Is Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome a real thing? Sure is.
Every psychoactive product comes with its repercussions, and cannabis is no different. While we strongly believe that regulated doses are taken as directed lead to almost minimal habit-forming effects, high concentrations and unregulated doses will definitely lead to some form of dependency. If you follow through with your recommendations from MMJ doctors Oklahoma, you’re likely to overcome your withdrawal easily.
Luckily for marijuana users, the addictive aspect of the herb isn’t as hard to overcome as in the case of other opioids or illicit drugs. Even for consumers consuming cannabis regularly, the withdrawal symptoms are short-lived.
So, What is Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome?
It simply refers to the journey of withdrawal symptoms users go through after ceasing their marijuana consumption. For some, this could mean a few days of discomfort, for others a few weeks of nausea and sleepless nights.
It all Comes Down to…
Recreational cannabis serves limited purposes, having low concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and higher concentrations of Cannabidiol (CBD).
Wondering why that matters? Because THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana. On the other hand, CBD has no such effects and is more closely related to having calming and relaxing effects. So when we consider a cannabis product leading to any sort of dependency, it has something to do with the THC content of the product rather than the CBD. Recreational cannabis only has 0.3% or less of Delta-9 THC.
Unlike recreational products, medical marijuana has a higher concentration of THC. A cannabis product recommended by MMJ doctors in Oklahoma is likely to have a higher THC concentration. Even though the use is recommended by physicians and has a low chance of leading to addiction, it can still result in some degree of dependency.
The difference between a single puff and five; that’s what we’re talking about.
Smokeable and vapes take effect almost immediately, leading to an immediate high (with high THC doses) or immediate relaxation (with high CBD doses).
On the other hand, products like gummies and capsules or even oils that are mixed in drinks, take much longer to take effect. You don’t feel immediate effects and that can lead consumers to take more than they need to.
In both cases, high dose intake is possible. However, one high dose won’t lead to dependency. The worst that can happen in such a situation is an unpleasant high which can be controlled. There are multiple ways to sober up from a bad high.
However, when these high doses are combined with greater THC concentrations and frequent use, it can lead to some level of dependency.
If you’re someone who consumes two servings of gummies during the day or a few puffs at night, you’re more likely to feel no habit-forming effects.
But for users who depend on a higher dosage to get through the day, giving up cannabis completely and immediately can be tough.
At the end of the day, cannabis (with THC) is a psychoactive product so feeling some of its withdrawal symptoms for a few days up to a few weeks is common.
Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms
There are a few common symptoms that follow once you stop consuming cannabis. These can vary in severity, depending on how ‘dependent’ a person has been on the herb. This will depend on the THC concentration of their dose as well as the frequency of their doses.
Some common cannabis withdrawal symptoms can be
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Loss of Focus
- Depression and Anxiety
- Cold sweats and Chills
- Stomach Problems
Cannabis Withdrawal vs. Opioid Withdrawal
If you know anything about opioids, you’re bound to know how life-threatening the withdrawal symptoms can be.
Opioids are prescription pain relievers that can be extremely habit-forming for patients if their use is abused. Some commonly used opioids include morphine, heroin, oxycontin, methadone, codeine, and hydromorphone hydrochloride. While their effects are quite similar to that of cannabis: pain relief, relaxation, and euphoria; the severity of these effects and withdrawal symptoms vary drastically.
Unlike cannabis recommended by MMJ doctors in Oklahoma, opioids can lead to incapacitating dependency in consumers when used over a long period.
When it comes to cannabis withdrawal, the symptoms aren’t extreme and subside after a few weeks.
In the case of opioid withdrawal, the symptoms can be extreme and lead to relapses, overdoses, and other life-threatening effects.
When it comes to opioid withdrawals, simply ceasing the consumption of these drugs is not enough. Patients who have been consuming the drugs for too long or are dependent on their doses require inpatient or outpatient treatments.
The treatment starts with doses of Methadone or Buprenorphine (sublingually) given every few hours for the first two days, followed by Titration by the third day. Other medications are also required to maintain withdrawal symptoms like loperamide for diarrhea, ibuprofen for myalgia, and promethazine for nausea.
Cannabis withdrawal, on the other hand, does not require treatment this severe.
How Long Does the Cannabis Withdrawal Last?
CWS can last from a few days to a few weeks depending on your consumption and sensitivity to the doses. The whole cycle usually lasts for a maximum of four weeks.
The First Week
The first few days of ceasing consumption are tough and irritable. For those consuming limited amounts, this period might last only a few days. For others, the first week can be tiresome, filled with elevated anxiety, insomnia, and irritability.
The Second Week
During this period, regular users are most likely to face the most difficult as the body begins to crave the cannabis doses. For those who have been overly dependent on marijuana, it is recommended to reduce their dosage over time rather than completely cease all consumption.
The Third Week
By the third week, users are likely to get used to their withdrawal from the herb, getting back to the grove of things. They might face occasional irritability or crave some cannabis, but the effects will have subdued.
The Fourth Week
By this time the cannabinoid receptors in the brain will have returned to their regular functioning, not requiring any support nor depending on cannabis.
Effective Cessation Method
In most cases, users can cease the use of cannabis and not face much trouble with their withdrawal symptoms. In other cases, it helps to change your cannabis product and mode of administration. For a user who smokes a lot of weed, turning to full-spectrum gummies or tinctures can be a good change in routine. Want to know more about consuming gummies or other forms of edibles? This might help.
While getting their cannabis dose they’re no longer stuck to the same method of consumption. This can be followed by lower concentrations of tinctures and gummies until the user is finally able to go without their cannabis dose.