As casual as marijuana has become, it can still be difficult to make the choice to quit. Taking the steps necessary to quit smoking weed may seem daunting, but you are not alone. With a strong mindset and support from your friends and family, it is possible to break free of marijuana addiction for good. But is it ok to quit marijuana cold turkey?
Northpoint Washington offers support when you’re ready to quit using weed. Our inpatient marijuana addiction treatment program uses evidence-based therapy plans tailored to your individual needs and goals. We provide resources to help you better understand marijuana addiction and the steps necessary to take back control of your life. Call 425.437.3298 to take the next steps forward in your recovery journey.
Marijuana Use Disorder Is Real
There are two sides to the ongoing debate about cannabis. Some medical professionals suggest that the drug can have a positive medicinal effect on those with various health conditions. Those with the opposing viewpoint insist that the prolific use of weed is leading to the moral decay of American society.
Marijuana addiction is not a myth. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as a marijuana use disorder (MUD), which takes the form of addiction in severe cases. Recent data suggest that 30% of those who use weed may have some degree of this disorder.
MUD becomes an addiction when the person cannot stop using the drug even though it interferes with many aspects of his or her life. Despite what you may have heard in recent times, smoking green is not entirely safe and without its drawbacks.
Quitting Weed Cold Turkey: What You Should Know About Withdrawal
In the simplest of terms, yes, you can quit smoking weed cold turkey. While there are withdrawal symptoms, detoxing from marijuana is not life-threatening. You can naturally undergo the detoxification process of removing cannabis from your system without fearing for your safety. However, you will go through the unpleasant experience of withdrawal.
Withdrawal (or detoxification) is what happens when the body has become physically or psychologically dependent on a particular substance, and that substance is suddenly removed.
Other common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Stomach upset
- Bouts of anger
- Decrease in appetite
- Loss of focus
- Lack of motivation
- Decreased sex drive
- Extreme cravings for the drug
The most severe marijuana withdrawal symptoms typically pass in about two weeks, although it can take up to three months to completely overcome them after deciding to quit marijuana cold turkey.
Preparing Yourself to Go Cold Turkey from Using Marijuana
Quitting weed cold turkey is no walk in the park. You are not going to be satisfied for at least two weeks, maybe longer. Knowing this upfront might make it easier for you to experience the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms ahead. If you expect it to be unpleasant, you won’t be surprised when it is. If you are going to quit smoking weed, the best way to do it is just to quit. Don’t try and “taper off” and slowly stop smoking. This just doesn’t work. You will likely wind up smoking more to prolong the inevitable because you just want to smoke “one more time.”
You are going to have to go through withdrawal sooner or later when you decide to recover. Set a date as your last day to smoke. Stick to that date. When you run out, don’t buy more. Tell yourself, “Okay, this is it! I am done!” Then, prepare to begin the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
How to Navigate the Withdrawal Process When You Quit Smoking
The first few days of cannabis withdrawal are not pleasant. You are going to be irritable and agitated, and you are going to have some pretty extreme cravings for more weed. You have to stay strong and stick to your plan.
There’s no way to quit smoking except to quit smoking. And, when you quit, you have to go through a detox period. There is just no way around it. Adhering to these guidelines is sure to lessen the discomfort:
- Be sure to drink plenty of water – Staying hydrated helps you feel energized and lessens the irritability. Also, water helps flush toxins out of your system and aids the body’s natural processes in getting rid of marijuana.
- Exercise – Jogging around the block probably is not going to be high on your list when you’re undergoing detox. However, exercise helps to release feel-good chemicals in your brain, which lessens the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. Go on a 20-minute walk at least. Walk ten minutes one way and ten minutes back. You can do it.
- Take melatonin for sleep – You are likely to experience insomnia for at least the first week of your marijuana detox. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid that will allow your body to get the rest it needs to endure withdrawal symptoms.
- Get some natural GABA at a health food store to decrease anxiety and restlessness – This is a calming agent that will soothe you and make you feel more at ease as you battle withdrawal symptoms.
- Garner support from your friends and family – Tell the people closest to you that you are quitting weed cold turkey. If you have friends who smoke, tell them they can’t do it around you. Hang around with people who aren’t using to help you stay committed to your decision to remain abstinent.
