As America becomes more comfortable with the idea of legalizing marijuana, research shows that the number of weed smokers has never been higher. Although marijuana is relatively safe, giving up the substance can still have an effect on your mind and body. Here’s how your body changes after you stop smoking marijuana.
According to LiveStrong, marijuana users who give up weed can have similar withdrawal effect as those addicted to other types of drugs, depending on the individual's personal tolerance. Initial effects of giving up marijuana after chronic heavy use can include irritability and insomnia. Although the drug itself is not addictive, the body can still develop a physical dependence after long-term use. As a result, when it is suddenly stopped, users can have difficulty sleeping, feelings of anger, and even anxiety. LiveStrong reported that some individuals may also have symptoms of physical discomfort following sudden stoppage. Initial withdrawal from marijuana is also associated with cognitive impairment.
Marijuana use is also often associated with increased hunger, known as “the munchies” and many heavy users report a loss of appetite following drug withdrawal. Also, because the drug is associated with chronic dry mouth, users may also have excessive salivation if they suddenly stop.
Thankfully, there is little evidence of long-term negative consequences of marijuana withdrawal. Instead, there are a number of positive benefits reported from stopping the drug. For example, according to LiveStrong, about a month after giving up weed, intelligence, attention, learning, and memory is restored to pre-marijuana use status.
According to the American Lung Association, marijuana use can also damage the lungs, and smoke from marijuana has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Users who stop smoking marijuana often find that they regain lung performance.