So you're thinking about quitting weed, and the road looks long and difficult.
Do you have a reason for quitting? What good can come of stopping something that makes you feel so good? The below health benefits may help reinforce your decision to step away from the grass.
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The Benefits of Quitting Weed
If you’ve been smoking weed for a while, you’ve probably started to feel like weed is a part of who you are. You’re the funny guy who makes sarcastic comments about last night’s TV show that have your co-workers in stitches. You’re the gal who’s the life of the party, always up for a road trip.
The weed seems to unlock these fantastic personality traits. Smoking weed just makes you better, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Weed can make you feel great, but it can also inhibit your success.
If you’re already thinking that you need weed to be a better person, you probably have a marijuana dependency – often called “marijuana use disorder.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as many as 30 percent of marijuana smokers suffer from this.
It doesn't have to be an uphill battle.
When weed is taking over your life, it’s time to take charge of yourself. Quitting weed doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, you’ll find that your life improves in a lot of ways once you stop smoking.
With that being said, I’ve come up with this list of 13 benefits of quitting weed that will make it all worthwhile.
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1. Avoid Legal Trouble
The legality of using and possessing weed varies widely from state to state. In Oregon, Alaska and Colorado, for example, it’s legal to use weed for medical or recreational use. Some states, like California and Georgia only allow people to use weed for medical purposes. Other states consider possessing weed to be a felony (Alabama) or a misdemeanor (Florida).
While weed doesn’t seem like a bad drug compared to heroin or cocaine, it could still land you in legal trouble. In fact, the American Civil Liberties Union states that over half of all drug arrests are for marijuana.
Have you ever puffed on a joint at a concert? Stashed a dime bag in your underwear while traveling on a plane?
You were putting yourself at risk and it’s lucky you haven’t been caught.
When you quit smoking weed, you no longer have this pressing worry that today could be the day you get caught. You can travel, go to a concert or just drive around town without the stress.
2. Improve Your Physical Well-Being
Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes can lead to lung problems and lung cancer. While weed hasn’t been shown to have the same direct effect on the lungs, it’s important to note that heavy use can cause lung problems, including cancer, according to WebMD.
Those who smoke weed are also more likely to have less severe lung problems, such as prolonged coughing with a cold or poor lung function during exercise.
To combat these potential effects, many people turn to vaporizing the weed – which allows you to receive the THC without hurting your lungs as much – or using edible versions of the drug baked into foods like brownies.
These might reduce your risk of lung damage, but weed also has a negative effect on your brain. Short-term effects include decreased co-ordination and changes in mood. Those effects go away, but if you smoke weed several times a day, you could be putting yourself into a fairly permanent state of disorientation.
Long-term effects include problems with memory and thinking skills. It’s even more pronounced in people who started smoking weed early in life, who dropped around 8 IQ points over the years, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
When I stopped smoking weed, I noticed a big difference in how well my lungs worked. I was able to take up running and not get winded. The next winter, I just didn’t get sick as often as I used to.
You’ll find that improving your physical health is one of the best reasons to stop smoking weed.
3. Greater Mental Clarity
A lot of times, people really feel like the weed helps them see things clearly. After you take a few bong hits, you suddenly start getting a lot of great ideas. Of course, the real problem is that those “great ideas” don’t always sound so great to someone who’s sober.
Even if you do have a really good idea, the way the drug changes your brain can make it difficult to get those ideas out on paper or organize them into a direct plan of action.
After you stop smoking, you’ll see how much easier it is to put together coherent thoughts. You’ll be able to communicate more clearly and have an easier time solving your problems. In fact, you’ll probably be surprised by how much easier it is to think.
The drug that you thought was helping you relax and think things through was actually hindering that process.
4. Find Time to Do What You Want
Another side effect of smoking weed is a distorted perception of time. You probably experience this all the time. You smoke a little, start doing something like hanging out with friends or watching TV, and suddenly look at the clock to find that three hours have passed when it only felt like one.
This might not seem like a big deal, but how many times have you thought about what you’d do if only you had the time. Have you dreamed of writing a novel? Going to yoga class every morning? Learning to play guitar? If you’re smoking a lot of weed, there’s a good chance you’ll never get these things done.
Think about how much time you spend watching TV. In the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “American Time Use Survey Summary,” they state that the average American watches almost three hours of TV a day.
Are you watching more than that?
What if you used that time on more productive pursuits? Those who quit smoking weed often realize just how much time they were wasting and start putting that time to better use.
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5. Save More Money
Smoking weed can be an expensive habit.
PriceOfWeed.com states that an ounce of weed can cost from around $150 to $400, depending on quality and location. The site gets its data from people throughout the world who anonymously submit information based on their last transaction.
For argument’s sake, let’s say you typically pay $250 for an ounce. That’s a pretty big chunk of money right there. If you only smoke a little here and there, maybe you’ll only spend $500 - 1,000 a year on weed.
However, heavy smokers or those who frequently share with a lot of other people can easily go through an ounce a month. That works out to about $3,000 a year. What else could you use that money on? That extra money is a pretty big bonus if you’re looking for some reasons not to smoke weed.
6. Eat Healthier Food
Think about all the food you’ve eaten the past week. Are you listing large amounts of pizza, Taco Bell and other junk food? It’s not often you hear about someone getting high and sitting down to a big salad.
NPR reports that smoking marijuana can cause the neurotransmitters to send messages that you’re hungry – even if you’ve just eaten a full meal.
