Marijuana Abuse and Withdrawal

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused substances in the world, and the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 11 million young adults age 18-25 use marijuana in a given month. In recent years, marijuana has become legalized for recreational use, permitted for medical use, and has seen a rise in potency. In 2015, over 4 million Americans met diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder, pointing toward the risk of addiction to this drug.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is the name of the buds of the plants cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. The female plants contain tetrahydracannabinol, commonly known as THC. This is the strongest psychoactive compound, but marijuana contains over 65 known cannabinoids in addition to THC. It's most often smoked, and many people vape or eat it. Marijuana has many names, and is most commonly referred to as pot, weed, grass, 420, cannabis, ganja, herb, and bud. There are also specific names for methods of consumption such as joints, bongs, blunts, and vapes.


Often perceived as safe and non-addictive, people can develop cannabis use disorder, which is characterized by the continued use of marijuana despite negative consequences like stress, mental impairment, or social problems. This often manifests in people using marijuana even when problems are arising in their personal lives or social lives as a result of regular use. Research also suggests that marijuana may worsen mental health disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and paranoid schizophrenia.

marijuana addiction treatmentSigns of Marijuana Abuse

There are many signs of marijuana abuse that you may see in yourself or in someone near you. It's good to know the signs of a marijuana high, and the symptoms of regular or longer term use. Some common effects of marijuana use in the short-term are:

  • Euphoria (feeling of pleasure)
  • Sense of relaxation and ease
  • Sleepiness and fatigue
  • Distortion in time perception
  • Dry mouth (known as "cotton mouth")
  • Poor motor skills and reflexes
  • Increased appetite (known as the "munchies")
  • Reddened eyes
  • Changes in heart rates
  • Difficulty thinking and with short-term memory
  • Paranoia and anxiety

The symptoms that one may experience depend on various factors. Different strains of marijuana may cause different effects. Indica strains tend to be more relaxing, while sativa strains tend to be more uplifting and energizing. Effects of marijuana use may also vary depending on the length of use, how much pot is smoked, and your individual body chemistry. When used for longer periods, users may develop a variety of side effects. These include:

  • Poor performance in school and work
  • Addiction (9% of people who smoke in teen years become addicted)
  • Decrease in motor skill and coordination
  • Lack of motivation and willpower
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Irritability and anger
  • Sudden changes in mood

Again, every individual is unique, and the signs of regular marijuana use differ from person to person. Some people immediately struggle with school or work, while others are able to function at a relatively high level. There is not one single set of side effects to watch for, as marijuana use may cause different symptoms in different people.

Can I Get Addicted to Pot?

Marijuana is often considered by the general population to be safe and non-addictive. The truth is that many people develop cannabis use disorder, or addiction. Like many other substances and behaviors marijuana can impact our dopamine reward pathways and create addiction. When somebody becomes addicted to marijuana, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal upon cessation. Furthermore, people who become addicted are likely to change behaviors. Things that were previously enjoyable or rewarding are no longer as interesting. This may result in less interest in school, work, social life, and other things which once brought us pleasure.

It's important to know that marijuana is indeed addictive. Many people use marijauna without developing addiction, but the potential is there. Many people who become addicted to marijuana start using in their teen years, and longer-term use increases the risk of developing an addiction. If you or someone you know smokes pot regularly, it may be worth seeking professional help to investigate the potential for addiction to arise.

Marijuana Withdrawal and Detox

When you think of detox and withdrawal, you may think of drugs like heroin or benzos. Stopping use of marijuana can also result in a psychological and physical reaction. Marijuana withdrawal may consist of a number of unpleasant symptoms, and depends on the user, length of use, individual body chemistry, the presence of any mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety. Common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety and/or panic attacks
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Difficult sleeping
  • Sweating and chills
  • Troubles with digestion
  • Changes in appetite
  • Muscle soreness and fatigue
  • Craving to use drugs

To help with these symptoms, Crownview Co-Occurring Institute offers detox services for those coming off marijuana. Although the withdrawal process doesn't usually dictate the need for medical care and medications, it is best to have professional care to help you get the drugs out of your system. With trained professionals caring for you, you are offered the best opportunity at recovering and leading a life without marijuana. Relapse rates are significantly lower among addicts who seek help from licensed addiction facilities.

Rehab for Marijuana Dependency

Addiction treatment for marijuana use helps individuals to build a life of recovery without drugs. Through various therapeutic offerings, we will work with you to prevent relapse, strengthen coping mechanisms, and learn to face life in a new way. Unfortuantely, many people experience depression after quitting weed, as marijuana can cause dopamine deficiency in the brain. Getting sober from marijuana involves building a new way of living, and a marijuana addiction treatment center like Crownview will help you to create the life you want.


depression after quitting weed

Anxiety and Depression after Quitting Weed

As you may know, many people believe marijuana to be a perfectly harmless substance. Although some people may smoke marijuana without consequence, there are many people who struggle with an addiction to the drug. A 2007 study found that marijuana use caused increased sensitivity to anxiety in young adults, while other studies have found adverse effects from regular marijuana use such as developing addiction, impaired brain development in adolescent years, an increased risk of developing mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia, and chronic lung disease.

