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THC Withdrawal Symptoms

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You know that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical component of marijuana that gets you high. It gives you the euphoria that probably keeps you using. However, you may have also continued using because you found yourself feeling unwell when you stopped. People who are chronic marijuana users do become dependent on the drug and this can lead to an onset of withdrawal symptoms when you stop using.

Many people will argue this isn’t possible because marijuana is not an addictive drug. However, cannabis and THC withdrawal are scientifically documented occurrences. They are real and they do impact marijuana users.

If you have continued using marijuana to hold off withdrawals, you should contact a professional drug addiction treatment program, whose staff can guide you through the detoxification process and alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. Call 800-662-8079 to speak with an expert who can answer all of your questions and recommend a treatment option that fits your needs and situation.

What Is THC?

To understand THC, you have to understand cannabinoids, the chemicals in the marijuana plants that interact with receptors in your body and brain to create a variety of effects. Although there are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, the most widely known is THC.

The human body is designed to produce its own naturally occurring cannabinoids and to interact with them. This same system is the one that THC and other cannabinoids use to affect the user. Over time, the body will build up tolerance to THC when it is used chronically. That means you will need to use more to get the same effects or take tolerance breaks, which can trigger withdrawal symptoms.

Agressive Behaviors During Marijuana Withdrawal

Do I Need to Be Addicted to Experience THC Withdrawal Symptoms?

No. An addiction is marked by “compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” A person addicted to THC will spend the majority of their time seeking it out and using it. And the negative repercussion is causes at wor, at home, and in relationships won’t be a deterrent.

However, a person who is dependent upon THC will feel bad when they do not have access to the drug and will keep using it in order to function normally. They will still be able to control the amount that they use and can limit it to exactly what is needed to feel alright.

People in both groups will experience THC withdrawal.

What Are the Symptoms of THC Withdrawal?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana withdrawal (which is essentially THC withdrawal) is marked by both physical and mental symptoms. They generally aren’t as severe as those experienced by an alcoholic or heroin user, so people experiencing them may confuse them with getting sick or experiencing generalized anxiety or depression.

Mental Symptoms

THC Withdrawal

Anxiety and depression are common THC withdrawal symptoms.

  • Irritability
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Weight loss or lessened appetite

Physical Symptoms

  • Abdominal aches and pains
  • Excessive perspiration
  • The shakes
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Psychomotor retardation

Though these can be mild, the longer a person has been using THC and the larger their dosages are, the more intense their withdrawal can be. A mild user may have some anxiety, but a heavy user may experience full-blown panic attacks.

Are Withdrawal Symptoms Something That Really Happens?

I know that there are people who think marijuana and THC addiction and withdrawal are all part of some conservative agenda. But, there is legitimate scientific research that backs up marijuana withdrawal.

In a study performed by Massachusetts General Hospital, 40 percent of the marijuana-using patients in their outpatient program reported experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. These people were also more likely to have severe substance abuse and/or mood disorders as well.

Another study—published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry—researched marijuana withdrawal as well. Among frequent cannabis users:

  • 7 percent experienced more than 1 withdrawal symptom
  • 3 percent experienced more than 2 withdrawal symptoms
  • 4 percent experienced more than 3 withdrawal symptoms

Yet another study determined abrupt cessation of marijuana use causes significantly increased blood pressure. For patients with hypertension, this can be quite dangerous.

So, you see, there is evidence of both mental and physical withdrawal symptoms. If you are a marijuana user with a dependence on THC, don’t use withdrawal symptoms as a reason to keep using. You can get through them, especially with the assistance of a professional, qualified rehab center. Call 800-662-8079 to speak with someone about your options. Don’t wait.

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