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Weed Withdrawal

Feeling Hot and Cold After Quitting Weed? Changes in Body Temperature Are Common During Withdrawal

By July 21, 2021October 21st, 20216 Comments

Regulation of body temperature is a critical and complicated process for human health. Deep, highly connected regions of the brain play essential roles in maintaining body temperature within a narrow range around 98° F (37° C). While many chronic marijuana users may be aware of withdrawal symptoms such as irritability or sleep difficulty, you may be surprised to learn that sudden changes in body temperature – feeling hot or cold – are reported by many individuals who have stopped using marijuana after periods of heavy use.

A 2011 study in chronic marijuana users observed increases in body temperature within 48 hours after stopping. These symptoms were reduced after 96 hours (Gorelick et al., Journal of clinical psychopharmacology, 2011). Other research shows that body temperature changes typically start after 1-2 days, reach peak incidence within six days, and can last anywhere from a few days to several months (Babson et al., Current psychiatry reports, 2017).

While the mechanism behind marijuana withdrawal-related body temperature dysregulation is not completely understood, THC has been shown to bind to many regions of the brain responsible for body temperature regulation such as the hypothalamus and pituitary (Cservenka et al., Frontiers Psychiatry, 2018). It is believed that sudden absence of external THC and cannabinoids may disrupt this balance of pathways and hormones in the brain.

Changes in body temperature have also been reported in individuals suffering from cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), a cyclical vomiting illness that presents in some heavy marijuana users. In one study, patients admitted for CHS were shown to exhibit changes in body temperature, in addition to changes in blood pressure, heart rate, skin flushing, and perspiration (Allen et al., Gut, 2004). Interestingly, many CHS patients have reported that hot showers can provide symptomatic relief. The effect appears temperature dependent – e.g. hotter showers provided more relief from CHS.

Suffering from withdrawal-related temperature dysregulation can be scary and may sometimes feel uncomfortable. However, it is important to keep in mind that marijuana withdrawal symptoms are rarely life-threatening. If you are concerned about your withdrawal-related symptoms, there are things you can do to help. First, see your doctor. They might be able to treat your symptoms with medication or identify other, non-withdrawal related causes of your symptoms. Additionally, staying hydrated, exercising, and practicing good sleep hygiene may help make you feel better. Check out our resource on weed withdrawal to learn more about withdrawal symptoms or a typical withdrawal timeline.

About Weedless.org

Weedless.org is a free, web-based resource and community created by a team of healthcare professionals and researchers. We distill the facts about marijuana use and its effects into practical guidance for interested persons or for those who are thinking about or struggling to quit weed. Finding reliable, easy to understand information about marijuana should never be a struggle—that is why our core mission is to provide the most up to date information about marijuana use, abuse, addiction, and withdrawal. While we seek to empower individuals to have control over their use, we are not “anti-weed” and we support efforts to legalize adult marijuana use and study.

6 Comments

  • kv says:

    Thank you for this awesome trove of info – I quit smoking 2 days ago after years of heavy use and have many of the withdrawal symptoms listed. I had no idea my poor sleeping and gastric upset and crankiness were related; thank god I found this site and now know that MJ withdrawal is a real thing and I am not losing it.
    My friend and I decided we have an addiction problem and decided to stop for 2 weeks; well after 2 days of feeling funky and reading the withdrawal info I am going to stop for good!
    The MJ being sold in stores (legal where I live) is so GD strong compared to the stuff I smoked back in the 70’s and 80’s – the hybrid stuff especially. I frequently light up during the day and immediately feel weird and antisocial then I wish I wouldn’t have . . . so stupid

  • Not really says:

    It’s true. Even after the first time I stopped weed, other times still surprised me as to how bad I feel.

    I smoked like 1 joint a day mixed weed and tabaco. Mostly in the evening. Stopped, and I am now lying in bed with fever, body ache all over my body. Had the worst sleep ever. F*** weed really.

    After a few days I will feel better but it takes months to get used to activities without weed again. Even after months you are still at prime state to meet some friend, and think to yourself: just once.

  • mr. poopiebutthole says:

    interesting read, I’m currently drenched in sweat, haven’t ingested thc in 48 hours after using concentrates and edibles heavily over the past few years. Every time I quit this happens especially at night I’ll wake up 3-4 times to shower.

  • Shredded Brah says:

    I cannot believe how people sell this substance with a straight face and recommend other people to use it under the guise of recreation. It’s incredibly easy to get addicted when you have cheap access to legal cannabis, and the substance modifies your sense of self in ways you wouldn’t even wish on your enemy. I have suffered immensely from my addiction and trying to quit several times, only to fall back in from the horrendous withdrawal symptoms and the worst part is it makes you guilty, antisocial and paranoid so you avoid talking to others when you need them the most. I have an Engineering job that suffered as well, but I haven’t been defeated. I will keep fighting until I regain agency over my body and mind, absolutely disgusting how pot head losers encourage other people to join them in their slumber (because this drug helps you stay asleep and stop caring about the world and your dreams instead of facing challenges head on and reaching goals. It removes any willpower to even lift a finger beyond instant gratification activities). Stay away at all costs, you have been warned.

  • FatCat says:

    I have had just about every symptom but the abdominal pain is the worst. I’m 3 days clean, hot flashes are beginning. When I first started using MJ I was in control, I could stop easily didn’t use it every day and was able to just enjoy it recreationally. Then I begin to have an addictive behavior towards it. I never really had a great appetite and MJ definitely helped me to eat and gain weight. Then I started to smoke on the wake up and that’s where the smoking turned into an all day event.
    I truly believe it is very easily to become addicted to anything once you just focus on that one thing all the time. If you know how to dose yourself and actually control yourself then your good (like my fiancé, he can quit instantly with no problems). Outside of that if you know you have addictive behaviors then just stay away from anything that’s going to bring you strife.

  • Carrie Donway says:

    I have been an after work user for almost 10 years, weekends I use more especially when the kids aren’t home. I have not had any adverse consequences from it. I still wake up, go to work everyday, pay my bills on time, take care of all my afult responsibilities, invluding the kids. I have vaselated between pre-rolls, edibles and vape over the years. I am just tired of waking up every morning wishing I would stop using it so much. I recently got sick Monday and since I could not smoke for 3 days due to the illness, I decided nows a good time to stop. absolutely could not smoke for 3 days at least. Iits only been a week, but my only symptoms have been difficulty dalling asleep, and possible low body temp, and I don’t even know if that is from the lack of weed or my illness. all I know is, so far it’s been easier for me to not use than any other time I have quit in the past. maybe being basically unconsious for the first 3 days helped, and if thats the case, I suggest if stopping is difficult, maybe try a time when you are very sick. It’s only been a week, I know, but so far its been the easiest time I have tried to quite, but I also dont have an addictive personality, so mybe I have just finally decided this is it, I am done letting the weed win. I already feel much more clear headed, and motivated to do things and that started after just 3 days.

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