Cannabis Detox Programme and Withdrawal Symptoms
Cleansing your body in a safe, secure environment.

If you’ve been struggling with cannabis addiction, you may feel lost and like there’s nowhere to turn. Cannabis usually helps people to mask unpleasant feelings. You may have come to rely on it to unwind, destress or get to sleep. Addiction is a clever illness in that it tricks us into believing our lives are worse without weed. The truth is that the underlying reasons causing you to smoke can be addressed and helped, and you’ll no longer feel the need to mask unpleasant feelings or emotions through the use of marijuana.

The first stage of the recovery process is detox. At this point in your stay, you learn to live without cannabis as it begins to be cleared from your system. Cannabis is unique because it binds to your fat cells. This means it stays in your system for as long as several months after long-term, chronic use. The good news is that most of the unpleasant cannabis withdrawal symptoms diminish after seven to 14 days, and we can help you to get through this crucial stage. (1)

If you’ve ever tried to quit by yourself, you may have found it too difficult to continue. Despite the old-fashioned view that cannabis doesn’t cause withdrawal symptoms, we know that they can be uncomfortable and very real. With a team of medical professionals around the clock, you can get support and guidance whenever you need it.

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How Does a Cannabis Detox Work?

As with any substance of abuse, the more cannabis you smoke, the more you need to get high. This is how addiction can easily develop as the quantity that you smoke increases. The fine line between maintaining control and becoming addicted is often crossed without us realising, and this is when detox is necessary. During this time, we help you to manage cravings and show you a range of effective methods of avoiding drug use and coping in healthy, positive ways.

How long does a cannabis detox last?

Cannabis detox usually lasts for seven days, but it can go on for as long as 10 days, depending on how long and how heavily you’ve been smoking. During this time, you’ll learn how life without cannabis doesn’t have to be boring or fraught with emotion.

If you’re taking prescription medication

When you arrive at our luxurious facility, you’re introduced to our friendly team and the peer group who will make up your support network throughout your stay. Once you’re settled in, a psychiatrist carries out a thorough medical assessment. This takes into account your medical history, including any medication you’re currently taking. They’ll formulate a bespoke treatment plan tailored to your exact needs. If your medication is necessary, it’ll be incorporated into your care plan.

If you’re taking other drugs

If you do take other drugs as well as cannabis, there is no need to be ashamed. Addiction can touch the lives of anyone, and there is a complex set of factors that have led you to this point. Being honest about what you’re taking always yields the best results. If the psychiatrist does learn that you’re partaking in polydrug use during the assessment, they’ll ensure every aspect of your issue is addressed and incorporated into your detox plan.

Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms

In the past, it wasn’t generally recognised that cannabis caused withdrawal symptoms. Most scientists put that down to the strength of modern strains of marijuana. Whereas 20 years ago, the main type of cannabis available had an average of 4% THC, modern strains average between 15-20%. THC is the addictive compound within the drug, and higher content of it means an increased likelihood of developing withdrawal symptoms upon stopping. (2)

Physical withdrawal symptoms

The physical withdrawal symptoms from marijuana occur as a result of the body getting used to not having the chemical in your brain and body. When you suddenly stop, after a prolonged period of use, your body feels like you’ve taken away something it needs. This is the nature of addiction and can cause many people to relapse. A comprehensive treatment programme is often required to address the motivations behind using cannabis and prevent them in the future.

The high experienced when you smoke is mildly euphoric and very physical. If you haven’t learned methods of calming yourself down and inducing relaxation, it can be difficult to see a way of living life without relying on cannabis. At Sanctuary Lodge, we have helped countless people to overcome cannabis addiction and lead healthy, happy lives. If you are realising that your compulsive cannabis use is a problem, well done. You’ve taken the first step towards recovery.

Some of the physical withdrawal symptoms we can help you to manage include:

  • Insomnia
  • Shakes
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache

Psychological withdrawal symptoms

Cannabis withdrawal has been medically recognised as being very real. The psychological symptoms can be unsettling. If you’ve been using the drug to mask your emotions, you may feel extra symptoms as a result of long-term use. This aspect of getting better is often the most difficult, and pushing through until you get over these symptoms can seem impossible. Our caring team of support workers are always on hand to offer guidance and love.

