I successfully quit smoking pot. These are the strategies and tips that worked for me.
Let it be noted that in most countries smoking marijuana is illegal, and in no way do I approve of or condone illicit and illegal activities.
So you want to stop smoking reefer, eh? There are many reasons you may want to quit. It could give you access to the job you've always wanted but were never able to get because of drug-testing. It can help you un-cloud your mind and get back in touch with your sober self—allowing you to reach your full potential. You might want to quit because someone you love does not appreciate your habit. Even if you are a steady smoker who is just considering taking a break, if you've stumbled across this page, chances are you want to quit. You have probably looked at countless sites with countless different pieces of advice. Well, look no more! This article is a comprehensive list of tips and tricks, based on my own experience, that will have you on your way to a clear mind.
1. You Have to Want to Quit
100%. If only part of you wants to quit, you will find that the other part of you that doesn’t want to quit will always win out. You have to want to quit with all your heart and fiber of being. The most important step to quitting has nothing to do with the actions you take, but the attitude you hold towards it. You don’t need marijuana, you don’t want to smoke marijuana, and you have to hold this mindset in order to quit, or else you will find yourself relapsing over and over again. With quitting a habit, it’s all or nothing. Same with smoking weed.
2. There Are No Physical Symptoms
People who have tried to quit smoking and failed will tell you about the withdrawal symptoms they experienced that caused them to relapse: loss of appetite, loss of sleep, more anxiety, restlessness, boredom, etc. All these things are terrible, but it’s important to understand that they are not necessary when quitting weed. All these symptoms are psychosomatic in nature, meaning that they are psychological symptoms manifesting themselves in physical form. What this means is that you don’t have to experience the symptoms at all! The only reason you will experience the symptoms is if you believe you need to smoke pot. You can have a completely symptom-free quitting period if you convince yourself that you don’t need the stuff, and you have the power to quit with ease (which you do! You just have to believe it!). Having this mindset worked for me, it will work for you if you put yourself to it. Quitting any habit is a matter of willpower.
3. Two-Methods: Cold-Turkey and Tapering
There are two common ways to quit: quitting cold turkey and gradually lessening your use. Both of these methods work, it just depends on what works for you personally. For me, it was quitting cold-turkey. I prefer this method because it causes you to completely stop and removes that temptation to relapse. With gradually quitting, you’re still leaving yourself the opportunity to start back up with it. I have tried the gradual method multiple times and it never worked, but quitting cold-turkey did. However, it might be different with you. Try both and see what works for you.
4. Maintain a Good Diet and Exercise
It is super important to maintain a good diet and exercise while trying to quit. This will make you feel good, keep you motivated, and keep your mind clear and focused towards your goal. Exercise also relieves anxiety, a psychological symptom you may experience while trying to quit. Having a proper diet and exercise will also give you better sleep, which is a huge factor in helping you to quit weed. One of the most common complaints among people trying to quit smoking is the inability to sleep as well. However, if you use up enough energy throughout the day, you will fall asleep quickly and sleep well for the night, reefer or no reefer. Exercise helps you use up energy, giving you better quality of sleep.
5. Distract Your Mind with a New Hobby
You are going to crave weed. You’re going to want it, desire it, feel like you even need it. But this is untrue, and you know it. The best thing to do when having these cravings is to divert your attention. Pick up a hobby, read a book, do anything that will distract your mind from weed. The more productive you are, the more you will accomplish, and the easier it will be to quit. After you do this for a couple of days, you won’t even be thinking about or desiring weed!
6. Drink Lots of Water
I have yet to see this piece of advice listed in other articles or advice columns, but it will help. Drinking more water helps flush out your system, getting rid of the toxins that have been building up in your body, lessening your addiction for the substance. This one is a common sense one, but a lot of people don’t think about it. Drink lots of water to clear your body and your mind.
