Pot, Tobacco Withdrawal Equally Rough
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms Mirror Tobacco Withdrawal Symptoms, Study Shows
WebMD News Archive
Jan. 30, 2008 -- Marijuana withdrawal symptoms are similar to tobacco withdrawal symptoms, new
Both types of withdrawal can prompt anxiety, irritability, restlessness, sleep problems,
strange dreams, and other symptoms, according to Johns Hopkins University's
Ryan Vandrey, PhD, and colleagues.
"These results indicate that some marijuana users experience withdrawal
effects when they try to quit, and that these effects should be considered by
clinicians treating people with problems related to heavy marijuana use,"
Vandrey says in a news release.
Vandrey's team studied 12 people who were heavy smokers of both tobacco and
Participants reported smoking pot at least 25 days per month and smoking at
least 10 tobacco cigarettes per day. And they had no plans to quit smoking either
For the study's sake, participants stopped smoking marijuana -- but kept
smoking tobacco -- for five days. Then they were free to smoke both substances
for nine days.
Next, participants stopped smoking tobacco and kept smoking marijuana for
five days. Then they smoked as they pleased for nine days, followed by five
days without marijuana or tobacco.
Participants rated their withdrawal symptoms and took drug tests every day
throughout the study. They noted similar symptoms when they stopped marijuana,
tobacco, or both substances.
The three nonsmoking periods -- no marijuana, no tobacco, and no marijuana
or tobacco -- were equally difficult, according to the study.
Some participants -- but not all -- found it easier to stop smoking
marijuana and tobacco at the same time, instead of halting only one of those
drugs. Smoking just one substance may have made them want the other one, too,
Vandrey's team notes.