Cannabis Detox & Treatment

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Call our local number 01603 513 091
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What Is Cannabis?

Cannabis is the most used illegal drug in the UK. It is often perceived to be socially acceptable. A government study in 2014 showed that cannabis was used by 13.5% of adults. 

These adults were of between the ages of 16 and 59 in the previous 12 months. Research shows that more than 10% of regular cannabis users become dependent on it, and the risk becomes higher if you use it every day.

Your body can develop a tolerance to cannabis which means you need to take more each day to achieve the desired effect.

Used appropriately in the medical field, the chemical composition of Cannabis is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and can have benefits for symptoms of neurological conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, neurological tremor, or conditions that attack the myelin sheath, such as Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease.

Negative Side Effects

Regular cannabis side effects include:

  • You may feel faint or sick
  • It can make you sleepy and lethargic
  • It can affect your memory
  • It can make you feel confused, anxious, or paranoid
  • You may experience hallucinations or panic attacks
  • Those using cannabis over an extended time will be significantly affected by these types of symptoms.

Risks of Cannabis

Here are the risks of cannabis:

  • People who smoke cannabis are more likely to suffer from bronchitis.
  • Cannabis smoke also contains cancer-causing chemicals.
  • If you mix tobacco with cannabis, you risk getting tobacco-related lung diseases such as lung cancer, COPD.

Other most common risks you can get from smoking cannabis may include the following:

  • Regular cannabis use increases the risk of developing a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia.
  • Cannabis may affect your fertility and regularly smoking cannabis with tobacco increases the risk of your baby being born small or premature.

You are more likely to be injured in a road traffic accident as it interferes with your ability to drive safely. Drug driving, like drink driving, is illegal.

Although it has a lower potential for long-term addiction relative to other drugs, cannabis has a high potential for developing tolerance and continued social abuse, especially in an attempt to manage behavioral symptoms.

Cannabis Detox & Withdrawal

Marijuana Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Like most drugs, persistent cannabis use leads to tolerance. This means the brain’s neurological receptors become used to receiving a certain amount of the substance and have adjusted to expecting this to maintain chemical balance.

However, in withdrawal, when people stop using marijuana, the chemical chain reactions stop, and withdrawal symptoms occur in the mind and body. 

The brain now needs to become used to an absence of the chemical and recover previous, pre-addiction levels of healthy neurotransmitters and brain function once more.

Withdrawing from cannabis can be uncomfortable as the body and mind begin to restore equilibrium. Excess cannabinoid metabolites have been left in the system following usage, and these need to be removed.

During marijuana use, the brain accommodated the additional cannabinoid chemical intake into normal brain function and production of healthy levels of neurotransmitters and other chemicals.

Under withdrawal, the previous levels of healthy brain chemicals need to be restored, but without the cannabis chemical input. This leads to psychological withdrawal symptoms during this adjustment period.

And, since cannabis also promotes physical changes such as changes in blood pressure, sleeping patterns, reduced alertness, and other changes, there will inevitably be physical withdrawal symptoms as the body stabilizes these factors also, without cannabis intake.

Typical physical and emotional symptoms include:

  • Increased anxiety, agitation, restlessness
  • Depression
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Irritability and bad temper
  • High temperature or fever, or fever alternating with chills
  • Reduced appetite/weight loss
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches

Medical Detox Withdrawal Duration

Duration of withdrawal symptoms vary depending on a range of factors, including:

  • Duration of cannabis intake and how frequently you use marijuana
  • Level of intake
  • Purity of the cannabis itself
  • The level of tolerance developed to this point
  • Any co-occurring abuse of other substances or alcohol
  • Previous attempts at detox; frequency and duration.
  • Pre-existing mental or physical health conditions
  • Cannabis Treatment: Detox > Rehab > Aftercare
  • Detox

How To Detox From Cannabis?

Contrary to popular belief, marijuana detox is not best achieved by flushing the body with cleansing drinks, teas, vitamins, or similar.

The excess cannabis is stored in fat cells and needs to be broken down by the body over time. This means marijuana drug use can show up in a drug test for up to 30 days after last use for regular users.

Therefore, the best way to detox from cannabis is to support the body while it does this. This usually means getting supervised support to help the body and mind deal with the uncomfortable side-effects of cannabis withdrawal.

In a clinic setting, the medical detox process usually involves substituting a substance with a prescribed alternative, which can chemically mimic its effects, thus reducing the experienced withdrawal symptoms.

Simultaneously, the body processes and releases any remaining substance via the liver, leaving the individual substance-free, with minimal emotional or physical distress.

While there is no dedicated substitute medication to deal specifically with cannabis withdrawal symptoms, the THC detox kit usually means undergoing withdrawal.

It is often under professional clinical supervision, and managing withdrawal symptoms using appropriate clinical help to make the process more comfortable.

Typically this could include prescribed medication for anti-depressants, anti-seizure medication, anti-psychotics, or drugs that promote sleep. Any such detox must be undertaken with appropriate support and medical supervision.

