If you do want to try and kick your Mary Jane habit, here’s how to do it!
If you’ve reached a stage where you feel it’s time to quit smoking weed, then this article is for you. We will discuss some practical tips that hopefully will help make quitting weed a little easier. For those who are interested in alternative ways to consume marijuana (apart from smoking it), we’ve got that covered too.
As you can imagine, the process of quitting weed is going to be very different depending on the type of user you are. A moderate user may experience mild withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and restlessness, after quitting weed. However, chronic users with a strong physical or psychological dependency will face much more severe withdrawals. We will outline these in greater detail later in the article.
Reasons You Might Be Thinking About Quitting Weed
There are many reasons why a person may choose to quit smoking weed. Some people may decide to quit for health, financial, career, or personal relationship reasons. Others may be experiencing severe or off-putting adverse reactions after consuming cannabis. For example, they may experience paranoia, anxiety, or other negative effects.
Some people may feel that marijuana is taking too heavy of a toll on their life.
Maybe they are finding it difficult to get up for work, stay connected with friends/family, or be productive. Cannabis affects everyone differently. It does not make everyone energized and ready to create. For some, it can make them lethargic, which can result in very difficult patterns to break free from.
While smoking cannabis can be great for relaxing and unwinding, it’s not all that great for our lungs. Some individuals may be experiencing respiratory issues or need to quit smoking for various medical reasons. Some may not have to give up on cannabis completely, however. There are plenty of alternative options to smoking for those looking for new ways to consume cannabis.
Keep reading to discover how to quit smoking weed with our simple to follow guide…
The Science Behind Smoking
One of the most common reasons for wanting to quit smoking weed is for health reasons. The detrimental effect that smoking cigarettes has on our respiratory system has been well-known for decades. Some more recent research has also looked at the effects of inhaling marijuana smoke on our respiratory system.
In 2016, Martinasek et al. carried out a systematic review of the literature on the respiratory effects of inhalational marijuana. According to Martinasek et al., “the research indicates that there is a risk of lung cancer from inhaled marijuana as well as an association between inhalational marijuana and spontaneous pneumothorax, bullous emphysema, or COPD.”
The researchers also noted that inhalational marijuana smokers reported a variety of symptoms. Some of these included “wheezing, shortness of breath, altered pulmonary function tests, cough, phlegm production, bronchodilation, and other symptoms.”
In general, the research suggests that the respiratory effects are much more severe for long-term heavy users than for those who partake in an occasional toke.
One other issue is that you do not always know the source of the marijuana flower either. It may not have been grown organically. You could also be inhaling pesticides and other toxic chemicals when you are smoking it.
Marijuana Withdrawal for Chronic Users
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, quitting weed will be a very different experience, depending on the type of user you are. Moderate users will likely find it relatively straightforward to kick their weed habit. However, the same can’t be said for chronic, heavy users who have decided to quit their long-standing habit.
According to addictioncenter.com, a medically supervised detox is recommended for chronic marijuana users who have co-occurring disorders, including other drug dependencies and mental health conditions. Medical detox is designed to slowly ease a person off a substance, such as marijuana, thereby lessening the severity of the associated withdrawal symptoms. Many people undergoing a medical detox opt for continuing their recovery at a rehab center to prevent relapsing.
While occasional users may experience some mild withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and restlessness, chronic users will experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Generally, the severity of the withdrawal symptoms will depend on how long the person has been using marijuana. Some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms experienced by chronic users include fever, sweating, chills, and hallucinations.
More common symptoms include:
- Mood changes
- Stomach pains
- Appetite loss/weight loss
- Insomnia or fatigue
Most chronic users will experience withdrawal symptoms from the first day, which include irritability, anxiety, and insomnia. Withdrawal symptoms generally tend to peak between 48-72 hours, and relapse potential is at its highest during this period. Chronic users commonly report experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, chills, and stomach pain.
After the peak 72-hour period, the physical symptoms tend to taper off. However, depression can occur as a person’s brain chemistry begins to adapt to functioning without THC. The person undergoing the detox may still experience cravings during this time.
