Symptoms Of Marijuana Withdrawal You Shouldn't Ignore

In 1996, California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana (via The Motley Fool). In the years since, marijuana has gradually gained more public acceptance, infiltrating the mainstream as more states legalize the usage of medical marijuana. 70% of states in the U.S., along with four U.S. territories, currently permit the usage of cannabis for medical purposes (via NCSL). 

The legalization of recreational marijuana for adults over 21 is now also moving at a rapid pace. According to Rolling Stone, it is at the point where there are now fewer states that have not legalized either medical or recreational marijuana compared to states that have legalized it.

While states are becoming more open to the legalization of marijuana, it remains illegal at the federal level. Although this could change in the near future, as a bill to decriminalize marijuana was recently reintroduced by the House (via NBC News). In the meantime, the DEA classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, deeming marijuana as having no medical use, along with a high risk of abuse. The risk for abuse comes from a chemical in marijuana called THC. THC is similar to a chemical that our body produces naturally that supports messages between nerve cells. If you abuse marijuana, your brain may begin to rely on the THC from marijuana versus its natural chemical production (via WebMD).

How to manage marijuana withdrawal

If you use marijuana infrequently, you may not experience symptoms, but if you use marijuana regularly, you will be more susceptible to marijuana withdrawal. Examples of symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include, but are not limited to, decreased appetite, mood swings, insomnia, difficulty focusing, depression, and marijuana cravings (via Healthline). Symptoms can range in severity, depending on the person, but the more frequently you use marijuana, the greater the chance you will experience symptoms of withdrawal. The reason being, is that your brain now needs to adjust to the reduced amounts of the THC chemical to which it has become accustomed.

If you are looking to quit, there are steps experts suggest that can help ease withdrawal symptoms. Some of these suggested methods include cutting out junk food and sticking to a healthy diet, staying well-hydrated, making sure you get plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, and checking in with family or friends to keep you accountable (via Medical News Today). If you feel you are in need of additional support, you may want to consider speaking to your doctor or a counselor regarding treatment options and other information.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).