Marijuana Withdrawal Anxiety

Marijuana Withdrawal Anxiety

Marijuana withdrawal anxiety can be a huge stumbling block to marijuana addicts who want to kick the habit. I’ve experienced MWA many times when I used to vaporize weed (my favorite strain was Purple Kush). One recent study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore looked at 500 marijuana smokers who tried to quit. Of those, about a third went back to smoking marijuana to reduce marijuana withdrawal anxiety and other symptoms. I was sort of stuck in an infinite loop of paradoxical anxiety, and the seemingly harmless tolerance I had developed turned into full-blown dependence. MWA gave me really bad insomnia.

Right now, scientists are studying the use of delta-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main ingredient in marijuana that gives you the high, to help wean users off of the drug more gradually, preventing symptoms like marijuana withdrawal anxiety. However, as of now, this isn’t available, so users who want to quit are left to their own devices to figure out ways to stave off withdrawal symptoms and make quitting more manageable.

Dealing with marijuana withdrawal anxiety

Anxiety is one of the highest-reported withdrawal symptoms for marijuana users. Interestingly enough, long-term users have a much higher risk of developing actual anxiety disorders, so it’s a better idea to withdraw now, like I did, and deal with short-term anxiety than it is to continue smoking and develop longer-term, more serious anxiety problems.

Because some marijuana users smoke pot in order to quell anxiety symptoms that they had in the first place, the marijuana withdrawal anxiety may not be related to withdrawal entirely. For these users, it might actually be related to an underlying anxiety disorder that they’re just no longer treating with the marijuana. If you had an anxiety problem before you started smoking marijuana, it’s best to see a doctor when you’re in withdrawal and afterwards, as your marijuana withdrawal anxiety symptoms may be worse than average.

For most users, though, marijuana withdrawal anxiety is just a mild form of jittery nervousness or anxiety, which can be quelled with certain coping mechanisms, including the following:

  • Exercise. You should get lots of cardio, especially. Getting regular exercise is one of the best ways, in general, to get rid of symptoms of anxiety because exercise helps regulate brain chemistry and can release extra feel-good endorphins that calm anxiety and nervousness. For marijuana withdrawal anxiety, exercise is a particularly good solution, as well, because it can also help users sleep more soundly and regain appetite, since both insomnia and loss of appetite are other withdrawal symptoms.
  • Breathing techniques. Learning deep breathing techniques while in marijuana withdrawal may help quell anxiety. These techniques can get more oxygen to the brain and can calm the nervous system, getting rid of minor feelings of nervousness and anxiety.
  • Distraction. Another great option is to just try distracting yourself. Sometimes marijuana withdrawal anxiety is related to the fact that you’re just worried about starting to smoke again, about not being able to quit. If this is the cause of your worries, you should distract yourself by learning something new, reading a book, playing a video game, or whatever else you can think of that will keep your mind off of both your anxiety level and getting more marijuana.

Marijuana withdrawal anxiety can be a serious condition that can cause many heavy pot users to go back to smoking, even though they really want to quit. If you really want to get clean but aren’t sure you can handle the anxiety and other withdrawal symptoms, consider checking into an in-patient facility for the length of your withdrawal. This can help by giving you extra support, keeping you well away from marijuana availability, and giving you counseling that can help you deal with some of the underlying causes of anxiety in your life.