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Marijuana withdrawal similar to quitting cigarettes

An Australian study sheds new light on cannabis addiction, finding that when people quit smoking pot, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms similar to that of quitting nicotine.

In the study, researchers from the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre at the University of New South Wales looked at nearly 50 habitual pot users who abstained for two weeks. The subjects experienced a host of unpleasant side effects, including irritability and sleep problems, which both affected their work and personal lives and reduced their chances of success in quitting. Plus the more addicted the subjects were to their pot habit, the stronger their withdrawal symptoms, researchers said.

According to LiveScience, it is generally accepted that marijuana could cause addiction and withdrawal, but until now researchers have not been sure to what extent.

"I suspect that there is a long way to go still in changing the popular beliefs" about the effects of marijuana on health, study researcher David Allsop told LiveScience. But at least understanding that withdrawal "makes you irritable, tense and anxious, and disrupts your sleep, is one good place to gain some traction," he said.

Published: Monday, October 01, 2012

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