If you smoke weed regularly and heavily, it is probably time that you have to be honest with yourself that some things in your life are miserable because of marijuana. These things admittedly could almost immediately change only if you just stop smoking.
While marijuana is not the most dangerous drug in the world, it does present some highly damaging effects on some people. If you struggle with your issues, it could be worth looking into why quitting marijuana is best for you.
How does Marijuana Affect your Brain?
The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, affects certain parts of your brain, known as the cannabinoid receptors. Activating one with THC produces a bunch of cellular reactions, which makes you high when you smoke pot.
Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout your brain. They are commonly found in the parts of the brain that are responsible for memory, concentration, time, and pleasure. Smoking on a regular basis can overwhelm these receptors and produce harmful effects on your mental health. Research has shown that recurrent weed use can rewire your brain’s dopamine pleasure receptors.
Related article: Common Side Effects of Marijuana
The Negative Effects on your Mind
Only after a couple of days of smoking, it lowers your memory, and other mental functions as research have proven. When you smoke on a daily basis, you may function at a below average mental level. Research also shows a link between marijuana use and mental issues such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
If you have experienced a psychotic reaction to weed, you are more likely to experience a psychotic break later, in contrast, to never smoking and never having such a reaction. Having a clear mind is among the most significant benefits you can get when you quit.
Being able to kick back and just chill can give you a false feeling of contentment, but it changes when you have interviews to attend, work to go to and kids to feed. Having a lack of enthusiasm and energy is one of the most undesirable traits you can have – and this is precisely how marijuana works into your system. Not wanting to clean the house is common, but not doing it for weeks because you simply don’t want to is something else.
Moreover, it can instill a sense of paranoia. You may walk down a road and be wary of everyone passing by, concerned that they are looking at you maliciously; or that your friends or colleagues at the office are somehow plotting against you. These feelings become so real that it can make you do things irrationally, leading to loss of friendships and jobs, among other problems.
Related article: Negative Effects of Marijuana
You may have heard that there are side effects to quitting marijuana. As with any other addiction, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit pot. These can include irritability, sleep difficulties, and depression. The good news to this is: these symptoms are manageable and temporary.
There are a few tricks to prevent most of these. It seems the most difficult at the start of quitting marijuana, but with time, it does get better. Don’t let these temporary side effects get in the way of your wellbeing.
Health Benefits of Quitting Marijuana
1. Better Breathing
Your lung function begins to improve in just a few weeks after quitting pot. You will have more stamina and energy. A number of studies have been done to study the effects of marijuana on respiratory health. These have shown a close link between marijuana use and chronic bronchitis symptoms, generally breathlessness and wheezing.
The link between marijuana use and chronic bronchitis is possibly attributed to the negative effects there are to smoking pot. If these symptoms haven’t been your drive to quitting marijuana, it is still interesting to know that these stop when you discontinue cannabis use.
Not quitting cold can lead to several bronchial and respiratory issues such as emphysema, bronchitis, and in some cases, even cancer.
2. Proper Sleep
It is extremely essential to your overall health, and research has shown that cannabis use does have a negative effect on your sleep patterns and the quality of the sleep you’re getting. Most users say that they get restless or they don’t dream at all. This is probably because of the marijuana interrupting the REM cycle that lets you fully rest and have dreams.
In just a few days after stopping, your body will return to its normal sleeping pattern. Also, you will have increased dream recall. When you finally quit, your dreams may become too intense at first. It will seem that way because you haven’t dreamt like that for a long time.
After a week or two, it will become normal again and you’ll look forward to your dreams. It will be an exciting time to be able to remember your dreams, after having interrupted, dreamless sleep when you were still using.
3. Increased Energy
After you quit smoking, you will notice an incredible increase in your energy. If in the past you were fine with just sitting around doing nothing all day, you wouldn’t think of just doing that anymore. You’d want to be more productive with your time, even if just means getting out the door.
Smoking and being in a complacent state may have let you procrastinate. After quitting, you can see yourself exercise more, get out of bed on time or earlier, be more focused throughout your day, and finally get things done.
4. Increased Creativity
Your favourite things to do may have become too weed dependent. For example, you liked playing the guitar. You think you’re more creative when you’re high playing it, but over time, you may have noticed that you can’t enjoy the instrument without weed.
