During a period of abstinence from cannabis, the body begins the process of eliminating the cannabis metabolites from the system. This is known as detox.
As the body expels these toxins, users may experience a number of psychological withdrawal symptoms in addition to various physical ones. This is due to the brain and body becoming accustomed to the presence of cannabis, and therefore needs to adjust in order to function normally without it.
The duration of detox largely depends on the various factors surrounding your particular case of addiction to cannabis. These include how long you’ve abused the substance, how much of it you’ve consumed, and whether you need to be tapered off the drug or not.
While this could take a week for some people, it might be longer for others. This is because THC may still be present in the body several days after taking cannabis, which means the psychological effects of the drug might persist, especially in heavy users.
Although detox is an important part of addiction treatment, treating the psychological aspects of addiction is what will help with your long-term recovery.
Cannabis addiction interferes with your brain’s chemistry, and could potentially cause a range of mental health issues.
Failing to address the underlying causes of addiction can increase your risk of relapse.
Home Detox for Cannabis
Many people try to detox from cannabis at home, however, doing so can present significant issues and is never advised due to the potentially unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. While marijuana detox is not considered life-threatening it can still be extremely challenging.
If you are unable to attend inpatient or outpatient treatment for marijuana addiction, then it’s important you don’t attempt a home detox alone.
You should always have support from another person and ensure you’re detoxing in a comfortable and safe environment.
One of the biggest challenges people face when doing a home detox is that they still have access to drugs. This can make maintaining sobriety a lot more difficult, especially when cannabis cravings kick in.
Medically Supervised Detox for Cannabis
Detox in a residential rehab or outpatient facility is usually medically supervised. This means you will be prescribed medication to help you cope with cannabis withdrawal. Because withdrawal from cannabis is considered mild in comparison to other drugs, medications to support detox aren’t always necessary.
However, if you have opted for residential rehab and are experiencing extremely unpleasant physical or psychological symptoms, there is a doctor on hand to offer you the appropriate medication to help you manage your discomfort.
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Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked January 19, 2022