Cravings and Weed Withdrawal
Cravings this hurdle we all face when we decide to quit smoking weed. I believe that it’s not the act of smoking that you crave, it is the mental state that goes along with getting high when you smoke. Many people who try to quit smoking weed after a period of heavy use, are surprised by the strength of the cravings they feel. Cravings can control you behavior. You may find yourself calling your dealer, or going to doing activities that are likely to expose you to it, even though you have decided to quit. It is different for everybody. Some people constantly think about pot, some people go out of their way to get it, and some people cave in to the withdrawal symptoms after a couple of days of insomnia and anxiety.
I used to go through a process where I would smoke all of the weed I had as fast as possible, because I was convinced it was my last bag. When I ran out, after being blitzed for days on end, the cravings began and I would cave in to them and repeat the process. It was a mental, emotional, and financial roller coaster. Gradually, through several attempts that spanned over 6 months, I was finally able to overcome my cravings and quit marijuana.
What causes cravings?
There are many causes for cravings. Different people respond to different craving triggers. For some people, it will be a stressful day at work, for others partying with their friends on the weekend is when they crave it. Typically you will crave weed in when you are doing the same activities that you would normally do high. If you normally spark up a joint as soon as you get home from work, you are likely to crave then. If you usually smoke before watching a movie, that may be a craving time for you. Some people also crave marijuana as a response to stress. For example, if you smoke weed to avoid doing homework, housework, or other responsibilities, you will probably crave when facing these same tasks.
How long do the cravings last?
Cravings start as soon as they have peaked from the last time they smoked. When you actually quit smoking weed, cravings start as normal, but intensify, particularly in the first 5 days. Cravings will come and go depending on your own triggers and the strength of you addiction. After a month, I found that I got into a groove. I read that it takes 45 days to solidify a new behavior. Coming home from work and not smoking right away, is an example of new behavior. Even years after quitting, you may find you the thought of pot dancing in your head.
Tips to avoid craving marijuana
- Gradually decrease your use.
- Instead of stopping 100%, you may wish to slow down your smoking as you approach the date that you want to quit.
- Monitor your internal dialogue.
- Pay attention to your thoughts. If you are having craving thoughts, you can say a phrase such as “I am happy my lungs are healthy”, or “I enjoy being clean”.
- Don’t let you negative thoughts or thoughts of cravings get the best of you.
- Focus on what you are gaining, not what you are missing.
- Get outside and exercise. Burn off some of the steam and stress from quitting with a little bit of exercise. Even a 30 minute walk outside will do wonders for you.