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what to do when you have no weed

30 Days Without Weed

Much like alcohol before it, marijuana is becoming more accepted, more legal, and more accessible. And, while some medical institutions prescribe marijuana for pain relief or to encourage appetite (especially after undergoing radiation treatment), people who suffer from Marijuana Use Disorder should be cautious about such prescriptions should they arise. Much like opioid addicts who often need to refuse pain medication due to addiction, so too should frequent marijuana users be wary. This is not to say that marijuana is as dangerous as cocaine, alcohol, or even tobacco, but addiction is a disorder. When you’ve reached a point where your end goal to each day is to get high; when you’ve discontinued activities and social events if they prevent you from getting high or only to get high; when you find it difficult to get through the day without getting high, these are problems that need to be addressed.

One of the benefits of marijuana becoming more legal and wide-spread is the prevalence of research and studies on the drug. There has been a lot of misinformation about cannabis and addiction in the past, however now we’re starting to see the real issues that repeated (and heavy) marijuana use can cause, such as memory loss, disrupted sleep, inability to learn, lowered attention span, increased risk of lung cancer (in the case of smokers) and heightened anxiety. Many people with frequent and long-term marijuana use become dependent on the drug and may need help to recover.

With that in mind, here’s what to expect with your first 30 days without weed.

Day 1: Cravings, Cravings, Cravings

For those addicted to marijuana, withdrawal symptoms can start as early as 24 hours since your last use. Most people report feeling intense cravings their first day without weed. They feel cloudy & lethargic, but the worst element is the cravings.

For some, the cravings are a result of being dependent on the drug; for others, it provided a comfort or escape from what they were feeling. In either case, formerly frequent users will notice how ingrained the drug was in their routine, which can make their day seem all the more alien without it.

Day 2: Anxiety & Poor Sleep

By day two, most people are struggling with sleep and some are facing anxiety.

Most people with Marijuana Use Disorder reportedly use some form of cannabis before sleep — wrongly thinking it helps. The reality is, marijuana can help relax the body before bed — helping you to fall asleep — but it inhibits deep, restful REM sleep. Those dependent on marijuana have difficulty falling to sleep on their own, but once sleep occurs, it will be much more restful (with a happy helping of vivid dreams).

Day 3: Peak Withdrawal Symptoms

Day 3 is the peak withdrawal symptoms with many frequent and heavy users experiencing severe sleep deprivation due to insomnia and increased irritability. The mental and physical distress of not having marijuana in their system can cause angry outbursts and heightened frustration.

While day 3 can be challenging, from this point, most side effects get better even if not all at once.

Day 4-5: Sweet Dreams

Although anxiety tends to increase during this time for many in recovery, sleep usually comes naturally and easily. What’s more, many report vivid dreams which, according to some, is due to a “dream debt” that’s been built up over a long period of time.

That said, although uncommon, some people with severe symptoms experience vivid nightmares. In many cases however, this can have more to do with emotional distress that has gone unchecked since the heavy pot use began.

Day 6-7: Anxiety Improves; Appetite Issues

By day 6, most marijuana users in recovery report their anxiety improving although it’s important to note that this can vary for people who have suffered from anxiety prior to using marijuana versus those that started having anxiety issues during or after.

At this point however, one element that can worsen for some people is appetite. Many report feeling less hungry and being disinterested in food. One thing that can help during this time is exercise.

Days 8-9: Feeling Feelings Again

During the second week of marijuana abstinence, most people are experiencing a net positive in their day-to-day feelings. For those that used marijuana as an escape or to block their feelings, they start to feel whole. Many have caught up on sleep and seen their anxiety improve and as a result, feel better now than they have in a long time.

There are some, who experience heightened anxiety at this point (even if they were feeling better a day prior), however after this period, anxiety appears to universally improve.

Days 10-11: Memory Improves, Vocabulary Increases

By day 10, many people experience a sharper mind. They’re able to problem-solve faster, converse faster, and experience better recall. In addition, numerous studies have found that heavy-marijuana users in recovery start to have a much more expansive vocabulary becoming more articulate.

Days 12-14: Mental Wellness

By two weeks without marijuana, many report feeling more mentally healthy. Many feel more patient, more deliberate, and more self-respect. Feelings like anxiety, paranoia, and guilt tend to have decreased significantly, if not disappeared altogether.

Week 3: Physical Health

In the third week without marijuana, many people notice a significant change in their physical health as well. They have more energy, better sleep, and see a noticeable improvement in their skin. For those who mostly smoked marijuana, they noticed an improvement in their vision as well.

In addition, many users in recovery by this time are eating better overall. No more late night snacks or empty carbs from sugar-rich foods. Most start to have regular meals at consistent time periods.

Week 4: Better Relationships

By this point, many marijuana users in recovery notice that with their improved memory and attention span comes improves relationships. Instead of being in their own head or enjoying the euphoria of an artificial high, many in recovery feel closer to their friends, loved ones, and family.

Additionally, many report being more driven to pursue other areas of self improvement, be it creatively or personally.

Day 30 & Onward: Breathe that Fresh Air

Within a month, most people felt better rested, more creative, more in touch with themselves (with old memories resurfaceing) and others — able to connect with others on a much deeper level.

