Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has become increasingly popular in recent years for both medicinal and recreational use. However, as with any substance, prolonged or excessive use can have negative effects on a person’s physical and mental health, as well as their overall quality of life. If you’re a frequent cannabis user, you may be considering taking a break or quitting altogether.
Whether it’s to improve your health, save money, or pursue new goals, getting off cannabis can be a challenging but ultimately rewarding journey. In this article, we’ll explore some of the reasons why you might want to consider quitting cannabis, as well as some tips and strategies to help you along the way.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a psychoactive drug that comes from the Cannabis plant. The plant contains various compounds, the most well-known being delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects, which can alter a person’s mood, perception, and behavior. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and is believed to have potential medicinal benefits.
Cannabis can be consumed in various forms, including smoking, vaping, edibles, and oils, and it is often used recreationally or medicinally to treat conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and nausea.
However, prolonged or excessive use of cannabis can have negative effects on a person’s physical and mental health, as well as their overall quality of life.
How to quit using Cannabis safely?
Giving up cannabis especially when one has been using it for a long time can pose a variety of challenges. However, it is possible to make this process easier by adopting a few safe strategies that can help minimize the negative effects of withdrawal and reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Here are some tips for quitting cannabis safely:
Quitting Cannabis Cold Turkey
Quitting cannabis cold turkey, or abruptly stopping use without any tapering, can be challenging and may result in severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and may increase the risk of relapse.
Quitting cannabis cold turkey can also lead to negative impacts on your physical and mental health. It can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety levels, which can make it harder to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Additionally, quitting cannabis cold turkey can disrupt the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which can result in decreased appetite, disrupted sleep patterns, and mood changes.
Therefore, it is important to consider tapering when quitting cannabis to make the process more manageable and reduce the risk of negative impacts on your health and recovery.
Steps involved in getting off Cannabis
Getting off cannabis can be a challenging process, but there are several steps that can help make the process easier. Here are some steps that can be helpful:
The goal of a taper schedule is to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms that can occur when stopping cannabis use abruptly. A taper schedule involves gradually decreasing the amount and frequency of cannabis use over a period of days or weeks, depending on the individual’s needs.
This can be done by reducing the amount used per session, spacing out the time between sessions, or a combination of both. It’s important to work with a healthcare provider or drug addiction specialist to create a taper schedule that is safe and effective.
Exercise can be a helpful way to manage withdrawal symptoms and promote overall well-being. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
It can also help regulate sleep patterns and promote better sleep. Any type of physical activity can be beneficial, whether it’s going for a walk, jogging, yoga, or weightlifting. It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise to avoid injury or exacerbating any existing health conditions.
Diet and Appetite
Cannabis use can affect appetite and digestion, so it’s important to pay attention to what and how much you’re eating during the withdrawal process. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help support overall health and well-being.
It’s important to stay hydrated and avoid sugary or processed foods, which can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes that can worsen withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, a loss of appetite may occur during withdrawal, so it may be necessary to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
Cannabis use can affect sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Establishing a regular sleep schedule and prioritizing getting enough rest can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and promote overall well-being.
Creating a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath or reading a book, can help signal to the body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Avoiding screens before bed can also be helpful, as the blue light emitted from electronic devices can interfere with sleep.
It’s important to create a sleep-conducive environment, such as keeping the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. If insomnia persists, it may be necessary to speak with a healthcare provider or addiction specialist for additional support.
Common symptoms of Cannabis withdrawal and how to deal with them
Withdrawal symptoms are a common experience for those who are trying to quit cannabis use. Symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, irritability, depression, loss of appetite, and physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach pain.
Fortunately, there are several ways to manage these symptoms and make the process of quitting cannabis more manageable. One important step is to seek support from a healthcare provider or addiction specialist, who can provide additional resources and guidance for managing withdrawal symptoms during the process of quitting cannabis.
With the right support and resources, managing cannabis withdrawal symptoms can be achievable and make the process of quitting cannabis more successful.
