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About Cannabis

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Thinking of taking a break from regular use?

See the 'Making changes' page for more information on how to Manage withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.

Cannabis can be an addictive substance, especially when it is used regularly or in high doses. If you use cannabis often, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using. Withdrawal symptoms can start around 1–3 days from your last use and last up to 14 days for most people. The severity and length of withdrawal is different for everyone and depends on how much you use, how often and your individual body.

In some cases, cannabis withdrawal can be very unpleasant, and you may need the support of a doctor or a withdrawal service to help you. If you are worried about withdrawing, you can speak with your doctor about what will work best for you before you start.  

If you …

Then …

Have strong cravings to use cannabis

Have difficulty concentrating

Feel tired

Have decreased libido

Have aches and pains

Have difficulty sleeping

Feel agitated or irritable

Have headaches

Have vivid or disturbing dreams

Experience changes in weight or appetite

Feel nauseous

Sweat or feel very hot or very cold

Feel jittery

Have stomach-aches

Experience low mood

Feel anxious

Feel paranoid

Try these things at home:

  • Follow a tapering plan from a health professional to reduce your dose slowly.
  • Consider counselling or support groups if feelings of anxiety and depression are getting worse.
  • Lean on a support network of friends, family and professionals.
  • Stick to a routine – waking up, eating well, keeping active and rewarding yourself with things that bring you joy.
  • Practise mindfulness by writing down your feelings, doing breathing exercises or meditating.

Have increased agitation

Have increased sweating

Have increased feeling of being very hot or very cold

Experience ongoing blurred vision

Have ongoing insomnia

Have heart palpitations

Experience major changes in weight

Have tremors

Experience severe or ongoing anxiety

Experience severe or ongoing low mood

Experience severe or ongoing paranoia

Feel panicked or have a panic attack

Have severe or ongoing pain

Have hallucinations

Have suicidal thoughts

Call a doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116)

You can talk to your doctor about:

  • other prescription medications to help you get through withdrawal
  • rehab or withdrawal clinics in your area – visit Health Point to see what services are available.

Experience extreme agitation

Experience psychosis

Feel severely emotionally distressed

Attempt suicide

Call 111

These are signs you could be experiencing cannabis withdrawal syndrome or that something more serious is going on. You or the people around you should act quickly.

 

For more information on getting support for drug and alcohol use, see Finding support.

 

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