Marijuana is addictive and there is a syndrome of withdrawal that will occur whenever a dependent person attempts to quit their habit.
Marijuana is not terribly dangerous over the short run, but the consequences of long term use and addiction are a greater risk for certain cancers, some cognitive and learning deficits, and certain social deficits. People using marijuana heavily are not as able to realize their full potential, and heavy marijuana usage can detract from quality of life.
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms of marijuana cessation can include irritability, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, nausea, depression, a loss of appetite and others. The withdrawal is not dangerous, is not as severe as for some other drugs, but is very unpleasant; and during the initial few days the cravings back to marijuana can be very strong.
Too many people trying to quit their habit are unable to resist these cravings back to use of a drug that they know will take away all of these very unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal.
Try exercise…really, it works!
Because marijuana detox is not medically dangerous, there is no current pharmacological intervention to ease the pains of withdrawal, and only time will truly better the discomfort. After 3 or 4 days the intensity of withdrawal symptoms should subside considerably; and if you can make it past the first few days, you’ve got a much better chance of making it for the long term.
One very effective, free and completely safe way to reduce the intensity of the symptoms of withdrawal is through long and enjoyable exercise. To lessen the symptoms of withdrawal, and take your mind off of the constant cravings, you need to get off of the couch, and get out and get your heart pumping.
Exercise helps on a number of levels. Through sustained and vigorous activity you release endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are a “natural” way of feeling high, and a bit of exercise and the corresponding release of endorphins can do a lot to lessen feelings of anxiety, lethargy and depressions.
Sustained and vigorous exercise can also fatigue the body, and hopefully lessen characteristic insomnia that can so often trigger a relapse back to use. With exercise and vigorous perspiration, you can also cleanse the body of toxins and drug metabolites; toxins that some maintain have an influence on the continuation of detox symptoms.
Getting past the first few days
Exercise is free, it will make you feel better, it keeps you busy and keeps your mind off of use; and it may even help you to sleep at night. Nothing will eliminate all of the symptoms of withdrawal but time, but by spending a few days engaged in sustained exercise, you should make those days more bearable, and you should have a much better chance at resisting temptation.
Go for a hike in the mountains, ride your bike across town, play basketball…do whatever you enjoy. It can help a lot!
If you find that you are simply unable to resist the temptations and find yourself using again, you may want to consider professional help. Getting some therapy and getting away from access to marijuana for a period may help those people unable to do it on their own.
Christian Shire is an addictions professional who writes about addiction and treatment options. To learn more about addiction, withdrawal, treatments and substance abuse, please visit www.choosehelp.com