Weed Withdrawals: What To Expect Your First 14 Days After Quitting Marijuana

2 min read

You’ve identified that your relationship with weed is out of balance.

You’ve made the decision to take an extended break and even made the necessary changes in your life to make it happen.

Now, you have to do it. So what should you expect to happen over the coming weeks and months?

Marijuana is tricky. Although the data doesn’t indicate it’s very physically addictive when compared to drugs like tobacco, cocaine or heroin, my experience has been that there can be pronounced physical withdrawals during a detox. Not to mention the psychological cravings.

The good news is that these symptoms will completely go away over time. There may be some very difficult days, but if you ride it out, you’ll be able to get to the other side of the mental mountain. Everybody will have a different experience during their detox, but based on my experience, here’s what you can expect:

Days 1-14

The first two weeks of this process are undoubtedly the most challenging. You’re going to feel the urge to smoke, vape or consume very acutely. You’re going to feel odd not having your favorite tool by your side in all the ways that you’re used to having it.

This is your most vulnerable window, so put yourself in a position to win.

If you can overcome the cravings of the first two weeks, you’ll set yourself up for success. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your environment is properly cleansed and boundaries are set to ensure that you remain in integrity.

If you can avoid it, don’t spend a lot of time around others who are using during this time. You haven’t locked in the habit yet and will be on shaky ground.

Don’t find yourself at the dispensary. You’re much more likely to buy something. Remain self-aware.

The level to which you were dependent on marijuana will be reflected in the severity of your withdrawal symptoms, so reflect on that. If it’s really hard, good.

That means you needed this break.

You may feel very depressed during this time. There is nothing wrong with you. Your brain is simply trying to find homeostasis again after you have removed THC from your system. Your dopamine levels are in the process of coming back to baseline. It can feel very uncomfortable.

There’s a good possibility that you’ll experience trouble concentrating at work or difficulty sleeping at night. I’ve often spent nights tossing and turning, drenched in sweat because my body was craving THC.

It’s also not uncommon to lose your appetite, feel extreme lethargy and irritability during the first two weeks.

There were times during my detoxes where it felt like my whole body was completely depleted. On top of that, I could barely eat and I found myself snapping at my wife for the simplest things.

I absolutely hated this feeling and remembering it vividly is one of the main things that has mostly turned me off from marijuana these days. The juice ain’t worth the squeeze. I simply don’t want to go through the withdrawals again.

Your symptoms will vary, but when they do occur, you have two choices: relieve the suffering by going back to the plant — or pushing through.

If you’re serious about taking a break and your reasons are compelling enough, then the only answer is to push through. The last thing you want to do is start this process over again. It will suck. Stay strong and do not give in.

During this time, you will want to redirect your energy to new, more constructive habits to fill the void left by cannabis.

Those can include:

  • Starting or improving your exercise routine
  • Implementing or dialing in your nutrition plan
  • Getting your sleep hygiene on lock
  • Learning to meditate completely sober
  • Experimenting with fasting
  • Doing a digital detox with your devices
  • Picking up or developing new creative pursuits

Some people find it helpful during this time to use a well-measured, low potency edible such as a mint with 5-10mg of THC per serving to “taper down” to zero THC by the end of the second week.

You can start with a 5-20mg per day and gradually bring the amount down to zero by the end of week two.

This is a manageable way to reduce some of the worst side effects and cravings. Be careful not to use this crutch for too long or to overuse it in an attempt to stay high. This is essentially a microdose. You should not feel high or even buzzed — it should just be enough to satisfy the THC craving. And you should aim to be at absolute zero THC by the end of week 2.

Once you get to the two week mark, the most severe symptoms should have died down. Things will be starting to even out.

But don’t get overly confident.

Stay the course.