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Hash Meister
Research by a group of scientists studying the effects of heavy marijuana use suggests that withdrawal from the use of marijuana is similar to what is experienced by people when they quit smoking cigarettes. Abstinence from each of these drugs appears to cause several common symptoms, such as irritability, anger and trouble sleeping - based on self reporting in a recent study of 12 heavy users of both marijuana and cigarettes.
"These results indicate that some marijuana users experience withdrawal effects when they try to quit, and that these effects should be considered by clinicians treating people with problems related to heavy marijuana use," says lead investigator in the study, Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D., of the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States. Admissions in substance abuse treatment facilities in which marijuana was the primary problem substance have more than doubled since the early 1990s and now rank similar to cocaine and heroin with respect to total number of yearly treatment episodes in the United States, says Vandrey.
He points out that a lack of data, until recently, has led to cannabis withdrawal symptoms not being characterized or included in medical reference literature such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, (DSM-IV) or the International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition (ICD-10).
Since the drafting of the DSM-IV in 1994, an increasing number of studies have surfaced suggesting that cannabis has significant withdrawal symptoms. What makes Vandrey's recent study unique is that it is the first study that compares marijuana withdrawal symptoms to withdrawal symptoms that are clinically recognized by the medical community - specifically the tobacco withdrawal syndrome.
"Since tobacco withdrawal symptoms are well documented and included in the DSM-IV and the IDC-10, we can infer from the results of this comparison that marijuana withdrawal is also clinically significant and should be included in these reference materials and considered as a target for improving treatment outcomes," says Vandrey.
Vandrey added that this is the first "controlled" comparison of the two withdrawal syndromes in that data was obtained using rigorous scientific methods - abstinence from drugs was confirmed objectively, procedures were identical during each abstinence period, and abstinence periods occurred in a random order. That tobacco and marijuana withdrawal symptoms were reported by the same participants, thus eliminating the likelihood that results reflect physiological differences between subjects, is also a strength of the study.
Interestingly, the study also revealed that half of the participants found it easier to abstain from both substances than it was to stop marijuana or tobacco individually, whereas the remaining half had the opposite response.
"Given the general consensus among clinicians that it is harder to quit more than one substance at the same time, these results suggest the need for more research on treatment planning for people who concurrently use more than one drug on a regular basis," says Vandrey.
Vandrey's study, which appears in the January issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, followed six men and six women at the University of Vermont in Burlington and Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., for a total of six weeks. All were over 18 (median age 28.2 years), used marijuana at least 25 days a month and smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day. None of the subjects intended to quit using either substance, did not use any other illicit drugs in the prior month, were not on any psychotropic medication, did not have a psychiatric disorder, and if female, were not pregnant.
For the first week, participants maintained their normal use of cigarettes and marijuana. For the remaining five weeks, they were randomly chosen to refrain from using either cigarettes, marijuana or both substances for five-day periods separated by nine-day periods of normal use. In order to confirm abstinence, patients were given daily quantitative urine toxicology tests of tobacco and marijuana metabolites.
Withdrawal symptoms were self reported on a daily basis Monday through Friday using a withdrawal symptom checklist that listed scores for aggression, anger, appetite change, depressed mood, irritability, anxiety/nervousness, restlessness, sleep difficulty, strange dreams and other, less common withdrawal symptoms. Patients also provided an overall score for discomfort they experienced during each abstinence period.
Results showed that overall withdrawal severity associated with marijuana alone and tobacco alone was of similar frequency and intensity. Sleep disturbance seemed to be more pronounced during marijuana abstinence, while some of the general mood effects (anxiety, anger) seemed to be greater during tobacco abstinence. In addition, six of the participants reported that quitting both marijuana and tobacco at the same time was more difficult than quitting either drug alone, whereas the remaining six found that it was easier to quit marijuana or cigarettes individually than it was to abstain from the two substances simultaneously.
Vandrey recognizes that the small sample size is a limitation in this study, but the results are consistent with other studies indicating that marijuana withdrawal effects are clinically important


Hash Meister
personally I think its BS.. i have not had to work in 4 years and as a result I smoke a lot.. I reciently got this job and was immediatly able to go 8-12 hours a day without weed.. however I still cant do more than 2 hours without a cigarette befor I feel withdrawls to the ppoint of bitchyness.... I could go days without weed. I may be a little grumpy but not bitchy.. cigarettes however... i dont want to be in my own company without them... wow i need to quit smoking....


