What is Spice withdrawal?

Spice can be addictive and cause withdrawal syndrome in some users. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, nightmares, headaches, trembling, sweating, and nausea. More on withdrawal from Spice here.

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Spice is a designer drug that is a synthetic form of cannabis, or marijuana. Although it was once believed to be a legal and “safe” alternative to marijuana, studies have recently shown that this may not be the case. Synthetic cannabis dangers include heart problems, vivid hallucinations, and even death.  In fact, physical Spice dependence can be dangerous and cause withdrawal syndrome in some users. Plus, Spice can be addictive.

So what happens during withdrawal from Spice? We review here. And invite your questions about getting Spice addiction help at the end.

What is Spice Withdrawal Syndrome?

Spice withdrawal syndrome refers to a set of physical symptoms that a person experiences after they quit using Spice, a synthetic cannabis. When a person becomes physically dependent on Spice, their brain alters some of its functions to adjust for the effects of the drug and maintain homeostasis. Once the drug is no longer available, the brain still functions at this adjusted level, which can cause the physical and psychological symptoms that some experience.

What is withdrawal From Spice like?

Because it is a synthetic cannabis, withdrawal from Spice is very stronger than withdrawal from cannabis, or marijuana. Individuals experiencing Spice withdrawal may feel very anxious and suffer from gastrointestinal problems. However, the manifestation of Spice withdrawal symptoms typically depends on the frequency of use. Some users may not experience withdrawal symptoms from Spice at all.

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What does Spice withdrawal feel like?

Withdrawal from Spice feels like intense anxiety. The first symptoms will usually include an intense craving for the drug and irritability. Other symptoms include anxiety, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, nightmares, headaches, trembling, sweating, and nausea. Depending on the severity of the physical addiction, these symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, although they are usually the worst a few days after last use and begin to subside after this peak.

What helps Spice withdrawal?

One of the best ways to minimize Spice withdrawal symptoms is by tapering usage, or gradually reducing the amount taken each day. This allows a person’s body to get used to functioning without the drug slowly, and does not cause a shock to the system.

Individuals that are trying to quit using Spice on their own can minimize withdrawal symptoms and reduce the chances of a relapse. For instance, staying occupied with activities that don’t involve using the drug can help keep your mind off of it. It may also help to talk to a trusted friend or family member about what you’re going through, so they can be there to help you through strong cravings. Over-the-counter medications can also be used to help relieve some Spice withdrawal symptoms.

Although it’s usually not necessary, individuals withdrawing from Spice may also want to consider doing so under medical supervision. Drug detox centers allow allow individuals to withdraw and detox from drugs like Spice. The qualified professionals in detox facilities are able to help individuals deal with their physical withdrawal symptoms and work through craving. Doctors can also prescribe short acting benzodiazepines in cases of extreme anxiety, or antidepressants for those with underlying mood disorder issues. Seek professional help anytime you have a history of mental health disorders and want to get off Spice.

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Questions About Spice withdrawal

It can be frustrating and scary to go through Spice withdrawal. We’re here to help answer any questions you may have and try to help you through this ordeal. If you’re looking for a little advice or just want to share your own experience, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Reference Sources: FBI – Synthetic Marijuana
Spice (Synthetic Marijuana) | National Institute on Drug Abuse
NCBI: Withdrawal Phenomena and Dependence Syndrome After the Consumption of “Spice Gold”
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. My son has been smoking an e-cig juice called “kiss of death” which we have found out has spice in it.
    He said he has been using it for a few weeks to help him sleep. I fear it’s been longer and used more often then he will admit.
    He said he will not use it anymore and has not for 2-3 days. Today he started throwing up and can not keep even water down. He sounds congested but does not cough.
    Should I take him to the Dr. Or Emergency room to help with the withdrawals or keep him home and watch him? I’m heart broken and at a loss about what to do.

    1. Hi Ruth. In this kind of situations it’s best to seek professional help. Although, he may start feeling physically well in the following days, he will still have to address mental issues why he was using in the fist place. I suggest talking to a doctor who can help him solve these issues and thus prevent relapse.