Quitting weed cold turkey isn’t easy or fun, but you can do it. Your body may be angry at first, but it will thank you in the long run. Need some extra support? Northpoint Washington’s substance abuse treatment programs can help.
Getting Weed out of Your System Is Going to Take Awhile
While most people think marijuana is completely flushed out of the body in two to four weeks, this is not necessarily true. You can test positive for weed up to three months after you have stopped using it. This is especially true for chronic smokers or those who are overweight since marijuana is fat-soluble. This means it dissolves in your fat cells. The more fat you have on your body, the longer it is going to stay in your system.
Also, the frequency of your use will determine how long the drug remains in your fat cells. The more you smoke, the longer it stays. By the way, don’t make the mistake of spending your hard-earned money on marijuana detox kits that promise to flush your system in a few days or a week. They just don’t work. Time is the only thing you need to rely on to get weed out of your system.
Staying Away from Marijuana Is Not as Easy as You Might Think
It is ok to quit marijuana cold turkey. However, you should know that quitting on your own may not result in ongoing abstinence from the drug. Relapse is a very real possibility for you after a few weeks or months of sobriety. In fact, most people who quit using cannabis on their own eventually return to regular use. It may be difficult to believe, but many people who were addicted to hard drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, and even heroin have said that marijuana was the most difficult drug for them to stay away from. This is largely due to the fact that smoking pot doesn’t bring the severe consequences and health problems found with other drugs.
While you may have a sincere desire to quit now, and you are motivated to detox from weed, have you thought about the future? How do you plan to stay away from the drug? Are you going to form a new, healthy relationship with people who don’t smoke pot? If so, where are you going to find these relationships? What activities are you going to engage in so that you stay abstinent? The truth is most people don’t think past the withdrawal process when it comes to quitting weed. It may seem as simple as simply stopping, but it is actually a lot more complicated than that. You have to learn positive coping skills to deal with the emotional upsets of daily living without turning to marijuana as a solution. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and other evidence-based methods can help.
Consider Professional Addiction Treatment Services to Treat Your Marijuana Addiction
You might think it is absolutely ridiculous to go for addiction treatment to stay sober from marijuana. Most people do. But quitting isn’t as easy as you might think. Some people simply cannot resist the cravings to use pot, even when they have a sincere desire to quit. Many choose to stay at an inpatient treatment center where they can recover from marijuana addiction in a safe and secure environment.
While it may not be necessary to go to inpatient rehab and stay at a center round-the-clock for thirty days or more, you might consider outpatient treatment. This allows you to go for treatment for a few hours a day (or at night) several times a week. Before you completely reject the idea of getting help for a marijuana habit, contact Northpoint Washington and talk to one of our addiction specialists for a free, confidential assessment over the phone. We can talk to you about your treatment options and tell you how you could benefit from our drug addiction rehabilitation services. That way, you can make an informed decision about how to increase your chances of success as you pursue your goal of staying abstinent from weed.
Consider Attending MA
If you’re completely opposed to going for professional rehabilitation services, that’s okay. However, if you choose not to go for addiction treatment, you should seek support at Marijuana Anonymous (MA). Marijuana Anonymous is a 12-step fellowship of individuals who are recovering from an addiction to cannabis. The program offers support to those who want to remain abstinent from weed. At MA, you will learn healthy coping skills that will teach you how to live and enjoy life without smoking pot. There are regular MA meetings happening all over the country every day. You can do a meeting search and find one near you. Whatever you choose to do in regard to your cannabis habit, we wish you continued success. Quitting weed isn’t easy, but you can do it. Not sure if you have an addiction to pot? Take this quiz and find out.
Call Northpoint Washington to Start Addiction Treatment
If you think you are dependent on marijuana and need help to quit, contact Northpoint Washington for support. Our team of experienced addiction counselors can guide you through the detox process with evidence-based treatments that have been proven to be effective in reducing cravings and helping people stay abstinent from weed.
We partner with many insurance providers, making treatment accessible and affordable for most. With our help, you can become sober from marijuana and start the next steps forward in your recovery journey. Reach out to us at 425.437.3298 today and let us help you quit using marijuana.
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