While smoking pot has many health benefits and perks, sometimes the stars don't align with marijuana use. Sometimes, though cannabis is not considered an overtly addictive or harmful substance, there are reasons that quitting weed – at least temporarily – is the right choice. And it can be tough.
There are several situations where taking a step back from marijuana use is the right call. Maybe you’re trying to get a new position that requires drug testing and need to get those pesky traces out of your system. Or maybe you've become a little too dependent with daily use and would like to take a clean break for a bit. No matter the reason, cannabis will always be there for you when you're ready to come back.
In the meantime, here are some tips for quitting weed temporarily.
Methodology of Quitting Weed Temporarily
There are several different approaches when it comes to stopping marijuana use. These methods are specific to different lifestyles and use levels – one tactic might not work for someone else but could be another person's perfect solution.
Quitting cold turkey is often considered a very difficult method, across the board of nearly all substances. It's an enthusiastic means, where you simply quit. That's it. Nothing more. You say, "I'm done," and you stick to it. This method produces fast results, though takes incredible mental stability, and is easier when users are less attached to weed. Sometimes, when the body is too dependent on marijuana, sheer willpower can't overcome the desire alone.
Talking to a doctor you trust can be a helpful way to temporarily quit weed. Medical professionals can offer their advice and opinions and suggest treatment, especially if there are any symptoms of withdrawal. This is a smart route for anyone who wants to map out their plan of attack and get a personalized point of view.
Rehab is a viable option for heavy smokers who suffer from addiction, usually of intersecting substances and not marijuana alone. It's an intensive treatment that tends to be successful, though there are financial strings and time-consuming strings attached. Usually, rehab includes a mix of medical and social support, with doctors, counselors, and peers.
Tips to Keep in Mind
With these tips loaded in your back pocket, quitting weed might not be a breeze, but the process should go a little smoother.
Throw it Out
Or, if getting rid of your stash seems a little extreme, stop adding to it. This should be the very first step: You won't smoke weed if you don't have it. From here on out, it's important to stop buying weed. If there's ever a time when you get back into smoking, buy it then. For now, cutting off the supply is a clean-cut way to stop enabling yourself.
Bonus Tip: Get Rid of Your Paraphernalia, too.
If you've invested a lot of time and love into cultivating your selection of bongs, grinders, pipes, and vape pens, don't worry – have a friend take care of them for the time being. While you're abstaining, though, having accessories in your reach is a reminder of what you're missing out on, which can derail your mission.
Go to Counseling
Everyone can benefit from going to therapy. There is a reason why therapists go to counseling themselves – even they, who are extensively educated and prepared to help others, see a purpose and need for it.
Whether it's deciding whether or not quitting weed temporarily is best or handling any difficulty, a therapist can help you work through any situation. As a professional, they have the tools to come out of difficult situations and guide you to solutions all your own.
Take Care of Yourself
Giving your body what it needs can help combat any symptoms of withdrawal. This includes eating healthy foods such as leafy greens, veggies, and fiber and drinking lots of water. Feel free to sip a healthy dose of caffeine in coffee and teas, which can help battle lethargy.
Chances are, involving friends and family in your decision to temporarily quit weed will induce a wave of support and motivation. This way, they can offer their own tips and tricks and give their own wisdom and support, while still holding you accountable.
When you remove cannabis from your life, it might feel like there's a void left behind. So, fill it. Replace your weed with a healthy activity, such as physical exercise, mental relaxation, or social interaction, to make you feel good naturally. Whether you pick up a daily workout routine, start reading for an hour every night, watch movies that pass the Bechdel Test, go for walks exploring your neighborhood, or call your sibling – Make sure the activity is a worthy replacement to getting high.
The solution could also be trying something new. Often, smoking weed becomes a part of a daily routine; mixing it up can help alleviate the discomfort that comes with change. If trying something new – like experimenting with recipes for the first time, exploring different places, or joining a new book club – doesn't sound appealing, at least aim for doing something different. It might help to mix up schedules by waking up earlier, changing a work schedule, or taking a slightly different path home every day. By catching yourself off guard, you'll start to depend less on your old cannabis-filled routine.
Sign Up for a Program
Social support can be a huge help in quitting weed temporarily, since programs involve talking through the process with others going through the same issues. Twelve-step programs, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, are a more formal group that involves peers and sponsors that can walk you through the steps to combating addiction. These aren't everyone's cup of tea, as they usually are spiritual and emotional, though many find comfort in solidarity. Other kinds of support exist as well; more informal options might be marijuana-specific support groups on social media. Do a search and decide if the level of involvement is good for you.
Resist the Urge
Relapse – though a strong word – has to be avoided. Don't give in to temptation! The first few days might be difficult, so try to resist by avoiding the usual hangouts and spots or even buddies that you'd usually smoke with. Get marijuana out of your mind until you are stable enough to "just say no" easily.
Approach Pot Differently
Thinking about marijuana differently before you give it up can help how your body and brain respond to its absence. If you currently think of weed as a recreational benefit, the withdrawal will be filled with a gaping presence meant to be mourned. If you approach cannabis differently and start treating it as a medication – with small, limited portions – the separation will be much easier. Gradually decreasing the "doses" can help to ease the process.
Avoid Harmful Substances
Though it might be tempting to trade in one kind of buzz for another, try to avoid three killer substances: alcohol, drugs (illicit options such as cocaine, heroin, and meth), and tobacco. Addiction to these substances are extremely serious and is detrimental to your health.
Make the Most of Every Day
As cheesy as it sounds, there are activities that can alter the quitting weed temporarily experience: Rather than taking something away, you are also adding in more to enrich your life. Then, if you ever get back into using marijuana, these practices can stay and aid in healthier use. Life-enriching activities include:
- Meditation: Feed your body, and zone inward. It's a relaxing and refreshing way to start or end the day, even for just five minutes.
- Goal Setting: Make realistic goals. Then, accomplish them.
- New adventures: Take your mind off what's missing and open your thoughts to new experiences.
At the end of the day, take a deep breath. You've got this.