  2. I am currently taking care of my ex husband who is trying to quit spice hea hot hes cold hes vomiting every five minutes i feel awful im trying to comfort him and let him know it will be ok but my concern if physically is this normal he seems. To be hurting pretty bad i had to dress him and take him out the shower yesturday he couldnt even do that on his own

  3. Please STOP!!!!!!! THIS DRUG IS killing us….I want to live. I almost die off this shit…fuck this drug its no Good. Go back to smoking weed if you want to live else die smoking k2…

  4. This drug sucks there are to many better high out so that’s how you get through it and ain’t nobody saying xanax for the anxiety and catipress for the blood pressure

  5. I have a friend who’s been spoke smoking spice for quite a while I’m trying to help him to get off of it and it keeps telling me that he feels really sick that he cant eat and that he feels like he can’t just stop what’s the best information I can give him

  6. My fiance is currently kicking the K2 at home what can I give him a what can we do to ease his discomfort at home he’s only been using it for a month but he’s displaying the signs and symptoms that I am reading about what can I do to comfort him at home

  7. I smoked k2|spice|monkey, whatever you want to call it for two years now. I got in trouble after i stopped because my ex was smoking it, and when i got off of it, i would up in the hospital twice. I was throwing up so bad, pale color, and i’m mullatto so my skin is a nice mocha. So if I am pale then there is a problem. They said both times my potassium was drained, they never saw anything like it, and I was dehydrated. Even though I drank a lot (not alcohol) I was still dehydrated. After day three and continuing to keep my mind occupied, I was able to get off of it, stay off of it and feel better. (I miss weed) Anywho, it is a hard road. Even if it is something simple like this. Getting of pot is way easier than this. I’ve held many discussions on the matter and I really wonder how people go crazy on it. I think their doing bath salts instead and saying it’s k2. I don’t know, but I wish no one had to go through this. Hope all is well with everyone. And good luck.

  8. I stopped spice 2 weeks ago, I got a headache and low apetite the first day but didn’ even connect it to spice. I started felling worse and worse in my mind and on monday (3 days later) I had a little fit about how nobody loves me and shit. Comes wednesday evening I’m having a panic attack and googling my symptoms comming to spice caused anxiety…. I smoked for a year but with month long pauses. So I practicly smoked for 6 months over the course of a year. Every time i stopped I felt nothing but this last time was terrible… I was nausea, panic attacks, my temperature was jumping up and down, i was sweating and got gastrointestinal problems and thats why I’m talking to you. It has been 2 weeks since last intake. 2 days ago I woke up and felt super shitty like before, I had to puke and I defecate only in the morning the dead gray stool. Anyway I have a question I need helping with if anyone can please reply. At around 1 pm I managed to eat and the nausea stopped. Yesterday I managed to eat aroudn 10pm and the nausea stopped. Today I felt super bad in the morning. Its 8.13 now and its starting to clear up but my health anxiety which I had traces of before spice but spice made it into a monster is killing me. Literally I’m deatllhy afraid I have cancer or something. I am a full blown hypochondriac now. I need someone to tell me if I’ll be ok. Are my gastrointestinal problems normal?… My apetite is back to normal but if I eat to much I sweat and get a small physical panic attack and last 3 mornings I get nausea in the morning which passes and I feel fine for the rest of the day.

  9. My brother has been going through spice withdrawal and he’s been having hallucinations for about three days. Is this normal? My family and I don’t know what to do anymore he doesn’t sleep at night and if he even closes his eyes he starts to see people coming after him and can’t sleep.

  10. Anybody ever go numb for days after stopping spice and will the numbness go away ? How long does this take iv been numb for 3 days and I feel slow reaction time if anyone has any info for me on this numbness please let me know

  11. Someone please help! Is there a rehab or somewhere I can take my brother for treatment here in Houston tx?
    We tried to help him and only lasted one day. He came very illusionist and stated seeing demons on us, became very crazy, we called the cops after he started getting violent with my mom and I, he got violent with the officers who were helping him and then try to commit suicide in the freeway which lead to his arrest, now there telling us he has a bond but we’re not bonding him out, he has court on monday and we’re afraid he might get release. He needs help and after I seen him today he had bruises in his face were his hitting himself, he begged us to take him out, after I explain to him that we couldn’t and it wasn’t that easy he started hiring himself again and going crazy saying his gonna hurt himself. His been there 5 days and that to us is great news because that’s 5 days sober from that drug, but if he gets released on monday we are not taking any chances and want to put him a rehab, someone please help me!!! 🙁 please I beg you. . I can’t take this anymore, it’s hurting my family and I …

    1. Hi Ralphi. You can call the helpline number displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers and find the right treatment program for your brother. You can also visit this link: It’s from Samhsa’s treatment locator and I have already selected Houston, TX and specified that you’d need Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services. Continue to select the treatment options and payment plan that fits your needs best and the site will leave with the treatment centers that can help your brother.

