What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana, also known as weed, is a recreational drug. It also has medicinal and industrial uses.
The psychoactive properties in weed are primarily due to a compound called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This induces a range of effects including euphoria, relaxation, and heightened sensory experiences. It’s also what leads to habitual weed use, which in turn leads to weed withdrawal symptoms.
Aside from weed, marijuana goes by numerous other nicknames, often influenced by regional slang, cultural references, or the physical appearance and effects of the substance.
Here are a few of the most commonly used ones:
- Mary Jane
- Dope (this can refer to other drugs as well)
Marijuana is the most commonly used drug after nicotine and alcohol. It’s also the most frequently used illegal drug. For this reason, it’s sometimes been called a gateway drug.
Somewhat controversially, the DEA classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance. This is despite the medical uses the drug has in treating cancer and glaucoma patients. However, it’s not true the drug is totally harmless either.
In this article, we’ll talk about whether or not weed is safe, how long weed withdrawal lasts, and weed withdrawal symptoms.
Is Weed Addictive?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, up to 30% of those who use marijuana may be addicted to it. The presence of this disorder means a person suffers from weed withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it. This happens because their bodies have become dependent on the cannabinoids in marijuana.
Is Marijuana Safe?
This is complicated.
Marijuana legalization has led to a marked increase in the variety and availability of marijuana products in the states where it has taken place. It’s allowed for regulation and standardization, meaning people should be able to know what they are buying. Legal marijuana products can also be tested for harmful substances and provide consumers with information on potency and dosage.
Research has also documented several medicinal benefits of marijuana, including but not limited to:
- Pain Management — Marijuana has been utilized for its pain management properties, offering a less addictive alternative to opioids.
- Cancer — It can help in managing the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting.
- Epilepsy — Certain compounds in marijuana, like CBD, have been found to reduce the frequency of seizures in some forms of epilepsy.
- Mental Health — While the evidence is mixed, some people find relief from anxiety and PTSD with the responsible use of marijuana.
However, marijuana is also far more potent than it was decades ago.
it marijuana can also exacerbate mental illness symptoms in others, and high-THC strains might potentially worsen mental health issues. This increased potency can potentially lead to stronger effects and a higher risk of adverse reactions, including dependency, weed withdrawal symptoms, and mental health issues.
Excessive use of the drug has been linked to mental health issues like schizophrenia. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, marijuana use can even lower IQ.
If you or a loved one is suffering from weed withdrawal symptoms or needs a marijuana detox, please reach out for help.
Is Marijuana a Stimulant or Depressant?
Marijuana defies easy categorization as either a pure stimulant or depressant, due to its mix of effects.
For example, marijuana can increase alertness, elevate mood, and increase heart rate, particularly at lower doses.
However, marijuana can also act as a depressant, meaning it can slow down the central nervous system’s messages between the body and the brain.
Some of the depressant effects of marijuana include:
- Relaxation and calmness
- Slowed reaction time
- Impaired short-term memory
- Decreased alertness
Confounding things further, being a psychoactive drug, marijuana also acts as a hallucinogen.
This means it can alter one’s perceptions of time and space.
The specific effects one experiences when consuming marijuana depends on other factors such as the method and amount of consumption, their individual psychology, and the presence of other substances.
Are There Weed Withdrawal Symptoms?
Yes, there can be weed withdrawal symptoms, especially for those who have been using it over an extended period.
People who get high every day are more likely to develop a dependence on marijuana, and thus more likely to have withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms on weed include:
- Irritability and Mood Swings
- Sleep Disturbances, including insomnia and vivid dreams
- Changes in Appetite
- Physical Discomfort, including headaches and abdominal pain
- Decreased focus and concentration
How long someone goes through weed withdrawal symptoms may differ based on frequency and amount of the drug used, individual physiology, and whether the person used other substances along with marijuana.
Generally, weed withdrawal symptoms begin one-to-three days after cessation, peak around the first week, and subside within the first one-to-three weeks.
Here are some tips that might help you deal with weed withdrawal symptoms:
- Reduce use marijuana gradually instead of stopping abruptly
- Seek support from friends, family, or support groups
- Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated
- Meditation and deep breathing
The withdrawal symptoms of marijuana can be stressful, especially for daily or heavy users. Tapering off and seeking support can aid in navigating the withdrawal period more comfortably. Some people may need to seek a professional marijuana detox.
We are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. We can help. Call us today!
Marijuana Treatment at South Coast Behavioral Health
Those struggling with weed withdrawal symptoms should call South Coast Behavioral Health.
The first step before treatment can begin is going through a medical detox. Our medical detox program in California features caring and compassionate professionals who can provide you with medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms.
After detoxing, proper treatment can begin.
Treatment for substance abuse takes place along an entire spectrum of care. Along that entire spectrum are various behavioral therapies, support groups, and the use of medically-assisted treatment (MAT).
These levels of treatment are, in order, as follows:
Residential Treatment in California
After successfully completing medical detox, you’ll move to inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling.
We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the facility full-time.
In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family support services.
Partial Hospitalization in California
Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.
A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for a number of hours each day, returning back to their homes in the evening.
This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California
For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.
With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach can meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.
This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility.
Get Start Today
If you or a loved one are struggling with weed withdrawal symptoms but wonder how long treatment takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184 or contact us here. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea on what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, help verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have. Don’t wait. Call today and learn more.