This isn't to say that every person who has tried marijuana once is likely to experience these symptoms. However, if you smoke marijuana regularly, there are some side effects you may experience. Contrary to how we thought about it a decade ago, you can indeed become addicted to marijuana. One study found that about nine percent of marijuana users will become addicted at some point in their lives. When we become addicted, it can be difficult to quit as we're faced with withdrawal symptoms upon cessation.

marijuana withdrawalCan Quitting Marijuana Cause Depression or Anxiety?

Depression after quitting weed is more common than many people realize. We think of marijuana as being relatively safe or not physically addictive, but the truth is that we may experience real withdrawal symptoms upon quitting. We may think of marijuana as being only psychologically addictive, but let's take a look at what is actually going on.

First, any "physical addiction" effects the brain. The reason that opioids or benzodiazepines are physically addictive is because the brain responds to the drug and it effects the way we physically feel. Marijuana use effects the brain, and the way we physically feel. Specifically, smoking marijuana effects the brain's uptake of serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin effects mood and creates feelings of happiness. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for our feelings of pleasure.

When you are smoking weed, your brain is flooded with serotonin and dopamine. When you stop smoking, the levels come crashing down and your brain is accustomed to having elevated levels. This creates the depression you may feel after quitting marijuana.

The separation between physical and psychological addiction is often that a physical addiction has an addictive substance and causes physical withdrawal symptoms. Marijuana is not seen as "addictive" in the same way nicotine or heroin is. However, when you stop smoking pot, you're likely to experience physical symptoms of withdrawal. The differentiation between physical and mental addiction is really overstated, and you can indeed experience physical withdrawal symptoms from marijuana use.

How Long Does it Take for Depression to Go Away After Quitting Marijuana?

Some people experience depression for months after quitting weed, while others experience it for a day or two. You may experience it as a feeling of discontentment, sadness, or lack of motivation to do anything. The reason this happens is that the brain is accustomed to having heightened serotonin and dopamine levels. When you quit smoking, the levels plummet and your brain has a harder time producing them by itself.

This can result in the experience of not being able to enjoy things that were once pleasurable. Whether it's exercise, social engagement, sexual activity, or other dopamine-producing activities, we may have a hard time getting the joy we want. The brain is recuperating from a dopamine and serotonin depletion, so it won't produce the same "highs" that we are looking for.

How Long Does Anxiety Last After Quitting Smoking?

Anxiety is another common side effect of quitting smoking marijuana. Much like the issue with depression, this is because of the way marijuana interacts with the human brain. As marijuana has some anxiolytic effects, the removal of the drug causes the brain to go back to normal. This results in some heightened sensitivity to anxiety.

This may last for a period of a few days or a few months. Essentially, we have to allow the brain time to return to normal production of the neurotransmitters. Like any substance that gets you "high," marijuana use effects the brain. When you stop using, the brain takes some time to adjust.

Help for Marijuana Addiction and Withdrawal

Although we may think of rehabs as being for those struggling with addictions to meth or heroin, people do go to rehab for marijuana addiction. Quitting on your own can be quite difficult, especially when faced with depression, anxiety, and other unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. During this period of withdrawal, many people return to smoking weed in order to ease the discomfort.

Addiction treatment for marijuana starts with some aid in the withdrawal process. With professional help, we can get the drug out of our systems with minimal discomfort. After the drug has cleared our system, we may begin investigating our relationship to the drug and how we can live without it. Through various therapeutic models, relapse prevention, social support, and psychoeducation, individuals who seek treatment for marijuana use have much higher rates of success in their recovery.

Substance abuse and addiction can be challenging to understand for many people. Why people do drugs, why they choose particular drugs, and why some users seem more addicted than others? These are questions people often wonder. And truthfully, everyone has a story. While everyone’s is different, there can be similarities and patterns as well. A group of researchers were curious themselves. They wanted to know if there were any connections between addiction and gender. They performed a study that looked into the prevalence and drug choice between men and women. Results also showed patterns related to age as well.

People tend to stereotype drug and alcohol abusers as the opposite of high level professionals - usually unable to function effectively in society and having poor priorities. Addiction doesn’t discriminate, it reaches out to everyone. Regardless of your profession, economic or social status, location, age, etc., addiction is a choice and reality for many people. Even professionals.


Cocaine is a known common drug that still continues to be abused. When we think of cocaine, most people immediately visualize a skinny white line of powder on a flat surface, along with a straw and a sharp edged object for straightening the line. Then we’ll think of a user closing one nostril with their finger while using the straw to snort the entire line up the other nostril. Then maybe they’ll rub the rest of the powder on their gums. This is the most common way cocaine is used.


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