Pot Withdrawal, No Joke

Marijuana withdrawal symptoms documented by scientists

(RxWiki News) No, withdrawal from marijuana isn’t as serious as that from heroin. But, that doesn’t mean marijuana withdrawal symptoms shouldn’t be taken into consideration for those trying to quit.

A recent study closely watched 49 marijuana smokers during a typical week and then for two weeks with no marijuana.

Results found real withdrawal symptoms that could keep a user from quitting to avoid those symptoms.

"Consider entering a treatment program for help quitting marijuana."

David J. Allsop, PhD, professor at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia, was the lead investigator for this study.

For the small study, 49 daily marijuana users volunteered to be monitored for two marijuana-free weeks.

Researchers watched the group for a week while they continued to use marijuana for a baseline assessment. Next, the group was monitored for the two-weeks without marijuana. And finally, followed up with one month later.

Withdrawal symptoms shown were: sleep trouble, depression, anxiety, mood swings, loss of appetite, physical tension for most users and even fatigue, night sweats and hot flashes.

Results of the study found that people who were more dependent on marijuana experienced greater functional impairment, which predicted later relapse at the one-month follow-up.

Authors concluded, “Tailoring treatments to target withdrawal symptoms contributing to functional impairment during a quit attempt may improve treatment outcomes.”

Further research with larger groups should be done to provide more clinically accurate data.

This study was published in September in PLOS ONE.

Funding for this study was provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. No conflicts of interest were found.


Review Date: 
October 3, 2012