7. Create Social Support
Scientific studies have shown time and time again that whenever someone is dealing with a psychological issue (and quitting a habit is one), having a strong social support system greatly increases your chance of success. Tell your friends and your family that you are quitting, they will be more than happy to help you stay focused on and attain your goal.
8. Do NOT Replace One Bad Habit with Another
A piece of advice I have heard from smokers to other smokers who want to quit is to replace weed with cigarettes. This is a terrible idea and will not fix anything. All you’re doing is replacing one bad habit with another. This is just dumb. If you’re going to replace a habit, replace it with something constructive.
9. Stay Away!
Don’t put yourself in situations where access to the substance is easy. This is just going to tempt you more. Stay away from external influences that are going to cause you to relapse. If you have friends that smoke, but don’t want to quit with you, tell them you are quitting and ask them to not use weed around you. They should be more than happy to respect your wishes and help you accomplish your goal.
10. Join a Program
You may find that these steps just aren’t enough to push you to quit. That’s why people have designed programs to help you quit. These programs will give you even greater social support and advice for quitting.
11. Reward Yourself
If you think you can handle it and it suits your goals, reward yourself with quitting by smoking every once in a while. Like once every two weeks, or once a month, or even once a year. This works well with the tapering method. However, you may want to completely quit, in which case you should find another way to reward yourself. This way is much more recommended. Treat yourself to ice cream, go see a movie, do something that encourages you to continue your good behavior. It might even be a good idea to ask someone else to keep track of you and reward you when you are doing well!
12. Don't Just Try One Method
Try everything. The more factors you have towards you quitting, the easier it will be. Don’t just follow one or two steps, follow as many as possible! The more power you put behind your efforts, the easier your efforts will be. Quitting weed doesn’t have to be hard, you just have to set yourself up for success.
If you follow my advice, you should be able to quit with ease! If you relapsed, it’s probably because you didn’t want to quit bad enough, and you need to re-examine the reasons behind quitting. I will repeat myself, you have to want to quit 100% or it won’t work. That is the first and most important step. All or nothing. Good luck!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Briana on October 23, 2017:
And #11, UGH. Would you tell an alcoholic to reward themselves with a drink every once in a while??? Granted, not everyone who comes to this site will be addicted like that; but 9-17% of people DO become addicted to cannabis like that, and many of us make it to your website, and an addict can't just "have one every once in a while." That is a great tip on how to RELAPSE.
Briana on October 23, 2017:
#2 is totally false. One of the common PHYSICAL withdrawal symptoms is night sweats. People actually can also have mild tremors and they often vomit when in the first stages of quitting. I know this from experience, so please don't say withdrawal symptoms are purely psychological. They're obviously not.
Naserrocket on September 09, 2017:
After 26 years of smoking weed , All can I say is (( quitting weed needs strong well )) nothing else important than a strong well to cut out this habit for good .
Tyler on August 22, 2017:
I've been smoking since the age of 16 and well, I'm 24 now. A few weeks ago on a Sunday I made the decision to quit smoking weed and ended up throwing my 3 glass pipes(all I had) and a few days later I found myself taking a puff or 2...days past and ended up smoking again. I really want to stop and that's why I'm reading the advice you're giving.
It's really easy to stop, everybody has their own way and own professional opinions on smoking weed, smoking "ThE-GAnJa" is mellow and all but it's non beneficial towards you and your life.
Yes there are going to be scientific facts about smoking and quitting pot but the decision at the end of the day still lies in our hands to stop just like it lied in our to take our first drag of reefer.
Rodrigo on August 15, 2017:
Was the same with me, all our nothing.
Thank you, i will start
Shauna on June 10, 2017:
You're incorrect when you posit that the withdrawal symptoms are merely psychological. Long term cannabis use contributes to lowered serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, and magnesium. These will all cause physical symptoms of withdrawal. You are gaslighting the poor people trying to quit when you make this claim.
