Despite controversies over the medicinal and recreational uses of marijuana , the drug remains incredibly popular. It is heavily represented in popular culture, and many state and local governments have rolled back criminalizing laws on the sale and use of drugs. However, despite its many medicinal properties, marijuana is a drug that causes problems if used excessively. Quitting smoking is not easy , but it is possible with treatment; The following tips will explain how and the benefits will explain why .
How does marijuana change the brain?
The best way to begin the process of quitting is to understand what marijuana does to the brain and why walking away from it takes so much effort and persistence.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) , the active chemical in cannabis, influences brain function by forcing the brain’s natural cannabinoid receptors to act beyond natural parameters. This is what causes the high someone gets after smoking marijuana or eating a cannabis product. The sensations are pleasant ; users report that they experience increased sensory perception; colors are brighter, music sounds better, food is tastier, etc. Many use marijuana to relax and overcome social anxiety.
As fun as these highs of marijuana are, they can be addictive. A user who smokes every day, or who has been smoking for a long period of time, will have a more difficult time simply saying “no” to the invitation to smoke or the idea of smoking. Time spent without smoking often results in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms , which, according to Psych Central, can present in the form of psychological symptoms, such as agitation, depression, anxiety, and physical symptoms, such as fever, sweating, chills and fatigue. Night sweats and changes in diet are also very typical.
In psychological terms, the user of any drug has a mental health disorder that requires smoking as a way to escape from problems , with the consequent risk of excessive smoking. In the same way that some people drink alcohol to cope with stress or other problems.
The more someone gets used to being high on marijuana, the more they come to believe that being high is necessary to function properly, even if it is just to get through the day. The boost that comes from THC and activates cannabinoid receptors is unlike any other form of pleasure, to the point where getting high, and being high, takes precedence over everything else. Attempts to leave the weed are short and futile. Rather than being an occasional recreational activity, smoking marijuana turns into a never-ending act of desperation and even shame. It is also true that the body’s tolerance towards this drug changes very quickly.Therefore, if you stop smoking for just five days, the effect of the next joint will be so strong and intense that we will not feel like consuming the amounts that we previously consumed. This facilitates the progressive reduction of consumption .
The decision and desire to quit smoking
For many smokers, the decision to quit is impulsive, usually after something goes wrong – an argument with a family member about the habit, being fired for smoking at work, or some other failure directly related to smoking. . Psychology Today cautions that this abrupt cessation of smoking rarely ends well, usually for the reasons listed above. The body and brain become so conditioned to THC with each puff that it becomes almost impossible to simply smoke a joint off-season or quit altogether. No matter how determined the decision to quit smoking is, it is made in the heat of the moment, and there is no thought about how to deal with the process of adjusting to life without marijuana.
Up to that point, the desire to quit has to be comprehensive , based less on action (as when marijuana use causes something to go wrong), and more on attitude (a dissatisfaction with lifestyle changes that come through excessive use of marijuana). The right frame of mind to quit smoking is knowing that the user no longer needs or wants marijuana . This has to be the prevailing point of view even when the anger and shame of a bad experience pass, even when you are sober. Quitting any type of habit , especially one as seductive and addictive as marijuana, requires an all or nothing approach. Anything less, and any winnings will only be temporary .
Steps to quit smoking
It is recommended to set a date to quit smoking in advance. On the similar topic of cigarettes, the American Cancer Society suggests “one day within the next month” – far enough away to allow time to prepare for the transition, but not so far away that a change in the heart occurs. and the brain, that is, that we change our mind. It might be a good idea to set the quit date as a day with some personal relevance, to better anchor the meaning of the date and the action. When the anniversary of quitting occurs every month (and then every year), it is a time to celebrate. Of course, do not celebrate with a joint.
The next step is to get rid of all the paraphernalia related to cannabis : bongs , grinders , cigarette papers – everything that has to do with the storage or use of marijuana has to disappear , no matter how expensive , decorative or sentimental it may be. A good option is to give it to a regular consumer that we appreciate. Eliminating all material reminders related to the fun of smoking is very important in the fight for sobriety; it reduces temptation and is a physical act that means not turning back. Anyway, if you can leave without all this, it will be much better , since you will have overcome the strongest temptations.
One of the less pleasant aspects of quitting weed is withdrawal – irritability, insomnia, changes in appetite, and flu symptoms , among other effects (leaving many users struggling in their personal and professional relationships). This is one of the most difficult parts of the process, in part due to how the brain’s function changes as a result of THC; the answer to all these problems, says the addicted brain, is more marijuana. Many well-meaning smokers are drawn back to marijuana (or another drug) because of the distress of withdrawal, which can last from a few days to a week, or even longer, depending on the length and severity of the use of the drug. marijuana.
By itself, marijuana withdrawal is not dangerous, but the process can force a user to do something risky, such as taking another drug, or a combination of drugs, to relieve pain and discomfort. One solution to the possible unpredictability of withdrawal is to undergo the process with proper medical supervision. Registering with a treatment center will allow the person to stop using marijuana with the help of doctors and health professionalsTrainees who can work with them throughout the process to ensure that the physical and psychological heartache of withdrawal is not overwhelming. They can do this by providing certain types of medications to make physical symptoms less painful, as well as offering support and observation to reduce the chances of relapse.
Although, in reality, all of the above mentioned is usually necessary in case of withdrawal from other harder drugs, such as cocaine, heroin or alcohol. In the case of marijuana, the withdrawal syndrome is not as powerful and almost all users overcome it without the need for professional help.
