Cannabis use has become much less stigmatized in the last decade, particularly in states where it is legal. But even though marijuana isn’t thought to be very addictive, some people smoke more than they want to. I asked experts for advice on how to quit smoking weed on an everyday basis—how to cut back a little if we want to.
To begin with, there is no firm agreement on whether cannabis is physically addictive. In practice, it doesn’t matter because almost everyone agrees that you can develop weed dependence or behavioral cannabis addiction. According to Anton Bizzell, a physician in Maryland and former medical director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one out of every ten people who use marijuana will become addicted (SAMHSA). “When young people begin using marijuana before the age of 18, the rate of addiction rises to one in every six.”
While those statistics are eye-opening, you don’t have to have a substance abuse problem to decide you want to smoke less weed. However, if it’s clear that weed is causing problems in your life, kicking the habit should be a top priority.
Decide Why You Want to Quit Smoking Weed Everyday.
Understanding why you want to quit smoking or reduce your weed consumption on an everyday basis is the first step in the process because it can help provide focus and motivation. Bizzell suggests pondering the following questions: “Do you smoke marijuana or consume it in an edible form on a regular or daily basis?” Is it now a crutch for you? Does weed (marijuana) use need to help you get through the day, or is weed (marijuana) use affecting your job, friendships, or family relationships?” According to him, these are all questions to consider when determining whether a habit is harmful to you.
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Perhaps your motivation is less dramatic: you want to save money, you don’t like the way your clothes smell when you smoke, or you have a job that tests for cannabis. Whatever your “why” is, make sure you have a firm grasp on it so you can recall it later, if and when it becomes difficult or inconvenient. Write it down and explain it to someone else so you can hear yourself say it.
Is It Safe to Quit Smoking Weed (Cold Turkey) every day?
Quitting “cold turkey” means that a regular user, who uses a substance daily, abruptly discontinues use. There is no transition period between the two. This method of quitting has negative side effects, such as severe withdrawal symptoms that make quitting cannabis difficult, if not impossible.
Chronic marijuana users who decide to quit smoking weed cold turkey every day will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety, anorexia, depression, insomnia, and irritability are examples. These symptoms can be overwhelming for some people, leading to a relapse. Anxiety and depression, likewise, have been linked to an increased risk of suicide. This can have fatal consequences. While quitting weed cold turkey may work for some, it may pose a serious health risk for others.
Tips to Quit Smoking Weed Everyday
Deciding to quit smoking weed on an everyday basis can change your life, especially if you stick with it and achieve sobriety. Here are some pointers to help you on your way to recovery:
#1. Change your environment.
One of the most important things to do when attempting to quit smoking weed on an everyday basis is to change your environment. Determine your triggers and avoid places, things, and people that make you want to smoke marijuana. If you have family or friends, avoid the company of smokers. If your current environment exposes you to marijuana, relocate. These changes may appear daunting at first, but they are necessary.
#2. Set the goals
When you set goals, you put yourself in a successful mindset. Consider what you want to accomplish after you have overcome your marijuana addiction. This will motivate you to work hard toward your goal while still living a full life free of marijuana.
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#3. Get rid of your stockpile
It’s time to get rid of any weed you’ve kept “for future use.” You’re no longer going to use them. If you decide to quit smoking weed on an everyday basis, you will have no use for marijuana that is stashed somewhere in your home. Throw them away without looking back.
Some people choose to quit smoking weed cold turkey every day. This method, however, predisposes them to severe withdrawal symptoms. The best way to quit smoking marijuana is to gradually reduce your intake. It is best to do this under medical supervision.
For example, if you’re used to smoking weed five times a day, you could reduce it to two times per day until you reach a stable level. When this happens, you can gradually reduce your dosage until you can wean yourself off the drug.
#5. Be well-prepared
When it comes to quitting weed, it’s important to understand that things will get worse before they get better. Knowing this will help you prepare for withdrawal and all of its symptoms, including irritability, jitters, and anxiety.
#6. Keep yourself occupied
When attempting to quit a habit, boredom is a common culprit. Keeping yourself busy is the best way to keep your mind off marijuana. Consider taking up a new hobby or joining a club. Fill your time with enjoyable activities to keep you busy. This will allow you to focus on more important things rather than your desire to smoke weed.
#7. Engage in daily exercise
Exercise, according to studies, has been shown to reduce addiction cravings. It also aids in stress reduction. Exercise is a healthier, safer alternative for people who use marijuana for stress relief. Furthermore, because marijuana use has been linked to cognitive impairment, exercise is beneficial because it aids in the restoration of healthy brain function.
#8. Make plans for sober activities.