Timothy Thompson on February 11, 2017:
The best part of quitting weed is Restoration of Brain Function:
You know that THC (main ingredient of cannabis) can acts by binding with cannabinoid receptors which present in certain area of your brain. Following exposure, it start to decrease your memory and learning function (Hippocampus) and inability of fine movement activities (Cerebellum). After quitting weed, you will be able to gain sharp memory and skillful activities in daily work.
haros 13 on September 10, 2016:
it is hard to cut it but it worths.........
astro356 on July 19, 2016:
I am all for people stopping, but I think one thing really needs to be clear...there ARE physical symptoms and you will have to be prepared to deal with them. Do not go into it thinking it is all in your head because that is flat out false (search google scholar if you don't believe me). Physiological symptoms do accompany abstinence from marijuana and it is best if you are prepared ahead of time to deal with this.
KingAJ on June 26, 2016:
People should try the "The Pain Pleasure Principle"
If you’re trying to change a behavior, rather than using willpower, find a way to associate pain with the unwanted behavior and pleasure with the new and empowering alternative. It helped me, i am sure it will help you too.
Old smoker on January 28, 2016:
I used to smoke an oz a week and have quit cold turkey.. The best thing I have ever done!!
rohaizad from dungun on July 01, 2015:
If you are like me, and have been constantly smoking pot for most of your life this could be the single biggest (and best) decision that you’ve made in your life(quit smoking it folks).Lot of benefits you will get when you quit smoke it..
trev on June 23, 2015:
Brian you should have never smoked weed in high school. Stupid decision. It will slow down your ability to learn as your brain is still developing. As for me i didnt smoke weed for the first fime until i was 18 and not regularly until i was 20. I dont have any intention of quitting, im just taking a tolerance break. Im just one example that shows you can be healthy and smoke weed. I dont smoke or drink, i live on a non gmo vegan diet and i work at a fitness center and teach kids basic sports skills as a second job. Next time you say cannabis is bad for your body put down the burger and throw out your liqouryou hypocrit
brian on September 04, 2014:
Of course there are people Commenting on how weed isn't bad. Don't listen to them weed is bad for the body and most importantly the brain. I smoked weed in high school and threw away my dreams because of smoking. I've witnessed many straight A students smoke weed and then will fail all their classes like me. Don't let it control your life and don't let people such as friend convince you otherwise. You're reading this article for a reason, and that's to quit smoking because it's effecting your life in a negative way.
Fonzy on July 16, 2014:
Wow. This has honestly explained some of the feelings and thoughts that I have about my consumption of the drug. I have been wanting to quit marijuana sonce a few years ago but never really gaven it my all. As I write this, I mark this my OFFICIAL day of being sober and I plan to quit cold turkey. This is the most helpful guide that I have read. The way you explain the way of thinking and how you should really percieve the use of using the drug just makes sense but is also akey point of what to do and how to handle to withdraw reactions. Thanks so much!!
Jared on July 01, 2014:
I've quit smoking for one reason and that was to get a job, now I have a job and am smoke as much as ever. I think it is quite humorous that there is even an article about this, because I didn't even have to try to quit I was just like nope. Marijuana is a wonderful plant and people should really not take my word for it and look up the facts and the research that has been conducted in the last decade. As for legality I would say that if you believe a law is unjust then disobey it, America was founded on a value similar to that.
XpressPage.com on April 16, 2014:
I think this article is well written, but I can't say that I agree with all of it. I do think some people need to stop smoking cannabis, but I also do think some need to medicate with it. Or even use it recreationaly. Remember this is Earth, not just yours! It is everyone's and each has the right to decide what they want on Earth, as long as it doesn't hurt other creations. All in all people have to become smart and use their brain, not let the Big guys, government tell you what is good or bad, because if you let government decide, then we live in a cruel world as we do!!
just keep in min, A Law is not just because it is law, a law is just because majority want it!!!
