With the opioid crisis quickly getting out of hand, now seems the right time to fully start integrating cannabis as a widely accepted and utilised alternative to opiates. The main problem with opioids is that they are highly addictive, which has led to many patients prescribed pain-relief drugs are now dependant upon them. This has created a problem in the birth of health system-funded drug addicts essentially who go in with one problem only to come out with another. Cannabis has always been looked at as a better alternative, but, are there any drawbacks?
Some of us can go outside during pollen season and experience no symptoms whatsoever, while others experience some serious discomfort. Some people can smoke pot and end up with a full-on anxiety attack, while others simply become super relaxed and chill. So, when it comes to experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms when either taking a break from pot, or quitting altogether, it should come as no surprise that some people will indeed exhibit physical withdrawal symptoms and others will not.
Passionate weed withdrawal non-believers
When it comes to pot withdrawal symptoms, there are many naysayers out there. Perhaps it’s because so many falsehoods have been leveled against cannabis by the powers that be that such news can be difficult to hear (propaganda sucks).
However, truly loving our cannabis means that we must be inclusive of all experiences if we wish to properly educate the general public about cannabis’ proper use.
Now that the PSA is over, here are some common symptoms that those of us who do experience cannabis withdrawal really are going through:
- Sleep disturbances
- Vivid dreams and/or nightmares
- Changes in appetite
- Excessive sweating
- Brain fog
- Anxiety symptoms
Still better than the alternatives
Mind you, symptoms of pot withdrawal are much milder than withdrawal from illicit drugs, alcohol, and prescriptions, which can be fatal under certain circumstances. Pot withdrawal is not at all fatal, and symptoms tend to have a much shorter duration (typically no longer than one week).
Withdrawal symptoms can appear based on one’s metabolic level, frequency, and duration of use, tolerance level, strains, the method of ingestion and underlying psychological factors. In fact, any habitual behavior when broken has some effect on the body and/or mind; weed is no different.
According to Dr. David Allsop, an associate professor at the University of Sydney,
When cannabis use is stopped, the receptors have to adjust to normal levels. This has psychological and physical effects which can lead to both addiction and withdrawal.
You are not alone
If you’re one of the many who has experienced uncomfortable pot withdrawal symptoms, you might feel alone. But be encouraged, knowing that in spite of those who can’t relate, Dr. David Gorelick, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine says that,
A minority of individuals who experience cannabis withdrawal – about 10% experience physical symptoms, such as muscle aches, muscle twitches, and GI upset, such as nausea or vomiting.
This percentage is possibly much higher than most care to admit, seeing as how a large percent of frequent users tend to relapse after quitting (a good chunk of people are relapsing to quell withdrawal symptoms).
Also, marijuana withdrawal has only been identified as a medical condition very recently with studies slowly catching up to support the anecdotal evidence and personal testimonies floating around on forums and social media sites.
In the end, cannabis withdrawal is real for many people. Though it isn’t dangerous, we should accept that a significant portion of our cannabis community does experience this and they are no threat to marijuana advocacy. We can love cannabis and support physical withdrawal symptom-sufferers at the same time.