How To Stop Smoking Weed (And Why It’s Hard To Quit)


Deciding to stop smoking weed can be difficult, especially if you have been smoking cannabis for some time. While you will have your reasons for quitting, it’s important to recognise that stopping isn’t easy for everyone, and there are many reasons for this. As you’re considering stepping away from cannabis, it’s important to understand why this journey feels so arduous.

Your body and mind have become accustomed to functioning with THC, so quitting cold turkey may cause you to experience more intense withdrawal symptoms that, while temporary, can be challenging to cope with. You’re not alone in feeling apprehensive about this process, and this page will aim to provide some information on how to stop smoking weed successfully.

If you’re finding the journey to quit smoking weed challenging and are seeking support, know that help is closer than you think. Smarmore Castle offers a range of services tailored to assist you in overcoming addiction and guiding you towards a healthier, substance-free life.

Our compassionate team is dedicated to providing personalised care, understanding your unique situation, and working with you every step of the way to ensure your success. Don’t let the struggle hold you back from the life you deserve. Reach out to Smarmore Castle today to take the first step towards a brighter, healthier future.

Key Takeaways

  1. Societal acceptance and easy access increase the challenge of quitting weed.
  2. High THC potency in modern cannabis can lead to stronger dependence.
  3. Support from friends and professional groups is important, especially for overcoming addiction.
  4. Quitting weed can significantly improve sleep, memory, and emotional health.
  5. Simply stopping may not be enough if you have developed a cannabis addiction

Why Is It So Hard To Stop Smoking Weed?

You might find quitting weed tougher than expected due to several underlying reasons.

The societal acceptance of cannabis,(1) its easy availability, the increasing potency of THC, and the challenging psychological withdrawal symptoms all play a significant role.

Recognising these factors can help you understand the complexity of your journey and guide you toward effective strategies for quitting.

Acceptance of Cannabis in Society

As society has warmed up to the idea of cannabis, with its legalisation in many areas for both medicinal and recreational use, quitting smoking weed has become a tougher challenge for some.

The normalisation of marijuana in media and popular culture has made its presence in social settings almost ubiquitous, leading to increased peer pressure and a widespread perception of the substance as harmless. (2) This acceptance of cannabis complicates your journey to quit, as you’re not just battling personal cravings but also societal influences.

It’s important to remember that your struggle is valid and understood. Despite the changing landscape, your decision to quit is a powerful step towards prioritising your health and well-being. Normalising addiction is part of the problem, and can often make you feel as though your decision to quit isn’t necessary.

Easy Access to Cannabis From Dealers

When your drug of choice can be delivered faster than a takeaway pizza, it’s easy to see why quitting marijuana (and staying quit), is such a huge challenge.

The convenience and availability of marijuana through informal channels can make the journey towards overcoming drug addiction tougher. Here’s why:

1. Convenience: The simple act of reaching out to a dealer can undermine your resolve to quit smoking weed.

2. Temptation: Constant access to cannabis increases the temptation to relapse, making quitting smoking weed more difficult. Cannabis dealers often message with deals that make it difficult to say no.

3. Lack of Barriers: The absence of barriers to obtaining marijuana can hinder your efforts to stop.

4. Cycle of Dependence: Easy access to cannabis from dealers perpetuates a cycle that can deepen drug addiction.

Increased THC Potency & Addiction

While cannabis is a very easy drug to get hold of in many areas of the UK, it’s also important to recognise how the increased THC potency in modern strains significantly raises the challenge of quitting smoking weed. The higher levels of THC not only enhance the addiction potential but also deeply alter your brain chemistry.

This alteration increases your risk of developing a dependence, making the idea of quitting seem daunting. The intense euphoria that comes with potent THC strains can lock you into a cycle that’s hard to break. Moreover, this increased THC potency can lead to a faster development of marijuana use disorder and more severe withdrawal symptoms, complicating your journey to quit.

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Unpleasant Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms

Quitting weed often brings about challenging psychological withdrawal symptoms, including mood swings and anxiety, that can make the journey feel overwhelming. These symptoms stem from the disruption of dopamine release in your brain, leading to significant emotional discomfort.