  12. It is day 3 almost of my self detox off spice. I never knew this could happen I just want some tips on how to flush my system and to get through the detox a little easier I am a christian mail who is trying to achieve absolute sobriety please give me some advise …. Thank you and god bless!!!!

  13. I smoked 4.5 grams of wicked xxx daily for 9 months back in 2011. At first I started using RC’s because I lost my pot dealer and I was dealing with the death of a close friend and I was coming off of a 2mg Klonopin script my doctor prescribed me which made me attempt suicide and still dealing with the PTSD I had from the time my father attempted to bash my head in with a hammer. I smoked about 3 brands before a friend suggested wicked xxx. The first hit I took of wicked xxx turned me into an addict. I was worse than the worst heroin junkie I would lay in bed all day smoking till I nodded off the second I regained consciousness I would smoke more. I refused to leave the house. I would eat once a week if that. When I hit the 2 month mark most of my friends stopped coming around the only friends that would stop by did so , so they could get a hit. 3 months in and all but 2 of my friends stopped coming around. 6 months in and I had no friends and no family I had burned every bridge I could to get a hit of this stuff that I had created my own little island population 1. 8 months in tons of seizures and near death experiences later and I realize I had 2 options I could get clean or end my life. I was a literal shell of my former self every moment was pain and every thought on my mind was my next fix. I would do anything to get more the lives of others didn’t matter to me. After a month of trying to lower my daily dose and failing miserably from the withdrawal I started looking for something to help with the symptoms. I took kratom leaves for 2 weeks which helped with the insomnia cold sweats nausea and vomiting. The physical withdrawal lasted 3 months during which I had 15 seizures the mental withdrawal has lasted to this day every time I think about the stuff I still feel like I’m going to have a seizure.

    1. Hello John Smith. Spice withdrawal is horrible. They call it syntactical marijuana, but it’s nowhere near weed in properties and the withdrawal symptoms cannot even compare. Plus, Spice can be life threatening. Please don’t hesitate to seek medical help if you feel bad effects in any moment.

  14. I had been smoking spice blends for close to two years up until late last summer. My wife and I had been smoking increasingly more and more spice. At first we really liked the high, i could smoke some, fall asleep and then wake up a couple of hours later, see that it was only like 10pm or so and then hit it again and fall back to sleep.

    What we didnt realize is that were were getting hooked. I have never been hooked on anything before and I tried it all. I could ALWAYS just quit cold turkey.
    One day I got a call form my wife company stating she had a seizure and was taken to the hospital. When I went to the ER she had already woken up. We did not tell them we had been smoking this stuff for a couple of years and were up to about $200 per week in usage.

    When we kicked we got really, really sick for about 3-4 days before we got better. We felt like we were going to die without it. FInally about 4 days later I got some sleeping meds from my brother and that really helped. Little by little I felt my brain coming back in the following week. I loved it and swore it off for good. Or so I thought.

    We stayed off of it for at least 6 mths. FFWD to today.. I am not on 10-12 weeks of relapse albeit at a much much lower dosage than before. My gal has no idea that I picked it up again. I was weak one day and thought, just one or two hurt won’t hurt me. It’s now been a couple of months since I starting smoking again without her.. I hide to take a hit or two.. at the most. I have tried to really limit my usage but I have noticed the waking up at night now for a hit.

    I have not gotten the sweats or sickness I had before. I have no blackish soot in my throat anymore but as I have been using again, very limited , A 5 g bag lasts me a week with only a few hist a night to calm me down.

