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Marijuana Detox

Marijuana is a commonly used recreational drug, one that is now legal throughout the majority of the country. Because this specific substance is used so widely, many believe that it is not harmful or habit-forming. While marijuana is less addictive than many other recreational drugs, it can cause psychological dependence that can truly impact well-being and overall quality of life. Many argue detoxification from marijuana does not exist, and suggest those who use marijuana can easily quit while experiencing very few symptoms of withdrawal. On the contrary, heavy marijuana use can lead to disruptive and uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal, symptoms which often need to be monitored in a medical detoxification setting.

Marijuana is a mood and mind-altering substance, and for some, heavy use can develop into a powerful psychological addiction. Princeton Detox & Recovery Center is dedicated to helping people of all ages overcome marijuana dependence and go on to lead happy, productive and substance-free lives. To learn more about our marijuana detox program or to begin your own personal journey of addiction recovery, contact us today. 

What Is Marijuana?

Marrijuana, also commonly known as cannabis, weed, or pot, is a naturally derived psychoactive substance used for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Marijuana can be smoked out of glass pipes or bongs, rolled into joints, baked into sweet treats known as “edibles,” or reduced to a resin. The main psychoactive chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the intoxicating effect of the drug. Marijuana contains roughly 500 additional chemicals, around 100 of which are cannabinoids. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains how the potency of marijuana has increased over the course of the past several years. “In a study of cannabis research samples over time, the average delta-9 THC (the main form of THC in the cannabis plant) concentration almost doubled, from 9% in 2008 to 17% in 2017. Products from dispensaries often offer much higher concentrations than seen in this study. In a study of products available in online dispensaries in 3 states with legal non-medical adult marijuana use, the average THC concentration was 22%, with a range of 0% to 45%.8 In addition, some methods of using marijuana (for example, dabbing and vaping concentrates) may deliver very high levels of THC to the user.” As the potency of marijuana has increased, its purity has decreased. 

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Weed Legalization in New Jersey

Is weed legal in the state of New Jersey? In short — yes. According to the Official Site of the State of New Jersey, “New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Act allows for the legal sale and use of cannabis and cannabis products for residents 21 years and older. The newly adopted NJ-CRC rules establish the recreational cannabis industry in the state.” Dispensaries are allowed to sell up to 1 ounce of cannabis per transaction. Anyone can legally purchase in the state of New Jersey (both residents and visitors) if they are over the age of 21. 

Signs of Marijuana Abuse & Overdose

Individuals who have been struggling with a marijuana use disorder will typically exhibit a wide range of behavioral, psychological and physical symptoms. If you believe you or someone close to you might be struggling with a marijuana use disorder of any severity, there are several signs and symptoms to look for.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) outlines a list of diagnostic criteria associated with marijuana use disorder. If you answer “yes” to two or more of the following questions, entering into a treatment program of some degree is likely a good idea. However, it is important to note that symptoms of marijuana use disorders vary in severity, and a multi-staged program of recovery is not an ideal option for everyone. Contact us today to learn more about what type of treatment program will best meet your unique, personal needs. 

The DSM-V diagnostic criteria (1) for a marijuana use disorder are outlined below. Ask yourself the following questions when attempting to determine whether or not professional treatment is right for you. 

  1. Do you often use more marijuana than intended for a longer period of time than intended?
  2. Have you attempted to cut back on the amount of marijuana you ingest only to find yourself unable to cut back or quit for an extended period of time?
  3. Do you spend a significant amount of time using marijuana and recovering from its effects?
  4. Are you often consumed by thoughts of using marijuana, or do you experience cravings for marijuana throughout the day?
  5. Does usingmarijuana or recovering from the effects of excessive marijuana use affect your ability to take care of personal responsibilities and obligations?
  6. Has marijuana use caused issues and interpersonal problems between you and your family and/or friends?
  7. Have you given up activities you previously enjoyed because of your marijuana use?
  8. Have you experienced an increase in risk-taking activities as a result of your marijuana use, like combining marijuana with other chemical substances, driving while under the influence of marijuana, or obtaining marijuana illegally?
  9. Have you experienced worsening symptoms of a physical or mental health problem as a direct result of your marijuana use?
  10. Have you developed a physical tolerance, meaning a larger amount of marijuana is required in order for the desired effects to be achieved?
  11. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using marijuana abruptly?

Is Marijuana Overdose Possible?

In short, no fatal overdoses have been reported in the U.S. — even in the case of excessive marijuana use. However, this does not mean that marijuana overdose is impossible. It is possible to consume entirely too much of the drug and end up in the hospital or emergency room. When marijuana overdose occurs, it is often the psychological symptoms (paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations) that land people in the ER.

Marijuana Withdrawal and Detox

As is the case with any chemical substance, abruptly ceasing marijuana use after a long period of heavy use will result in a host of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are definitely not as life-threatening as the symptoms of withdrawal attached to other chemical substances, but they certainly do exist. Some symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include irritability, depression, headaches, insomnia and decreased appetite.

It is important that marijuana withdrawal is overseen by a team of medical professionals, despite the fact that symptoms will generally not be physically dangerous. Psychological symptoms can be more severe, and might include anxiety, panic attacks, depression or suicidal ideation. These are the symptoms that generally lead an individual straight back to using before the detoxification process is complete.

