What to expect when quitting marijuana - PAWS timeline

Postby BruceLeeroy » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:20 am

I used to think people in this forum who quit marijuana were just being overly dramatic, overthinking it, and giving too much attention to PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome). Boy was I wrong. Too often, people think quitting weed is easy because it is quite easy -- that is, in the first 2 weeks. But when I finally did my first real quit of OVER 2 weeks, PAWS hit me hard like walking out in front of a semi-truck late on delivery.

This is just a general list of some things to expect on your quit journey. The exact timelines and symptoms may differ from person to person. Some people may go through a longer and tougher time, and some may experience quite the opposite. Everyone's experience will be unique, but hopefully this list can be comprehensive enough to help keep everyone on top of PAWS throughout their quit process.

Please remember, quitting weed means no longer taking any marijuana/cannabis product at all -- whether flower, vape, hash, oil, shatter, dab, edibles, gum, etc. no matter if it’s CBD or THC dominant. If you do go and decide to take any weed product, understand that you just RESET yourself back to day one.

Sorry, but people who find the need to quit weed CANNOT continue to do it just once in a while, no matter how much your brain tries to trick you into it. Your “once in a while” will eventually ramp back up to daily consistent use. You have an addictive sickness/disease associated with marijuana much like an alcoholic does with alcohol or a cigarette smoker does with nicotine. You can’t have just one fix or else you’re going to go full blown again. If you do find yourself still looking for reasons to do marijuana after your quit, you are simply not ready yet. It’s ok, just come back when you are -- you'll eventually come to terms with quitting for good and be overwhelmingly glad that you did.

Please add on below if you feel there's anything missing. This list can’t be complete without everyone’s contribution. I gathered the info here from various different posts in this forum in the midst of my own quit. As I scoured all of these threads for my own selfish motivation, I decided I can try to help someone else by putting all of the knowledge I found into one place. A sincere and humble thank you goes out to everyone who's shared their experiences of quitting in this forum. You are the real MVP!

Marijuana PAWS symptoms after quitting

1-2 Weeks:
Brain fog starts to fade. Head begins to clear up. Headaches. Brain tingles. Eyes don’t feel as heavy. Short and long term memory begin to return. Dreams return vividly. Libido fades. Not so difficult to deal with.

2-6 Weeks:
Cilia in lungs clean out the marijuana which flushes up the back of your throat. Headaches continue. Brain tingles continue. Cold/night sweats with insomnia and heavy heart palpitations. High blood pressure possible. Vivid, nightmarish dreams if you can fall asleep for a few hours. Ringing ears develop. Teeth grinding develops. For women, much tougher PMS period and bad cramps may develop. Anxiety, Depression, Depersonalization/Derealization, and Intrusive thoughts start to enter. Schizophrenic-like and/or OCD-like symptoms may show. Lethargy, dissociation with life, and anhedonia creep in. Paranoia may occur. Panic Attacks may occur (or occur earlier during use). Libido gone. Difficulty of quit begins to show.

1.5-3 Months:
Marijuana metabolites now completely flushed out of your system, unless you carry more fat cells in which case will require more time to get rid of. Also, it will take a longer time if marjuana was ingested instead of smoked or vaped. Vivid dreams subside. Headaches continue, but may be more subtle. Ringing ears continue. Teeth grinding continues. Heart palpitations occur more frequently, possibly due to the body adjusting to adrenaline no longer being numbed out by weed. High blood pressure may continue. For women, tough PMS and bad cramps may continue. Insomnia, Anxiety, Depression, Depersonalization/Derealization, Intrusive thoughts, Paranoia, Schizo-like and OCD-like symptoms PEAK. Panic attacks possible. Get used to getting little sleep most of the time. Libido sneaks back, but still very low. Very difficult to deal with.

3-6 Months:
Your true emotions start to return. Sleep returns. Symptoms mostly remain, but all of them begin to subside and life becomes much more bearable. Anxiety and depression loosen their grip. Intrusive thoughts appear farther and fewer in between. Psychosis-related symptoms become weaker and have less control over your inner self. Physical symptoms start to return back to normal, like how they were before marijuana. Though still not exactly 100% yet, libido comes back. The worst is behind you now.

6 Months - 1 Year:
Adjusting back to normal and getting in touch with your true feelings and emotions, before they were numbed out by marijuana, become the ultimate part of your experience. All symptoms quickly fade away. Your head is clear. Your body is active. Your spirit is thriving. You start feeling good again. Actually, you feel great.

1-2 Years:
Symptoms disappear, but may creep back in here and there when least expected. Stay on guard.