Most of the withdrawal symptoms should be over by week three.
However, some chronic users who had a psychological dependence on marijuana have experienced depression and anxiety for several months after quitting.
However, more moderate users, without a chronic addiction to marijuana, will not have to endure such extreme withdrawals. If you fall into this category, then hopefully these tips will help you to quit smoking weed.
5 Easy Steps to Help You Quit Smoking Weed
If you feel that you’re smoking too much weed and you’ve decided to quit, then hopefully these five easy steps will help make the process a little easier.
1. Set a Date for When You Want to be Marijuana-Free
To begin, though, make sure that you have established a clear reason for quitting. It may also help to have an end date in mind too, for when you intend to be totally marijuana-free. Having an end date can be helpful for many reasons:
- It gives you a goal to aim for
- Provides a structure to the process
- Helps to focus the mind
- Can help to strengthen your resolve and willpower
It may even help you to avoid procrastinating or even relapsing, too.
2. Get Rid of Anything That Reminds You of Weed
It is vital to remove any objects from your personal space that might cause temptations to arise. This means you need to get rid of your remaining cannabis, and all other related paraphernalia.
If you decide to give weed and any other weed-related items that you own to a friend, then make sure that they know that you are serious about quitting. Ideally, the person you choose will be strong enough to say no to you if/when you come calling asking for these items back.
3. Tell Your Friends, Family and Support System About Your Decision to Quit
Most things in life are easier, with a reliable support system surrounding you. This is especially the case if you intend to quit smoking marijuana. Be sure when you undergo this process that you inform those you trust about your decision. Ask them to be there for you and act compassionately towards you during this time.
Not only can this help you, but it can also prevent any conflicts or challenges that might arise when you are undergoing some of the mental detox aspects that come along with quitting marijuana. If these trusted individuals do care for you, they will support your decision no matter what.
4. Find a New Activity to Occupy Your Time
Urges to smoke weed will occur; this is entirely normal. Thus, it is vital to find ways to manage these urges. Often this implies discovering a new activity that you feel passionately about. Alternatively, you could find something that you enjoy that will fill the time that you would have spent smoking cannabis.
If your reason for quitting smoking weed is because you have chosen to be healthier, then why not opt for something active?
You could try hiking, fishing, bicycling or joining a gym. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much you can immerse yourself in an activity that you are passionate about. Then, rather than thinking about pot 24/7, it will become a thing of the past, and quitting will have been the first step toward a healthier you.
You could try immersing yourself more in your job (if that is an option). You may find that the old saying “steady work quiets the mind” rings very true.
When those inevitable urges do arise, however, try and find healthy habits to replace them with. For instance, you can try and:
- Go on a long walk
- Hit the gym
- Drink water or juice anytime you feel like smoking something
- Chew gum
5. Stick to Your Plan, and Don’t Give in to Temptation!
No matter how hard things might get, remember why you made this decision in the first place. Fight through the withdrawals in the first 72 hours. Know in advance that cravings will kick in. Your determination to quit will help you to overcome them. Remember, the longer you stay weed-free, the easier it will be to remain weed-free.
Alternative Options to Smoking Weed
Not everyone who wants to quit smoking weed will want to stop consuming cannabis altogether. Maybe you just want to explore alternative ways to consume marijuana that may be less harmful than smoking. Some alternatives to smoking include:
- Consuming edibles (including candies, gummies, and chocolates)
- Dabbing extracts/concentrates
- Taking cannabis oils and tinctures (such as CBD oil)
- Drinking cannabis-infused tea or other cannabis beverages
Final Thoughts on How to Quit Smoking Weed
If you have been considering quitting smoking marijuana, then we hope this information has brought about greater clarity and understanding. Ultimately, you need to choose a path that is best for you, and only you can make this choice.
We hope you found this article helpful and informative. It is important to remember that the consumption of cannabis is the sole responsibility of the user, and discretion should always be taken.