You have become a slave to the drug and all your creative power relied on it. This leaves you on ‘autopilot’ mode and it’s the drug actually strumming the strings. When you do quit, you get rid of your brain fog and you will see an improvement in your creativity. Not only will you go back to your original self, but you can see your creativity heightened than before.
5. Improved Memory
Research has shown that regular cannabis use affects both your memory and ability to learn. Moreover, these two can be permanently affected by long term use. Do you have troubles remembering specific details of the past few days? It’s highly possible it’s because of the weed.
If you smoked daily, you could struggle to remember things you did – this doesn’t mean long term ones, even things you did yesterday. You feel like there’s a constant block in your mind.
When you quit, that block dissolves.
The sooner you rid yourself the habit, the sooner your learning ability and memory will return to normal. You will start to think and see clearly and remember specific, intricate details. Not only will your short term memory improve, so will your critical thinking ability.
6. Balanced Mood
Smoking marijuana affects your mood regardless when you’re high or not. When you smoke, your mood may be apathetic and lethargic, with no care in the world. However, when you’re not high, you become anxious and irritable. The anxiety and stress can wreck your various organ systems, which includes the heart.
When you are a regular smoker, your moods will fluctuate regularly. You can go from calm and happy in a minute to frustrated and angry the next. These moods can come from nowhere. To keep things relatively happy for you, the only way to do that was to get high.
When you quit, it doesn’t fix your mood instantly. You may find that the situation got worse. You may feel frustrated and angry without nothing to calm it down. It would even be tempting to get high just to get rid of all the bad feeling. However, stay strong and be committed to it. It will eventually get better little by little, and your moods become balanced. They will no longer be extreme and sudden.
7. More Proactive
When you’re on weed, you tend to become a follower than a leader. You are ready to just follow someone and take the easy route. You don’t take the action of researching things yourself, you wait for someone else to teach you what they know.
You don’t make the effort of learning something on your own or even make a contribution. You were content being a follower. When you go off weed, all of that changes. Instead of being a reactive person, you start to become a proactive one.
If you’re a writer and have been struggling to produce words when you were high, it would be a breath of fresh air when you become sober. All the words come easily and you can write thousands of words within a short period of time. Inspiration becomes a natural thing for you.
8. Less Paranoia
Smoking marijuana may create anxiety and paranoia in a lot of people. This is a fear vibration and it will disempower you, disconnecting you from your core. When otherwise, you are aware that you can handle anything and do it with common sense.
If anything that you do produces any kind of fear vibration, then it is a clear sign that you need to stop it. You may not personally experience these paranoia episodes, but don’t wait until you do.
9. More Money
It’s expensive to have a hobby, an addiction even more so. Look at the expenses you have been making just to fund your addiction. Sometimes it may even cost as much as your rent. It can put a dent in your wallet and savings.
Depending on how much you need and the quality of weed you’re smoking, the prices vary. However, the normal cost for one ounce of marijuana will cost you between $150-500. If you spend and smoke the least, the average damage would be around $1000 annually.
If you tend to share with your friends frequently, then an ounce of weed would last as long. You don’t necessarily become rich, but you would be better off without smoking pot, and put the money to better use.
If you’re thinking about having kids, now is the time to quit smoking marijuana. It affects your sex drive and performance as well as make you infertile possibly. In several independent studies, people smoking pot were less interested in sex than other people in that group.
Also, the active ingredient in marijuana – THC – has been proven to cause infertility in both males and females. As soon as you quit marijuana, your sex drive returns to normal and when you have drained all the chemicals from your body, your fertility can improve.
11. No Dependency
If you are a chronic smoker, quitting means you can go anywhere without wanting to smoke first. There will come a time when you think you can’t enjoy doing anything without being high. You become dependent on something other than yourself to enjoy life.
Nothing can be more demoralizing than that. You don’t need to be dependent on anything to be happy as it is only an illusion, you have yourself to do that.
Related article: Benefits of Quitting Marijuana
A roadblock, as the name suggests, blocks you from moving forward. It can obstruct your attempt to stop using marijuana. It is important to know these, and they can be categorized so a unique approach is applied accordingly.
These don’t completely stop you, but only slow you down. These are rough and sometimes when you’re far from it, you may think that it is a bigger obstruction than it really is. The only way to know is to look at your condition up close and push through it by realizing it was fear that was holding you back.