Here are ways to navigate through this difficult time:

1. Recognise the psychological symptoms as temporary and part of the recovery process.

2. Seek therapy to address the underlying issues and develop healthy coping strategies.

3. Engage in activities that naturally boost your mood and dopamine levels, such as exercise or hobbies.

4. Lean on support groups or trusted individuals who understand what you’re going through.

Cannabis withdrawal typically results in sleep disturbances too, with insomnia being one of the most common challenges in the first few days. The role of sleep is pivotal in supporting your mental health during the early days of quitting.

It’s also important to consider your diet, which can be difficult given that cannabis cessation often results in a loss of appetite. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water can help you flush out THC from the body quickly.

Making a Firm Decision to Quit

Deciding to quit smoking marijuana is a courageous first step toward a healthier you, but you have to be firm in that decision and be accepting of the challenges that you may face ahead.

It’s important to understand the benefits and reasons for stopping and sharing this decision with those you trust can provide you with a supportive network.

Removing any paraphernalia from your home and taking time off to cope with marijuana withdrawal symptoms are practical steps that can help make this transition smoother.

Non-judgmental Support: Key to Quitting Weed

Benefits and Reasons For Stopping

Deciding to stop using weed can open the door to numerous benefits, including better sleep, enhanced memory, and improved relationships. You’re not alone in this journey; many have navigated the tough path of quitting and have seen significant improvements in their lives. Here are a few key benefits you might experience:

1. Improved Sleep Quality: You’ll likely enjoy deeper, more restful sleep without the disruptions weed can cause.

2. Memory Protection: Protecting your cognitive functions becomes easier, leading to sharper memory and clearer thinking.

3. Better Relationships: Without the emotional distress and misunderstandings that substance abuse can bring, your relationships may improve significantly.

4. Reduced Emotional Distress: With time, the fog of emotional distress begins to lift, making room for more stable and positive emotions.

Tell Others You Trust About Your Decision

After recognising the numerous benefits that come from stopping weed, you must share this choice with people you trust for added support and motivation.

Opening up about your decision to quit smoking weed invites emotional support and encouragement from those around you. Trusted individuals can’t only provide a listening ear but also help keep you accountable. This accountability can be a cornerstone in your journey, ensuring you remain on track.

Moreover, by communicating your intention, you’re actively working towards creating a supportive environment conducive to your success. This step can significantly alleviate feelings of isolation, boosting your motivation. Remember, seeking support from trusted individuals enhances your resolve, making the challenging path ahead feel more manageable and less lonely.

This can be hard, however, if your friendship group are cannabis users. However, if you need to take time away from the group to focus on yourself, good friends will always understand and encourage you regardless of your decision and reasons for quitting.

Remove Paraphernalia From The Home

As you commit to quitting weed, it’s important to remove all paraphernalia from your home to create a space that supports your decision. This step is vital for several reasons:

1. Eliminates Easy Access: Without smoking tools and accessories around, you’re less likely to give in to a sudden urge.

2. Reduces Cravings: Seeing paraphernalia can trigger cravings, making it harder to stay on track.

3. Prevents Relapse: The absence of items related to smoking weed decreases the likelihood of relapse.

4. Strengthens Commitment: Removing these items reinforces your decision to quit smoking weed.

Take Time Off For Cravings and Withdrawal Symptoms

Quitting weed is a significant step towards a healthier lifestyle, so taking time off if you experience withdrawal symptoms is an important part of your journey. The discomfort you’re feeling, like irritability, anxiety, and sleep disturbances, is temporary and a normal part of the process, but having to manage that alongside other commitments may push you back into a cycle of cannabis abuse. It’s important to allow yourself this time to focus on yourself without too many triggers.

What To Do About Failed Attempts To Quit

If you’ve tried to quit smoking weed and haven’t succeeded, remember you’re not alone. As many as 30% of cannabis users develop a cannabis use disorder, which is another word for cannabis addiction.

Persistent failed attempts may require you to explore changes to your environment or treatment options to help you manage your condition.

Change Your Environment

To overcome previous failed attempts at quitting weed, consider transforming your environment into a space that supports your journey to sobriety. Changing your surroundings can be a powerful step in breaking the cycle of addiction.

