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General information on marijuana

Marijuana is a hallucinogenic drug that causes euphoria in a user due to the active chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). People use this drug due to its physical and mental effects of elevating one's mood and muscle relaxation. It can also increase an individual's appetite for high carbohydrate and fatty foods.

Some side effects of this drug include bloodshot eyes and, more seriously, decreased short term memory retention, decreased motor skills and lack of concentration. The latter issues can continue for up to 1 month after using marijuana.

Are there any withdrawal symptoms after stopping marijuana use?

Previously, it was thought that there weren't any withdrawal symptoms associated with marijuana use but recovering users have verbalized that there are indeed symptoms.

These experienced symptoms also depended on person-to-person accounts and are thus subjective in nature. Factors such as the person's previous medical history and environmental factors play a role in determining who will be affected and who won't.

What are the withdrawal symptoms?

The most common withdrawal symptom experienced by recovering marijuana users is insomnia. The duration of this issue can last from a few nights of no sleep up to a few months of occasional sleepless nights. 

Next most common issue with withdrawal is depression. Thereafter, the more common issues tend to be experiencing vivid dreams or nightmares. This happens because marijuana suppresses the mechanism in the brain which is responsible for dreaming, so when one stops using the drug the person starts having very vivid and colourful dreams. This issue tends to start about a week after quitting marijuana and can last up to a month. Recovering users can also experience "using dreams" where they dream of using marijuana. These dreams are very common and can last for years but are not as emotionally draining and are considered part of the recovery process.

The next most common symptom is anger. Recovering users can become very moody and one's emotions can end up being all over the place. The anger is projected to everyone and everything and can manifest as just constant irritability to sudden outbursts which occur randomly.

Anxious feelings, fluctuating sex drive and a decreased sense of humour can also occur as part of the withdrawal process. These symptoms can last up to 3 months but do gradually resolve over that time period. Decreased concentration levels may also occur for the first few weeks after stopping the drug.

The most common physical symptoms experienced are headaches, night sweats and coughing up phlegm. The latter are due to the body getting rid of toxins and tar, respectively. These issues can last up to a couple of months and the phlegm production well over 6 months.

Other symptoms include a decreased appetite for up to 6 weeks, nauseavomiting for a couple of days, tremors, dizziness and fatigue.

Why do withdrawal symptoms occur?

The reason why this occurs is because THC is a fat soluble drug which gets stored in the fat cells of the body. Therefore, THC can only be completely removed once those fat cells are utilized and this can take a few months to occur.

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