New Member
Yep,a month back I quit ciggarettes and it was a living hell.I constantly had a tightness in my chest,pannic attacks and was an overall "bitch".On the other hand because of where I now live and financilal reasons I go weeks at a time without herb,and don't go through any of the same withdrawls as from the governments "legal"ciggarettes .


New Member
i had to quit a few things and i have to say the only thing i had trouble with was opiate painkillers which i was abusing for a while taking up to 30pills a day, bc i knew id just get prescribed more and i wanted to get an escape from my pain and reality(this occured shortly after my injury and first surgery). besides that i never had trouble with quitting smoking from like a pack a day but only smoking at night and smoking like 15cigs in a period less than an hour, drinking alcohol i could down about a bottle and a half to two bottles of hard liquor in 15-30mins,smoking my lovely green godess everynight b4 bed and whenever my leg hurt alot. none of these caused ne problems with smoking i just wanted a cig here and there and booze i didnt really care at all and my weed nothing at all and i think i ended up stoping all these things for about a year to break the appeal except either usin painkillers or mj for my pain but not in any insane amounts and for booze yea ill have a beer here or there but im done with my straight from the bottle chugs of vodka and rum. as for cigs ive for the most part stopped except if its boys night out well have a cig or cigar with our beer pre and post blazing.... haha so basically ive started doin them all again but in miniscule amounts wel not the pot i love the pot it works wonders
basically wat ive been rambling on about is thats BS atleast for me but i no all people r different theyre bodies react differently so i guess its possible for sum1 to have crazy pot withdraws
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Well-Known Member
Oh, when anyone tells you that treatment center use is up 50% from 1990, you can tell them that is because Cannabis arrests are up more then double. If you want out of the conviction, they offer you treatment. In that same treatment center included in that guys numbers.

Spend enough money telling people the sky is pink and, people will swear the sky is pink.


New Member
Boss, the sky is pink.

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
I can tell you for a fact that when you cease marijuana after prolonged periods of medication, there IS a physical withdrawal.
Initially you will have elevated blood pressure, faster pulse, sweats, insomnia and agitation. These symptoms settle down after 3 days. If you are in doubt about this, talk to any detox nurse and they will confirm this.
The withdrawal is an adjustment by the body to not having cannabis - it is not a withdrawal like the opiates, but it is a withdrawal nevertheless.


Well-Known Member
"Dr. Hasin may be "jumping the gun" in labeling her symptom clusters cannabis withdrawal, he said in an interview."

I read that one a while back, and noticed nothing was mentioned about the LENGTH of these symptoms. Did they last 3 hours, a day, a week?

There are symptoms for heavy users, but they last a few minutes, and 90% of it is in your mind. The anxiety that you feel is anticipation, not withdrawl.

3 days Moose? You have to admit, that would be a HEAVY (Chronic) user of many years. Oh, you were speaking about yourself.. I understand :) LOL
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Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
This is from the Australian Drug Foundation.
Abrupt termination of cannabis use can produce a mild withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms include sleep disturbance, irritability, loss of appetite and consequent weight loss, nervousness, anxiety, sweating and upset stomach. Sometimes chills, increased body temperature and tremors occur. The withdrawal syndrome usually lasts for less than a week, although the sleep disturbances may persist for a longer period.


Well-Known Member
Seriously I have noticed it, when I feel it, but it has never been bad enough to even think twice about, and certainly nothing that would disrupt my normal behavior.

I mean you feel like shit after eating a gallon of ice cream the next day too :)


New Member
I just quit smoking cigarettes three months ago. I'd smoked for almost ten years. Quitting was excruciating and painful (mentally).
However, I do tend to notice a withdrawl when I quit smoking mj, to be honest. But it's no where even NEAR the withdrawl symptoms of nicotine! There is also no craving... Just an anxious, irritable, sleepless, uncomfortable feeling. It usually goes away in 48 hours, too. Also note the fact that I'm REALLY sensitive to substances. I don't know if anyone else feels the withdrawl, but I do. Weird, eh? Oh yeah, my boyfriend says he doesn't have any withdrawl, but it's not true... Since I have to deal with it, hehe. He gets snappy, irritable, agitated and grumpy when stops smoking - he denies it, but I witness it, i.e. unusual temper tantrums and yelling.
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