MARIJUANA WITHDRAWAL – WHEN CHEECH AND CHONG GOES WRONG

Some say there’s no hope with dope. But for people who’ve toked for years, there’s hope if you want to quit dope.

Most stoners seek to cut back first. Certain people reefer to this as harm reduction. For pothead purists like myself, this never worked. I’d always delay my cutback tactics until tomorrow. And tomorrow never seemed to come.

I remember the first time my mom compared me and my stoner partner-in-crime to Cheech and Chong. I should have done some serious introspection after that. I didn’t. And my Cheech and Chong lifestyle went wrong. Fast.

When I finally quit smoking bud for good, I didn’t feel too good. Insomnia was the most obvious marijuana withdrawal symptom. With insomnia came mental difficulties, like inability to focus or remember things. A pothead with poor memory, imagine that?

I’ve got nothing against the good herb. When I worked in the beer business, we had a saying. “Drunk drivers kill people, stoned drivers miss their exit.” That statement is actually true. I missed *a lot* of exits. When I realized life on the couch as an aspiring movie critic wasn’t panning out as planned, I decided to quit.

Truth is, my problem wasn’t quitting marijuana, I’d quit for periods of time – 6 months here, 6 months there. The issue was staying quit. I’d invariably return to those skunk-scented female plants, eyes red and brain dead.

For someone like me who smoked wizard pot like Gandalf for over a decade, marijuana withdrawal symptoms were inevitable.

Questions remain about the precise nature of cannabis withdrawal syndrome, as the scientific community terms it. A recent scholarly article, however, states that, “Converging evidence from basic laboratory and clinical studies indicates that a withdrawal syndrome reliably follows discontinuation of chronic heavy use of cannabis or tetrahydrocannabinol.” Translation from super-smart scientific lingo: habitual marijuana users who quit don’t feel too good.

Here’s a quick overview of commonly reported marijuana withdrawal symptoms from firsthand accounts, research and scholarly articles. I’ve also included some strategies to combat the unease that accompanies marijuana detox, some of which came from personal experience, others coming from detox testimonials around the web.

Full disclosure: to combat cannabis withdrawal syndrome, you’ll have to get off the couch.