Instead of spending your days and nights with pot-smoking friends, plan sober activities. Having weed-free events will assist you in eliminating temptations. You’ll soon realize that you can have fun without getting high. This realization will allow you to enjoy being sober.
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#9. Establish a support system.
A network of family and friends who understand what you’re going through will help you get through your recovery journey. Inform your support system that you are attempting to quit smoking weed every day. Speaking it out compels you to keep your promise because you don’t want to disappoint them. When things get tough, you can always rely on your support system.
#10. Seek professional assistance
Personal efforts, no matter how hard a person tries, aren’t always enough. This is when outside assistance is required. Numerous rehabilitation treatment centers offer marijuana detox and other types of professional treatment.
You should also think about hiring a therapist or counselor who specializes in addiction medicine.
Getting Professional Help
“When you want to develop new habits and ways of coping, therapy can be a great option,” Egel says. She explains that it’s common for people to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with or avoid difficult emotions.
A therapist can assist you in exploring any underlying issues that may be contributing to your cannabis use and can provide support as you begin to confront your dark emotions. They can also assist you in dealing with any issues in your life or relationships that may have arisen as a result of your cannabis use.
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Any type of therapy can be beneficial, but the three approaches listed below may be especially beneficial.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
The majority of therapists have received CBT training. This treatment method teaches you how to recognize unwanted or distressing thoughts and emotions and develop productive skills for dealing with and managing them.
This method encourages people to quit smoking. To put it another way, it rewards you for not smoking. With each negative test result, someone enrolled in a contingency management treatment plan may receive vouchers for restaurant gift cards, movie tickets, or an entry into a prize drawing.
Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
MET entails investigating your motivations for quitting cannabis. Instead of attempting to address any underlying issues that contribute to your weed use, your therapist will assist you in exploring and prioritizing goals associated with your use, typically through open-ended questions.
This treatment can be used as the first step in any substance abuse treatment plan. It can be especially useful if you know you want to quit smoking weed every day but aren’t sure why.
How to Deal With the Social Aspect
It’s fairly common to smoke with friends or in social settings, which can make quitting even more difficult. Furthermore, because some people believe cannabis is harmless, you may feel strange discussing your decision to quit.
#1. Talk about it
If you feel comfortable sharing, explaining why you’ve decided to quit may be beneficial. Perhaps you’ve noticed how it affects your mood, sleep, or ability to focus.
#2. Set boundaries
Setting boundaries for yourself can help if you still plan to spend time with people who smoke.
These could be personal limits:
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- “If I’m asked to smoke, I’ll refuse once and then leave.”
Alternatively, boundaries shared with your social circle:
- “Please notify me when you intend to smoke, and I will step outside.”
- “Please don’t invite me over while you’re smoking or ask me to smoke.”
#3. Reconsider certain relationships and environments, if necessary.
According to Egel, if most of your social interactions revolve around marijuana use, quitting may cause you to quit the people, places, and things that used to occupy your time. “You may discover that you need to limit your exposure to certain environments or relationships to honor your boundaries or create a healthier way of being,” says Egel.
The decision to stop using substances often results in lifestyle changes, which can be difficult to accept. However, keep in mind that these changes may not have to be permanent. You may find it easier to revisit certain friendships or places after learning new coping techniques or getting through the withdrawal period.
Furthermore, supportive friends will respect your decision to quit and will refrain from encouraging you to start smoking again. If your friends respond negatively, you should reconsider spending time with them.
While marijuana is less habit-forming than other substances, some people do experience unpleasant side effects or addiction. If you’re wondering how to quit smoking weed every day, keep in mind that there are tools and resources available to assist you. It is possible to succeed on your own, but speaking with your doctor or therapist is also a good place to start. Setting goals and taking care of yourself as you work to quit smoking weed can all help you feel better and improve your ability to stick to your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I cut back on my smoking?
Delaying your first weed of the day, gradually increasing the time between weeds, smoking only half of each weed, buying only one pack of cigarettes at a time, and trading one smoking break a day for physical activity are all ways to gradually cut back.
When is the best time to quit smoking?
When you are feeling down or depressed, there are times when you have little contact with friends or family. However, if those friends or family members smoke, or if you are frequently around smokers, a good time to quit might be when you are away from them.
Is it better to slowly quit smoking?
“Quitting smoking abruptly is more likely to lead to lasting abstinence than cutting down first, even for smokers who initially prefer to quit by gradual reduction,” the researchers concluded.
Is it better to quit smoking gradually or cold turkey?
When compared to gradually cutting back on nicotine, quitting cold turkey gets you over the hump faster. Your body will benefit from quitting smoking sooner rather than later.
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