Smoking marijuana is as unhealthy and addictive as drug abuse and smoking cigarettes.
Addiction to cannabis smoking has unsettled the everyday lives of many people. Some of them have become despondent because of it.
Some studies suggest that cannabis may be less harmful than other substances. It has lower rates of developing a substance use disorder than others.
Researchers say long-term heavy pot smoking can leave lifelong lingering effects on physical and mental health.
However, some argue that marijuana is just as safe as, or even safer than, alcohol. But the reality doesn’t say so.
“I don’t think we can definitively say it is safe,” says Jeanette Marie Tetrault, MD, FACP, Yale University School of Medicine.
You should consider quitting smoking marijuana if you have become irresistibly addicted. However, kicking it out is not easy.
It is challenging to break such a habit because of the psychological dependence that weeds cause in the user.
One of the marijuana addicts in her article on drugabuse.gov says, “I’ve tried to quit smoking weed so many times.” Okay, just once more, and then I’ll stop for real. But I never lasted more than a week.”
10 Tips On How To Quit Smoking Weed
If you have decided to quit smoking, you might wonder how to achieve your target.
A substance use counselor or addiction specialist can help you achieve your goal.
Becoming aware of the nature of your addiction is the beginning of your struggle with quitting weed addiction. Secondly, ascertain the necessary steps (action plan) to uproot the habit.
Now let us see the ways to quit marijuana use and the various steps involved in it:
1. Fathom your addiction
According to Marijuana Anonymous, “A marijuana addict’s life is controlled by marijuana. They lose interest in all else; their dreams go up in smoke.”
Marijuana contains an active chemical known as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol.
This chemical substance affects the functioning of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain to react in a particular way; it makes a person feel “high” after smoking the weed.
If you have been smoking marijuana daily for a while, you might think that you must be “high” to function most efficiently. You are mentally addicted to the stuff if you have such a mindset.
Addiction to weed smoking can become a physical addiction when you depend on it to function correctly. You begin to experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, anxiety, and depression when you miss out on regular smoking for some reason.
Although physical addiction has not been proven, many who use cannabis develop some sort of dependence.
Aron Lichtman, Ph.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University, said, “A few years ago, it was widely believed that marijuana does not cause any kind of physical dependence, but now that has pretty much been debunked.”
If you have developed a physical addiction to smoking weed, you must consult a doctor for guidance and monitoring. Physical dependence is difficult to give up, unlike mental addiction.
2. Make a clear and firm decision to quit
First of all, you should make a clear and firm decision to quit the habit of smoking weed.
Make your decision known to a friend or family member who can guide, support, and motivate you to stop using weed.
You must also share your decision with your friends at the smoking joints or smoking buddies so they will not coerce you to join them for a smoke again.
Even if any of your friends discourage you, learn to pay no heed to their words trying to dissuade you from the decision.
If you have no willpower to resist the persuasions of your friends, it is better to avoid friends with whom you smoke.
Your decision to quit the addictive habit of taking marijuana puffs must have a set date to achieve ‘completely post-free. Ideally, it should be accomplished within 30 to 40 days. If you are on a ‘gradual plan’ of quitting, you can extend it up to 90 days.
You can also monitor your progress by establishing a tapering plan. You can reduce the frequency of daily smoking to less than half by midway through the final date set.
Mark your set dates and goals on the calendar, marking how less and less you use the stuff every day, and strictly stick to them.
It is good to stick the ‘marked’ calendar to the bathroom mirror or on the refrigerator, where you will notice it and be reminded of the plan every day.
3. Throw away your smoking paraphernalia
The age-old adage says, “Out of sight is out of mind.” It is valid for getting rid of addictions.
When you have all the pot and all the other smoking paraphernalia near, you are tempted to use them.
Seeing weed and a smoking kit can flare up your craving for it. Please get rid of the pots, matches, lighters, roach clips, bongs, or containers; remove all of them from your vicinity.
You can burn away or flush the remaining weeds down the toilet.
Removing the pictures, posters, and photos you have of smoking is good. Do not watch or play video games, movies, or magazines with images and materials that persuade you to smoke.
Erase the phone numbers of the marijuana dealers you have on your contact list.
4. Effectively manage your urges
You may experience a strong urge to smoke increases like a counterattack when you want to quit smoking. Managing and discarding your cravings to smoke is the key to successfully quitting the habit.
You can stop smoking cold turkey by strongly resisting your cravings.
Avoid the locations and friends’ circles that persuade you to smoke again. It would be best to flee the scene where you get the urge to smoke.
When you intensely desire to smoke, take deep breaths through your mouth and hold the air in your lungs for 5-7 seconds before you let it out. Repeat this breathing exercise for a few minutes until your attention is diverted from the urge to smoke.
You can curb your cravings for smoking by using substitutes like sugarless gum, candy, toothpicks, diet tea, or coffee.
Staying hydrated by drinking water regularly will help reduce the urge to smoke.
5. Overcome the withdrawal symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms and relapses from marijuana are less virulent than those from drug use. They usually appear one day after you quit cold turkey. It may take up to 2 weeks to level up and become normal.
The symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include insomnia, vomiting, muscle spasms, anxiety, headaches, irritation, depression, and drowsiness.
Avoid consuming caffeine when you quit cold turkey, which would otherwise aggravate insomnia.
Eating bland foods (rice, banana, toast, oatmeal, and apples) would help you overcome nausea and decreased appetite after withdrawing from weed smoking.