Tips for coping with Cannabis crash
Cannabis crash, also known as the “marijuana hangover,” is a phenomenon experienced by some cannabis users after a period of heavy use. The symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, brain fog, irritability, and mood changes.
Coping with cannabis crashes can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can help. It is important to note that you should have a plan for getting through a cannabis crash before getting off the drug as it can significantly increase the chances of a relapse, which can sometimes result in cannabis overdose.
Here are some tips for coping with cannabis crash:
- Prioritize rest and relaxation… Getting plenty of sleep, taking breaks throughout the day, and practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help to reduce fatigue and promote mental clarity.
- Nourish your body… It can also be helpful to stay hydrated and eat a healthy, balanced diet to support your body’s natural recovery processes.
- Move your body… Engaging in light exercise or gentle movement can help to improve mood and reduce symptoms such as headaches and muscle tension.
- Ask for help… If you are struggling to cope with cannabis crash or other negative impacts of cannabis use, seeking support from a healthcare provider or addiction specialist can provide additional resources and guidance for managing symptoms and making positive changes in your cannabis use habits.
Common causes of Cannabis rebound
Cannabis rebound, also known as the “reverse tolerance” effect, is a phenomenon where regular cannabis users may experience an increase in the intensity of their high or need less cannabis to achieve the same level of high. It is thought to be caused by a buildup of cannabinoids in the body over time.
Some common causes of cannabis rebound include:
- Frequent and heavy cannabis use: Regular use of cannabis can lead to a buildup of cannabinoids in the body, causing a decrease in sensitivity to the drug. This can result in a need for higher doses to achieve the same level of high.
- Taking breaks from cannabis: When someone takes a break from using cannabis, the cannabinoid levels in their body start to decrease. If they start using cannabis again after this break, they may experience a stronger high due to the decreased tolerance.
- Switching to higher potency strains: If someone is used to smoking lower potency strains of cannabis and switches to a higher potency strain, they may experience a stronger high due to the increased potency of the strain.
- Mixing cannabis with other substances: Mixing cannabis with other substances such as alcohol, crack, or prescription drugs can result in a stronger high and may contribute to cannabis rebound.
- Individual differences: Everyone’s body reacts differently to cannabis, so some people may be more susceptible to cannabis rebound than others. Additionally, genetics, age, weight, and other factors may also influence how cannabis affects a person’s body.
Professional treatment for getting off Cannabis:
If you or someone you know is struggling with cannabis use disorder and needs help getting off cannabis, there are several professional treatment options for cannabis addiction. These may include:
- Detoxification programs: These programs are designed to help individuals safely and comfortably withdraw from cannabis and manage any withdrawal symptoms that may occur.
- Residential treatment programs: Residential treatment programs provide 24-hour care and support for individuals who need intensive treatment for cannabis use disorder. These programs may include individual and group therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and other evidence-based interventions.
- Outpatient treatment programs: Outpatient treatment programs offer similar services as residential programs, but with less intensive care. Individuals attend regular therapy sessions and may receive medication-assisted treatment to help manage withdrawal symptoms.
- Support groups: Support groups such as Marijuana Anonymous (MA) provide peer support for individuals who are trying to stop using cannabis. These groups offer a safe space for individuals to share their experiences and receive support from others who have similar struggles.
- Counseling: Counseling or therapy can help individuals address the underlying issues that may be contributing to their cannabis use disorder. This may include individual therapy, family therapy, or couples therapy.
Final thoughts on getting off Cannabis:
In conclusion, getting off cannabis can be a challenging process, but it is possible with the right support and resources. It’s essential to seek professional help, such as a healthcare provider, addiction specialist, or treatment program, to provide you with the resources and support you need to successfully quit using cannabis.
It’s also important to consider the support of family and friends during this process. Remember that everyone’s journey to recovery is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. With time, patience, and support, it is possible to overcome cannabis use disorder and lead a healthy, fulfilling life.