Cannabis Addiction and Abuse

Some like to see detoxification of weed and the flushing out of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoids (CBN) as a race against time. This rarely is the situation, unless applicable to an urgent Cannabis detox situation. A so called instant intervention may be required amongst heavy chronic users, where the addictions alters perceptions about life and creates longterm lifestyle problems.

Although it is not always accepted by the majority, users of cannabis whether an addict or social user do become dependent on the drug over time. Either as a need or as associative use. This form of dependence on a drug is less pronounced with Cannabis than it is with Cocaine and Heroin, simply because the symptoms of withdrawal can be much more intense with the latter.


WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS FROM CANNABIS WITHDRAWAL?

It's could be quite common for someone to associate a Friday or Saturday Night with cannabis use and it being a social activity. This thinking sustains and also hides your addiction, much like we have an association with beer and being social. In this instance even as a regular yet low level user could benefit from a detox programme, even if it's to help them to exercise restraint.
 
If for instance all your friends disappeared on holiday for two weeks, do you feel you'd notice any symptoms? What might you miss the most, your friends or the topping up of THC to your blood stream? Your friends provided the excuse to enjoy group use of Cannabis but the joint itself, which could have been inhaled at home just as easily, is what provides the withdrawal symptoms you would inevitably succumb to.
 
Therefore even social users should understand that they have a low level addiction to Cannabis.
 
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms are not that easy to spot when a social user is taking a break for a week or two. Amongst heavier users the changes in personality and behaviour can be dramatic. Separating mind and body from most addictions usually results in the following; becoming anxious or visibly nervous with indecision, angry and irritable, losing sleep and in turn leading to depression from boredom and inactivity.


THE EFFECTS OF POT & WHY YOU NEED DETOX

More chronic users of Cannabis can experience shaking, cold sweats, pains in the stomach and headaches. Why? Because the THC is leaving a void and as it does, your body which has become addicted is dealing with the possibility that it will get no more. A demos will help you yourself control your mind and body and help to alleviate those urges. Yet at the same time it's good to find reasons to detox properly.

Body: Your immune system is the body's ability to fight against disease. Cannabis affects its ability to be thorough which may lead to cancers or regular colds and worse pneumonia. Your choice, a high once a week and a low for the rest of your life.

Mind: There does appear to be a connection between some forms of schizophrenia and mental illnesses with regards early adoption of Cannabis use. If starting at age 14, because the brain develops until an average age of 25, this can affect the growth of this vital organ developing. The consequences could well leave you with the diagnosis of schizophrenia by age 26.

Soul:  This aside from the fact that dependency leads to being nervous and ambiguous in life situations. Humans have a driving force in themselves to succeed to be better. Cannabis use and withdrawal symptoms can affect the balance of what we shall term, your soul.

Income: A situation may arise where drug use is needed to be tested by your work place. This is down to the fact the role you are needed for requires you to operate heavy machinery. Or by the authorities for legal reasons. i.e. A drug test for a new job, for driving, related to sports performance... in which case a detox programme may be needed so that you can be successful in whatever career you wish to pursue & a worsening income situation could potentially lead to harder drug use.


HOW THE CANNABIS DETOX PROCESS WORKS

A Cannabis detox is a means to cope with the sudden loss of using cannabis. Withdrawal symptoms are much less than that of more powerful drugs, however, it is not quite correct to suggest withdrawing from such social or heavy use will be easy.  Going cold turkey from any habitual drug taking will be harsh.


You may be sat reading this article wondering if DIY Cannabis detox will work for you. It might. The most important part of usage to remember is this, most people need more each time to get a better high as the body gets used to certain levels, just as it would adapt to more or less oxygen.

Doing it yourself? If want the best results this is not always recommended. There tends to be three steps, evaluation, stabilisation and transition.
The first makes sure a scenario is safe to detox and is a catch all prognosis. Your health with blood tests and mind with psychological reviews will be put under the microscope. After this period of tests, treatment for Cannabis abuse and the process of THC detoxification will begin with monitoring of the fallout. A programme of medicines and an healthy diet alongside positive mental attitude activities, will ensue that within days and weeks you will begin to feel better.

Anyone who has gone sober, or attempted to do so, knows that there are associative behaviours and activities that enable Cannabis use or any drug or alcohol use to return. The ongoing stage of transition begins in earnest. You will learn what triggers a habit. A girlfriend, a situation, a place, a memory and work can all be triggers. It's important to recognise this as part of the detox process.


OUTPATIENT CANNABIS DETOX

Medically assisted Cannabis detox are not the bywords of this detox programme, although in some situations prescription medications may be prescribed if a Doctor feels you need help. This can help you to cope better with sleep or to fight certain urges. The idea is not to switch one dependency to another, it's to be clean and clear of all.
 
Usually a local NHS clinic or an at-home programme will monitor your progress. You will be a part of an outpatient programme where medical professionals of different backgrounds will assist you in what could be termed recovery from Cannabis addictions. The fight is yours but just as in boxing, the people around you will cheer you on and the Coach / Doctor will essentially point you in the right direction.
 
There are two things a detox would seek to eradicate, the dependence on THC which is a physical reliance and the other the psychological reliance. The later is often more powerful than the former because of unknown or known associative situations and behaviours that could see you relapse. The battle is never won but that doesn't mean you will ever lose again after starting a detox programme for Cannabis.


CANNABIS DETOX TIME FRAME

There is not a single duration for detox just as there isn't an answer to how long will it take to put a fire out. It's known what tools are required, the different areas of experience and when to apply the methods but everyone reacts differently to a detox programme. This is especially when considering how long THC has been in the body and how long it will take for the cannabinoids to be filtered from your fat cells. The initial physical and mental reactions to detox could be quick, in the case of long term users the reliance on cannabis could be visible within 24 to 48 hours.
 

For less frequent use of marijuana it could be a few weeks to see any dependency raise its ugly head. Neither of these time lines relate to how long a recovery from THC abuse will take to have an effect. Not all will be enrolled into outpatient programmes, some treatments may be more intense and make use of a Long-Term Residential Treatment or Short-Term Rehab Treatments. In these establishments recovery and cleansing may well be quicker with 24 hour monitoring and support, however, the urges are long term.
 
Insomnia may be experienced as a side effect requiring a different drug to temporarily aid you in sleeping. There will be protracted withdrawal symptoms months after any detox programme begins, which is why you'll have continual access to support groups. Dependency on THC will subside, it could be several weeks to a few months. The programmes work and the fight is yours to win. Each day without drug reliance is a win.

If you need to speak with someone regarding cannabis or any other form of drug addiction, please get in touch.

Danielle Robinson