Smoking marijuana is as unhealthy and addictive as drug abuse and smoking cigarettes.
Addiction to cannabis smoking has unsettled the normal life of many people. Some of them have become totally despondent in their life because of it.
Researchers say long-term heavy pot smoking can leave lifelong lingering effects on both 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 think of giving up weed smoking if you have become irresistibly addicted to it. However, kicking it out is not easy.
The psychological inducement caused by weeds makes the person compulsively dependent on it; hard to quit such a habit.
One of the marijuana addicts in her article on drugabuse.gov says, “I’ve tried to quit smoking Weed so many times. I think, Okay, just one more time, and then I’ll stop for real. But I never lasted more than a week.”
How To Quit Smoking Weed
If you have made up your mind to quit smoking, you might be just wondering how to achieve your target.
Becoming aware of the nature of your addiction is the beginning of your tryst with quitting weed addiction. Secondly, ascertain the necessary steps (action plan) to be adopted to uproot the addiction.
Now let us see the ways to quit weed and the various steps involved in it:
1. Fathom Your Addiction
According to marijuana anonymous, “A marijuana addict’s life is controlled by marijuana. He or she loses 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 weeds.
If you have been smoking marijuana every day for a while, you might be thinking 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 are physically dependent on them to function properly. You begin to experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, anxiety, and depression when you miss out on the regular smoke for some reason or other.
Although physical addiction has not been proven, many who use cannabis develop some sort of dependence.
According to Aron Lichtman, Ph.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University, “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, then you need to consult a doctor for guidance and monitoring of the issues. Physical addiction is difficult to give up, unlike mental addiction.
2. Make A Clear And Firm Decision To Quit
First of all, you should be making a clear and firm decision to quit the habit of weed smoking.
Make your decision known to a friend or family member who can guide, support, and motivate you to quit the habit.
It is also important to share your decision with your friends at the smoking joints or smoking buddies so that 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 your friends with whom you smoke.
Your decision to quit the addictive habit of taking marijuana puff must have a set date to achieve ‘completely pot-free’. Ideally, it should be accomplished within 3o 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 aim to reduce the frequency of daily smoking to less than half in the midway to 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 it.
It is good to stick the ‘marked’ calendar to the bathroom mirror or on the refrigerator where you are sure to 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 really true for getting rid of addictions.
When you have all the pot and all other smoking paraphernalia near, you are tempted to use them.
The mere sight of weed and a smoking kit can flare up your craving for it. 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.
It is good to remove the pictures, posters, and photos you have of smoking. Do not watch or play video games, movies, or magazines that have pictures and materials that can persuade you to smoke.
Erase the phone numbers of the marijuana dealers you have in your contact list.
4. Effectively Manage Your Urges
When you are trying had to quit smoking, a strong urge to smoke increases like a counter-attack. Managing and discarding your urges to smoke is the key to successfully quitting the habit.
You can quit smoking cold turkey by strongly arresting your cravings.
Avoid the locations and friends’ circles that persuade you to smoke again. You must flee the scene where you get the urge to smoke.
When you have an intense feeling to smoke, take deep breaths through your mouth and hold the air in the lungs for 5-7 seconds before you let it out. Repeat this breathing exercise for a few minutes till your attention is totally 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 at regular intervals will help you to reduce the urge to smoke.
5. Overcome The Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms from marijuana are less virulent than drug abuse. They usually appear 1 day after you quit cold turkey. It may take up to 2 weeks to level up and become normal.
When you quit cold turkey, stay away from consuming caffeine which otherwise would aggravate insomnia.
Become aware of the 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 or other.
You can fight anxiety through breathing exercises, sleeping, or engaging in leisure activities.
If you feel an increase in body temperature, cool yourself down by staying indoors or by relishing an ice cream.
6. Change Your Routine And Activities
When you are quitting cold turkey the urge to get back to the pots is high at the routine times you had it before.
You have to switch up your routine, especially, replace the times you spent smoking with other engaging activates.
Shake up the routine habits you had before; you can think of changes like having a new verities menu for breakfast and lunch, doing jogging in the morning, or showering at a different time.
You can change your routine routes and mode of transport you take to college or workplace, change your dressing 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 healthy diets and eat sufficiently.
7. Take Up New Activities And Hobbies
While are trying to quit smoking weeds, it is important to devote your time to new hobbies and leisure activities. They help to deviate your mind from the thoughts of smoking.
These new activities can be like swimming, cycling, cooking, jogging or reading.
Make sure that the time you used spent at smoking joints or the pot is fully occupied with new or other regular activities.
Lack of activities will make you bored and depressed; this leads to an urge to return to the old ways of weeds smoking once again.
Remember the adage, “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.”
8. Keep Busy And Cheerful
If you keep busy always and do activities that make you cheerful, there will be hardly any time and desire left in you to get back to the smoking pots.
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 timetable giving no time for staying idle and lazy.
9. Stick With Your Plan
It may take 2 to 3 weeks for you to fully overcome the withdrawal symptoms. 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 habit.
Once you have achieved the goal, have a small celebration to mark the success. This will give you renewed enthusiasm to continue to stay away from the addiction.
10. Stay Motivated
Most people embark upon the journey to quit smoking the pot, however, within a week or two they are back to the old ways.
To achieve anything important in life, it takes strong determination and persistent efforts.
Keep reminding yourself why it is important for you to kick the bad habits out. 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 take the help of a counselor to stay focused on your goal.
Write down your resolutions to quit weeds on a paper and read it every day. Constantly remind yourself of the importance of giving up smoke for the betterment of your life and family.
Exploring Professional Help In Getting Rid Of Smoking
Most of us do not possess strong motivation and determination without someone playing the second fiddle to our plan to achieve something worthwhile.
It is, actually, the weak-willed people who 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 out.
Let us look at some of the external help you can avail of for getting rid of cannabis smoking.
1. Consult A Therapist
There are professionally trained de-addiction therapists who can easily assist you to overcome the mental issues like depression and anxiety that drive you to addictions such as smoking and alcoholism.
Find someone in your locality who can professionally help you to get rid of anxiety and depression.
The therapists might introduce you to several modalities of treatments for helping you kick out the bad habit.
If you have behavioral disorders arising from the addiction, you may have to avail of cognitive-behavioral therapy to correct the issue.
2. Seek The Help Of A Psychiatrist
A psychiatrist can help 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 pot smoking.
3. Join 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 at the receiving end of peer pressure and lack of confidence.
When you are part of a group like the ‘Marijuana Anonymous’ or ‘Narcotics Anonymous’, you get the needed motivation and help from the group to quit weeds.
You can search online to find any such groups existing in your locality and try to join them if you find any.
4. Admit Yourself Into A Rehabilitation Center
If you have repeatedly failed to quit the habit of smoking then you need to be in an in-patient narcotics rehabilitation center to get treated.
It gives a chance to get treated by well-trained professionals fully dedicated to rehabilitating the victims of addiction.
At the rehab center, you also get the most conducive atmosphere with excellent group support to quit weeds.
Rehab is expensive and difficult, meant for the people who are serious about getting rid of the addiction habits.
You can make an online search to find the best rehab centers in your locality.
The Bottom Line
Weed addiction is harmful not only to your health but also to your life.
Regularly smoking marijuana leads to several mental and physical health issues that will negatively impact your job, social life, and personal relationships.
For getting rid of marijuana addiction, you need to know all methods of how to stop smoking weed.
There are three tried and tested methods that 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 learn how to stop smoking weed forever
When you are quitting weed cold turkey you might encounter several withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, reduce appetite, and an increase in 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.