The first days and weeks after quitting marijuana can be a roller-coaster of thoughts, physical symptoms, and emotions. You will experience a range of withdrawal symptoms and also be confronted with everyday stressors that may feel like an entirely new experience now that you’re not high.
Your experience with withdrawal is influenced by how much and how long you’ve used as well as a host of biological and psychosocial factors that make your experience wholly unique. So, use this as a general outline to mentally prepare yourself, but don’t be alarmed if your experience is a little different.
Generally, symptoms of withdrawal begin within the first 24 hours of abstinence, peak by day three and can last for up to two to three weeks or longer. This is not meant to scare you, but rather to inform you. It’s always good to be prepared.
The first week is usually the most difficult in terms of withdrawal, with symptoms typically peaking in intensity at 2-3 days after cessation. In the first few days, you can expect to experience difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and irritability or anxiety. The latter half of the week may be marked by sweating, chills, GI upset and lack of appetite, as well as a continuation of the prior symptoms. It’s also critical to anticipate intense and sporadic cravings, especially as you adapt your routine to avoid triggers.
The second week will have many of the same symptoms as the first, but much less intense. The flu-like symptoms, if you experienced them, should also dissipate quickly. Many individuals also start experiencing some depressive symptoms. And cravings, of course, continue.
Weeks Three and Four
By weeks three and four, the most pronounced symptoms that persist are insomnia, depression/anxiety, and mental haziness.