Do you get angry easily? Do you feel anxious, or even sad? Are you quick to lose your temper? These feelings are common during marijuana withdrawal.
One of the biggest struggles when trying to quit marijuana is mood disturbances, which affect up to 75% of those experiencing withdrawal (Livine, Drug Alcohol Depend, 2019).
Early on in the withdrawal process, mood symptoms can range from irritability and feeling on edge to depression and anxiety.
There are several reasons you may be experiencing these symptoms. First, irritability and anxiety are common across all substance use disorders, reflecting a shared neural mechanism underlying removal of a potent positive stimulus. Second, you may have used marijuana as a tool to mitigate the negative feelings of stress or sadness in your everyday life, making those experiences even more heightened now.
These symptoms can be quite distressing, and the desire to mitigate these symptoms is a frequently cited reason for resuming cannabis use during this early period. Stay strong, though! It may feel gloomy or even scary now, but it will pass.
Try to find ways to naturally reverse these negative feelings. When feeling anxious, consider a way to relax your body (exercise, stretching, etc.), or to relax your mind with meditation or yoga. Alternatively, it may be better for you to remain social, connecting with friends, family, or support groups to quell some of the anxiety and loneliness. Speaking about what you’re feeling and having that feeling validated can provide immense relief.
Leah Zuroff, M.D., M.S.
Dr. Zuroff completed medical school at the Perelman School of Medicine, where she concurrently received a Master of Science in Translational Research.
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.