Fear of failing is a common reason why addicts have stopped themselves from starting to quit. Like a speed hump, recognize the fear of failure you may have an attempt to go over that hump, and eventually realize they aren’t so bad.
A genuine barrier is anything that you can’t get past. If you do, it will result in totalling yourself or something/someone else. Oftentimes, mental health issues or social issues can build up on top of your other problems. When you try to quit marijuana, it seems like it’s the end.
You simply can’t power on against barriers but there are other things you can do. With our road analogy, you may be seeing quitting marijuana as a straight path with speed humps along the way and probably a dead end. But as with any other road, what if there’s another way? What if you can remove that barrier or go around it?
The key to preventing roadblocks is not to take them head-on; you are going to lose that way. Instead, try finding a different path. Come up with new approaches to your problem or maybe realize that the roadblock can only be removed by getting out of your car and resolving the problem first.
Several cannabis users are social smokers. You may also have been smoking on your own, but many prefer smoking among friends, and sometimes even among their families. You may want to stop smoking but fear that your friends may not be too welcoming with your decision to quit and have social consequences.
It may have been understandable but the stress and anxiety you feel over losing your friends may break your resolve. We advise you to take a look at the issue a little closer. It may seem bigger than what it really is. Talk to your friends about how you feel is best for you without judging your friends. You may find that most will support you and may even join you in your efforts.
Sometimes a family problem is bigger than a social problem. This is when your family all smoke and you can’t move out of the house. What’s worse is that they may not support your efforts to stop.
The lack of space and freedom may make it more difficult. If you can’t change the people around you and receive zero support, then the stress can get extremely high and drive you back to smoking cannabis.
This becomes more of a roadblock as you get caught between a rock and a hard place. It’s difficult to think that there is a solution. During these times, you need to find a new way and be creative about it. Ultimately, you have to realize that the only way forward is realizing that your roadblock is your addicted family and your living conditions.
The solution is to move out despite the complications it may pose. It is going to be a new path and a rocky one at that. But it’s that or you return to the same problem. Sometimes, a rougher path can be the only way forward if you are able to recognize the central base problems for continuing smoking weed.
One of the reasons some people continue smoking weed is because it is their way to cover up an underlying problem such as anxiety, depression, rage or psychosis. Some may feel that the effects they experience help them cope with their conditions. However, the drawback is they know they do need to quit but fall back to the habit because once they quit, the problems come rushing forward.
The other problem becomes unsolvable and often use it as an excuse to continue smoking marijuana – because masking problems seem easier than resolving them. The answer to this is to treat the underlying problem first.
This may mean buying medication or going to therapy. These are designed to deal with specific brain chemical imbalances. At the end of the day, these problems are all about motivation, honesty and analysis.
Quit Marijuana For Good
It takes a lot of determination, encouragement and moral support to free yourself from the addiction. Summoning willpower seems overwhelming but it can make or break your endeavour. It is not about having a superhero power and fighting evil. It is all about feeling keen about your purpose and letting it drive you towards going clean.
Each day, we make decisions that affect how our day goes. There are tiny things where you can have doubts about: how you wear your hair or what colour should you put on today. These may pinch you a little if you choose poorly. Then, there are big things that can really shake things up, such as handing in your resignation letter, going AWOL, or running away from a special occasion.
These decisions can create ripples in your life that move you. Whatever you decide on can hugely affect all aspects of your life. The extent of the impact will depend on how huge your decision is.
For marijuana addicts, it can be as huge as finally quitting smoking. This is a decision you should make with full determination. Every part of you should say yes to it in unison, and not hesitate about it. Saying yes is your very first step after you have admitted that you have a problem.
Program yourself to succeed. Say yes to a new life and don’t give in to your fear of failure. Put your whole mind and heart behind your decision as it will help you overcome the obstacles. Forget about the feeling of falsely being fulfilled or happy when you were smoking pot.
Marijuana addicts such as yourself can have a brighter future waiting for you if you just take the step to overhaul your life. If you give in to the temptation to smoke pot, you are not firm enough. You will relapse and all your efforts will be of nothing. When you put your mind into it, tell yourself constantly that you are better without your addiction.
Despite what pro-legalization advocates push for, marijuana is a drug and there are particular dangers involved. Luckily, it’s not too late to quit. If you take the step today to quitting marijuana, most of the symptoms you experience will disappear and you will be on your way to health and genuine happiness.
Related article: Effects of Marijuana on the Body