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What happens when you stop smoking a joint?

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Here's what happens to your body and mind when we take a break on the bedo

Have you recently quit smoking weed? Have you smoked at least once a day for several years? Why can the first week of quitting be particularly brutal? Panic attack, difficulty falling asleep, nightmares or waking up unexpectedly in the middle of the night, increased sweating are symptoms often encountered during this first phase. Can we then talk about cannabis addiction ? Researchers have taken a serious look at the issue of addiction. Here's what happens to your body and brain when you take a break on the bedo.

Cannabis withdrawal syndrome is disabling and highly comorbid

Anxiety is at its height, the head pounding with a dull and persistent pain, the stomach is nauseous, no desire to eat. All of these symptoms eventually go away about three weeks later, but it takes a full month to feel normal again.

Consumers who want to take a break or quit suffer, for the most part, from cannabis withdrawal syndrome, which healthcare professionals are only beginning to understand. In fact, this syndrome does not even appear in the Mental Disorders Manual (DSM), the "bible" of psychiatry, used to diagnose mental health problems. Knowing that the latest edition of DSM dates back to 2015.

According to this edition, signs of cannabis withdrawal may include anxiety, depressed mood, irritability, decreased appetite, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, and various uncomfortable physical symptoms. In general, this occurs in chronic and heavy users - that is, those who consume it every day, says Yu-Fung Lin, associate professor at the University of California at Davis, who teaches the physiology of the patient. cannabis.

Addiction and Cannabis - Timothy Fong, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Inaugural 2017

Cannabis withdrawal syndrome can be triggered not only by stopping marijuana altogether, but also by significantly reducing its use.

Contrary to alcohol withdrawal, which can be fatal, cannabis withdrawal is not life-threatening, says Timothy Fong, professor of psychiatry who participates in the leadership of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative. Nevertheless, the risk benefit remains positive and in favor of therapeutic cannabis, especially for certain diseases refractory to allopathic drugs.

Cannabis withdrawal syndrome can be triggered not only by stopping marijuana altogether, but also by significantly reducing its use. The minimum reduction needed to induce withdrawal, however, varies from person to person, reflecting our individual biological differences, Ms. Fong explains.

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When you consume a lot of cannabis, you dramatically increase the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound that causes euphoria, in your blood. To restore balance, your body changes its natural levels of THC receptors, as well as neurochemicals like serotonin and adrenaline. Removing cannabis (or drastically reducing its use) upsets this balance, which your body must restore by changing levels of THC receptors and neurochemicals again.

“When you're craving… your body works hard to get back to normal functioning,” Fong tells Mic. "It's such a stress on the body," which is why it feels like you're dead. Abnormal levels of serotonin can lead to nausea, for example.

According to Lin, if you're a chronic heavy cannabis user, you may start to experience withdrawal symptoms around a day after your last use (although Fong saw symptoms appear as early as a few hours later). They usually reach their peak one to four days after the last drink and gradually dissipate after a few weeks.

But this timeline, as well as the details about the onset and duration of some symptoms, differ from person to person. In fact, “this is a truly individual and unique experience,” Ms. Fong explains. For example, just because your friend's muscles started hurting within four days of stopping smoking, it doesn't mean you have to. In addition, not all people who quit smoking or who drastically reduce their cannabis use are not necessarily craving. A recent study of heavy cannabis users found that around 12% of them suffered from it.

Frequency seems to be more important than power; Lin notes that consuming the weed every day, even at low doses of THC, can lead to biochemical changes that could, in turn, lead to withdrawal.

Learn more about withdrawal risk factors: While this is an area where we definitely need a lot more science, Fong says, we can assume that "if you consume high potency products [ie high in THC] several times a day you are more likely to be craving ”.

But frequency seems to be more important than power; Lin notes that consuming the weed every day, even at low doses of THC, can lead to biochemical changes that could, in turn, lead to withdrawal. Health issues such as insufficient sleep, dehydration, and poor nutrition can make you even more vulnerable to the stress of restoring your body to normal functions, notes Fong.

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Mr. Fong explains that he is not aware of risk factors associated with specific types of cannabis products. However, your risk may increase if you smoke very potent products like shatter every day. The same goes for drugs, although the patients he lives with his colleagues at UCLA Addiction Medecine Clicniq do not consume edibles on a daily basis.

If you think you are suffering from cannabis withdrawal syndrome, Fong suggests asking your doctor to put you in touch with an addiction professional, who can give you anxiety medication and other interventions to alleviate your symptoms. symptoms. If you don't have insurance or your plan doesn't cover addiction treatment, look for free, state-funded, or not-for-profit treatment programs or medical clinics.

Not everyone is required to undergo treatment for, but found anxiety reduction strategies like listening to soft music, meditating, doing relaxation, cold showers will help calm your mind and help you relax. refocus on the present moment

Stopping weed also has its benefits. As soon as you stop using it regularly, your body will start to return to what it was before you started smoking weed, Ms. Fong says. And if you are struggling with cannabis addiction, or want to quit for other reasons, overcoming withdrawal is the first step to quitting cannabis for good.

As soon as you stop consuming it regularly, your body will return to what it was before you started smoking weed.

While it may seem intuitive that quitting smoking weed will restore your lung function, it may actually provide little, if any, respiratory benefit. It's clear that tobacco and nicotine are very harmful for the lungs, but the question of whether the same is true for cannabis remains open, according to Mr. Fong.

After withdrawal symptoms subside, consumers see less energy for exercise and other activities than when they still smoke weed.

The most of the great advantages is smoking cessation . It should be noted that once the withdrawal symptoms have disappeared, many ex-users notice a significant drop in energy, not only to exercise but also to perform various daily activities, thus realizing how much they had relied on the weed. Weaning off cannabis is not an easy thing but it is not impossible, plus you might also discover resources within yourself that you never knew you had.

Tags : anxietyConsumptionaddictionDepression
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Media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet, including the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.