Tips to help ease cannabis withdrawal symptoms

Published Jan 29, 2019 03:16 p.m. ET

 Marijuana is widely accepted as a non-addictive substance that comes with very few side effects.  Unfortunately, that's only true for those who use occasionally. For those of us who smoke every day though, it can be a little trickier.

Cannabis withdrawal symptoms are usually considered mild, in line with a daily coffee drinker or a sugar fiend.However, they can still be incredibly frustrating and interfere with basic everyday routine things like eating and sleeping.  Whether it's because your pockets are empty, or because you need to abstain for health, work or other personal reasons. The abrupt halting of regular consumption can lead to sleep troubles, weakness, anxiety, restlessness, cravings, feeling uneasy or inability to sit still, agitation, stomach pains, nausea, and sweating.

It is estimated that somewhere between 35%-75% of regular users will experience at least some of these symptoms for anywhere from 2 days to 4 weeks. The range is so high because symptoms are hard to detect given how mild they usually are. Luckily there are several things you can try to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal from cannabis.

Headaches and weakness - Water will help cleanse the system and speed up the process by pushing the residual traces of THC from your bloodstream. Try to get at least the recommended eight glasses a day. Water will also help to fend off other potential symptoms irritability, nausea, and sweating.

Trouble sleeping

For those who rely on a quick puff before bed, sleeping without can be a difficult transition. Leave yourself an extra hour to fall asleep in case it takes a while to get comfortable. Try to make sure you’re getting at least your regular amount of sleep. If you find yourself up and facing a completely sleepless night, there are a few over the counter sleep aids that you could try. Melatonin is the most effective all natural sleep aid for minimal side effects.

Cravings

Ditch the bong and any paraphernalia you may have on hand. This will make it more difficult to give in to the cravings. Avoid tempting situations by steering clear of the friends who you regularly get high with for a bit. Smelling it, or even just being around someone you are used to smoking with socially can make things harder.

If you have a hobby like crocheting or baking now is the time to take it back up full force. Keeping your hands busy will not only give you a much-needed distraction but will also stimulate you mentally assisting in your ability to fall asleep a little easier at night.

Agitation, irritability, and anxiety

Though at the moment it may sound counterproductive, exercise and physical exertion can help tame these side effects. If you find that you are unable to get comfortable or manage these symptoms, consider speaking to your healthcare provider about a mild muscle relaxer or mood stabilizer to help get you through. For those struggling, Sativa X, a non-psychoactive oral spray has shown to be beneficial in managing these symptoms while weaning off cannabis but must be obtained through prescription by a doctor.  

Nausea and stomach pains

A less common but often more debilitating symptom can be managed with a healthy diet. Ensure you are getting your daily recommended intake of calories. If heavier foods make things worse, try snacking on lighter foods to start. Like: bananas, crackers or toast.  

Sweating

Dress lightly in a warm sweater or robe on hand. Take brisk walks in the evening and get plenty of fresh air. Sweating tends to be one of the shortest-lived symptoms, and there isn't too much you can do other than try to stay comfortable.

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