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Post Marijuana Anxiety/Depression

I've recently quit smoking marijuana (45 days ago) and I'm still experiencing what I believe to be are withdrawal symptoms from the detox.  I had been a daily smoker (2-3 times a day of high grade MJ) for the past 4 years.  I loved it until I started to experience anxiety and paranoia when I would smoke. So, I decided to go cold turkey. I also just ended a pretty toxic relationship at the same time.  This relationship was filled with verbal abuse and constant mood swings from my very unstable EX-girlfriend (no wonder I self-medicaed with pot).. Currently my symptoms include anxiety/depression, irritability, irrational thoughts, and the occasional headache.  The ups and downs have really begun to wear on me and I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever return to my normal self before the pot and the emotional roller coaster of a relationship. Could I still be experiencing withdrawal symptoms or am I losing my mind?? I feel like I'm losing my mind. Please help!!
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495284 tn?1333894042
Congrats on your clean time!!  Many times after we quit using we have underlying issues we didnt really realize.  Did you have anxiety before you started smoking?  You are also dealing with a breakup and that messes with us too.  You arent losing your mind, these feelings are very common.  Keep talking with us~~sara
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684676 tn?1503186663
its only day 12 for me, so i relly shouldn't be answering posts, (emotions are all over the place)but this is somthing i have experience in as i have been a daily (unless in jail) marijuana smoker for 30+ years and i can tell you out of all the studies (and there are many)Marijuana isnt physically addicting, but can defintitly be phsycological as with me until about the last year or so.

i quit smoking cigarettes long ago because i wasnt going to smoke both and cigs didnt get me high, either did pot later , just made me paronoid and have high anxiety when i would smoke it,(i actually wondered y i would do it right after doin it, but yet would do it daily) my life was centered around that and alcohol for as long as i can remember.and to me its like quitting cigs, very hard , felt like i was missing somthing constantly like a reward or somthin, but it was also a lifestyle , i in recent years got so caught up in other drugs that i  left that life, to a worse one ,and now am first trying to rebuild.
what i would suggest is talk to a health professional, i did 7 weeks ago , i called the local mental health place and was evaluated, and the counseling has really helped me out.especially with coping with anxiety , and now with coping with everything being sober ,.

I think the difference this time is it wasnt court mandated and i wasnt just tryin to play them , and since i came in on my own and was honest w/counselor about everything, he never tried to push me into rehab , he actually a domestic abuse counselor, but i dont care maybe he is all they had available , i see him every week and i dont think i would be where i am going today if not for this forum and callin mental health.
it relly can help with all your symtoms.

OTF-no more
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Avatar universal
Thank you! Its been a rocky road so far, but I'm getting there. Honestly, I've never had any experience with anxiety, depression or any of these crazy symptoms before I started using. I've quit pot before because of drug testing by the NCAA and never had any symptoms of withdrawal. During that time I quit for about 3 months. The breakup and quitting happened around the same time so I wonder if these symptoms are a result of both.. I've been talking to a therapist about kicking the pot habit, which hasn't really been that hard, but this girl just wont seem to go away. I'm convinced she suffers from borderline personality disorder (my own personal diagnosis) and it has definitely been messing with my head.  I've been working out like crazy and it helps, but I still feel like I haven't gotten over the hump where I feel like myself again..
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Avatar universal
I smoked weed daily for 10 years also medical weed most of the time. I for awhile did not believe there was any wd associated with it but I realized I was so very wrong. After stopping my anxiety and depression went way up. I also lost about 15 pounds because I was no linger eating as much and started smoking 2x the amount of cigs. Weed for me was a antidepressant and it calmed me down a ton. I strongly believe in the medicinal values or marijuana and while there are many negative effects of it most were positive for me. However I can no longer smoke due to the job field I'm in and dealing with the SEC and money its a no no to fail a drug test. It did slowly get better but it took months to subside and I dif have cravings for it for awhile. I hope this helped u and wish u luck. Take care
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185545 tn?1331074866

Marijuana Withdrawal Syndrome: A Bibliography

Selected science references.

The idea of marijuana addiction and withdrawal remains controversial in both private and scientific circles. For an unlucky few, a well-identified set of symptoms characterizes abstinence from heavy, daily use of pot. In this respect, marijuana addiction and withdrawal does not differ greatly from alcoholism--the vast majority of recreational users and drinkers will never experience it.

For those that do, however, the withdrawal symptoms of marijuana abstinence can severely impact their quality of life. Since discussions of this topic frequently veer off into sociopolitical arguments, leaving the science behind, I offer below a sampling of the growing medical and psychiatric literature on this aspect of drug use and abuse.

For additional comments and discussions about symptoms, see Marijuana Withdrawal.


Aharonovich, E., Liu, X., Samet, S., Nunes, E., Waxman, R., & Hasin, D. (2005). Postdischarge Cannabis Use and Its Relationship to Cocaine, Alcohol, and Heroin Use: A Prospective Study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(8), 1507-1514.

Budney, Alan J., Hughes, J.R., Moore, B.A., & Vandrey, R. (2004, November). Review of the Validity and Significance of Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 1967-1977.

Budney, A.J., Moore, B.A., Vandrey, R., Hughes, J.R. (2003). The time course and significance of cannabis withdrawal. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 393-402.

