Withdrawal symptoms may occur in many more cases than you might expect. These are far from just symptoms after cannabis discontinuation. But can these symptoms be described as "withdrawal symptoms" in the true sense of the word? We will focus on this topic in detail in today's article, and perhaps we will dispel a few myths.
Specifically, we will probably address the most common questions about cannabis-related abstinence and beyond, symptoms, and also where to seek help if you get into similar uncomfortable conditions.
In this article, we summarize the following:
Is Cannabis Addictive?
What is the so-called "cannabis withdrawal syndrome" ?
What are the symptoms after stopping cannabis?
How to get rid of cannabis addiction ?
Is Cannabis Addictive?
These questions are not as easy to answer as you might expect. There are several factors at play , it should be noted that there are quite a few key factors behind the emergence or deepening of addiction.
First, it is necessary to distinguish CBD cannabis users from those using THC cannabis . The second group of consumers, ie users of cannabis with THC, concerns the finding that 1 in 10 everyday heavy users suffers from addiction and therefore withdrawal symptoms may occur after discontinuation.
A 2018 study conducted by Columbia University's Maillman School of Public Health found in its results that a total of 12% of everyday THC cannabis users experienced some of the withdrawal symptoms after it was discontinued . The most common negatives were usually mental problems , but physical difficulties, such as headaches or behavioral disorders , were no exception .
In contrast, CBD cannot cause cannabis dependence, as its use does not activate cannabinoid receptors, as in the case of THC, but only moderates them . The mechanism of action of CBD in our body is significantly affected by the natural endocannabinoid system through which our body is interwoven. We are already preparing a new article for you on this topic!
What is the so-called "cannabis withdrawal syndrome"?
It is essentially a collective name for manifestations of abstinence after cannabis withdrawal . The reason for the term "syndrome" is the non-specificity of the symptoms . They differ almost from person to person . This so-called cannabis withdrawal syndrome was first named and described in 2013 in a diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders.
The professional definition can be interpreted as adaptive changes in the neural systems of the brain and its components during long-term exposure to exogenous cannabinoids .
According to researcher Roger Roffman, changes in the brain are practically inevitable, if the consumption of cannabis with a high content of THC is really everyday in nature and in disproportionately high doses.
He further states that the symptoms of the withdrawal syndrome usually appear just a few days after stopping cannabis use . In the order of 3 days. Soothing can come after only 2 weeks . However, this is a very, very individual matter.
However, relatively positive information is the fact that cannabis withdrawal syndrome is considered a great rarity . At least its difficult forms. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can occur in almost anyone, usually insomnia, loss of appetite, sweating, etc. However, the syndrome, in the true sense of the word, involves a combination of both mental and physical problems, which are usually so severe that they really require professional help. It is fully manifested in only a fraction of chronic THC users .
What are the symptoms after stopping cannabis?
Most studies, which are also the most relevant, on this topic are conducted in the USA. The reason is relatively simple, as it is possible to get a really large number of participants from different parts of the country, and this large group will always be very diverse. The result is processed thanks to a really wide range of different reactions and reports from subjects.
A total of 36,309 participants took part in one of these analyzes. During the study, cannabis users reported their symptoms of abstinence, if any. In the final, out of the total number of participants, "only" 1,527 participants came out , who, based on the severity of their symptoms, were classified as demonstrably chronic, ie everyday heavy cannabis users with a high THC content .
The following symptoms were most commonly reported , with the severity of their manifestation varied from subject to subject:
Changes and strong mood swings, depression - 59% of participants
Sleep disorders (often insomnia) - 68% of participants
The emergence of mental problems, especially anxiety - 76% of participants
Although most withdrawal symptoms are associated with the psyche, some people may have physical problems . The study participants then most often reported the following:
Migraines, headaches of various types
Tremor - limbs or the whole body
Feeling warm or chills
The study also revealed a rather interesting fact. The onset of withdrawal syndrome after stopping cannabis with THC has nothing to do with a family history of addiction to certain other drugs, but rather to whether or not one of your relatives has suffered, such as chronic depression , anxiety, or other mental disorders. It is therefore clear that our genetics also play a role again.
Do withdrawal symptoms always appear in everyone?
The results of the previous study already show that the symptoms do not appear in every user . It very much depends on the type of cannabis that is consumed and then especially on the frequency of consumption .
If a user consumes cannabis with THC on a daily basis and in high doses, it is highly likely that some of the withdrawal symptoms will occur . It is also important to consider the purpose for which cannabis is used. If a person consumes it, for example, to relieve pain, it can be assumed that the strongest symptom of abstinence will be pain. In some cases, even slightly stronger manifestations than before the actual start of cannabis use with THC.
So if you are only a completely occasional user of cannabis, in addition, for example, it was recommended to you by your doctor, you certainly do not have to worry about withdrawal symptoms.
How severe can withdrawal symptoms be?
Overall, in most cases, the symptoms of discontinuation of THC , i.e. cannabis, are much milder than, for example, discontinuation of long-used antidepressants or other opiates , such as those used to relieve pain. However, it is also necessary to say that cannabis withdrawal syndrome is not pleasant, and if you experience it, you will certainly think about further use of cannabis with a high THC content.
In addition to the symptoms we mentioned at the beginning of the article, there can also be very significant nausea or stomach pain . Usually in women they have a longer-term character , sometimes also much more pronounced than in men.
How to get rid of cannabis addiction?
The psyche can play a big role again , ie in this case specifically the psyche in combination with the placebo effect . There are already a huge number of therapeutic cannabinoids in the body. If you really want to quit THC cannabis, cannabis spray could help you a lot .
It is a medicinal product of Sativex, a cannabis extract that contains cannabinoids CBD and THC in a ratio of 50:50. Thanks to this balanced ratio , the psychoactive effects of THC are significantly reduced . Also, Sativex provides a really noticeable effect of "sobriety" to really addicted individuals . After only a few applications of this spray, the user can observe a clearer perception, better concentration, there are very few symptoms of withdrawal syndrome.
These positive effects are also caused by the disruption of rituals experienced by the classic THC cannabis consumer. Using the spray can be compared to getting used to tobacco products, where the smoker sticks a nicotine patch instead of lighting a cigarette.
WARNING: Keep in mind that cannabis with a THC content higher than 0.3% is restricted by law in the Czech Republic. It can only be obtained on prescription, provided that your medical condition requires it, and last but not least, in very limited quantities! Respect the legislation of your state!