Marijuana withdrawal among adults seeking treatment for marijuana dependence

Addiction. 1999 Sep;94(9):1311-22. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.1999.94913114.x.


Aims: The clinical relevance of marijuana withdrawal has not been established. This study is the first to document the incidence and severity of perceived marijuana withdrawal symptoms in a clinical sample of marijuana-dependent adults.

Measurements: Fifty-four people seeking outpatient treatment for marijuana dependence completed a 22-item Marijuana Withdrawal Symptom checklist based on their most recent period of marijuana abstinence.

Findings: The majority (57%) indicated that they had experienced > or = six symptoms of at least moderate severity and 47% experienced > or = four symptoms rated as severe. Withdrawal severity was greater in those with psychiatric symptomatology and more frequent marijuana use.

Conclusions: This study provides further support for a cluster of withdrawal symptoms experienced following cessation of regular marijuana use. The affective and behavioral symptoms reported were consistent with those observed in previous laboratory and interview studies. Since withdrawal symptoms are frequently a target for clinical intervention with other substances of abuse, this may also be appropriate for marijuana.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / etiology*