A decline in mental health is the most common side effect of marijuana withdrawal. An individual who ceases use abruptly might experience feelings of intense sadness and depression, a lack of motivation, changes to sleep patterns, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks and increased irritability or agitation. Our team of licensed therapists will help clients successfully work through all of these uncomfortable symptoms in a safe and supportive setting.

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 Marijuana Addiction Treatment

The best treatment options for marijuana misuse or addiction depend on your unique case. When it comes to professional treatment, several factors should be taken into close consideration, including:

  1. The severity of the marijuana use disorder. If the marijuana use disorder is moderate or severe, entering into a longer term treatment program is likely a good idea. 
  2. The potential of withdrawal symptoms. Because the psychological symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal can be unpredictable and uncomfortable, it is important for anyone who has been suffering from a marijuana use disorder to enter into a professional medical detox program for short-term monitoring. 
  3. The presence of any co-occurring disorders. If a person has been simultaneously suffering from a marijuana use disorder and a mental illness, entering into a longer term dual diagnosis treatment program might be necessary. 

In most cases, it is recommended that a person who has been suffering from a diagnosable marijuana use disorder of any severity enter into a multi-staged treatment program, which begins with medical detox and transitions into the next appropriate level of care. Depending on your personal needs, you might choose to follow detox with an extended stay in an inpatient treatment center, or continue with a more flexible and less time-demanding option, like outpatient treatment. 

Treatment options include:

  • Medical detox. In medical detox a person undergoes a safe and comfortable marijuana withdrawal under the close supervision of a team of medical professionals. 
  • Residential inpatient treatment. This is the most intensive treatment option; residential programs typically last for between 30 and 90 days depending on the needs of the individual. Most inpatient programs incorporate individual, group, and family therapy, 12 Step program education and involvement, and holistic treatment modalities to provide a comprehensive treatment experience. 
  • Partial hospitalization. This level of care is a step down from inpatient treatment, and includes full days of intensive therapeutic care (usually 7 days a week) with the freedom to return home in the evenings. 
  • Intensive outpatient treatment. Also known as IOP, this level of care is ideal for those who have completed a short stay in medical detox and are looking for a flexible treatment option with an ample amount of personal freedom. IOP is ideal for those with a mild or moderate marijuana use disorder and no co-occurring issues. 
  • Outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment, or OP, is one more step down from IOP, with group sessions typically only meeting between 2 or 3 times a week for several hours. 
  • Aftercare. Because marijuana addiction is a chronic health condition, ongoing treatment is necessary to longer term recovery. Most aftercare plans consist of ongoing involvement in a peer support group (like Alcoholics Anonymous or Recovery Dharma) and ongoing individual therapy. 
  • 12 Step program involvement. While many recovering individuals choose to participate in a 12 Step recovery program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, there are numerous other options available. Peer support is often an important part of aftercare. 
  • Individual therapy and/or ongoing psychiatric services. Because many individuals who suffer from a marijuana use disorder simultaneously struggle with co-occurring issues, ongoing therapy and/or psychiatric care often come recommended.
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If you or someone you love has been suffering from a marijuana use disorder of any severity, Princeton Detox & Recovery Center is available to help. Our medically monitored detox program was designed with client comfort in mind. We provide our clients with a safe, pain-free marijuana withdrawal in a therapeutic setting, actively preparing them to take the next appropriate step on their personal recovery journeys. As soon as you make the decision to reach out for help you will be put in contact with one of our experienced and compassionate Treatment Advisors, who will help you determine whether or not our marijuana detox program is right for you. If we believe our program is a good fit, we will proceed with a brief pre-assessment and a free, no obligation health insurance benefit check. We accept coverage from most major national health insurance providers as well as most regional providers throughout New Jersey and surrounding areas. To learn more about marijuana addiction and treatment or to begin your own personal journey of marijuana addiction recovery, contact us today. 

Marijuana FAQs

Marijuana goes by a number of other names, the most common being pot, weed, green, flower, Mary Jane, chronic, dope, trees, and grass.

There are many different street names for marijuana concentrate including shatter, glass, dabs, honey oil, ear wax, wax, and butter.

If you smoke marijuana infrequently, a single use can stay present in the system for up to three days. If you smoke marijuana on a daily basis it can stay present in your system for between 10 and 15 days, and chronic use can result in the substance staying in your system for up to 30 days. The more frequently you ingest any substance, the longer it will stay present in your urine, saliva, blood, and hair.

Marijuana is legal in the state of New Jersey for those over 21 years of age, residents or visiting. Up to an ounce of marijuana can be legally purchased at one time.

Synthetic marijuana, or synthetic cannabinoids, are a synthetically manufactured substance made to resemble the effects produced by naturally occurring cannabis. The effects of this mind-altering and man-made substance can be unpredictable and dangerous.

While there have been no fatal overdoses linked to marijuana reported, consuming too much of any substance can lead to serious physical and mental health effects.

Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, meaning it is a mood and mind-altering substance with no approved medical use for treatment in the U.S.

Amanda Hilzer

Reviewed for accuracy by: our Executive Director:

Amanda Hilzer M.Ed, CAADC, IADAC, ICCS, LCADC, CCS


Amanda graduated from Lehigh University with both an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Education degree in Counseling Psychology and has worked in the field of substance use disorder treatment and mental health treatment as a counselor and as a clinical manager for over 14 years.

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects/addiction.html
  2. https://www.nj.gov/cannabis/adult-personal/