Friends, significant other and family also have a role to play in this, providing encouragement and moral assistance, but it is imperative that they do not attempt to interfere with the withdrawal process by providing marijuana, alcohol or other drugs (even prescription drugs) out of concern. well-intentioned but misguided. Drug withdrawal is a complicated medical process, in which the body and mind have to reconnect in order to live without the chemical they have become dependent on. The introduction of another chemical, without medical supervision, threatens to undo the hard work of trying to stay sober, and can become dangerous.
Cut suddenly or progressively
Generally speaking, there are two ways to quit marijuana: abruptly and tapering off. Doing it all at once implies a complete cessation of all marijuana use (either immediately or on a certain date), while tapering off is, as the word implies, a more gradual elimination of use (from a certain number of joints or foods per day to zero, for a specified period of time).
Both methods have their own benefits and risks , depending on the length of the marijuana habit, the amount of marijuana smoked in general, and individual physiology and psychology. Quitting tends to work best for users who have not smoked for a long time ; on the other hand, tapering off consumption may be a preferable option for people who are so used to cannabis in their systems, to the point that an abrupt termination of THC would cause the withdrawal effects mentioned above. However, there are exceptions , and people should consult with a doctor or healthcare professional to find out which method is best for them. Alsowe can find out which is the best method for ourselves by testing and seeing the results.
Exercise and diet
Either method requires some form of discipline, which can help ease the process towards a marijuana-free life and also provide long-term health benefits. Exercise , for example, is one of the best ways to ease the transition, and it can be a source of lifelong benefits. The simple act of running regularly boosts the mood and improves the connections within the brain. This is especially relevant given the long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain that are listed in Hippocampus magazine, which can include short-term memory loss, difficulty learning new things, and even loss of verbal memory.
Whether you quit marijuana suddenly or choose to progressively decrease use, have a support and trust network of friends and family, and incorporate good habits to avoid the effects of withdrawal , it will make quitting weed that little bit more. easy.
Besides exercise, another habit to help with the change is to maintain a good diet . A type of cannabinoid receptor found throughout the body is activated beyond its natural parameters when THC is ingested, which is helpful for cancer patients who have difficulty eating due to chemotherapy . This is also why recreational smokers are “hungry.” According to Medical Daily, many people who quit the marijuana habit continually struggle to regain their appetite after withdrawal.
In recovering from a harmful habit, it is vitally important that the body receives proper nutrition . The body is significantly weakened by marijuana, loss of THC, and withdrawal, and it needs to be rebuilt in the right way. Healthy foods strengthen the immune system, provide energy, and repair organ tissue. The people who are going through withdrawal may feel tempted to eat sweets or fats as a form of comfort food, but this is simply replacing compulsive behavior and harmful for the same or similar.
An important part of treatment and recovery after a cannabis addiction problem is learning to eat well . This means having the correct balances of carbohydrates, vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids, protein, and water. The carbohydrates and fatty acids can literally change the functioning of the brain (already affected by an attack THC), so having the right kind of not only serves diet to control the damage, but also to put the brain ahead of where was.
Similarly, recovering addicts who have poor eating habits (even in their sobriety) are more likely to relapse due to the way the physiological effects of their unhealthy foods brainstorm their addictive behavior.
In the same way that exercise engages the mind and body in a healthy and engaging way , the art and skill of cooking can itself be a self-sufficient form of therapy for someone looking to leave marijuana behind. The so-called culinary therapy provides an outlet for creativity and the promotion of self-esteem, even by making simple dishes or just giving yourself to the bakery.
Lifestyle changes and some hobbies that can help us
The kitchen and exercise involve the mind and body in a healthy way that marijuana can not, and are incredibly important in rebuilding the body after a long addiction. Good lifestyle implementations, such as having hobbies, getting regular sleep, having an active and supportive social life , and staying responsible by avoiding the people and places that remember the days of getting high, will pave the way to steer clear of marijuana.
Anyway, we consider that the best way is to be able to quit without avoiding people who smoke or the places where we smoked . Our opinion is that we should not end our previous life, if we do not want to. Quitting marijuana should not mean ending friendships that we cherish, in fact, the ideal is to quit without drastically affecting our friendships or social habits.
Still, having some guidelines to lean on in times of doubt is important as the craving for weed will never be completely eliminated. During times of stress, loneliness, or boredom (which is one of the triggers for the “I didn’t see it coming” relapse identified by Psych Central), the memory of how good it felt to be high, and the temptation to Calling an old friend from the weed smoking days will be very powerful. Things like exercise, nutrition, and hobbies will help control the urge to relapse on most days; But on bad days, having trusted friends and family to talk to can make all the difference.
Another option is to find a step support group , such as a 12 Step program designed on the Alcoholics Anonymous model. These groups put individuals in touch with other people who have quit their marijuana habits and who know the struggle and challenge of trying to stay sober . A sponsor who can take a call (or text) in the middle of the night and remind the person of what they learned in treatment, how much has been accomplished since quitting weed, and what will be lost when they return, offers insight and understanding that speaks directly to the heart of what it means to remain abstinent, even as every instinct and impulse asks us to get high again.
“Marijuana is a relatively safe drug”, but “with some risks.” We say this since there are no documented deaths from the use of this drug.
Still, for many people, those risks involve long-term damage to their brains, a decline in their socioeconomic status, an inability to stop using, and problems with interpersonal relationships. Quitting weed is not easy; But with the right focus, support and care, it is possible and eminently rewarding.
If you are thinking about quitting smoking, do not hesitate, follow these tips and we assure you of almost guaranteed success . We say “almost” because there will always be a percentage that will depend directly on the will power of each individual . We trust in you and we put at your disposal all the tools that we have to facilitate this process. If you have anything else to add or clarify, do not hesitate to leave your comment and help us improve and complete the content of our blog.