Quitting Pot Can Cause Withdrawal, Too

Study rejects notion drug isn't addictive
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Suggested by crafter67
Posted Sep 27, 2012 2:03 PM CDT
This Sept. 15, 2009 file photo shows marijuana plants in Seattle at a medical marijuana growing operation.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

(Newser) – Heard that pot isn't addictive? Not so, says a new study: Quitting can lead to withdrawal symptoms "very similar to what people experience with tobacco," says one of the study's authors. "It makes you irritable. It makes you restless. It makes it hard to sleep." In the study, some 50 subjects experienced two weeks off the drug; researchers reported on their symptoms before, during, and after that period, ABC News reports.

They learned that heavier users often suffered worse withdrawal symptoms; in such cases, they' were more likely to return to the drug during the abstinence period. Worse symptoms also prompted subjects to use more pot in the month after that period. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana "behaves just like other drugs of abuse," says a psychiatry professor. Symptoms tend to be worst four days after quitting; they often continue for two weeks, though a craving for the drug can go on longer, notes another expert.

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