Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes. In our modern times, Cannabis or widely known as marijuana has been highly proposed to be used for medicinal purposes.
But even before that, health function advancement and benefits proposal, marijuana has been enjoyed by many as a recreation. People are already smoking marijuana before they realized that it could be beneficial to their health under regular doses. But as time progresses, marijuana has been taken regularly, and without control; thus, legalities have been in place to control the madness.
Today, non-traditional health professionals and alternative medicine advocates are now highly promoting the usage of marijuana as a rich source of medicinal benefits. Under controlled environment and dosage, taking in marijuana can be very beneficial.
Luckily, there is evident progress with their movement as there are many countries and cities that lifts punishment in using and purchasing marijuana under this legality. But like any other form of the drug, it is inevitable that with continuous usage of marijuana (even with controlled dosage) still results in drug dependency. For whatever reason you have why are you taking it you will unlikely fall into such a state.
With all these scenarios and current reports of the advantages and disadvantages of using marijuana, there are still many who are in support of the legalities of disposing marijuana publicly. However, on the contrary, there are a lot of these supporters and non-supporters of marijuana who also promotes that one should stop using the drug. And they are stressing out an entire bad picture of health cases of an individual with a high dependency with the drug.
As this might all true the only remaining question is, when is the right time you should stop using marijuana and how you should stop smoking and taking in marijuana?
The question might be a little tricky as the question of “when” as it can be answered with uncertainty yet there are still studies that support that a timely halt or stoppage in using marijuana is right for yourself.
Related article: How to Stop Smoking Marijuana
Quitting Marijuana – When Is The Right Time?
When you ask us this kind of question, we would abruptly answer with “it depends” with a shrugged shoulders. But to back up our lousy response, it truly depends. Quitting marijuana and being asked when is the right time to stop using it invokes us to answer with uncertainty. But when we include health and medicinal aspect, science is here to back it all up.
If you are currently looking for the answer to questions like this, these short term and long term effects might help you think deeply, sort out things and finally calling it quits with marijuana.
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Marijuana can affect your brain function
We already know that Cannabis or marijuana is from a cannabis plant; farmed and gathered and can now ready to be used for either recreational or medical purposes. But what we don’t know is that Cannabis has 483 known compounds in the plant and the central psychoactive part of Cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
You might not be so familiar with the medical term of such compound, but this so-called THC is the main active compound found in Cannabis that stays and store themselves in the fat cells of the body that’s why removing them from your system takes a lot longer than a common and usual drug.
The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary influence of why there is a difference with the brain function of a person who’s using and taking in marijuana for a more extended time. The THC forces the brain’s natural cannabinoid receptors to work and function beyond its normal levels. That is why there is a specific state that a person gets too much high after smoking marijuana or worse taking it orally by eating the edible product.
Study report shows that when a person takes in a single dose of marijuana, every sensation is heightened and maximized to its full potential. The sensations are magnified and are pleasurable that many users claim that their sensory perception is increased above average, colours and vision are brighter than usual, music and audio quality are better and more vivid, food tastes different, and usually, it is tastier.
All of these abnormalities are observed during a state of high of a person, but some other claims that a regulated intake of marijuana can bring you relaxing moments and helps you overcome social anxiety.
But even with the mentioned somehow positive in taking marijuana, some studies show that cognitive impairment is likely to exist and happen to people who are continually smoking and taking marijuana, especially the ones who started it at a young age.
Other technical studies reported that people who are using marijuana has also decreased IQ scores than regular and average people. Psychosis is also inevitable; the individual may have a hard time keeping up with simple memory storage, too much and cannot handle neural noise, or worse character and personal behaviour changes triggered with brain functionalities.
Just like any other form of addiction, using marijuana in a longer period of time and with continuous usage without any method of control will lead you to a total drug dependency. This action is at a great disadvantage as you grow dependent on the drug; you cannot function without using it.
You are less to zero functional without the drug in your system thus leads you to another bunch of problems (i.e., cannot work correctly, not dependable to do things right, always all over the place and cannot make rational decisions).
Taking marijuana is just smoking usual cigarettes; you will be having a hard time saying “no” in doing it. And when you finally do, you are finally opening yourself to loads of withdrawal symptoms you can’t even imagine existed.
Here are the other more reasons why calling it done with marijuana today is the best decision you’ll ever make.
