Posted in: Health Studies

Sorry Pot Smokers, Marijuana Causes Withdrawal Too [Study]

Marijuana Withdrawal Is Real, New Study Shows

Have you ever heard the theory that marijuana isn’t an addictive substance? Well, sorry pot smokers, but marijuana produces the same withdrawal symptoms as tobacco, according to a new study.

An Australian study that was published on Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE surveyed 50 marijuana users about their withdrawal symptoms before, during, and after a two-week abstinence period, reports ABC News.

The authors of the study have shown that marijuana withdrawal symptoms can be severe enough to interfere with the lives of regular users attempting to quit. Study co-author Alan J. Budney, a professor of psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in Lebanon, New Hampshire, stated:

“It’s very similar to what people experience with tobacco. It makes you irritable. It makes you restless. It makes it hard to sleep.”

Budney adds that withdrawal from marijuana, at its worst, “can be very disturbing and distressing … It can be enough to cause you some problems at work and home.”

Researchers also discovered that heavy users are more likely to suffer worse withdrawal symptoms and relapse during the two-week abstinence period if their symptoms are bad enough. Subjects also used marijuana a lot more in the following month if they had worse withdrawal symptoms.

Yahoo! News notes that the findings show that marijuana (contrary to popular belief) “behaves just like other drugs of abuse,” stated Scott E. Lukas of Harvard Medical School and MacLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, who was not involved in the study. Lukas added:

“There is a common belief among the public that marijuana is not very addictive and so it is not a big problem. It is not enough to simply say, ‘I want to quit,’ but, instead, the person must be able to withstand the turmoil of going through withdrawal.”

Dr. A. Eden Evins, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston who was not involved in the study, stated that there are telltale signs that accompany marijuana withdrawal just like with any other substance. While most people may “seem moody, tense, anxious and nervous,” one of the most troubling symptoms, and also one of the most common, is an intense desire to use marijuana to get high.

The symptoms of marijuana withdrawal typically last for two weeks but peak at about four days. While the symptoms last around two weeks, the extreme craving to use marijuana again can last much longer. The symptoms are not life threatening like some hard substances (cocaine and meth), but they can be very disruptive to daily live. Evins stated:

“It impairs people’s functions. Often, it leads people to use more than they want to. Withdrawal symptoms lead people into a cycle of heavier and heavier use that impairs their functioning.”

Do you think that marijuana withdrawal is real?

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Comments

16 Responses to “Sorry Pot Smokers, Marijuana Causes Withdrawal Too [Study]”

  1. Melissa Stusinski

    Look at it this way — every substance, food, and electronic device can be addictive to the right person. We have people addicted to caffeine, cigarettes, cocaine, pop, cell phones, computers, cars, video games, etc. I'm sorry, but there is no exception for cannabis. Whether it is the chemical or the person, there is something about it that makes some smokers addicted. Everything in our world has the potential to be addictive to the right person (smartphones have no chemical that we ingest to use them, but the need to check email/text messages constantly can make them addictive).

    Whether the withdrawal feelings are a chemical reaction in those peoples' brains (meaning the substance itself is addicting), or whether it is just their imagination because they are addicted to the feeling of getting high, it is still an addiction.

  2. Melissa Stusinski

    Look at it this way — every substance, food, and electronic device can be addictive to the right person. We have people addicted to caffeine, cigarettes, cocaine, pop, cell phones, computers, cars, video games, etc. I'm sorry, but there is no exception for cannabis. Whether it is the chemical or the person, there is something about it that makes some smokers addicted. Everything in our world has the potential to be addictive to the right person (smartphones have no chemical that we ingest to use them, but the need to check email/text messages constantly can make them addictive).

    Whether the withdrawal feelings are a chemical reaction in those peoples' brains (meaning the substance itself is addicting), or whether it is just their imagination because they are addicted to the feeling of getting high, it is still an addiction.

  3. Melissa Stusinski

    I should add that I know friends who do/have in the past smoked marijuana. I am not trying to give you anything that is propaganda filled, I'm simply saying that everything can be addictive to the right person, even cannabis.

  4. Shaun McDowell

    Yes, I have experienced it. Though it only lasts a couple of days. The cravings only lasted about a day but I got irritable and testy until I was able to blow of the steam. But that was just when I wanted to smoke but wasn't for whatever reason. Actually quitting was far easier than giving up cigarettes, and didn't cause any of those things.

  5. James Johnson

    Chris I am not sure if you are aware but comments like this have been landing people in FBI interrogation rooms, behind bars and with hefty fines. In any case the comment was removed.

  6. Chris Yandall

    a squirt gun shoots water. you assumed the worst. so does a pea shooter. this article is full of holes.

  7. Tara Saulnier

    you know what else has enough withdrawal symptoms to cause trouble at home, work, and sleeping? FUCKING COFFEE! Hey look, I'm still an adult who is capable of making my own decisions that do not effect anyone. It also only "surveyed" people on their symptoms. The power of suggestion debunks this "study". If the simple act of taking a pill (placebo) can cause positive effects then yes you tell people you want to find out if they have withdrawal, they can convince themselves they are addicted. Now let's see some ACTUAL scientific proof!

  8. Anonymous

    lol… withdrawal from sugar is much worse! I stopped smoking pot for a job and as soon as I started waking up at the crack of dawn, I noticed it was a lot easier to fall asleep without having to smoke.

  9. Jose Gonzales

    I wonder how big of a grant the skanksters at these various research facilities get for publishing this rubbish. While marijuana can be psychologically addicting, it is not physically addicting – unlike tobacco. The pyshological withdrawal is more pronounced if you are fighting cancer and need the healing benefits that marijuana provides.

  10. Jose Gonzales

    Pot can be used to break addiction to cigarettes. If you were irritable and testy when stopping marijuana it was probably due to your re-addiction to alcohol.