2-3 Years:
Symptoms are gone for good. Congratulations and stay quit!
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#1

Postby tokeless » Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:44 am

Can I just say, I think this type of advice is poor and traps people in the suffering mindset. We are not a homogenous species yet this advice is quite rigid in what will happen to you when you quit. Now imagine if you were contemplating quitting and you read this.... they could see 2-3 YEARS!! before they have beaten it??? Everybody gets the quit they get... just leave it at that. Support isn't telling people how much or long you suffered. It's supporting their journey. I know it's well intentioned but I get the feeling that some people just like to get validation by telling everyone about themselves rather than just quitting and offering support.
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#2

Postby BruceLeeroy » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:00 pm

I'm sorry you feel so negative about this post, Tokeless. But it would seem that you're injecting something into it that doesn't exist. I've also seen you start conflict in other threads before. So I just hope the best for you in your quit.

God bless!
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#3

Postby tokeless » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:40 pm

BruceLeeroy wrote:I'm sorry you feel so negative about this post, Tokeless. But it would seem that you're injecting something into it that doesn't exist. I've also seen you start conflict in other threads before. So I just hope the best for you in your quit.

God bless!


Not at all. I have a right to question advice or information on this forum as do us all. Perhaps instead of accusing me of starting conflict, you could tell me where or how what I have posted is wrong.
P.s I don't need blessings from God thanks.
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#4

Postby BruceLeeroy » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:27 am

tokeless wrote:
BruceLeeroy wrote:I'm sorry you feel so negative about this post, Tokeless. But it would seem that you're injecting something into it that doesn't exist. I've also seen you start conflict in other threads before. So I just hope the best for you in your quit.

God bless!


Not at all. I have a right to question advice or information on this forum as do us all. Perhaps instead of accusing me of starting conflict, you could tell me where or how what I have posted is wrong.
P.s I don't need blessings from God thanks.


Case in point right above. :P

Just to clarify, the post doesn't say what you saw it to say. It clearly states that quitting may take longer for some, or shorter for others. Nor does it have anything to do with getting validation by telling others about themselves. Lol.
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#5

Postby leavepawsbehind » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:42 am

Accurate timeline, lines up with my experience after nealy 3 years sober (2 months away). Basically all back to normal. The symptoms sure were nuts in the first couple of years though!
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#6

Postby DistortedSoul » Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:08 am

From what I’ve seen, most cases around the 6mo to 1yr mark begin to see significant improvements very slowly but still persisting symptoms. Although they persist, I’ve also noticed a lot of these symptoms get a lot weaker & the normality becomes a lot more longer as weeks pass. Hoping this is my case as I’m now almost 7 months out & am now seeing small & slight improvements accompanied with some small periods throughout the day of normality. Very interesting times
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#7

Postby BruceLeeroy » Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:35 am

Leavepawsbehind, congrats on almost 3 years! Wow, cannot wait to get there. Was it worth it the trip?

DistortedSoul, how would you compare your current month 7 to say, month 3 or so?

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving y'all!
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#8

Postby DistortedSoul » Sat Nov 28, 2020 2:24 am

Happy thanksgiving to you too Bruce!

Well honestly, my *almost* month 7 has been a ride. This wave compared to the one at month 3 is more manageable, however, I feel like in month 3 I was going about things a little more easier. Lately I’ve noticed a small little return of the anxiety I had in month 1 but exceptionally weaker. Month 3 had no anxiety but a lot of visual & physical symptoms. Right now I feel like it ranges but each one lasts about an hour or so now. I might just turn a corner soon I hope but given the fact that I still get a little derailed by symptoms is a bit disheartening at times
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#9

Postby Prycejosh1987 » Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:35 pm

I suppose it depends on how long we have smoked weed. Its usually takes a few months to really start effecting the body and health system.
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#10

Postby BruceLeeroy » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:49 pm

Distortedsoul, I suffered an anxiety attack recently that lasted for a few hours and it was not fun. The feeling of being so easily subdued by it is scary. I was out driving and doing errands when it happened. I had to pull over a few times to let it pass. I didn't make it to all my errands lol.

This is probably the fifth or sixth time I've ever gotten a full on anxiety attack and never really connected it to my weed smoking, but maybe there is a connection?

Pricejosh1987, I absolutely agree. Paws is most likely only suffered by long time users, how long is an interesting question.

I do want to point out also that I've had few friends who maybe would feel the opposite. One I remember suffered an anxiety attack the very first time he smoked up. Another who smoked for the first time said he was high for over a week. These people became absolutely terrified of weed and never touched it again.
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#11

Postby BruceLeeroy » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:00 pm

I should probably add tittinus, eye floaters, and blurred vision to the list of paws symptoms that can occur in the first 3 or so months.
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#12

Postby HannahGrace » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:00 am

BruceLeeroy wrote:I used to think people in this forum who quit marijuana were just being overly dramatic, overthinking it, and giving too much attention to PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome). Boy was I wrong. Too often, people think quitting weed is easy because it is quite easy -- that is, in the first 2 weeks. But when I finally did my first real quit of OVER 2 weeks, PAWS hit me hard like walking out in front of a semi-truck late on delivery.

