Quitting cannabis

Global Drug Survey 22 November 2017
At GDS we really do have a thorough understanding of cannabis. We’ve put a lot of work into researching the way in which it’s used, how various preparations make people feel, how people want to see it regulated and how it’s used as medicine. We’ve explored harm reduction strategies, cannabis concentrates, vaping and the type of support needed to reduce use.

Investigating the best ways to quit
One in three of you have told us that you’d like to use less cannabis and almost half of you have tried to stop. So this year we’re asking people about their experiences of trying to quit so that we can pass on the ways that work and the ways that don’t.

Dependency and withdrawal
Around 10-15% of current cannabis users are dependent (the rate is higher for those starting in their early and mid-teens). And some of the pitfalls associated with dependency are:
• sleep difficulties
• craving
• low mood
• irritability
• loss of appetite
• vivid, sometimes disturbing dreams
and less commonly
• excessive sweating
• intractable vomiting
• aches
• headaches
• shivers

People tell us, however, that when withdrawal is over (5-10 days for most) they feel brighter and their mood improves.

Quitting cannabis is not that well catered for by clinical services. Historically, drug treatment has been set up to manage people with heroin and alcohol problems and many people with a cannabis use disorder don’t feel supported by these places. It’s true to say we’re just not good at treating cannabis dependency or withdrawal. That’s why through our global drug survey, we’re exploring recent experiences of people who’ve tried to stop using cannabis and we aim to share what we learn to help others quit.
READ MORE: https://www.globaldrugsurvey.com/quitting-cannabis-more-than-one-way-to-skin-a-cat/

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