We can help you to put that in perspective and learn ways to make yourself feel better without turning to mind-altering substances.

The psychological symptoms include:

  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • Restlessness (3)

How Long Do the Withdrawal Symptoms Last when Going through Detoxification?

How long you suffer from cannabis withdrawal symptoms is determined by several factors. If you’ve been taking the drug every day for more than a few months, they can likely last for up to three months. It may be less for people who aren’t daily smokers, but in most cases, the peak symptoms are felt between two and 10 days after quitting. It’s been shown that a positive attitude towards life without cannabis greatly decreases the symptoms.

Is a Cannabis Detox Enough for Long-Term Recovery?

Detoxification starts to clear your body of the drug, but it is not a comprehensive treatment. Without therapy or learning alternative ways to cope with issues such as stress or poor sleep, you’ll find it difficult to resist using cannabis as a crutch for these types of issues. A full programme includes detox followed by an individual treatment plan that addresses the motivations behind why you started using cannabis in the first place.

What Happens after a Cannabis Detox?

Once your body has been purged of toxins, you will move on to the rehabilitation phase to focus on recovery and the future. Our clients often find this is a wonderful time to set goals and plan what they’re going to do with the extra time and money that quitting gives back to them. We make sure that we tailor the treatments you receive to your unique circumstances and give you as many tools as possible to overcome this challenging stage in your life.

You’ll take part in regular therapy sessions, including holistic therapies that aim to treat your mind, body and spirit. Different things work for different people, so we recommend putting your heart and soul into each one to give yourself the best chance of recovery. Every day, you will take part in group therapy following the 12-step framework. This gives you the chance to speak, be heard and put things into perspective.

We also schedule individual therapy sessions to give you a chance to work one-to-one with a certified addiction counsellor. Cognitive behavioural therapy has proven successful among people who struggle with compulsive behaviours such as addiction, and we offer you the chance to take part in this highly effective course of therapy.

People who recover long term haven’t usually just tried one type of treatment but a mixture of therapy and guidance that comes together to help them in different situations. Aftercare and family treatment are just as important as your actual rehab programme. At Sanctuary Lodge, we make them available to you for as long as you need, with one year of aftercare provided at no extra cost.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I detox from cannabis at home?

It is possible to detox from cannabis at home, although it can feel a lot more daunting without the 24-hour support of medical professionals. Relapse is one of the biggest risks of trying to undergo detox alone. You may be able to stop smoking by yourself, but by bypassing the therapy and guidance of addiction specialists, your chances of relapsing are much higher. You’ll also be surrounded by the triggers that cause you to smoke as well as easy access to cannabis.

Does the NHS provide cannabis detox programmes?

The NHS doesn’t offer a detox programme for marijuana. If you go to see your GP, they can refer you for outpatient treatment. The waiting lists for this type of care are often several months, and if you’re worried about an illness that is as all-consuming as addiction, time is of the essence. These programmes offer some of the same courses as inpatient care, such as CBT. However, the treatment is usually limited to a few months.

If you haven’t been misusing cannabis for very long or you don’t feel like your problem is fully advanced, outpatient treatment could be the right choice for you. Just bear in mind that the treatment we provide at Sanctuary Lodge gives you the most tools and methods to aid you in your recovery.

What are the most common cannabis withdrawal symptoms?

There are several symptoms that a lot of people experience when they quit using marijuana. The most universal one is insomnia, although you are by no means definitely going to experience it. Your body gets used to receiving its relaxation cues from the drug, so when you stop taking it, unwinding can feel difficult. A similar thing happens with hunger. Many people report losing their appetite when they quit. These symptoms usually clear up after one to four weeks

Is a residential cannabis detox necessary?

We believe that residential rehab gives you the best chance of recovery in the long term. Our bespoke care plans incorporate all the treatments that science has determined as being the most effective. You’ll enjoy the peaceful, luxurious surroundings of Sanctuary Lodge while receiving around-the-clock support from our care workers. You’ll also get the chance to build lifelong relationships with your peers, who are a ready-made support network.

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