Is Marijuana Detox Necessary?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on October 11, 2021

Marijuana is a drug that may cause physical dependence and withdrawal in people who use it chronically and very often. Marijuana use disorder and drug dependence can be treated by healthcare professionals in a drug addiction treatment facility.

How To Detox From Marijuana

Marijuana is a natural substance that research shows may cause physical dependence and withdrawal in people who use it very regularly, or who misuse it with other drugs.

Once ingested orally or through smoking, marijuana can remain detectable in the body by the presence of its primary metabolite, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is stored in the fat cells.

People who develop a physical dependence on marijuana may experience symptoms of withdrawal with stopped use of the drug, which may require detoxification (detox).

Find out more about drug detox programs

Who Needs Marijuana Detox?

Using marijuana once, or only occasionally, is unlikely to cause physical dependence—the primary sign that a detoxification process may be necessary.

Those who use it regularly, however, or have been misusing it alongside other substances, may benefit from the support that can be offered by a drug detox program.

Marijuana detox may be recommended for people who:

  • are physically dependent on marijuana
  • are struggling with marijuana abuse
  • have a history of substance abuse
  • have been using marijuana regularly for a long time
  • are unable to quit or reduce their use of marijuana alone

Side Effects Of Marijuana Detox

Signs of marijuana withdrawal, or the body’s reaction to a lack of cannabis in your system, may begin within the first 24 hours after your last use.

The intensity of withdrawal symptoms may vary, but can be mild to moderate in nature.

Signs and symptoms of marijuana withdrawal might include:

  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • weakness
  • depression
  • headache
  • anxiety
  • sweating
  • difficulty sleeping
  • poor concentration
  • decreased appetite
  • craving marijuana

Withdrawal symptoms are more likely to develop the longer you’ve used marijuana and the more frequently you use it.

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Marijuana Detox And Withdrawal Timeline

Marijuana withdrawal symptoms have been reported as developing in the first 24 hours or so of a person’s last dose, in those who have developed drug dependence.

Withdrawal symptoms, including physical discomfort, generally reach their peak within the first few days, but can last up to a couple of weeks or longer.

Protracted Withdrawal After Marijuana Detox

Protracted withdrawal, a consequence of heavy and very chronic drug use, is a type of withdrawal that can persist past the acute detoxification period.

Common with this are persisting symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia, which may last anywhere from a few weeks up to several months after quitting marijuana.

Seeking treatment for mental health, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, from a healthcare provider may be helpful for alleviating lingering symptoms of marijuana withdrawal after detox.

What Factors Can Affect Marijuana Detox?

What the detox process looks and feels like can vary from person to person.

For instance, factors that might influence the timeline for marijuana detox include:

  • your age
  • body fat percentage
  • how often you use marijuana
  • how much marijuana you regularly use
  • polysubstance abuse
  • metabolic rate
  • use of detox remedies (e.g. cranberry juice)

Personal factors, including the nature of your marijuana use, can affect the period of time it takes for the body to fully eliminate the marijuana from your system.

Marijuana Detox Programs

People who use marijuana recreationally or for medical purposes may not need a drug detox program to help them stop using marijuana.

However, for people with a marijuana use disorder or a history of substance use issues, seeking out a formal detox program to quit marijuana may be recommended.

Where you can find marijuana detox:

  • Detox centers: Some detox centers offer medical detox programs for people with marijuana use disorder. This offers 24-hour medical supervision and treatment.
  • Inpatient rehab centers: Some inpatient treatment centers offer detox services as a precursor to an inpatient addiction treatment program for substance abuse.
  • Outpatient rehab centers: Outpatient rehab centers may offer detox programs for marijuana dependence on an outpatient level. This does not involve live-in care.

Detoxing from marijuana may be the first step on the road to recovery for people who have become psychologically or physically addicted to marijuana.

Marijuana Detox FAQs

Having questions about detoxing from marijuana is normal. Find answers here to some of the most common questions asked about marijuana detoxification.

❓ Is Marijuana Detox Dangerous?

✔️ Marijuana detox and withdrawal is not known to be dangerous on its own.

However, the risks involved with this may be affected by polydrug use, or the use of other drugs in addition to marijuana, including alcohol.

Marijuana may cause troubling mood swings, as well as depressed mood, anxiety, and other uncomfortable symptoms that may be difficult to manage without medical support.

❓ Can You Detox From Marijuana At Home?

✔️ People without a substance use disorder may be able to detox from marijuana at home. However, seeking medical advice from a doctor is strongly encouraged.

Typically, anyone detoxing from a habit-forming substance should have a strong social and medical support system in place for at-home detox.

❓ Do Detox Remedies For Marijuana Work?

✔️ Some people have reported success in streamlining the process of detoxing from marijuana through the use of certain “detox remedies” such as detox drinks.

However, the reliability of detox kits, drinks, or other home remedies shouldn’t be taken for granted as a surefire way to get detectable cannabinoids out of your system faster.

❓ How Long Can Marijuana Be Detected By A Drug Test?

✔️ Marijuana can be detected by a drug test for anywhere from a few days up to 90 days, depending on the type of drug testing used (e.g. urine test) and other personal factors.

Find A Marijuana Detox Program Today

Marijuana isn’t frequently referred to as a very addictive substance. But for some, their use of this drug can become a problem that they may struggle to control.

If you or a loved one needs help to stop using marijuana, you’re not alone. And we may be able to help.

For more information about marijuana addiction treatment options and how to find a detox program near you, call our helpline today to connect with one of our trained staff.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on October 11, 2021
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