How Long Do Cannabis Withdrawals Last? - an image of a woman holding a small jar that contains marijuana

In relation to cannabis addiction, one of the most common questions we recieve is – how long do cannabis withdrawals last?

Cannabis is considered one of the least dangerous drugs that is used recreationally. It remains illegal in the UK, but in the USA, some states have legalised it, and there are changing attitudes to its usage worldwide.

If you are worried about cannabis addiction and need help with withdrawal, Step 1 Recovery can help you. Keep reading to find out more.

Cannabis Use and Withdrawal

Cannabis use is fairly common in the UK. In 2020/21, over 31% of the population of England and Wales, between the ages of 16-59, had used cannabis at least once in their life.

Its popularity is due to the low risks associated with it. The effects of making you feel chilled out, happy and hungry are seen as effects with very little downsides. Cannabis has also been used to treat chronic pain and given to cancer patients to combat vomiting and nausea.

Cannabis addiction is possible if you use the drug heavily, and worsens your mental health, increases the risk of lung cancer and affects your heart rate and blood pressure.

Like other drug addictions, coming off it will lead to cannabis withdrawals. In a recent study, they found that 17% of people who use cannabis experience withdrawals and 40% who use the drug more than 3 times a week have multiple symptoms.

Understanding Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms

Cannabis withdrawal symptoms can vary and be hard to predict. The severity of them is impossible to know before a person begins to go through it. Being aware of what may be coming your way can help you feel less anxious about cannabis withdrawals and ease the experience.

The most obvious of symptoms will be experiencing cravings for the drug. This will manifest due to a psychological and physical dependence on cannabis. In short, your body and mind have become used to the effects of cannabis and need the drug to function.

Other symptoms of cannabis withdrawal include:

• Mood changes
• Chills
• Increased depression
• Shaking and tremors
• Stomach pains
• Insomnia
• Restlessness
• Sweating
• Loss of appetite

Experiencing a number of these symptoms may point towards a cannabis addiction. If you need help dealing with it, cannabis rehab may be the right path forward for you.

Factors that Can Influence Cannabis Withdrawal

Whilst it may be hard to predict how bad cannabis withdrawals will be for you, several factors can indicate they may be more severe.

Drug Use

If you are a heavy cannabis smoker, your body is more used to it. This means that when you stop taking it, your body will react to the sudden change more severely. Your body reacts to these changes with more, severe withdrawal symptoms. If you are using cannabis with other drugs, this can also influence cannabis withdrawal.

Duration of Addiction

Longer use of cannabis will mean the changes it has made to your brain chemistry are more deep-rooted. This will lead to a more challenging withdrawal period compared to someone who has only been using cannabis for a short while.


Your physical health can also have a great influence on withdrawal. If you have other illnesses, are older and taking other medication or are naturally more prone to illnesses, then you may have a worse time of it during withdrawal.

Mental Health

Cannabis withdrawals can make you more depressed, anxious and less motivated. If you have an existing mental health condition, then these symptoms can be exacerbated and complicate the withdrawal process.

Support System

Going with withdrawal can be tough, and doing it alone is even harder. Without support around you, everything is magnified as you are isolated. This can make you more likely to pick up the habit again.

How Long Do Cannabis Withdrawals Last?

As the whole experience doesn’t sound like fun, most people’s first question when wanting to stop their cannabis use is, how long do cannabis withdrawals last? As with the severity and number of symptoms, there is no telling.

Generally, cannabis withdrawals come in 3 main stages: onset, peak and decline.

The onset of symptoms tends to occur around 24-48 hours after stopping cannabis use. Any symptoms on the physical side you are likely to experience will begin during this time.

Within 2 to 6 days the symptoms will peak in their intensity. This is the worst part of cannabis withdrawals and the point where most people relapse.

After about 3 weeks, the decline of symptoms will be in full effect, and you should feel like yourself. Saying that, some symptoms such as insomnia and strange dreams can persist after this timeframe.

Physical symptoms should disappear after the decline stage, but psychological ones may persist for weeks after.

Coping Strategies and Managing Symptoms

There’s no way to avoid cannabis withdrawals if you want to stop your addiction, so it’s important to make the experience as easy as possible. There are things you can do to cope and manage symptoms.

Stay Active

Exercising releases endorphins, giving you a “runner’s high”. Getting yourself in better physical condition means your body is better equipped to deal with symptoms and it is also a nice distraction from whatever you are going through.

A Balanced Diet

Frequent cannabis use may have led to you eating processed foods and unhealthily. Staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet will leave you feeling a lot better than eating junk food all the time.


Relaxation techniques. Yoga. Mindfulness. Being more aware of yourself and taking care to find ways to relax can ease symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety. Dosing up on paracetamol, drinking fluids and taking it easy if you have flu-like symptoms is also important.

During this time, it’s important to listen to your body and react constructively.

Cannabis Addiction Treatment

If your cannabis use is serious enough, you may consider going to a drug rehab.

At a rehab facility, you will go through cannabis detox – where symptoms may also be eased with the use of prescribed medication. After, you will take part in treatments and therapies to deal with the deeper-rooted causes behind the addiction.

Through professional treatment, you can gain the tools to better understand your relationship with cannabis and learn coping skills to ensure you don’t have to go through withdrawals again.

Find Help for Cannabis Addiction Today

If you want more information on cannabis withdrawals or need help with your addiction, contact Step 1 Recovery today. We are a luxury drug and alcohol rehab centre that provides the care and treatment to help you rid yourself of addiction.

Reach out today to find out more about the Step 1 experience.