Cannabis is the most used illegal substance in the UK and is also known as weed, grass, dope, or pot. [i] It is a drug that comes from a bushy plant that can be grown pretty much anywhere – however, in 2022, it is currently a class B drug.
Typically, cannabis is used as a relaxant and an intoxicant – however, the intended use may vary depending on the variety. There are three varieties: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis – although you can find hybrid strains. [ii]
The key psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives users the feeling of being ‘high’. [iii] Read on to learn more about the effects of cannabis, the cannabis detox process, and how we can help with cannabis addiction treatment.
The Effects of Cannabis
The effects of cannabis can vary depending on the method of use. One of the main ways of ingesting cannabis is by smoking cannabis in a cigarette, a blunt wrap, a bong, or a vape. Users may also ingest cannabis orally, usually by consuming cannabis edibles or by using marijuana oil. [iv] Cannabis usually causes mild euphoria as well as feelings of calmness.
It can also cause an increased appetite (you may have heard the expression ‘the munchies’), as well as temporary stress relief. Users may also experience a surge in creativity, as well as the ‘giggles’. [v]
The effects of cannabis usually kick in within two minutes after smoking it – however, the effects may not kick in for 45 minutes when eaten (e.g weed brownies). People may experience different effects depending on the mood they are in, the dose, how often they take it, the environment that they are in (e.g the people they’re with), and the kind of person they are in general. [vi] People may experience negative effects of cannabis, such as paranoia, anxiety, nausea, as well as confusion.
This can affect your perception and mood. Although people tend to have a more laid-back approach to cannabis with it being legal in many countries and states, cannabis can be addictive and abused just like alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs.
Cannabis can show up on a drug test – whether it be work drug tests or personal drug tests. A urine test can show cannabis for between 3-30 days after using, whereas a saliva test will only show cannabis in your system for 24 hours after using. Hair tests can detect THC for up to 90 days after use – but they can present false positives. [vii]
Just like any other drug or substance, it’s possible to overuse and abuse cannabis. If you crave cannabis or have tried (and failed) to quit, you may be addicted to cannabis.
Those addicted to cannabis will need to smoke or consume more cannabis to feel high and may stop previous activities and hobbies to use cannabis – as well as use cannabis in situations they shouldn’t such as while driving or at work.[viii] It’s also possible to feel withdrawal symptoms from cannabis, but we’ll go into more detail on this in the ‘cannabis detox’ section.
It’s estimated that 30% of people that use cannabis may develop symptoms that are consistent with addiction. This may include damaged relationships, cravings, and changes in lifestyle. [ix] If you start using cannabis earlier on, then you are more likely to experience long-term damage to mental health.
Cannabis is also considered a habitually addictive ‘gateway drug’. Of the adults aged 26 or older that smoked or used cannabis before the age of 15, 62% used cocaine at some point in their lives, 54% used prescription drugs recreationally, and 9% used heroin. [x] In fact, statistics show that a third of adults in the UK have tried cannabis in their lifetime. [xi]
The Cannabis Detox Process
We have Help4Addiction centres around England, whether you’re based down south, in the midlands, or up north. As well as marijuana detox centres, we can help with alcohol addiction, heroin addiction, cocaine addiction, and many more.
We have three types of detox plans that we offer for cannabis rehab/ drug detox – a seven-day detox program, a 14-day program, and a 28-day program. The seven-day program is the best choice if you have a brewing cannabis addiction, or you’re wanting to detox.
When you’ve completed the seven days successfully (which may include drug tests and urine tests), you may be directed to a 14-day program or an outpatient program. Our 14-day detox program is best for those with a milder cannabis addiction – but for stronger and longer-term addictions, we recommend our 28-day detox program. However, many people opt for cannabis detoxing at home – whether you’re at home or with us on an inpatient basis, you can still have a successful detox.
Often, we recommend a medically-assisted detox – however, in the case of cannabis, medical assistance may not be required as the withdrawal symptoms don’t tend to be life-threatening. Often, cannabis addiction can be treated with a combination of counselling and abstinence – although therapy can help some long-term users (cognitive behavioural therapy or group therapy).
We recommend medical assisted drug detoxes for those with lengthy drug addictions, or those who are addicted to ‘hard’ substances (e.g heroin or GHB). In most cases, it’s not likely that you’ll be required to remain in the clinic for the entire time of the process, and you’ll be offered drug treatment on an outpatient basis.
Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms
At Help4Addiction, we can guide you through your cannabis detox, rehab, and recovery. It can take around 30 days to detox from cannabis.
Withdrawing from cannabis can be a difficult and sometimes a long process, and you may experience cannabis withdrawal symptoms. A common withdrawal symptom can be irritability – but there are often many more.
Cutting down or stopping cannabis use/ marijuana use may lead to symptoms such as:
- Irritability and anger
- Lowered appetite
- Chills and/ or sweats
- Difficulties with sleep
- Strange dreams
- Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal (if you consume tobacco with cannabis)
Just like alcohol withdrawal and other drug withdrawals, cannabis withdrawal can affect you physically and mentally, presenting some distressing withdrawal symptoms.
If you smoke cannabis with tobacco, you could develop nicotine dependence and experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms as well as cannabis withdrawal symptoms.[xii]
Cannabis Addiction Treatment
The first stage of cannabis addiction treatment is detoxing. Once you have completed your cannabis detox, whether it be medical or not, you’ll be ready to complete rehab and/ or therapy help. This is only completed once you’re able to manage the cannabis withdrawal symptoms.
With Help4Addiction, cannabis rehab will typically last up to three months – but always at least seven days. We offer 14-day and 28-day sessions – and these are common amongst our clients seeking help for marijuana addiction.
We also recommend therapy to help to manage your cannabis addiction recovery. Some therapies that are commonly used to treat cannabis addictions include CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), group therapy, motivational interviewing, and DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy).
Upon completing rehab and returning to your everyday life, you may want to consider secondary treatment. This can help you to ease the transition and prevent relapsing – and can involve phone support and group therapy.
If you live in England or Wales, Help4Addiction can help you – we offer a quality rehab selection service that can help to narrow down your choice in rehabs. This will give you the best chance of quitting cannabis successfully.
Contact us today to find out how we can best help you on your journey. If you partake in other drug use with other substances, whether it be prescription drugs or illegal drugs, our medical professionals can offer a variety of treatment options. This is to improve the chances of you staying sober and to prevent relapse.