    I don’t feel like i am addicted but as I started to lose sleep I got scared and am trying my best to taper down to nothing a bit at a time. I started counting how many single hits i take a night, about 5 all night including the midnight hits at 1am and 3am.

    Has anyone successfully withdrawn by tapering so that they don;t get the sickness while working on getting back to sleep regularly? I am so ashamed and don;t want my wife to find out. I want to quit it again and never go back. If she found ou,t she would probably leave me and I love her more than smoke. I just have a hard time at this juncture. I want to quit, tapering seems the easiest as I think I can hold back, all the while decreasing what I need to keep the urge back. I don’t smoke to keep withdrawal symptoms away, I smoke it because its relaxing.

    So I have been relapsing , “lightly”, like a few hits, or 1-2 bowls per night in total. I dont yet have the sweats or the puking. I can go all day and even into late night the next day before “wanting” a hit. Not needing it due to sickness, just a mental need I seem to have.

    This weekend I am trying to taper down to nothing if possible. I will be cutting my “hits” to 2 or 3 for the whole night, and using Trazadone for a couple of nights. It’s an anti anxiety med that also helps you sleep. I have 4 doses and will be taking them as it gets later to try and defeat the midnight urge and sleep longer. If I can beat the midnight urge I feel I can get past this.

    While at the worst we were smoking 5-10 gm a day, I am now on (1) -5 gm baggie a week and have been trying to trim back day by day. Wish me luck, I hope to be off this devil weed by next week before anyone notices. Most especially my wife who doesn’t know I relapsed, she hasn’t as I worked to keep it form her since I think the siezure was due to the smoke.

    I have hid it well and just avoid smoking while she is home, so I try to stay by her side even more so to keep myself from being tempted. As long as she is there supporting me, just be being here I feel like I can beat it.
    I will report back but wish SOMEONE, ANYONE who has beat this by tapering will post somewhere to help those having problems also minimize until they are done. This may help someone from experiencing the withdrawals as acutely. I can go all day with no withdrawals, the only thing I seem to feel now is just the sleep /wake issue that just recently started. I dont feel sick if I dont have it yet, I can eat fine and have not reverted to my previous behavior.

    Wish me luck folks. I will report back on attempt. Has anyone beat this by tapering?

    Mr. Relapse.

  15. Hi Kobe. You are at a risk of dehydration, relapse or worse. Make sure you drink lots of fluids, and seek medical help. They cannot treat spice withdrawal, but they can treat the individual symptoms and lessen your suffering.

  16. Hey I’m 13 year old and I’ve been smoking spice for 4 months and I’m going thru withdrawls how long do you think it will take please help! Or do you think I should go to the emergency room? I’m feel like I’m gonna die

  17. I’ve been addicted to spice for four months. I have had withdrawal symptoms several times during this period. I’ve been clean for three days and surprisingly I have had no withdrawals this go around. I used alcohol the first day and the next morning i “think” it helped me shit the chemicals out. It sounds wierd but I reccomend a six pack of Indian pale ale. The only problem now is profuse sweating and nightmares. But I was angry every time I walked to the head shop to get it. I didn’t want it but my body did. There’s hope and I see the light……Also I used to be alcoholic and spice changed that. I don’t want it. My sex drive has deminished. I do feel a little weird. All in all I say if u don’t have a problem drinking use it. Hope it helped.

  18. I have only been smoking spice for three and a half months and finally quit and now I think I’m going through withdrawals. My body keeps going numb someone help plz!

  19. Hi my name is ruben I was also a heavy user if this drug now I’ve quit smoking almost an year but I still feel very unpleasent like I have problem with my sleeping I cannot focus on anything my head gets heavy everyday and sometime I even feel so unreal so what can I do to maintain this behavior

  20. Hello Loretta. What may help is a good varied diet, water with a little fruit juice in instead of sugary drinks, a multi-vitamin+minerals wouldn’t hurt. Doctor suggest multivitamins without the iron because it can have some very uncomfortable consequences, which aren’t dangerous, just unpleasant. Here is another article on Addiction Blog that may help you: http://drug.addictionblog.org/how-to-withdraw-from-spice/

  21. Granddaughter going through withdrawal from using K2…having excruciating stomach pain under left rib cage…vomiting…thinking that she is dying…is there anything for the pain???

