//What Happens After You Quit Smoking Weed
What Happens After You Quit Smoking Weed 2017-07-23T09:38:09+00:00
  • putting down the joint

Putting Down the Joint: What Happens After You Quit Smoking Weed

Done With Weed

No matter the reason why you decide to stop smoking weed, there are a few things you should know about what happens to your body when you stop smoking weed. You shouldn’t be surprised that there are withdrawal symptoms that occur with marijuana detoxification.

Marijuana and more specifically, its main psychoactive chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is a known mind-altering substance and despite popular myths, your body does eventually become dependent on THC especially after long and substantive use. So, naturally, it follows that quitting weed smoking would lead to certain withdrawal symptoms.

Even though what happens after you stop smoking weed might be viewed by some as minor or mild compared to the visceral and life-threatening effects of coming off of opiates or other “harder” drugs, the effects are still real. Just ask anyone who has stopped smoking weed after being a user for a long time.


According to a quit smoking weed guide produced by the University of Notre Dame, it takes about a week for the THC content of one weed cigarette (or joint) to leave your body and for heavy users, you can begin to expect feeling withdrawal symptoms 3 weeks after your last dose.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists as withdrawal symptom of quitting weed the following:

  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced appetite

A whole cascade of symptoms follows from the ones already mentioned and just like with quitting smoking cold turkey, you will probably have to fight a battle against your cravings for weed. This is what will usually cause you to become irritable and anxious.

Your body not getting any THC will affect your sleep patterns as well, so you might not be able to get a good night’s rest. This is a common one with weed smokers, since a lot of weed smokers like to light one up right before going to bed, so they can sleep better. But, just like with any sleeping pill, if you take it away then you can be sure that your sleep will be affected.

Less sleep can reduce performance at work or school and lead to a loss of motivation to do anything. Eventually leading right back to where we started: irritability.

Starting Over: A Life Without Weed

It is important to remember however that despite the realness of these symptoms they are not long-lasting or life-threatening. The National Institute on Drug Abuse even states that “some people having marijuana withdrawal might not realize it”.  

Withdrawal symptoms from quitting weed smoking typically last only for a few days or, at most, weeks and once the initial feelings of anxiety and irritability pass there are some other things that might start to happen. If you were a long-time weed smoker the very act of smoking weed became, over time, ritualized and your body starts to crave not only THC but the environmental factors (such as the touch and feel and smell of marijuana) that accompany it.

As Dr. Stuart Gitlow a professor at the University of Florida states about quitting weed, “there’s a familiarity with an experience that now will be missed”. This sudden emptiness, which is a more subtle withdrawal symptom, might allow ex-users to begin to explore more fully the reasons why they stopped or even why they started. Dr. Gitlow describes this post-withdrawal phase as when ex-users begin to “feel feelings again”.

Despite the physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting weed only lasting a few weeks, Dr. Gitlow cautions that getting used to the “new reality” of quitting weed smoking can be a process that lasts up to a year. While the more immediate withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia and irritability dissipate within a few days, the more deep-seeded psychological problems of habitual weed smoking or any abuse of a substance can persist and in that case further therapy should be pursued.


Again, the reasons to quit smoking weed can vary among different people and the significance of withdrawal symptoms from quitting weed smoking can also vary depending on how long you smoked weed and how often you smoked. Whatever the case may be, the physical, behavioral and mental effects of quitting weed smoking are real and you should be prepared for them. At the same time though, they shouldn’t put you off from doing something as important and meaningful as quitting smoking weed.


  1. Matthew
    Matthew November 24, 2017 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    Just a fyis I currently stoped smoking weed about a week ago and sweaty hands and harsh nightmares and thoughts that I am dieing is starting to happen. It feels as I can’t breath and chest pain. And thanking i am having a hart attacks but it is only asid reflux. Panic attacks and axity. I have quit cold turkey as a heavy thc smoker. Over a 10 year having.

  2. Mahyar
    Mahyar November 25, 2017 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Thanks. Very useful! Please introduce essays about daily program or little works can help quit! Thank you very much!

  3. Carson Boabarson
    Carson Boabarson January 1, 2018 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    I’m quitting today and hoping some cbd alone will provide some relief

    • Jim
      Jim February 24, 2018 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      How u get on

  4. A
    A January 3, 2018 at 6:21 am - Reply

    I also quit, today. It hasn’t been long but I can feel my irritability and anxiety. I’ve quit before and had horrible dreams. I’m not looking forward to that part :/ but it was easier. That’s how I know I can do it again! Reading all of your comments inspired me to leave one. I will say my reason for quiting is more special now. I’m pregnant! And can’t wait to not smoke. I got this, so does anyone reading this!! Happy new year, all!

    Please no mean comments, it was very hard for me to write this.

  5. Cole Bundy
    Cole Bundy February 21, 2018 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Hi good article . I love weeed about as much if not more then the next guy I was a long term habitual LOUD smoker I’d say about 8 years I’m 21. This is my 30 day mark for quitting cigs and I got through those withdrawals pretty easy. I stopped smoking weed 5 days ago and only thing I realized was some slight irritability. But like it says everybody different. I haven’t expierneced any weird dreams or nightmares . I also am a very active person when it comes to working out . May I suggest for anybody quiting anything your body got adapted to is to work out but do what is comfortable for your own personal self so you don’t get to stressed working out but ALWAYS PUSH YOURSELF to the best of your abilities but I honestly fully believe working out some type of way getting some physical fitness is what really helps withdrawals of anything. I do suggest to doing your research on whatever substance you are trying to quit that also does help a lot . If you know what to expect. Hopefully this helps . I hope everybody can be the best version of their self little by little everyday. Good luck people !

  6. Ure daddy
    Ure daddy February 26, 2018 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Im sweaty irratable. Pain in my stomach no apetite as soon as i smell food naussau comes around. I feel legit like sugar honey iced tea

  7. Why would i post my name
    Why would i post my name February 27, 2018 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Im on my 3th day now, going to the gym have really helped me getting tired, i have no problem falling asleep, however i wake up 5-7 times a night sweaty and thirsty, like my sheets are covered in sweat, i have to change them or change place of sleeping. The urge to smoke today is heavy, like for real. Ive been smoking for thel last 11 years 2-3g daily.

    My reason to stop : get back social life, getting back to dating agian.

    Came here to see how long time it takes before i get better, not much positive information lol, might aswell just accept im a weed smoker and deal with it.

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