Study Shows Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms are Real - Withdrawal

Study Shows Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms are Real

Today, it is generally accepted that marijuana can cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Here's what researchers are saying about marijuana and addiction.



Today, it is generally accepted that marijuana can cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Researchers have debated, however, whether or not withdrawals from the drug are strong enough to interfere with daily life.

A new study from Australia seems to have the answer.

According to research published in the journal PLOS ONE, people who try to quit smoking marijuana will experience real withdrawal symptoms that affect their daily lives. What’s more, the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal were found to be equal to those seen in nicotine withdrawal.

Lead researcher David Allsop of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre at the University of New South Wales found that THC addicts who stopped using for two weeks experienced irritability, sleep difficulties, and other bothersome symptoms. Participants also said their ability to work and personal relationships were negatively affected.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

A study from Columbia University in New York City was able to demonstrate that, in addition to irritability and lack of sleep, marijuana withdrawal symptoms also include anxiety, aggression, nasal congestion, stomach pain, and generalized muscle pain. Researchers found that the effects of the observed withdrawal symptoms were similar to nicotine withdrawal.

“These results suggest that dependence may be an important consequence of repeated daily exposure to marijuana,” says NIDA-supported researcher Dr. Margaret Haney.

Treatment for Marijuana Cessation and Withdrawal

While in a marijuana detox program, the following therapies and treatments may be utilized, depending on the individualized treatment plan:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Reality Based Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Biofeedback Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Counseling
  • Medication
  • Withdrawal Symptoms

Medications to Manage Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

In addition to the therapies and treatments mentioned above, medications are commonly used to treat or lessen the effects of specific marijuana withdrawal symptoms. Those can include:

  • Insomnia: Benzodiazepines, zolpidem
  • Irritability, restlessness, and nervousness/anxiety: Valium
  • Sweating, frequent temperature changes, and chills: Paracetamol
  • Nasal congestion and runny nose: Antihistamines (i.e. Benadryl)
  • Nausea, lack of appetite, and sour stomach: Metoclopramide, promethazine
  • Headache, muscular aches/spasms and generalized pain: Paracetamol, NSAIDs, magnesium