Cannabis withdrawal: how to deal with it and why it should not be underestimated

Cannabis Entzugserscheinungen

Niklas Bergmann, M.A.

Biochemiker, Fachautor

Inhaltsverzeichnis: Cannabis withdrawal: how to deal with it and why it should not be underestimated

Hey guys! ✌️ Today we're tackling a topic that often remains hidden in the shadows of chilled smoke sessions, but is super important: cannabis withdrawal. Yes, you read that right! Even though the green herb is usually known as super relaxing and easy-going, withdrawal from it can be a real challenge. But don't worry, we'll tackle it together!

What exactly happens during cannabis withdrawal?

Did you know that your body regulates itself, especially when it comes to cannabis? When you take a break from cannabis use or stop completely, an exciting phase begins. Your body, which has become accustomed to the daily chill from the THC, is then faced with a small challenge, so to speak. It has to learn to get along again without this external relaxation factor.

It's like a bio-machine looking for balance, also known as homeostasis. Simply put, your body is always trying to stay in balance. When you smoke cannabis regularly, your system adapts to the extra cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for mood, appetite and sleep, then gets the message from you: "Hey, I don't need the extra chill wave anymore".

Then the transition phase begins, which can be a bit rough to say the least. Your body asks itself: "Where has the chill vibe gone?" and reacts with various symptoms. But hey, no need to panic! Your body is a master of adaptation. Over time, it will find its way back to its natural rhythm.

This is where you come in: be patient with your body. It's doing exactly the right thing to get back to normal. And you can help it to do so. Seek support, be it from friends or professional advice. Make sure you lead a healthy lifestyle - good nutrition, sufficient sleep and exercise are particularly important now. This will give your body the energy it needs to adapt.

Cannabis withdrawal phases

When you embark on the journey to quit cannabis, you will go through different phases of withdrawal, each with their own challenges and symptoms. Here is a brief overview:

  1. The initial phase (the first few days): This phase is often characterized by strong cravings for cannabis. Sleep problems, irritability and sometimes physical symptoms such as headaches or nausea are typical. Although this phase is challenging, it passes.

  2. The adjustment phase (after the first few days to two weeks): Your body begins to adjust. Physical symptoms subside, but emotional and psychological challenges may persist. Feelings of restlessness or anxiety and difficulty concentrating are not uncommon.

  3. The stabilization phase (after two weeks to a month): During this phase, you start to feel more normal again. The craving for cannabis decreases and your sleep patterns begin to stabilize. Here you can clearly feel the positive effects of your decision.

  4. The maintenance phase (after one month and beyond): Now you are living in a new normal without cannabis. You have developed new strategies to deal with stress and feel more stable. There is still a risk of relapse, but with the right tools and support, you can deal with it successfully.

Each of these phases is a significant step on your journey. Relapses can happen, but they are not the end of your journey, they are part of the learning process from which you can emerge stronger.

Symptoms of cannabis withdrawal

We've already touched on some pretty annoying things, but here are a few more:

  • Difficulty concentrating: Notice that you're having trouble concentrating? That's because your brain is changing. It can take a while before you can really focus on things as you are used to.

  • Dreams intensify: Many people report that their dreams become much more intense during cannabis withdrawal. This is because THC affects REM sleep, and when you stop, your REM sleep returns, bringing those vivid dreams with it.

  • Fluctuations in body temperature: Some people experience hot and cold shivers during withdrawal. Your body is just finding its way back to homeostasis, and it can sometimes feel like this.

  • Circling thoughts and worries: If you feel more worried or your thoughts are constantly circling, this is also a sign of withdrawal. Your brain needs to recalibrate without the relaxing effects of THC.

  • Changed social behavior: You may feel less like socializing or feel more uncomfortable than usual in social situations. This is normal, as your social habits will need to adjust without the herb.

How long do these symptoms last?

We've already said that it varies from person to person, but let's dive a little deeper into the matter. There are a few factors that can influence how long withdrawal lasts and how intense it is:

  • How long and how much you've been using: logical, right? If you have been using cannabis regularly for a long period of time, withdrawal can be more intense and longer.

  • Your personal metabolism: Every body is different. A fast metabolism can mean that the substances disappear from your system faster, which could shorten the withdrawal.

  • Your general health and lifestyle: Healthy eating, regular exercise and good sleep can help your body recover faster and shorten the withdrawal phase.

  • Psychological state: Your mental attitude and mental health play a huge role. A positive attitude and good coping strategies can make the process easier.

  • Support system: Having friends, family or professional support can make the withdrawal process much more comfortable.

Small steps, big impact

It's important to understand that every step you take counts. Even if withdrawal seems hard at times, remember that it is a temporary process. With every day you go without cannabis, you give your body a chance to recover and rebalance.

For professional support, contact psychological help here.

So, how do we deal with this?

You've already gotten some really helpful tips, but here are a few more to cruise through this phase:

  • Optimize your diet: Eating healthy isn't just good for your body, it's good for your mind too. Try to incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins into your diet. This will give you the nutrients you need to feel strong.

  • Get creative: Painting, drawing, making music - creative activities can be super therapeutic. They help you to organize your thoughts and express yourself.

  • Digital detox: Sometimes too much screen time can also be stressful. Try to spend some time offline every day to clear your head.

  • Keep a journal: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you better understand and process your emotions.

  • Enjoy nature: Spend time outside, breathe fresh air and enjoy nature. This can be super relaxing and give your mind a break.

  • Develop a routine: A set routine can help you create structure in your everyday life and feel more confident.

  • Mindfulness exercises: Mindfulness can help you stay in the here and now and not dwell too much on the past or future.

  • Laughter and humor: Don't forget to laugh! Humor is a great medicine and can lighten your mood.


    Cannabis withdrawal is definitely a challenge, but with the right strategies and some support, you are not alone on this journey. Always remember the positive changes that await you. Every little success along the way is worth celebrating. Patience with yourself and a willingness to seek support when needed are your keys to success.

    Don't hesitate to reach out for help when things get too hard. Whether it's friends, family or professionals, seeking support is a sign of strength. So stay strong, stay healthy and remember: you can do it! ✌️🌿

    Niklas Bergmann, Fachautor

    Freut euch auf die Insights von unserem Biochemiker Niklas Bergmann! Mit seinem tiefen Verständnis für alles, was mit Hanf zu tun hat, liefert er euch die neuesten und coolsten Infos direkt in euer Feed. Schnörkellos und klar verpackt er das komplexe Thema Cannabinoide und macht es für euch easy zugänglich. Mit Niklas an der Spitze unseres Wissens-Teams seid ihr immer top informiert.