Here’s how you can start:

1. Removing Triggers: Eliminate any paraphernalia or items related to weed use from your home.

2. Creating a New Environment: Redecorate or rearrange your living space to signify a fresh start.

3. Supportive Friends: Spend time with people who respect your decision to quit and encourage your progress.

4. Modifying Routines: Change your daily habits and activities to avoid situations where you’re tempted to smoke.

Consider Treatment Or Support Groups

After implementing changes in your environment, you might still find yourself struggling to quit smoking weed, which is why seeking professional treatment or joining support groups can offer the guidance and companionship needed to overcome this challenge. Drug abuse, including the inability to quit smoking marijuana, often stems from deeper mental health issues. Addressing these root causes through addiction treatment can pave the way for lasting recovery.

Behavioural therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) teach effective coping strategies for managing cravings and triggers, while motivational enhancement therapy (MET) strengthens your resolve to quit.(3)Moreover, joining support groups such as Marijuana Anonymous or SMART Recovery connects you with individuals facing similar battles, providing a network of encouragement and understanding crucial for quitting weed.

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How To Help Someone Else Quit

Helping someone quit smoking weed requires offering non-judgmental support and encouraging open dialogue about their experiences and challenges. It’s important to approach this with a compassionate and informed mindset, ensuring they feel supported throughout their journey. Here’s how you can help:

1. Encourage Open Communication: Create a safe space for them to express their feelings, struggles, and reasons for wanting to quit. Listen actively and without judgment, showing that you’re there to support, not to criticise.

2. Suggest Alternative Activities: Help them find hobbies or activities that can replace the time they spend smoking. Whether it’s sports, arts, or learning a new skill, engaging in alternative activities can provide a positive outlet and reduce the temptation to relapse.

3. Help Find Professional Help: Sometimes, the best support you can offer is helping them find professional help. This could be therapy, counselling, or support groups where they can share their experiences and gain insights from others going through similar challenges.

4. Respect Their Boundaries: Understand and respect their boundaries and decisions, even when they’re different from what you might choose for them. Provide encouragement and understanding, but recognise that their journey to quitting is personal and unique.

Cannabis Addiction: Why Quitting Isn’t Enough

It’s important to understand that overcoming cannabis addiction involves more than just stopping the use. Marijuana addiction, much like other substance use disorders, often digs deeper, affecting the brain’s reward system and leading to significant cannabis withdrawal symptoms and cravings.(4) Often, those with an addiction face relapse or will navigate to other forms of addictive behaviour without proper treatment.

Treatment options vary and can include professional counselling, support groups, and relapse prevention strategies.

Overcoming cannabis addiction requires a comprehensive approach. Seeking professional help can offer you the support and tools needed to navigate this journey successfully. Remember, it’s not just about stopping but also about understanding and tackling the root causes of your addiction to ensure a sustainable recovery.

For some, cannabis addiction treatment may involve inpatient care. Being away from the home environment and completing an intense structured programme is needed to kickstart the recovery journey.

At Smarmore Castle, our approach involves removing you from the familiar home environment that may perpetuate your addiction, offering an immersive, structured programme tailored to initiate your journey to recovery. At Smarmore Castle, we believe in a holistic approach to treatment, integrating therapy, physical wellness, and personalised support to address not just the addiction but its underlying causes.

By choosing Smarmore Castle for your recovery, you’re not just finding a place to stay; you’re stepping into a community dedicated to helping you rebuild your life from the ground up.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Long Does It Take for Your Brain to Recover From Weed?

    Your brain might need up to 30 days or more to recover from weed. Memory, motivation, and cognitive functions gradually improve over weeks to months. It’s a process, so be patient with yourself.

  • What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Smoking?

    When you stop smoking, your body starts to recover, releasing stored THC from your fat cells. You might feel irritable, anxious, or have trouble sleeping for some time. However, cannabis withdrawal is not severe or life-threatening on its own, and it’s usually safe to quit cannabis cold turkey.

    Physical symptoms like appetite loss, headaches and nausea are common, alongside mood swings and cravings. These challenges peak early but gradually improve over weeks.

  • How Long Do Vivid Dreams Last After Quitting Weed?

    You’ll likely experience vivid dreams for a few weeks after quitting weed. These dreams can vary in intensity and duration, but practising relaxation techniques before bed can help you manage them more effectively.

References

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3919199/

3 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/

4 https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/176013/cannabis-blunts-brains-reward-system/

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