This usually occurs within a residential treatment clinic specializing in detox and rehabilitation and who can supervise and oversee withdrawal symptoms as they progress and manage them accordingly.

Detox Process Duration

As above, the duration of best THC detox methods will vary depending on the amount of intake, duration over time, dependency level built up, and pre-existing conditions or medications.

Unless intake is exceptionally high or complicating factors, most individuals can complete initial detox from cannabis in 7-14 days, with appropriate supervision.

However, since cannabis is often used to mask an underlying mental health issue, addiction treatment is usually only the start of a more significant recovery journey.


The timelines works strict and effective as follows:

Days 1–>2

Initial withdrawal symptoms begin. At this stage, insomnia, irritability, and increased anxiety are common.

Days 3–>14

Emotional symptoms such as depression will peak during this period as the brain readjusts to the changed levels of chemicals and hormones present under abstinence.

Day 14+

Main symptoms have usually eased by this point. The remaining symptoms will be subject to individual factors such as pre-existing mental or physical health issues.

Undertaking withdrawal or detox unsupervised is not recommended. One study demonstrated that one-third of participants, while attempting to detox from cannabis without supervision, began re-using cannabis to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Physical or emotional complications can occur during detox, which requires appropriate professional help that includes a holistic viewpoint of your history with addiction, current and pre-existing risk factors, as well as physical and emotional health.

Attempting to reduce or withdraw from Cannabis use in the same circumstances and living environment where usage has occurred is not advised, as environmental triggers towards usage will still exist, even beyond detox.

Withdrawing without supervision can also reduce motivation, as repeated attempts to detox from cannabis unsuccessfully in an unsupported environment can lead to the belief that “detox doesn’t work” or “recovery is not possible,”…. neither of which is true.


Detox is usually best undertaken in a supervised clinic setting, where addiction professionals can assist in helping you address the underlying associated lifestyle and emotional drivers behind cannabis misuse.

In a rehab clinic, once detox completes (or sometimes sooner), you’ll start to take part in a therapeutic program. They are designed to address the factors that led you to cannabis addiction in the first place.

Often this involves, examining the underlying causes of marijuana addiction, such as mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Or certain beliefs, conditionings, or associations that led to chronic drug use as a coping mechanism.

Many of these causal factors will be individual to you, your circumstances, living situation, peers, and learnings from early life.

While thorough drug testing and urine test for such issues can be daunting initially, addiction centers frequently provide counselors who are experienced in this specialized area and provide appropriate insight and support. Many staff has experience of addiction personally.


Long-term recovery from cannabis misuse requires long-term planning. Thinking ahead and constructing a plan of support will help you maintain abstinence from cannabis.

This might include elements such as:

  • Practical plans for everyday life without cannabis.
  • Ways to cope with old associations to cannabis include social group, trigger situations, or places or events you’ve previously associated with cannabis use.
  • Social supports to help you sustain and maintain an abstinence-based life, free from cannabis. This could be a sponsor, local meetings, or peers also in recovery.

Aftercare is crucial for the well-being of the patient and long-term results, and it may also comprises several other effective options such as:

  • Person-centered support that addresses your individual needs such as mental health issues or issues identified during therapy.
  • Ways to continue the abstinence-based mindset, even when challenges arise in day-to-day life.


1. Is cannabis withdrawal or detox dangerous?

Due to many personal factors involved, cannabis withdrawal can be dangerous, and we do not recommend undertaking cannabis treatment options in an unsupervised setting.

2. What does cannabis detox treatment cost?

Abbeybot below can provide instant pricing guidelines for drug tests and treatment. Following our initial conversation with you, these are subject to agreement from Abbeycare’s admissions and clinical teams.

It would be best to check out for a platform that gives the most reliable services at the most affordable rates. Luckily, Abbycare can be an excellent option. 

3. How quickly can I arrange to start cannabis detox?

We can arrange admission for most within 24 hours, subject to availability within our clinics. Please ring directly to check.

The good thing is that now everything is easier since you can access and complete all registaration process online. It would be best to check out the registration and provide honest feedback.

4. After treatment, can I use cannabis again in the future?

No. As an abstinence-based center, we advocate sobriety for the long-term future. This provides maximum opportunity for you to restore balance and structure to life without cannabis misuse.

5. Where do you offer cannabis detox?

We have two UK centers offering this treatment currently: Abbeycare Scotland, Abbeycare Gloucester.

6. How long does cannabis treatment last?

We strongly suggest a minimum treatment period of 28 days to maximize long-term treatment outcomes in most cases. Please ring direct for advice specific to your needs.

Abbeycare Pricing Bot

About the author

Laura Morris

Laura Morris is an experienced clinical practitioner and CQC Registered Manager with over twenty years experience, over ten of which have been as an Independent Nurse Prescriber.

She has held a number of senior leadership roles in the substance use and mental health sector in the NHS, the prison service and in leading social enterprises in the field.

Last Updated: October 31, 2023