Marijuana Signs, Withdrawal Symptoms, & Side Effects

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Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a widely used recreational drug with both legal and illegal status in different parts of the world. While it is often perceived as a harmless substance, it’s important to recognize that marijuana use can have significant effects on physical and mental health.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with marijuana addiction or experiencing negative effects from marijuana use, Guardian Recovery is here to help. We specialize in providing comprehensive and personalized treatment solutions for individuals facing marijuana addiction and its associated challenges. Our compassionate team of professionals is committed to guiding you towards recovery and helping you regain control of your life. Don’t wait any longer. Contact Guardian Recovery today to take the first step towards a healthier and more fulfilling future free from the grip of marijuana addiction.

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Physical & Psychological Side Effects of Using Marijuana

The use of marijuana can result in a range of physical and psychological side effects. Physically, individuals may experience bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, increased heart rate, and impaired coordination. Other physical effects can include increased appetite (commonly referred to as “the munchies”), decreased blood pressure, and respiratory issues such as coughing and wheezing. Psychologically, marijuana use can induce relaxation, euphoria, altered perception of time, and heightened sensory experiences. However, it can also lead to anxiety, paranoia, impaired memory and concentration, and a decreased motivation to engage in activities.

Short-Term Side Effects

Short-term marijuana use can lead to various immediate side effects. These can include impaired memory and cognitive function, decreased coordination and motor skills, and altered perception of time and sensory experiences. Users may also experience bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, increased heart rate, and feelings of relaxation or euphoria. These effects are usually temporary and tend to subside within a few hours, depending on the potency and method of marijuana consumption.

Long-Term Effects

Long-term marijuana use can have both physical and psychological effects. Physically, chronic marijuana use has been associated with respiratory issues, such as chronic bronchitis and increased risk of lung infections. It may also lead to cardiovascular problems, including an increased heart rate and potential cardiovascular disease risk factors. Psychologically, long-term marijuana use has been linked to cognitive impairments, such as decreased memory and attention span. It may also contribute to the development or exacerbation of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and psychosis, especially in individuals predisposed to these conditions.

How Long Do Marijuana Side Effects Last?

The duration of marijuana side effects can vary depending on several factors, including the potency of the marijuana consumed, the method of consumption, and the individual’s tolerance. Short-term side effects, such as bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, and increased heart rate, typically last for a few hours after marijuana use. Cognitive impairments and memory deficits may persist for longer, particularly with heavy or prolonged use. However, it’s important to note that individual responses to marijuana can vary, and some residual effects may linger for up to several days, especially with higher potency strains or in individuals who are less experienced users.

Rebound & Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Marijuana Dependence

Marijuana dependence can result in rebound symptoms upon discontinuation or significant reduction of use. Rebound symptoms are characterized by the resurgence of symptoms that were initially suppressed by marijuana use, such as anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and mood disturbances. 

Additionally, individuals who are dependent on marijuana may experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut back. These symptoms can include irritability, cravings, decreased appetite, sleep disturbances, headaches, and gastrointestinal discomfort. While marijuana withdrawal is generally less severe than that of other substances, it can still pose challenges for individuals seeking to quit or reduce their marijuana use.

Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline

The withdrawal timeline for marijuana can vary depending on factors such as the frequency and duration of use, individual metabolism, and the potency of the marijuana strains consumed. Withdrawal symptoms may begin within the first 24 to 72 hours after quitting or significantly reducing marijuana use. The initial phase may include irritability, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Within the first week, symptoms may intensify and include cravings, decreased appetite, mood swings, and difficulties with concentration. Most withdrawal symptoms subside within one to two weeks, although some individuals may experience residual symptoms, such as irritability or sleep disturbances, for several weeks or even months.

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What Symptoms Are Caused by an Overdose From Marijuana?

Although rare, marijuana overdose can occur, particularly with the use of high-potency products or excessive consumption. Symptoms of a marijuana overdose may include severe anxiety or panic attacks, rapid heart rate, hallucinations, extreme confusion, paranoia, disorientation, and nausea or vomiting. In some cases, an overdose can lead to acute psychosis or severe impairment that requires immediate medical attention. It’s important to remember that marijuana overdoses are typically non-lethal, but individuals experiencing severe symptoms should seek medical assistance promptly.

What Should You Do if Someone Overdoses on Marijuana?

If someone experiences an overdose from marijuana, it’s important to stay calm and seek medical help immediately. Call emergency services or your local emergency number for assistance. While waiting for medical professionals to arrive, ensure the affected individual is in a safe environment and reassure them. Provide accurate information about the consumption of marijuana, including the potency and method of use, to assist medical professionals in providing appropriate care.

Marijuana Abuse & Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

Marijuana abuse can be associated with co-occurring mental health disorders. Individuals may turn to marijuana as a means of self-medication to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. However, regular and excessive marijuana use can exacerbate these conditions or contribute to the development of new mental health disorders. It’s crucial to address both the substance abuse and underlying mental health issues in comprehensive treatment programs to promote holistic recovery.

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Marijuana Addiction Treatment for Withdrawal Symptoms & Effects

Effective treatment for marijuana addiction typically involves a combination of therapeutic approaches and support. Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and contingency management, can help individuals address the underlying factors contributing to their marijuana use and develop healthier coping mechanisms. Support groups and counseling sessions provide a supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences, learn from others, and receive ongoing guidance. 

In some cases, medication-assisted treatment or additional interventions may be beneficial, particularly for individuals with severe marijuana dependence or co-occurring mental health disorders. It’s essential to seek professional help to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on individual needs and circumstances. At Guardian Recovery, we offer personalized treatment programs designed to address marijuana addiction, providing individuals with the tools and support they need to achieve lasting recovery.


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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.


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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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