Governments confuse this
charlesclickzone on April 09, 2014:
What I find sad about this, and a lot of people in general, is that really the only thing that these people are bonding over is weed. I know plenty of people who hang out with others they have nothing in common with just because they both like to smoke. And I think that's just sad.
gatewaydrug on March 10, 2014:
I smoke daily. Up to 3 blunts of the good stuff on my own. I pay my bills, I am highly motivated I'm starting a new business. I hold down a 40 hour a week job, I work out daily and am in shape, and I am a single father. I smoke because I am depressed and I will NOT take pills. Weed helps me live my life. It has been the only way to deal with a depressing mundane life. So nanny nanny boo boo stick your head in dog doo.
paul on November 26, 2013:
Im in the middle of quiting weed and my body is taking a beating no sleep finding it difficult to eat for first 2 weeks 3rd week eating better peeing a lot at night getting there thinking more clearly reading a lot walking ty for the advice here its is different for everyone I went cold turkey I think its the best way to give up lost a few friends had to stay away from them as it wasn't good to be around people who smoke weed temptation to great im feeling a lot better now and I will never go through this ever again got into debt was angry when I didn't have any family members stopped talking to me lost girlfriend because I was spending to much money on weed and I was neglecting myself not eating well and was spending to much time sitting in other people's homes were there was weed now things a looking better family and true friends aree seeing me in a different light now and I love it life is good Im felling good I can talk since now lol to my children its worth it in the end take care peps weed will mess you up you won't no how much when you're on it but you will notice the difference when you're of it give it up before everyone gives up on you think about it no money no friends no family as you get older not good stay safe pes and good luck .
Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on July 22, 2013:
Great advise. I smoked reefer when I was in high school and it really did cloud my mind and demotivated me in everything. Not a good thing at all. I even smoked a little bit in college and decided then I just didn't like the stuff because it made my head feel like lead so I quit the reefer for good way back then. However, I was still smoking cigarettes........
I agree a smoking addiction is in the mind/head. I quit smoking tobacco almost 18 months ago and even wrote a hub about it. It's great to be smoke free and people who stop smoking reefer and tobacco will feel better to, especially with lots more exercise, better diet, more water and sleep. Great hub, interesting subject. Voted up.
marion langley from The Study on July 03, 2013:
Had a friend stop a year ago...changed his life. He said the psychosomatic stuff lasted a long time but he's thinking clearly again...I notice he does always have water with him. Thanks for writing.
Mt.ford on July 02, 2013:
I would like to comment on #2. This statement has a lot of misinformation, while will power plays a large role there are definitely physical adaptions your brain makes when you smoke pot that are being reversed when you quit. Disturbances in eating, sleeping, and mood are caused by neuro transmitter imbalances in areas of the brain that mediate these functions. One of the main mechanisms of action of thc is to decrease glutamate in the brain which is a major excitatory transmitter. After smoking for a while the brain will up regulate glutamate production to counter the down regulation from thc. When you stop this means that there is a larger amount of glutamate in the system leading to over excitation to a degree that contributes to agitation as well as sleeplessness. Thc also activates the hypothalamus which is involved in signaling when your body needs to eat. Similarly to glutamate your brain begins to rely on the external activation of thehypothalamus to signal hunger and can come to rely on the thc for this process, then once the thc is not provided the system is left to preform a task it is use to gettin help with and can effect it's ability to tell you you are hungry. Presage make sure to research a subject completely before spreading potential misinformation.
Sal on April 23, 2013:
I would just like to say, this article has helped me and I printed it out to put on my wall so I can read it when I feel I have the urge to smoke a bowl. Thanks
Wes on April 01, 2013:
Thank you for making it simple. Will power is the key.
Misty on January 19, 2013:
Hey great advice! Thanks! I think also a good hobby/habit to replace it with would be meditation :-) And/or meditative activities like yoga, tai chi, or chi gong. I also do aerobic kickboxing :-)