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Have you tried to quit weed many times, without success? If you're ready to marijuana up for good this time, these medications to help you cope with marijuana withdrawal symptoms should help you through your weed detox.

Smoking marijuana may initially give you exactly what you want — feelings of euphoria, lowered anxiety, reduced pain if you're suffering from medical conditions, better sleep, and a generally pleasant feeling of intoxication.

Long-term cannabis users, it's becoming increasingly clear, are often less lucky. They can fall victim to a number of unpleasant effects of marijuana that they definitely weren't banking on when they started smoking pot. These effects can be present even when you're not high on weed, and they include impaired memory and a shorter attention span, cardiovascular illness, respiratory problems, and marijuana addiction. [1]

Have you noticed that marijuana is having a detrimental effect on your quality of life, and do you want out? Some people who try to quit smoking weed are successful in one go. Research shows that around 30 percent of weed users meet the diagnostic criteria for cannabis use disorder [2], however, and some people discover that their marijuana withdrawal symptoms are so unbearable to them that relapse appears to be the only answer. Indeed, those folks who seek medical help for their marijuana addiction after smoking pot nearly every day for at least 10 years will have tried to quit an average of six times by the time they make it to a doctor. [3]

Sometimes, willpower isn't enough. Sometimes, even breathing exercises, herbs, therapy, acupressure, and other natural weed detox methods aren't enough. Sometimes, you need to bring in the big guns to help you overcome your marijuana addiction. 

What medications for marijuana withdrawal symptoms could help you say goodbye to weed forever — allowing you to start a new life, free from addiction?

Fighting Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms With Synthetic Cannabinoids?

One obvious way to fight the withdrawal symptoms of whatever substance you were abusing is to give your body what it craves — but in a controlled manner, coupled with a gradual reduction. This approach is not new; it has been used with opiate abusers, who can be offered methadone or buprenorphine, for many years. Nicotine patches and nicotine gum have the same effect on people who are hoping to give up smoking cigarettes. 

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or Dronabinol, is one of the main active ingredients in cannabis and also the active ingredient in the medication Marinol [4]. It has been used on-label to fight nausea and to increase appetite for quite a while now, and research indicates that Dronabinol is also one possible way to cope with marijuana withdrawal symptoms. While you can certainly discuss the possibility of taking Marinol during your weed detox with your doctor, it is also important to be aware of the possibility that this drug might simply become a "weed replacement". [5]

Stopping Marijuana From Meeting Your Perceived Needs

Another possible way to help you quit weed is to take the (perceived) positive effects of marijuana out of the equation — why would you continue to use cannabis if it no longer does what it previously did for you? The CB1 receptor antagonist Rimonabant has been shown to have the ability to reduce the subjective physiological effects of cannabis. The idea is that you will not continue to smoke pot if it no longer gives you the pleasurable effects you have come to expect from marijuana. [6]

Other Medical Approaches To Cannabis Withdrawal 

Cannabinoid receptors are naturally present all over the body, and long-term marijuana use interferes with their functioning, something that plays a large role in the marijuana withdrawal symptoms many users experience.

Medications that regulate this problem may likewise help you through your weed detox, and they include:

  • The fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597.
  • Naltrexone.
  • Dopamine. 
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC) [7].

Medications That Target Specific Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

Besides medications that aim to reduce marijuana withdrawal symptoms across the board, cannabis addicts who are trying to quit weed may find that they struggle with particular aspects of weed detox — like anxiety and depression during weed detox, irritability and headaches during weed detox, or marijuana cravings.

If that's you, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about medications that target the parts of marijuana withdrawal that are hardest on you. Consider:

  • The anxiety drug Buspirone, which is often used to help people overcome substance abuse issues as well as lowering anxiety and depression [8].
  • Gabapentin (GABA) to help you deal with marijuana cravings [9]. 
  • Ambien (Zolpidem) for the insomnia many new weed quitters experience [10]. 
In addition, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy specifically adapted to people struggling with substance abuse has also been proven to help people through a tough marijuana detox.

While therapy obviously isn't a medication, it's something your healthcare provider will likely suggest to you if you knock on their door asking for medication to help you with your marijuana withdrawal. Therapists can help you stay motivated, teach you relaxation techniques, and teach you to change the thinking patterns associated with marijuana addiction. [11]

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