Become aware of mood swings, irritation, and fits of anger; keep yourself calm and engaged in entertaining activities, yoga exercises, or hobbies.
Avoid situations and people who might flare up your irritation for some reason.
You can fight anxiety through breathing exercises, sleeping, or leisure activities.
If you feel an increase in body temperature, cool yourself down by staying indoors or relishing ice cream.
6. Change your routine and activities
When you quit cold turkey, the urge to get back to the pots is high at the routine times you had before.
You have to switch up your routine, mainly by replacing the time you spend smoking with other engaging activities.
Shake up the routine habits you had before; you can think of changes like having a new variety menu for breakfast and lunch, going jogging in the morning or showering at a different time.
You can change your regular routes and mode of transport to college or your workplace, change your dress and hairstyle, and take up new leisure activities.
Try to change your study place, sleeping place, or places you usually visit.
Make sure to eat a healthy diet and eat sufficiently.
7. Take up new activities and hobbies
While trying to quit weed use, you must devote your time to new hobbies and leisure activities. They help distract your mind from thoughts of smoking.
These new activities include swimming, cycling, cooking, jogging, and reading.
Make sure that the time you used to spend at smoking joints or in the pot is fully occupied with new or other regular activities.
Lack of activities will make you bored and depressed, leading to an urge to return to the old ways of smoking weed again.
Remember the adage, “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.”
8. Keep busy and cheerful
If you keep busy and do activities that make you cheerful, there will be hardly any time or desire to get back to smoking pot.
Keeping yourself busy with activities helps to change your thoughts from the desire to smoke.
Despite being busy, you still make time to be alone and relaxed. Besides engaging in regular work and study, you can also think of social activities and physical exercises that help you spend your time wisely and usefully.
Reschedule your schedule, leaving no time for staying idle and lazy.
9. Stick with your plan
You may take 2 to 3 weeks to overcome the withdrawal symptoms fully. Usually, it takes three weeks to make or break a habit.
If you stick to your plan rigorously, within 4 to 5 weeks, you should be completely free from your marijuana addiction.
Once you have achieved the goal, have a small celebration to mark your success. This will give you renewed enthusiasm to continue to stay away from addiction.
10. Stay motivated
Most people embark on the journey to quit smoking pot; however, within a week or two, they return to their old ways.
Achieving anything meaningful in life takes strong determination and persistent effort.
Keep reminding yourself why it is essential for you to kick the bad habits. It is for improving your physical and mental health and happiness. It improves your social acceptance and success in whatever you do in life.
Keep reading motivational books and seek the help of a counselor to stay focused on your goal.
Please write down your resolutions to stop smoking marijuana on a piece of paper and read them every day. Constantly remind yourself of the importance of giving up smoking for the betterment of your life and family.
Exploring Professional Help in Getting Rid of Smoking
Most of us only possess strong motivation and determination with someone is playing second fiddle to our plan to achieve something worthwhile.
Weak-willed people become addicted to drug abuse, alcohol, and marijuana. Naturally, most of them require the help of a mentor and psychologist to kick the bad habits.
Let us look at some of the external help you can avail of to eliminate cannabis smoking.
1. Consult a therapist
There are professionally trained de-addiction therapists who can quickly assist you in overcoming mental issues like depression and anxiety that drive you to addictions such as smoking and alcoholism.
Find someone in your local area who can professionally help you get rid of anxiety and depression.
The therapists might introduce you to several treatment modalities to help you kick the bad habit.
If you have behavioral disorders arising from the addiction, you may have to use cognitive-behavioral therapy to correct the issue.
2. Seek the help of a psychiatrist
A psychiatrist can provide you with pharmacological help in overcoming the addiction.
It is best to seek the help of a medical doctor (MD) trained in psychiatry or a doctor of osteopathy (DO) who knows about the right prescription medicines that help you ease off of marijuana.
The psychiatrist can also help you with motivational counseling that can make you strongly determined to achieve your goal of quitting smoking pot.
3. Join a marijuana anonymous groups
Trying all by yourself to quit the habit may not give you enough motivation to succeed with your plan. You are constantly on the receiving end of peer pressure and a lack of confidence.
When you are part of a group like Marijuana Anonymous’ or ‘Narcotics Anonymous,’ you get the needed motivation and help from the group to quit weed.
You can search online to find any such groups in your locality and try to join them if you find any.
4. Go to a rehabilitation center
If you have repeatedly failed to quit the habit of smoking, then you need to be in an inpatient narcotics rehabilitation center to get treated.
It gives victims of addiction a chance to get treated by well-trained professionals fully dedicated to rehabilitating them.
At the rehab center, you also get the most conducive atmosphere with excellent group support to quit smoking.
Rehab is expensive and complicated for people serious about getting rid of their addiction habits.
You can search online to find the best rehab centers in your area.
Weed addiction is harmful not only to your health but also to your life.
Regularly smoking cannabis leads to several mental and physical health issues that negatively impact your job, social life, and personal relationships.
To get rid of marijuana addiction, you need to know all the methods to stop smoking weed.
Three tried, and tested methods can help you stop or quit smoking weed or marijuana naturally and effectively.
Method 1: Quit Weed Gradually
Method 2: Quitting Weed (Marijuana) Cold Turkey
Method 3: Seek professional assistance to stop smoking weed forever.
When quitting weed cold turkey, you might encounter several withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, reduced appetite, increased body temperature, and irritability.
To help your recovery and rehabilitation, you should initiate healthy changes in your daily routine and activities and consciously avoid any triggers that may awaken your urges.