Cirque Lodge > Blog > Addiction > How Long Does It Take To Detox From Weed?

Weed is among the most commonly used illegal drugs in the United States. Recently, the use of cannabidiol (CBD) has become more mainstream. However, CBD is not the same as weed and does not cause a high.

It is a common misconception that weed is harmless and does not cause addiction. Like all drugs, weed can gradually lead to marijuana addiction.

If you have a marijuana addiction, you will need professional treatment. Often, treatment includes marijuana detox. It is best to complete detox at a specialized treatment center such as our own for your safety. This is because detox can cause withdrawal symptoms that require support to arise.

The length of marijuana detox depends on several factors, such as your marijuana use and your health and well-being. Heavy marijuana users, for example, will likely require a longer detox. Though this can seem daunting, treatment is always worth the effort.

Find out more about how long it takes to detox from weed here, or contact us today for confidential advice on addiction treatment. You are not alone, and we are here to support you every step of your recovery.

What Is Weed?

Weed is a common name for marijuana. Confusingly, marijuana is also known as cannabis. Other nicknames include pot, skunk, and hash.

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that comes from the dried flowers, seeds, stems, and leaves of the cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound of marijuana.

Although some laws around recreational marijuana use are changing, weed remains an illegal Schedule I controlled substance due to its high potential for abuse. A powerful drug on its own, weed is often also the gateway to other drugs.

Marijuana is usually administered by smoking joints, blunts, or bongs. It is also often mixed into food or drinks such as brownies, cookies, and coffee, otherwise known as edibles. Smoking marijuana is the fastest way to bring on its effects.

Many people take marijuana for the high it provides. This is the sensation of a euphoric joy often referred to as being 'stoned.' Although this can be a pleasant experience, there is a significant risk of experiencing negative feelings as well as hallucinations.

What Are the Effects of Using Weed?

The effects of marijuana vary depending on your mood when you use the drug, the environment you are in, how much marijuana you consume, the amount of THC and CBD in the marijuana, and your tolerance levels.

However, some common short-term effects include:

  • Happiness
  • Euphoria
  • A state of relaxation
  • Sleepiness
  • Paranoia
  • Increased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Panic

As noted above, marijuana can also cause hallucinations that can make you vulnerable and put you at risk of an injury or even death. Often underestimated, marijuana is a powerful drug that can give rise to mental disorders, including schizophrenia and psychosis.

Risk factors include existing mental health disorders and age, with research highlighting that those who use weed from a young age may be at greater risk of experiencing symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

If you use marijuana and are concerned about any of the side effects or are worried you are losing control over your drug use, reach out to a friend, helpline, doctor, or our rehab center as soon as possible.

What Are the Dangers of Drug Abuse?

There are many short and long-term health risks associated with drug abuse. Drug and alcohol abuse is harmful and can even be fatal due to the risk of overdose or injury.

If you use weed, you might not even realize that you are engaging in drug abuse. No one intends on developing an addiction, but this can happen easily when substances are misused.

Substance abuse may appear as:

  • Smoking weed daily
  • Relying on weed to help you manage pessimistic thoughts or feelings
  • Using weed to feel the euphoric high

Unfortunately, when you use weed for a euphoric high, it causes chaos with the brain's natural reward center. Through prolonged drug abuse, your brain adapts to this regular dopamine hit and begins to crave it.

Addiction happens slowly over time, often going unnoticed by yourself or loved ones until it adversely affects your life. When addiction begins to impair your life, you may start prioritizing drug use over:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Self-care
  • Friends and family
  • School or employment
  • Things you once enjoyed and considered important

You may also engage in risky or unlawful behavior in a bid to finance your addiction. Sadly, addiction can cause you to lose sight of who you are and what is important to you.

Addictions to drugs or alcohol are known medically as substance use disorders (SUD). Meanwhile, marijuana addiction is known as a cannabis use disorder (CUD).

It is very hard to go against your brain and break the cycle of addiction alone, which is why professional treatment is required. After all, substance use disorders are illnesses like any other that need medical help.

Asking for help is not a weakness but a sign of strength and determination.

How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your System?

Upon considering the effects of using weed, it is essential to understand that marijuana can remain in your system for quite some time. Although you may not realize it, the drug can appear in drug tests for longer than you think.

A urine test is the most common form of drug testing - other methods include blood tests, saliva tests, and hair tests. These drug tests can detect traces of marijuana for varying lengths of time.

For example, chronic or heavy marijuana users could test positive for one to two months after using weed.

How Long Does Weed Detox Take?

Your first step to recovery is to undergo a marijuana detox program. This is the process of ridding your body of all marijuana and any other substance traces.

Everyone metabolizes marijuana at slightly different rates, but a withdrawal timeline is helpful in offering a rough guide so you can understand how long a detox might take.

Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline

  • Withdrawal symptoms appear around one week after last use.
  • Symptoms peak around day ten, three days after the start of initial symptoms.
  • Symptoms begin to subside after day ten but can last for up to four weeks.

Heavy marijuana users and chronic users may require a more extended detox period. What matters is getting the right treatment for you and receiving support along the way.

What Do Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms Look Like?

When you detox from marijuana, you will likely experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which can be challenging to manage without supervision and support. Going 'cold turkey' can be dangerous and could lead to relapse. For this reason, we recommend a medical detox.

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Abdominal pain and stomach problems
  • Sleep problems, including insomnia
  • Marijuana cravings
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cold sweats
  • Intense cravings

To ensure your safety during marijuana withdrawal, it is crucial to stay at a rehab center for the entire withdrawal process. Withdrawal symptoms usually worsen within 48 hours of the detox process and then begin to improve, slowly subsiding. This is a sign that treatment is working and substances are leaving your body, taking physical dependency with it.

What Does Life in Recovery Look Like?

After completing a detox treatment plan, your body will be free from physical dependency. From here, you could stay in a rehab center as an inpatient under the supervision of medical professionals. This is a good way to work on the psychological side of your addiction in a secure and drug-free environment.

Alternatively, you could continue addiction treatment support at home through an outpatient program. Both options are valid - you need to choose the right one for you and ensure you get the support you need.

As part of your substance abuse treatment, you will work with a therapist to unpick why you turned to substance abuse. You will also learn your triggers to reduce the risk of relapse. If you have a mental health disorder, managing your symptoms and understanding healthy coping mechanisms to keep on top of stress is also beneficial for recovery.

Studies have found that many people with addiction have co-occurring disorders such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and general anxiety disorder (GAD). Those who live with these disorders often self-medicate with substances, including marijuana, which is dangerous. For this reason, rehab centers, including our own, provide dual diagnosis treatment. This particular treatment offering ensures that both disorders can be treated simultaneously.

It can be hard to transition back to everyday life after your rehab stay, especially if you experience temptations to return to harmful habits that could lead to relapse. Ongoing therapy, support groups such as group therapy and 12-step programs, and emotional support from family and friends are essential to successful long-term recovery.

Your Future Starts Today

Recognizing the signs of addiction and understanding what marijuana detox includes will help you take the first step in reaching out. Though you may feel anxious about contacting us, remember that addiction can happen to anyone, and it does not discriminate.

Contact us today to find out more about marijuana detox, withdrawal, and our treatments. We are on hand to answer any question you may have and help put your mind at ease.

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