One of the most fascinating elements of sobriety is finding out how much time and money is dedicated to the drug. Once you’ve endured withdrawal, you enjoy your time more, feel more self-confidence, and experience better health overall.

Marijuana addiction is real and withdrawal can be severe, but you can get through it.

How to build new habits

I Am Sober is an app that helps you get some control back in your life.

I Am Sober is a free app that helps you get some control back in your life.

Marijuana withdrawal is severe in the first 3 days of sobriety. While poor sleep and anxiety can increase over the next week, by 2 weeks most feel renewed.

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20 things to do instead of smoking weed!

Need to distract yourself from the cannabis cravings? Tick these 20 things off your list!

We know from the research there are some proven techniques to help overcome cannabis cravings for those trying to quit. Cravings come in waves and tend to only be strong for about 20 minutes, so if someone can push through the danger zone, the cannabis cravings start to become less intense and less frequent. Enter the four D s: distract, delay, deep-breathing and de-catastrophize. The first of these distraction is the most important tool in your mental toolkit to riding the waves of those cravings.

Here are 20 things you can do to entertain your brain and body that don t involve smoking weed. Maybe you ve tried some of them before, or perhaps there s something you ve always been meaning to try but have never got around to now s your chance to give it a go!

Everyday activities

1. Clean your room: this one s not exactly fun but it will definitely clear your headspace and give you a sense of satisfaction. Plus getting rid of all your cannabis paraphernalia such as bongs, lighters, scissors and bowls will decrease the temptation to smoke in the future.

2. Write a letter: Yep good old snail mail! When s the last time you either sent or received a hand-written letter? Can t remember? Then a great reason to get out a fancy pen and some nice paper and send some kind words to friends or family near or overseas.

3. Chat on the phone: Yep we mean talking; not texting, snapchatting or whatsapping! Call a friend you have been meaning to talk to for ages and be sure to chat about their problems and successes as much as yours. Let them be proud of you for the progress you re making!

4. Netflix time: Cath up on your favourite series, movie or comedy, or watch a documentary and learn something cool in the process!

5. Listen to some music: make a Facebook post asking for recommendations from friends then turn them into a playlist and hit play every time you re riding the craving wave. Our trawl through these sites for inspiration: https://soundcloud.com/; https://www.mixcloud.com/, https://www.spotify.com/au/

Creative activities

6. Play or learn a musical instrument. Harmonica, ukulele or kazoo anyone? Check these out for inspiration: http://list25.com/25-bizarre-and-unique-musical-instruments/

7. Origami: ancient proverbs say that folding 1000 paper cranes grants a wish by the Gods. Start simple with these basic origami Japanese folded beauties http://www.origami-instructions.com/

8. Get out into the shed: Use your hands and get creative with metal work, wood work or a building project.

9. Learn a language: Download podcasts, audio books or learn online in your own pace and impress your mates, or better yet plan a holiday to test your new skills! https://www.duolingo.com/

10. Art for art s sake: paint, draw, stencil, sketch, mould or spray. Being creative is a great self-esteem boost, increases your feelings of productivity and satisfaction and you ll have something cool to show for it at the end of your creative process. Head to your local craft shop for inspiration and watch some YouTube videos for a little assistance if needed.

Social activities

11. Volunteer! Be it for events, emergencies, the environment or charities you feel passionately about. Feel doubly great about quitting weed and using your extra time to give back to the community. https://govolunteer.com.au/

12. Meetups: Find Meetups and meet people in your local community who share your interests. http://www.meetup.com/

13. Cook dinner for friends: Try and recreate that MasterChef recipe from TV last night, or cook something ambitious and delicious. Let your friends know you appreciate them, as you ll probably be leaning on them a little more at the moment www.Taste.com.au

14. Head to the museum: Get cultured and get some kudos on your next Instagram post ;-). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museums_in_Australia

15. Go to a sporting match: Did you know that supporting a sports team is good for your mental health and gives you a sense of community and belonging? Read more on that one here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/sports-fan-mental-health-benefits_n_6565314.html?section=australia

Physical activities

16. Meditate. Try a guided mediation, progressive muscle relaxation or simply sit quietly and clear your mind for 20 minutes till that craving is gone.

17. Get adventurous: Try rock-climbing, abseiling, stand up paddle boarding or go karting. Just make sure to wear your helmet!

18. Yoga: Yoga has proven mental and physical benefits and can help promote sleep, bone and muscle strengthening and ease digestive complaints. You don t even need to pay for a class. Start with these freebies on YouTube in your own lounge room! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0FxPT0O0SA

19. Go for a hike or trek: grab some friends (make sure to tell someone exactly where you plan on going) and head to your nearest national park, beach, mountain or bushland for some fresh oxygen in your lungs. This free activity is a great mood booster and great for your waist line too! http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/national-parks

20. Join a gym: You ll have a lot of free time on your hands now you re not smoking and why not use this time to start some healthy new habits. Find a gym in your local area or better yet try them all with membership options like www.classpass.com and www.bodypass.com

Good luck and enjoy your new found pursuits!

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