As brain dysfunction is the most significant effect using marijuana can give you, there are still a lot more, see the list prepared for you below:
- A showcase of work and school poor performance that leads to termination of drop-outs-
- Low comprehension and rational thinking skills
- Sees life in a whole lot of negative perspective-
- High percentage falling in a full-blown addiction (about 9% of adults and 17% of people who started smoking as teens)
- High chances of developing an opiate abuse
- Relationship problems
- Formation of antisocial behaviours
- Losing stability in financial resources
- Increasing growth in being dependent
- Getting a job would be a tough one to happen
- Hard time remembering things
- Severe anxiety that leads to paranoia
- Experiencing psychosis and observance of strange behaviour
- Panic attacks
- Evident hallucinations
- Loss of personal identity
- Slow reaction time
- Potential acquirement of heart attack and problems
- Showing signs of acquiring mild strokes
- Lack of body coordination (i.e., not dependable for taking a drive)
- Erectile dysfunction for males
- High potential and vulnerability of sexually transmitted disease for females
If above mentioned long and short term effects in using marijuana can cause to your entire health gives you an alarming impact, then you should stop using the drug now. The whole point in making a stop in taking in marijuana varies from one person to another, just like how unique an individual is.
The reaction, the withdrawals, and all the side effects the moment you stop taking marijuana is just different. There are no mentioned of any medication or method that can help you to stop using marijuana entirely, but there are methods that can help you gradually stop and control the usage of the said drug.
Here are some methods that are being used clinically or even persona medication by any users who want to put an end in using the drug.
Related article: Marijuana Addiction
Cold Turkey and the Tapering
The infamous “cold turkey” method derived from its name, is the abrupt and complete cessation of taking a drug to which one is addicted. This method has been widely practiced by many who wants to stop taking in marijuana completely.
Even though there is no scientific explanation of how effective or ineffective this method is, many clinical doctors and professionals don’t highly advice in turning into this method. Like any other addiction like smoking and heavy alcohol drinking, an abrupt and direct full stop of any addiction will result in a ton of withdrawals that you and your body cannot take.
On the other hand, there is a tapering. Tapering which means the process of gradually lessening or reducing something- may it be the food intake and this case, the drug use. The tapering method wasn’t only applicable to putting a stop to addiction.
People with weight problems, into specific diet meal plans and other health practices, you can hear the term “tapering” is used. In drug addiction, tapering has a high chance and has shown more progress in stopping marijuana intake. With its practice of lessening the consumption of the said drug on a daily basis, the body can slowly cope up and catch up with all the changes it goes through.
The tapering method main goals are to (1) gradually lessen the usage of marijuana by decreasing the number of joint taken every day, (2) give the body a regulated space to catch up with all the system changes, and lastly (3) to manage and handle the withdrawals that is evident during the entire process.
Unlike the cold turkey, tapering is slow progress but shows more potential in completely dismissing the practice of using marijuana completely. It is a long shot and struggling journey a person will take in order to put an end in using marijuana finally.
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If you have finally given a deep thought in subsequently withdrawing from using the drug, lifestyle changes will come in easy. Although this practice is not for everyone just like other methods we have mentioned, lifestyle change is a must if you want to put a stop in taking in marijuana.
When you think about it, it is your lifestyle that leads you to take and use marijuana for an extended period; thus; it also requires a lifestyle change to get out of it finally. Like any other method, it is only effective if you put a serious dedication in actually doing it.
Lifestyle changes require a lot of your time and character since you cannot go to places you usually hang before with your old friends and companions, you keep away and stop going to places and hideouts where you typically smoke, and you get to choose a different daily routine. Your entire character will be changed, and it would take a lot of effort to really actualize this method.
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For extreme cases of drug addiction, rehabilitation is the final method advised by many medical professionals. This process is always observed to be a long term since there is a lot of processes that need to take place in a rehab center. Individuals that are advised to be sent to rehab might or might not involve in an extreme situation like (1) showing personality changes that affect his/her surroundings, (2) causes physical damages and (3) non-functional individuals that need immediate medical attention.
Sometimes, a person is sent to rehab when there is an intervention of families and other support groups that sees rehab as the final method in helping an individual to cut it down with marijuana finally.
Being in a rehabilitation center is an enduring pain for a person addicted to marijuana. Some individuals cannot accept the fact that they are already secluded from the community and needs to be clean before being released.
But for some, sees this as a chance to get rid of the addiction. Different responses and progress are expected from individuals treated in rehab centers, and just like any other method in stopping marijuana, the undertaking is a long journey.
Related article: Welcome to Addiction Rehab Toronto
Before being advised for rehabilitation, counselling takes place in some clinics that treat and help individuals with drug addiction. Series of consultation and the one-on-one session will take place once an individual report for counselling.
For mild users, sometimes counselling works. What happens during the counselling is that the health professional conducts a series of tests and examinations, both physical and mental and other couples of methods to help the patient work out his/her addiction.
The counselling method is helpful for individuals who want to clear out their thoughts and looks for professional guidance for them to stop using the drug.
