How to stop smoking weed

How to Stop Smoking Weed

Recent statistics show 55 million Americans currently use marijuana. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, most Americans feel marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, tobacco, and prescription pills. While this may be accurate, you can still develop a marijuana use disorder.

When you decide to quit smoking marijuana, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, which can sometimes lead to a relapse.

You can do things that will make it easier to stop smoking marijuana, like learning more about the drug and how it affects your physical and psychological well-being.

Marijuana Explained

Marijuana is made of leaves from the cannabis plant. It is smoked and takes only a few minutes to reach the brain through the bloodstream. Once in the brain, it triggers the release of dopamine that floods the reward center. When this happens, you experience an overwhelming feeling of pleasure and happiness.

It is this surge of dopamine that starts the process of becoming addicted. The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims 30% of marijuana users have a marijuana use disorder.

marijuana use disorder is marked by an ability to quit smoking even though negative consequences occur. Also, when you try to stop, you experience withdrawal symptoms, which can last for weeks after last use since marijuana is processed out of the body more slowly than other substances.

When used long-term, marijuana can produce adverse health effects.

Tips to Help You Stop Smoking Weed

When you are ready to stop using marijuana, you must decide if you want to quit cold turkey or with a tapering-off method. Both plans work best when you prepare for them ahead of time. Below are tips on how to prepare for getting off marijuana.

1. Work With a Professional

Getting professional help to stop smoking marijuana is different from other substances. It can be much less intense and focuses on setting goals and creating an action plan that’s easy to follow and will help you stay on track.

Techniques to help you do this include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and contingency management. Each rewards you for the milestones you reach and keeps you motivated to stay abstinent.

In therapy, you can learn about the many withdrawal symptoms that may appear and how to handle each one. For example, if you experience sleep disturbances, you can learn relaxation techniques. Other withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Night sweats
  • Mood changes
  • Anger outbursts
  • Headaches
  • Vivid or disturbing dreams
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue

Relapse triggers are another concern that you must be aware of when trying to quit smoking marijuana. Triggers may include people, settings, paraphernalia, and other smoking reminders.

Triggers and withdrawal symptoms usually don’t last long. A craving or an encounter with a trigger can last a few seconds or a few minutes with a plan. They may stay with you without a plan and lead you towards relapse. The key is to create a distraction in those seconds or minutes that move your thoughts away from marijuana.

The recovery plan you create with a licensed therapist is something you can refer to daily and anytime you are tempted to smoke marijuana. It contains ideas and suggestions on things you can do now that you are not getting high.

2. Find Something To Do

What will replace getting high? If you are a heavy smoker, you likely spend much of your time purchasing marijuana, cutting it, rolling joints, smoking it, and other rituals you may include.

Now that you won’t be doing all of that, what will you do? You must create a new routine and begin practicing it right away.

3. Create a New Routine

You may have been smoking marijuana long enough to have a specific routine down of how you use marijuana daily. Your body and brain get used to the habits you create. Changing them can be challenging, but getting sober is necessary.

The moment you stop using marijuana, you enter a period of training your brain to adjust to a new routine. Your new routine should include various forms of support to keep you motivated.

4. Find Support

Support can come in many forms, including friends, family, support groups, etc. Having support established before you stop smoking marijuana makes it easier to reach out when you are fighting cravings and temptations.

People on your list should be those who do not misuse substances of any kind. They should be accessible, nonjudgmental, and willing to devote some time to help you get through the tougher moments. Some people choose a support person with whom they participate in physical activity each day. You get two benefits at one time.

5. Physical Activity

When you exercise, endorphins are released in the brain’s reward center, making you feel good. It produces its own type of high. For example, runners often talk about a runner’s high, a feeling of euphoria. Endorphins are also the body’s natural pain relievers.

Physical activity doesn’t have to mean running, though. It means moving more and getting active. Marijuana is not known for motivating people to exercise. It is a relaxant. However, exercise benefits your entire body and mind, improving everything from blood pressure and weight to mental health.

6. Download the APP

There seems to be an APP for everything in today’s technological advancements. There are multiple APPs to help you stop smoking marijuana. For example, Grounded is a quit smoking cannabis tracker. There are also APPs offering calendar scheduling, techniques, advice, encouragement, reminders, and rewards.

7. Telehealth

Since COVID, telehealth services have become more accessible. You can meet with therapists and doctors without leaving your home. Most treatment facilities have a teletherapy option that can be added to your routine.

You may be able to attend online support groups too. As telehealth progresses, there will be even more benefits.

Takeaway

Quitting marijuana is much easier when working with a professional who can help you create a plan. You can start working on your plan today by reaching out to our treatment team. We are ready to help you enjoy life without marijuana.