This is just a general list of some things to expect on your quit journey. The exact timelines and symptoms may differ from person to person. Some people may go through a longer and tougher time, and some may experience quite the opposite. Everyone's experience will be unique, but hopefully this list can be comprehensive enough to help keep everyone on top of PAWS throughout their quit process.

Please remember, quitting weed means no longer taking any marijuana/cannabis product at all -- whether flower, vape, hash, oil, shatter, dab, edibles, gum, etc. no matter if it’s CBD or THC dominant. If you do go and decide to take any weed product, understand that you just RESET yourself back to day one.

Sorry, but people who find the need to quit weed CANNOT continue to do it just once in a while, no matter how much your brain tries to trick you into it. Your “once in a while” will eventually ramp back up to daily consistent use. You have an addictive sickness/disease associated with marijuana much like an alcoholic does with alcohol or a cigarette smoker does with nicotine. You can’t have just one fix or else you’re going to go full blown again. If you do find yourself still looking for reasons to do marijuana after your quit, you are simply not ready yet. It’s ok, just come back when you are -- you'll eventually come to terms with quitting for good and be overwhelmingly glad that you did.

Please add on below if you feel there's anything missing. This list can’t be complete without everyone’s contribution. I gathered the info here from various different posts in this forum in the midst of my own quit. As I scoured all of these threads for my own selfish motivation, I decided I can try to help someone else by putting all of the knowledge I found into one place. A sincere and humble thank you goes out to everyone who's shared their experiences of quitting in this forum. You are the real MVP!

Marijuana PAWS symptoms after quitting

1-2 Weeks:
Brain fog starts to fade. Head begins to clear up. Headaches. Brain tingles. Eyes don’t feel as heavy. Short and long term memory begin to return. Dreams return vividly. Libido fades. Not so difficult to deal with.

2-6 Weeks:
Cilia in lungs clean out the marijuana which flushes up the back of your throat. Headaches continue. Brain tingles continue. Cold/night sweats with insomnia and heavy heart palpitations. High blood pressure possible. Vivid, nightmarish dreams if you can fall asleep for a few hours. Ringing ears develop. Teeth grinding develops. For women, much tougher PMS period and bad cramps may develop. Anxiety, Depression, Depersonalization/Derealization, and Intrusive thoughts start to enter. Schizophrenic-like and/or OCD-like symptoms may show. Lethargy, dissociation with life, and anhedonia creep in. Paranoia may occur. Panic Attacks may occur (or occur earlier during use). Libido gone. Difficulty of quit begins to show.

1.5-3 Months:
Marijuana metabolites now completely flushed out of your system, unless you carry more fat cells in which case will require more time to get rid of. Also, it will take a longer time if marjuana was ingested instead of smoked or vaped. Vivid dreams subside. Headaches continue, but may be more subtle. Ringing ears continue. Teeth grinding continues. Heart palpitations occur more frequently, possibly due to the body adjusting to adrenaline no longer being numbed out by weed. High blood pressure may continue. For women, tough PMS and bad cramps may continue. Insomnia, Anxiety, Depression, Depersonalization/Derealization, Intrusive thoughts, Paranoia, Schizo-like and OCD-like symptoms PEAK. Panic attacks possible. Get used to getting little sleep most of the time. Libido sneaks back, but still very low. Very difficult to deal with.

3-6 Months:
Your true emotions start to return. Sleep returns. Symptoms mostly remain, but all of them begin to subside and life becomes much more bearable. Anxiety and depression loosen their grip. Intrusive thoughts appear farther and fewer in between. Psychosis-related symptoms become weaker and have less control over your inner self. Physical symptoms start to return back to normal, like how they were before marijuana. Though still not exactly 100% yet, libido comes back. The worst is behind you now.

6 Months - 1 Year:
Adjusting back to normal and getting in touch with your true feelings and emotions, before they were numbed out by marijuana, become the ultimate part of your experience. All symptoms quickly fade away. Your head is clear. Your body is active. Your spirit is thriving. You start feeling good again. Actually, you feel great.

1-2 Years:
Symptoms disappear, but may creep back in here and there when least expected. Stay on guard.

2-3 Years:
Symptoms are gone for good. Congratulations and stay quit!


I’m Hannah Grace. I'm searching about why people were addicted to cannabis. And i started research also. Really I am fed out, Every cannabis lovers refer this site don't know why? What sh** is there.. What do you think of them? Are this Site worth considering?
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#13

Postby Charles Swann » Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:11 pm

I think this is a useful model for what paws can look like. The op states that your mileage may vary. Mine did...next week is three years for me, and I still struggle with anxiety and negative thinking, but that was the underlying condition that led me to weed. Quitting didn't miraculously turn my life around, much as I hoped. One small thing: I look a lot better. I didn't realize how smoking made me sallow and dark eyed. One big thing: My memory is so much better. Maybe its worth quitting just not to have early Alzheimer's.
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