Marijuana has long held a reputation as being a harmless substance, to the extent that some do not even consider it a drug. As with any drug of abuse, however, there is “no free lunch” with marijuana abuse.
The difficulty of those entering treatment for marijuana abuse in achieving long-term sobriety caused some researchers to investigate if marijuana caused a withdrawal syndrome that was being ignored.
The results shatter the notion that marijuana is a harmless substance.
Marijuana causes a withdrawal syndrome
Several studies have confirmed that chronic marijuana use does in fact cause a withdrawal syndrome in heavy users.
A withdrawal syndrome is defined as a set of negative symptoms that occur when a chronic user of a substance suddenly stops using that substance.
Most importantly, it is a major criterion in deciding the abuse potential of a drug or medication.
While many were skeptical that such a syndrome existed, the exact neurobiological mechanism in which it occurs has been identified.
What are the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal?
Cannabis withdrawal produces a wide range of symptoms once the user ceases cannabis use. The symptoms included heightened anxiety, negative mood, loss of appetite, restlessness, shakiness, sweating, and changes to sleep patterns.
These symptoms presented during the first day of abstinence from cannabis and lasted approximately two weeks.
So what does this mean?
The reputation that marijuana has as a “safe drug”, or that it is not a drug at all, needs to be put to an end. The fact that marijuana use can cause a defined set of withdrawal symptoms is just further evidence of the abuse potential of marijuana.
While the stigma of those who chose to go to treatment for marijuana is certainly starting to lift, more needs to be done to change the public’s perception of marijuana addiction.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.