  22. I smoked spice about 3 or 4 years ago. It was available everywhere, head shops, convenience stores, gas stations etc I smoked this shit called colorado chronic. It was great. Worked just like weed, was legal, and didn’t experience withdrawals. I was a stoner at the time but now I’m in some legal trouble so had to quit everything. So I looked around for spice. Banned. Then found that colorado chronic stuff at the same store I found it b4. I was so happy. It worked the same as it originally did. I thought I was set. Then a couple weeks later I turn on the news…that store was selling it illegally and the DEA busted the store, seized the building, guns, spice, bath salts whatever the hell they had in there. So presently I started looking around online and found the spice that’s available to us that I’m sure all of us here have smoked b4. I placed my first order on that site. I ordered this stuff called bizarro. It arrived 2 days later. Looked like the original spice packaging that I knew I few years ago. “Not for human consumption” blah blah. Took a hit. Baked. Ordered 15g bag. So far I’ve smoked 75g of all different spices from that site in the last month. Yes I experienced the waking up in the middle of the night to smoke or I couldn’t sleep. Wake and baked or I felt like fucking shit. I’ve been out of spice for 3 days
    now and have been withdrawing like a bitch. I’ve used Rock, meth, heroin, Molly I’ve done it all and I’ll tell u this is the most fucked up drug I’ve ever done in my life. I’ve never experienced a withdrawal like this in my life. I’m a changed person. I can’t live with out it seems. My body’s sweating, I’ve been puking, I lost 10 pounds in the last week, and haven’t eaten in the last 4 days. Last night my withdrawal got so bad my heart started beating rapidly faster And faster. There’s discoloration in my skin. My chest started to hurt. My face, hands, and feet started tingling then went numb. I couldn’t breathe. I was admitted into the emergency room last night due to drug withdrawal from this shit. This is the worst experience of my life. I’m scared s**tless. I feel like I have no control of my body anymore. I can’t eat and if I do I puke. All I can keep in my body is this nasty shit. I’m hocking up black mucus. And my breathing sucks. I feel like I lost control of my life. I just got released from the hospital a couple hours ago. Up all night because I don’t have any spice just browsing the internet for help. I may go back to the hospital today because symptoms are coming back. But the spice is being delivered today. I’m stuck. I wanna flush the s**t down the toilet but don’t know if I can. If u have gotten thru this piece of s**t addiction what are some affective tips?

  23. Hi Kaycee. It’s a good thing you are drinking lots of fluids. Your appetite is probably low during this period and even the thought of grabbing a bite might cause nausea. That’s because your body became accustomed to spice, and is now reacting to the drug leaving your system. How long will it all last? I can’t say exactly, but medical experts say spice withdrawal lasts anywhere from one week up to several weeks. It depends on your age, weight, how heavy of a user you were, your metabolism, etc. You started walking the road towards sobriety, so hang in there!

  24. How long does the withdrawal symptoms from Spice last? I’ve been off of it for four days and I’m still throwing up. I’m staying hydrated I just want to know when it’s gonna quit.

  25. I just found out I am pregnant. Probably not even 3 weeks. I’ve been smoking for two years now. I need to stop. Was smoking everyday for two years basically. I’ve began to cut down. Only hitting it when I need too. I start getting the small with drawl symptoms just a few hours after last hit. Sweating. Naseua, etc. If I don’t get a hit in three hours I will begin to puke and puke. I get pale/green. Will drink water but it will come back up every time. During this my stomach kills me I feel as if I will pass out or seizure. I want to stop I need to for our baby. What are some things to help get me through the with drawls safely without harming baby. Please help with real answers!!!! I’m so worried.

  26. Hello Joshua. Can you get in touch with a psychiatrist or psychologist? Alternatively, consider checking into a detox clinic. The hallucinogenic properties of Spice are very real, and you may benefit from medical attention and symptomatic treatment.

  27. hello i have stopped smoking spice for a week now on my own and i know for a fact that i wont touch i agian no matter how bad i fell will it ever stop. anyway im writing about my friend who is weak mentally.she has only stopped for one day going on two STRAIGHT OUT INSANITY.what should i do .extreme aggression despair all the evil emotion should i call the police

I am ready to call
i Who Answers?