There are free drug counselling available as the advocacy of putting a stop in using marijuana is in full blow while there are also group counselling or group sessions that let you meet other individuals who are struggling with their addiction.
What we have mentioned above is the long-term process of putting a stop with marijuana use. But if you are fully dedicated to slowly and surely getting rid of it in your system, we have listed a step by step procedure on how to finally quit using marijuana.
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Steps You Can Take
Start choosing a different set of people to hang out with. This step might be difficult, but as the saying goes, “tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are” applies. Stop going out with people who influenced you to use the drug. Be firm with your stand and decision in finally calling it done in using the drug.
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Making marijuana available in many countries makes this a difficult task to do so. But if you have really committed to yourself that going clean is the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and the people around you-you will just stop buying it. The first step is beneficial in getting to this point. Getting rid or also keeping a distance from the people you know who are using marijuana makes the step 2 easier. You stop contacting them; thus getting marijuana will be difficult; therefore results for you not to have it available.
Throw away all the paraphernalia.
You already stopped buying the drug, the next practical thing to do is to get rid of all the paraphernalia. Throw away all kinds of accessories you still have in such as pipes, bongs, rolling papers, and all other types of materials you have used before. These items might have caused you money, they are expensive enough or has value- try selling it and earn money back or give it away. Do not give yourself a reason to come back in using the drug every time you see them lying around in your room or anywhere in your place.
Plan a different routine.
If your old routine leads you to snuggle in your bed and lie around entirely doing nothing all day, this will just bring up the old thoughts of doing the “thing” once again. Stop the lazy habits and turn to a complete active lifestyle. Turn into sports, cooking, and other recreational activities that will move you around. Enroll in different classes, training and group activities and start getting yourself engaged with these kinds of physical activities to keep your mind off in doing the “thing” once again.
Handle the cravings.
The moment you stop using the drug, unfortunately, different cravings start to kick in. This is a part of the withdrawal process, but you can actually handle and control it by turning into different choices. Just like tobacco addiction, the moment you feel like lighting another cigarette or in your case taking marijuana, choose a counterpart food. These replacements will hold you for a while until your mind gets off the idea of using the drug once again.
This practice gets a long effective over time, but it is not easy as this is the easy pitfall for everyone. You just need to put your mind in control that once the craving kicks in, you know what to do to counterpart it. THC compound is a hard-headed content of marijuana; it takes a lot of inner battles to win it over finally.
Have an open-minded support system.
What we will say might come off as a cliche, but we need a support system in everything we do. The challenge of getting rid of marijuana in your system is a long road to take on and getting on that road alone will be a real deal and tough one. You need someone to assist you, support you, and cheer you on that you can really get clean at the right time. Having your family, friends, and maybe a support group will help you gradually to see better things and change your perspective.
Related article: Top Effective Drug Addiction Treatments You Need to Know
Quitting marijuana usage, as we have mentioned repeatedly, is a struggle, a tough journey, and a really long process. Add the withdrawal symptoms that each individual will undergo is such a difficult situation to take in. The road may be tough, but the endpoint of the journey is what matters most- that is to be clean. But getting there is not a pretty picture, here are the common withdrawal symptoms an individual will face throughout quitting marijuana.
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This is most evident as your taste changes over time not having the drug in your system. You will find eating different meals unpleasant thus not wanting to take whatever is served at the dinner table.
This symptom is another vulnerability for people who are in the state of withdrawal. Constant mood changes are very present, and when someone is in this state, an understanding support group is needed to really cope up and adjust to the situation. As much as possible, do not engage with all the mood changes and let that person goes through it peacefully.
As the mood changes, an individual who is going through withdrawal is very prone to irritability. It has something to do with the brain function that easily triggers the irritation because of the absence of the drug.
Having insomnia while quitting marijuana is very common. Medicated marijuana cures insomnia, so when the drug is removed in the system, insomnia slowly comes back again.
A common scenario since the main effect of the marijuana attacks the brain; thus, there will be occasional headache experiences. These cases might come off as usual to light and extreme headaches.
Loss of focus
Since the drug is slowly removed in the system, the heightened and maximized the sense of attention is also decreased. This is the reason why individuals who suffer from marijuana withdrawal is not as highly functional when they take the drug.
A prevalent scenario, the desire kicks in from time to time, and it is not inevitable as your body is looking for that specific drug in your system.
Excessive sweating and experiencing cold sweats is also a withdrawal symptom. Your body just reacts differently. Thus there will be abnormalities that you can observe through the entire process.
There are a lot of other withdrawal symptoms; they might come off as light to mild to massive reactions. But whatever the withdrawal symptom is, continuous and religious dedication to the method you prefer will gradually and eventually help you go through it. One day, you will find yourself completely clean from the drug and start anew.
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