Weed Cravings When Quitting: What to Expect

Weed Cravings When Quitting: What to Expect

Marijuana cravings can be a challenging aspect of overcoming addiction. Many individuals wonder how long these cravings will last and how to handle them effectively. We will cover the how long weed cravings last, common withdrawal symptoms, strategies to navigate cravings, and when to seek professional help for a successful recovery journey.

Marijuana Cravings

Marijuana, also known as weed or cannabis, has become increasingly potent over the years, making it more difficult for users to quit. The average THC content in marijuana has significantly increased, reaching around 25% in 2013 compared to just 3% a couple of decades ago. As a result, marijuana cravings can be intense and persistent for those seeking sobriety.

How Long Do Weed Cravings Last?

The duration of weed cravings can vary depending on several factors, including the frequency and quantity of marijuana use. Generally, the strongest cravings occur within the first week and a half after discontinuing marijuana use. These cravings typically peak a few days into withdrawal but gradually subside over time.

It's important to note that milder withdrawal symptoms, although less intense, may persist for months or even years after quitting marijuana. This extended duration can be attributed to the presence of THC, which can remain stored in fat cells for an extended period. It's crucial to be prepared for these cravings and develop effective strategies to manage them.

Common Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

Marijuana withdrawal symptoms can manifest differently for each individual, but there are common experiences reported by many. These symptoms often reflect the opposite effects of marijuana use, including increased anxiety, irritability, aggression, elevated heart rate, insomnia, hallucinations, depressed mood, nausea, headaches, and weight loss due to decreased appetite.

Some individuals may also experience vivid dreams during withdrawal, which can be interesting or even unsettling. It's essential to recognize these symptoms as a normal part of the withdrawal process and be prepared to address them effectively.

Navigating Marijuana Cravings

One of the key aspects of successfully managing marijuana cravings is to avoid situations that trigger them. By identifying and minimizing exposure to environments, people, or activities associated with marijuana use, individuals can significantly reduce the intensity and frequency of cravings.

For example, if you have a habit of smoking weed at a particular friend's house, it's advisable to avoid visiting that location, especially during the early stages of sobriety. By proactively steering clear of such triggering situations, you can create a healthier and more supportive environment for recovery.

Strategies to Help Weed Cravings Go Away

When facing marijuana cravings, it's essential to have coping mechanisms in place to navigate through them successfully. Understanding that cravings are a normal part of the recovery process is crucial. Rather than feeling guilty or ashamed, acknowledge that cravings may arise even years after quitting marijuana.

Visualizing cravings as waves can be an effective technique. Like waves, cravings may intensify and peak, but they eventually subside. Remembering that cravings are temporary and will pass can help you ride them out without succumbing to the urge to use marijuana again.

Distracting yourself during cravings can also be helpful. Engage in activities that divert your attention away from the craving, such as having a conversation with friends about unrelated topics or watching a movie. By redirecting your focus, you can effectively diminish and better understand how long it takes to stop craving weed.

Managing Common Withdrawal Symptoms

Several strategies can assist in managing common marijuana withdrawal symptoms. If you experience heightened irritability or anxiety, grounding techniques can be beneficial. Engage your senses by focusing on things you can see, feel, touch, hear, and taste. Additionally, deep breathing exercises can help alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation.

Sleep disturbances can be a common symptom during marijuana withdrawal. To improve your sleep quality, consider reducing caffeine intake and avoiding the use of screens before bedtime. Establishing a calming bedtime routine and creating a sleep-friendly environment can also contribute to better sleep.

If feelings of depression arise, reconnecting with non-weed-related activities that bring you joy can be beneficial. Engage in hobbies or interests that you previously enjoyed, even if you still experience depressive symptoms. Seeking professional help from a psychiatrist or psychologist can provide additional support in managing depression during this period.

While some medications, such as acetylcysteine, baclofen, or mirtazapine, have been prescribed to alleviate distressing withdrawal symptoms, their effectiveness is still a topic of debate. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Regular physical exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on mood and sleep. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can help reduce anxiety, improve overall well-being, and enhance sleep quality. However, it's advisable to avoid exercising immediately before bedtime to prevent any potential sleep disturbances.

Seeking Professional Help for Marijuana Withdrawal

Overcoming marijuana addiction can be challenging, and seeking professional help is a crucial step towards recovery. Professional assistance provides individuals with the guidance, support, and resources necessary to navigate the complexities of withdrawal and establish a path towards long-term sobriety. Trained professionals can offer personalized treatment plans tailored to the individual's needs, addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Additionally, they can provide valuable insights into managing withdrawal symptoms, developing coping strategies, and addressing any underlying mental health issues that may contribute to substance use. It's essential to recognize that professional help isn't just about knowing how long it takes to stop craving weed, but also about rebuilding a fulfilling and healthy life. Through programs like Relay, individuals can access professional guidance and support in an online environment, offering flexibility and accessibility in their journey towards recovery from marijuana addiction.


How long do weed cravings last? Far longer than might feel normal, but not forever.

Navigating and overcoming marijuana cravings is a critical aspect of achieving sobriety. Understanding the duration of weed cravings, recognizing common withdrawal symptoms, and implementing effective strategies can empower individuals on their path to recovery. By seeking professional help, individuals can access the necessary support and guidance to successfully manage cravings and maintain long-term sobriety from marijuana. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there is help available to support you every step of the way.


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There is help available to you if you or a loved one has a physical dependence or psychological dependence on marijuana. These urges and compulsive behaviors can control your life, but you can take back control. Relay's addiction recovery program provides a comprehensive, outpatient approach to behavioral change - at home, at your own pace. To each new program member, we provide a personalized recovery plan, a peer support group, progress tracking, journaling, and intelligent insights about your behavior patterns, all within a simple and secure mobile app Our proven approach helps program members achieve the best chance at long-term recovery without the time or expense of rehab or therapy. Try the Relay program for free here; if you need help as you get set up, contact us now at

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