to expect. Best of luck,stay strong and love yourself…for we all fuck up in life we all make mistakes just own your shit give yourself a break and have compassion for self because life is a bitch sometimes but same time can be amazing. Much love!!!!

  20. Hi Chad. It takes time for your brain to return to homeostasis after smoking for 20 years. It has a great deal of healing to do. You can see a doctor and get checked, but either way, iit will take time before things are back to normal.

  21. I smoked heavily for 20 years. I quit 14 months ago and have maybe relapsed and smoked one joint 6 times since and it feels like I’ve started over in terms of how I feel (the burnt out feeling) although, I do feel better than I did a year ago. I have headaches all the time. Especially in the mornings. And wake up feeling like I smoked a ton of weed the night before. It’s like I’m permanently stoned. Will this feeling ever subside?

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