While medical marijuana is generally considered safe, there’s evidence that cannabis withdrawal syndrome could affect more people than initially thought. Research has consistently found that medical cannabis has a low addiction rate — typically below 10 percent, though some studies have found it to be less than half that. Yet a recent meta-analysis of studies on medical cannabis has found that as many as 47 percent of users have experienced what’s known as cannabis withdrawal syndrome. This is noteworthy because it may indicate that withdrawal symptoms are more common than previously thought. While cannabis withdrawal syndrome is not particularly harmful, it can be an uncomfortable experience. Here’s what patients need to know. What Are the Symptoms of Cannabis Withdrawal? The body’s endocannabinoid system naturally produces chemical compounds like THC and CBD, which are responsible for the psychoactive effects typically associated with marijuana. Endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body use THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids to help regulate a number of systems, including appetite, mood, and hunger. When you’re using marijuana regularly, the body becomes accustomed to having a regular source of cannabinoids, and it can take some time to adjust when that source is removed. Someone who is going through cannabis withdrawal may experience a range of symptoms, including:
- Digestive issues
- Inability to focus
- Mood shifts
- Reduced appetite
- Drinking enough water: Avoiding beverages high in caffeine and sugar can also help.
Paying attention to your diet: Fresh produce and lean proteins can help mitigate the effects of withdrawal, while junk food can contribute to feeling moody or sluggish.
Exercising frequently: Try to exercise 30 minutes or more each day. Not only will it help boost your mood, but it will help your body release toxins through sweating.
Having people who can support you: Ask friends, family members, or other individuals you trust to help you during the process.
Patients who use cannabis regularly may benefit from tapering off their marijuana intake to minimize withdrawal symptoms, while those who use less often may be able to stop without intermediate steps.
The general consensus among researchers is that medical cannabis is safe for most people to use, especially when taken with medical supervision. Ultimately, every type of medication has side effects, and even though cannabis has a very low rate of addiction and no life-threatening side effects, addiction and withdrawal are still possible and should therefore be kept in mind.
Discover Approachable Cannabis-based Care in Ohio
At Lakewood Medical Clinic, we believe in making medical marijuana accessible to those who need it. There are currently 21 qualifying conditions that may be treated with medical cannabis in Ohio — if you have questions about whether you qualify, contact us today. Our expertly-trained healthcare providers are ready and able to help you find the solution that best fits your needs and lifestyle.