Budney, A.J., Hughes, J.R., Moore, B.A., & Novy, P.L. (2001). Marijuana Abstinence Effects in Marijuana Smokers Maintained in Their Home Environment. Archives of General Psychiatry, 58(10), 917-924.

Budney A. J., Novy P. L., & Hughes, J. R. (1999, September 1). Marijuana withdrawal among adults seeking treatment for marijuana dependence. Addiction, 94, 1311-1322.

Copeland, J., Swift, W., & Rees, V. (2001 January). Clinical profile of participants in a brief intervention program for cannabis use disorder. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 20(1), 45-52.

Cui, S.S., Gu, G.B., Hannesson, D.K., Yu, P.H., & Zhang, X. (2001, December 15). Prevention of cannabinoid withdrawal syndrome by lithium: involvement of oxytocinergic neuronal activation. Journal of Neuroscience, 21(24), 9867-9876.

de Fonseca, F.R., Rocío, M., Carrera, A., Navarro, M., Koob, G.F., & Weiss, F. (1997, June 27). Activation of Corticotropin-Releasing Factor in the Limbic System During Cannabinoid Withdrawal. Science, 276, 2050 - 2054.

Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). Results from the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. Rockville, MD: Office of Applied Studies. Retrieved March 12, 2008, from http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k6NSDUH/2k6results.cfm#Ch2

Fackelmann, K.A. (1993, February 6). Marijuana and the brain: scientists discover the brain's own THC-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Science News.

Hall, W., Solowij, N., & Lemon, J. (1999). The health and psychological consequences of cannabis use. (National Task Force on Cannabis Australia, Monograph Series No. 25). Sydney, NSW: University of New South Wales, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.
Haney, M., Hart, C.L., Vosburg, S.K., Nasser, J., Bennetti, A., Zubaran, C., et. al. (2004). Marijuana Withdrawal in Humans: Effects of Oral THC or Divalproex. Neuropsychopharmacology, 29, 158–170.

Haney, M., Hart, Carl L., Ward, Amie S., & Foltin, R. W. (2003, January). Nefazodone decreases anxiety during marijuana withdrawal in humans. Psychopharmacology, 165(2), 157-165.

Haney, M., Ward, A.S., Comer, S.D., Foltin, R.W., & Fischman, M.W. (1999, February). Abstinence symptoms following smoked marijuana in humans. Psychopharmacology, 141(4), 395-404.

Jones, R.T., Benowitz, N.L., & Herning, R.I. (1981, August-September). Clinical relevance of cannabis tolerance and dependence. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 8-9 Suppl., 143-152.

Joy, J.E., Watson, S.J.,Benson, J.A. (1999). Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. p.92. Institute of Medicine, Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health. Washington. D.C.: National Academy Press. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from

Kouri, E.M., & Pope, H.G., Jr. (2000, November). Abstinence symptoms during withdrawal from chronic marijuana use. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 8(4), 483-492.

Kouri, E.M. (2002, February 1). Does Marijuana Withdrawal Syndrome Exist? Psychiatric Times, 19(2).

Lichtman, A.H., and Martin, B.R. (2002). Marijuana Withdrawal Syndrome in the Animal Model. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 42, 20s-27s.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (1999, April 20). Chronic Marijuana Users Become Aggressive During Withdrawal. NIDA News Release. Rockville, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Schuckit, M.A., Daeppen, J-B., Danko, G.P., Tripp, M.L., Li, T-K., Hesselbrock, V.M., et. al. (1999). Clinical implications for four drugs of the DSM-IV distinction between substance dependence with and without a physiological component. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 41-49.

Scripps given $4M grant to study effects of marijuana. (2008, March 15). North County Times.

Somers, T. (2008, March 14). Study aims to clear haze surrounding pot addiction. San Diego Union-Tribune.

Tanda, G., Pontieri, F.E., & Di Chiara, G. (1997, June 27). Cannabinoid and Heroin Activation of Mesolimbic Dopamine Transmission by a Common µ1 Opioid Receptor Mechanism. Science, 276, 2048 - 2050.

Vandrey, R.G., Budney, A.J., Hughes, J.R., & A. Liguori. (2008, January 1). A within-subject comparison of withdrawal symptoms during abstinence from cannabis, tobacco, and both substances. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 92, 48-54.

Wickelgren, I. (1997, June 27). Marijuana: Harder Than Thought? Science, 76, 1967-1968.

Wilson, R.I. & Nicoll, R.A. (2001, March 29). Endogenous cannabinoids mediate retrograde signalling at hippocampal synapses. Nature, 410, 588-592.

Zickler, P. (2002, October 17). Study Demonstrates That Marijuana Smokers Experience Significant Withdrawal. NIDA Notes, 17(3). Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Posted by Dirk Hanson
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Avatar universal
Try Lithium Orotate (OTC at health food stores or online, not Rx strength Lithium).  After 40 years of searching for a withdrawal aid, this one does the trick.  It also rebuilds gray matter in the brain and mood stabilizes.  Research Lithium Orotate and you will be surprised at all it can do and how safe it is compared to the Rx type lithium carbonate.  
Helped me in many ways.  Two pills (each has ~5mg elemental lithium) at each meal for a week or so ought to do it. Good luck.
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