One of the benefits of quitting marijuana is that your body starts regulating itself more normally. You’ll no longer feel the need to eat an entire bag of Doritos while binge-watching Game of Thrones.
Making healthier food choices does have to be a conscious decision, but you’ll find that you now have the energy you need to cook yourself something healthy rather than simply going through the drive thru.
I lost 25 lbs. after quitting pot. I'm not joking.
There’s a good chance you’ll drop a few pounds without even trying.
7. Get Motivated to Reach Your Goals
Stoners tend to lack motivation, even when it comes to something they really want to do. How many times have you thought about how nice it would be to finish your college degree, apply for a promotion or a better job, travel to some far-off locale or start an exercise program?
When you’re high, your body and mind tend to shut down these ideas in favor of relaxation or hanging out with friends. You start to think, “I’ll get to that another day.” You probably won’t, unless you quit smoking.
You’ll instantly find that one of the biggest benefits of quitting weed is the increased motivation you’ll have. It will be like a fog is lifted from your brain and you’ll be able to see all of the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
Best of all, with the extra time you have not getting sucked into movie marathons or video games, you’ll actually have time to complete the steps to reach your goal.
Quitting weed doesn’t have to be a drag. Here's 13 reasons why you should quit. http://bit.ly/1UEXyrv #quitweed #punintended
8. Reduce Anxiety in Social Situations
Many people have used marijuana to self-treat social anxiety. If you’re nervous about a situation where you’ll be meeting other people, you might smoke a little before going out to make yourself feel more relaxed. Unfortunately, not everyone experiences this effect.
An article in Medical Daily points out that there’s a lot of research that shows marijuana can actually increase anxiety and psychosis in certain people.
You’re probably familiar with some of those paranoid feelings.
Maybe you’ve worried about whether the store clerk can tell you’ve been smoking weed. Maybe you worry that you sound stupid or silly to others because you just can’t seem to get your brilliant thoughts to come out of your mouth. Maybe you’re worried that you’re going to get caught by the police.
No matter which of these you suffer from, quitting weed will help get over those feelings.
9. Become a Better Role Model
This might be one of the less though of benefits of quitting weed. When you started smoking weed in your teens or twenties, you probably didn’t have a lot of people looking up to you. Your weed habit really only affected you, so you might think, “Why should I quit smoking weed?”
As you get older, though, there will be more people who see you as a role model (ahem, Mark Wahlberg's reason for quitting). Even if you don’t have kids of your own, you might encounter kids in your job or as an uncle or aunt.
Naturally, you’ll want those kids to view you as someone to emulate. You don’t want to hear them say, “Uncle Tim just plays video games all day” or “Aunt Chrissy is always forgetting things.”
Ditching weed means you no longer have something to hide from these young people. I’ve already mentioned how much easier it is for you to start doing things you want to do and reaching your goals, and these are things that the kids will see as well.
Be the type of person you want the children to become.
10. Advance Further in Your Career
Have you ever given up on a job application after realizing they require a drug test? You’re not alone. The U.S. Department of Labor states that companies can give drug tests pre-employment, after an accident, or even at random intervals.
If you’re a heavy user, the THC levels will show up in your test results for several weeks after you stop smoking.
A positive drug test could mean that you won’t get the job, or it could mean that you get fired from your current job. This may not be a concern for some career paths, but why risk it? When you quit smoking weed, you no longer have to worry about whether the job you’re applying for is going to require a drug test or not.
Additionally, the clear thinking that comes from quitting often means you start performing better at your current job. You’ll be seen as someone with potential.
You’ll no longer be seen as “that stoner guy who works in the mail room”.
The next time a job opens up in a different department, you may actually be eligible for the position.
11. Decrease Stress
Yes, smoking weed can reduce some of the stress you feel in your everyday life, but as a regular smoker, it can also increase stress in some areas.
For instance, you might feel stressed as you think about when you’ll be able to smoke again; stressed about what to do when you stash runs low and your dealer is out of town; stressed about getting caught by the police or your family members.
The effects of the weed reduce stress in the short term, but they do nothing to alleviate the constant stress that your habit actually causes.
All of these worries disappear once you quit smoking weed. The initial days can be difficult and stressful to get through, but you eventually come out the other side as a stronger person.
12. Higher Self Esteem
You know that you’re a smart person with good ideas, so it’s frustrating to see friends and former classmates getting the success you think should be yours.
Constantly getting passed over for a promotion or never being able to follow through on that awesome business idea you have can lead to poor self-esteem.
According to an article in The Family Health Guide by Harvard Health Publications, daily marijuana use in their teens made young women four times as likely to show signs of depression as a young adult.
Smoking weed can be fun, but when you do it too much, it starts to take over your life. You lose your motivation to do other things and have a hard time following through to reach your goals.
You start to fit the stereotype of a slacker. When you’re sober, you’ll see that this image isn’t the real you. You have it inside yourself to become who you really want to be.
13. Change Your Life for the Better
The point I’ve been trying to make is that weed holds you back in a lot of ways. It costs money, has a negative effect on cognitive functions, and kills your motivation. Who could be successful with all of these things going on?
I know that there’s no single best lifestyle for everyone. One person might view success as climbing the corporate ladder, while another person measures it by the amount of excitement in their life. Some people want to raise families, while others want to travel the world.
No matter what type of life you want to live, quitting weed will help you get closer to that life. Just ask any of the people who have gone through the process.
There are many benefits of not smoking weed, so why not quit? Take charge of your life and learn what a difference being weed-free can make. Even if you’ve tried before, you can be successful with the right support.
Get out there and QUIT WEED NOW!