If you have decided to detox from cannabis, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The time usually depends on the reason—need for a nutrition change, tolerance break, a drug test—and on the frequency and amount of your consumption.
In most cases, people do not feel any negative effects of the withdrawal. However, sometimes, certain side-effects are possible. Among the potential negative consequences of cannabis withdrawal, there are headaches, irritability, decreased appetite, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Even though the effects are quite unpleasant, they usually disappear within several days as the human body adapts to the new circumstances.
These negative impacts are associated with sudden changes inside your body. First of all, your endocannabinoid system has become accustomed to receiving cannabinoids from an outside source and requires some time to start producing them adequately.
It is interesting that after abstaining from cannabis, many users report having more vivid and intense dreams. Not that this fact can compensate for the possible negative effects, but it is a nice thing that can solace your adaptation period. It happens because cannabinoids tend to increase the phase of “deep sleep,” when your brain and body recovers and strengthens, by means of reducing the REM phase (the time when you see dreams). When you stop consuming marijuana, the phases return to their original proportion, so the deep sleep becomes shorter and the REM period becomes longer.
Most of the consumers who use cannabis recreationally would barely notice any side-effects of cannabis detox since they usually last not more than a few days. However, if you want to get THC out of your system completely, it will take you much longer, since the THC stored in your fat cells may remain in your body for months before its traces disappear completely.
Another story is with the patients who use the medicinal properties of cannabis to treat certain health conditions. You might need to find a suitable substitution for the curative qualities of cannabis, and if you cannot or do not want to use pharmaceutical products, you may try some other herbal remedies.
Whatever you choose to use for treating your condition, we would strongly recommend you to consult your physician first.
Without the possibility to rely on munchies that can increase your appetite, you can try to use other ingredients that are known for the same properties. For instance, one of the most popular appetite stimulants is ginger. It makes your digestion work better and decreases intestinal gas. A warm cup of ginger tea with honey can be a great start of your day.
Alternatively (or additionally), you can diversify your everyday meals to stimulate your appetite more intensively. Sautéing herbs and spices in olive oil before adding them to your food is a great option. It helps activate the flavor and aroma of the ingredients and, as a result, stimulates gastric secretion even before you start eating. Sautéing garlic the same way may have the best results, but you can also try it with some bitter herbs.
While you are on your detox, you should not suffer from sleeping problems. Some of the most effective natural remedies for smooth and fast falling asleep are chamomile, valerian root, and magnesium oil.
Chamomile is probably one of the easiest products to get. You can drink chamomile tea or even smoke this herb if this way of consumption suits you better. It has been known for its mild sedative properties since ancient times, so if you need to calm down before bedtime, it can be a great option.
Another herb that also has sedative properties is valerian root. You can also consume it in the form of tea (it has very distinctive sweet taste and aroma) or capsules. This herb is an ingredient in many other natural remedies that are supposed to help you with sleep problems. However, like any herb, it can cause an allergy, so you had better consult your doctor before use.
Another option is magnesium oil. It is not as sedative as valerian root, but it improves your sleep in a different way. The thing is, a low level of magnesium in our body can often lead to anxiety and stress, and they, in turn, cause sleeping problems. Topical magnesium oil applied to your skin is easily absorbed and can help you calm the nerves and relax the muscles. If you use the oil before bed, it can drastically improve your sleep.
If you consume cannabis for its anti-inflammatory properties, it may be difficult to find a proper natural alternative for the same purpose. However, you may try an ancient Asian remedy―turmeric. You can use it in cooking by adding it to your everyday meals or prepare special Indian dishes with turmeric. If you are not fond of Indian cuisine, you can also find it in the pill form at Ayurvedic stores.
People who have chronic pain are at risk of developing psychiatric conditions such as depression, stress, mood swings, and even drug dependence. That is why it is important to find a proper alternative to cannabis so that your detoxification process can pass with minimum complications of your state.
If for any reason the pharmaceutical remedies are not an option, try to turn your attention to natural alternatives. For example, pineapples are known to reduce pain. This fruit is rich in bromelain, a powerful enzyme that has many therapeutic properties. You can make a great combo by mixing pineapple juice, aloe juice, turmeric, and ginger―each of these ingredients is a wonderful pain-relieving remedy. You can also find bromelain in capsules and use it as a supplement.
Another alternative is white willow bark, which can be consumed as tea, in capsules, or as a tincture. It contains salicin, a compound that has very similar properties to aspirin. It can save you from headaches and lower-back pain.
Many people believe that St. John's Wort can be an effective remedy against depression, almost as potent as cannabis. Here, in the United States, it is often considered as a weed, though in other parts of the world it is well-appreciated for its medicinal properties. Studies show that St. John's Wort can be used as an antidepressant for mild cases of depression; however, it barely has any effect on the severe forms of the condition. You can find this herb both in the tea and capsule forms. Make sure to consult your doctor before using this remedy.
For treating anxiety and stress, you can take the best from Ashwagandha root and kava root. Both of them have mild sedative properties and are known for their ability to make one calmer and more relaxed. Ashwagandha, which is sometimes also called “winter cherry,” can be available in tablets or in the powder form. Kava root can be consumed as tea or capsules, but in any case, you should be careful with the dosage as this herb can cause negative side-effects, such as liver problems. Remember that before you start using any new treatment, even the natural one, you should always consult your doctor.