If you’re looking to cut back or quit marijuana use, it may feel like an uphill battle. To help you along your journey, we’ve shared eight ideas and tips to get you started.
First of All, Why Quit?
If you stumbled upon this article, then you may have already started thinking about quitting marijuana. Here are some signs that it’s time to cut back or quit:
- Smoking weed gets in the way of your goals: If you keep pushing things off, can’t get motivated for basic tasks, or feel like you're not accomplishing enough due to your habit, quitting may be just the way to get back on track.
- You become dependent on using it: Although it’s commonly thought that marijuana isn’t addictive, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 10% of cannabis users will become addicted. If you find yourself needing to smoke, that may be a sign you should take a step back.
- It starts affecting your physical or mental well-being: Because marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound, it can take a toll on your mental health when overused. Plus, depending on how you consume it, THC can negatively affect your breathing and heart rate, and can lead to other physical health problems.
- Your bank account seems empty every month: Marijuana can be expensive, particularly when purchasing through the black market where you don’t have as many options. For heavy users, the costs can add up.
- You’re caught up in the legal system: While marijuana laws are relaxing in some states around the U.S., in others, they’re as strict as ever. If you find yourself facing legal consequences for your smoking, you may have no choice but to quit unless you want to face further legal ramifications.
- It’s bringing your work ethic down: Have you noticed that your boss is reprimanding you more, coworkers are talking behind your back, or you’ve perhaps even been fired? Smoking pot can lead to poor work ethic and could potentially show up on a drug test - which, in some cases, is cause for dismissal.
- Maybe you simply want to quit: You don’t need any reason to get sober other than simply wanting to. Just a few days of clarity can bring back a faded mentality caused by years of smoking.
A Note About Withdrawal
When you set out to quit, knowing about withdrawal symptoms can help you prepare to fight them. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may include:
- Decreased appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Chills or cold sweats
- Stomach aches
To manage the withdrawal symptoms, understand how much you smoke. If you’re a regular smoker, quitting cold turkey may prove to be more difficult compared to a tapered approach. You can also talk with your doctor before you quit for ways to cope with these symptoms.
How to Quit Smoking Weed
Whether you quit cold turkey or gradually taper off is ultimately a personal decision for you. There’s no clear blanket answer and the science on marijuana is a little muddled, thanks to various pseudoscience industry influencers and study restrictions on the federal level. However, there is some evidence that quitting abruptly is more effective for cigarette smokers.
1. Get rid of your stash
First things first — the easiest way to quit is by simply getting rid of your stash. Throw away your weed, pipes, lighters, joint papers, and anything else that makes you think about smoking. Removing the substance from your home entirely is one of the best ways to put the act of smoking out of your mind.
2. Avoid Triggers
Different variables, from people to places to things, trigger the urge to smoke marijuana. If you can start to understand your habits and avoid the cues that make you feel like smoking, you’ll set yourself up for success.
An effective way to quit weed is to replace the act of smoking with a new activity that provides a dopamine kick while fighting boredom.
Exercising is a great replacement for smoking, and is something you can pick up right away at little to no cost. Take a run, lift weights, or join a local intramural sports team to get active and fight your smoking urges. Even just getting outside and going for a walk can get your mind off of smoking, and give you a boost of feel-good energy.
4. Switch Up Your Surroundings
One way to stop a habit is to change your surroundings. Humans are creatures of habit, so if you’re able to get out of your house and try something new, it may be just the kick you need to break your smoking habit.
Plan a weekend getaway or longer trip with someone who will be supportive of your efforts to quit. You may find that a few days away can help clear your mind and break the habit.
5. Stay Busy With a New Hobby
To fill your newfound time, try picking up a new hobby. Maybe you’ve been wanting to get into woodworking, or have an old bike you’ve been meaning to fix up. Whatever you choose, you’ll benefit from getting your mind off smoking, and may find a more enjoyable and productive way to spend your time.
6. Find a Support System
While it may be awkward to talk about your weed habits, finding a close confidant can make all the difference on your journey to quit. It’s very likely that the people in your life will be more than happy to support you along the way.
There are also community programs, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, for marijuana users. Research your local government’s website for information about programs in your area.
7. Get Professional Help
If you’ve tried everything you can think of, and nothing seems to be working, then it may be time to get professional help. Psychiatrists and behavioral therapists have built their profession around helping people quit substances, and it may help to have an expert guiding you.
If you’re ever feeling like there’s no hope, reach out to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
8. Transition to CBD
Thanks to the recent legalization of CBD-related products in the U.S, you can buy non-psychoactive products that supply some similar sensations to marijuana, without the high. This may be a solution for those looking to transition from smoking weed.
Cannabidiol (CBD) can support physical and mental well-being, helping you maintain a normal emotional balance and a sense of relaxation. It may help relieve issues associated with normal daily exercise and activity, and can also support skin health. And, just like marijuana, there are many ways to consume it, from smoking to edibles to vaporizers.
Check out CBD HWY's selection of CBD products to explore your options.
One Step at a Time
If you feel like you’re ready to quit, all it takes is a positive attitude, mental willpower, and the right know-how to fight withdrawal symptoms. It may not be easy, but it’s a process just like anything else — take it one step at a time and revel in the small victories as you make your way toward finally quitting.