The Side-Effects of Quitting Weed: A Timeline

If you’ve been an avid pothead for a long time, quitting can be scary. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll realize that it’s really not as scary as you’re making it out to be. Here is a timeline of the side effects of quitting weed in the realest way that they can be presented to you.

To someone who has been smoking cannabis regularly for years, the idea of quitting is the scariest thing ever. A lot of cannabis users arrive at a period in their lives where they realize that it’s time for a looooong break from the much loved herb. So let’s use the term “quitting” very loosely here. Many go back to using cannabis at some point, but with a completely different attitude and relationship with it.

If you’re at the time in your life where smoking weed has become too expensive or is starting to interfere with other aspects, this article contains everything you need to know. There’s really no need to be afraid because the side effects aren’t all that bad. We’re going to give you a timeline of those side effects so you know just what to expect!

Let’s clear up some misconceptions about cannabis first

If you typed “quitting weed” into Google and arrived at this article, then you should be very grateful. The internet is full of some very misleading information about quitting weed. Cannabis addiction is kind of real, but extremely mild compared to how it is portrayed in anti-drug propaganda websites. If you have been reading some of that thoughtless material, then let us clear up some of the dirty laundry it might have left in your mind.

1. Quitting weed is not like quitting other drugs

Don’t expect conventional withdrawal symptoms from abstaining from cannabis use. You won’t be curled up in the bathroom vomiting. It doesn’t have to be quite the “event” that other sources make it out to be. In fact, it can be as smooth as giving up chocolate for a while.

2. The body is not dependent on cannabis

Sometimes, cannabis addiction is compared to alcohol or cocaine addiction. It is not the same because cannabis is not really physically addictive. Most of us become mildly addicted to cannabis for psychological or emotional reasons. The physical withdrawal is so mild, you might not even notice it. It is more of a habit than an addiction.

3. It doesn’t have to be forever

As we mentioned, taking an indefinite break from weed can be something like quitting coffee. You might feel a bit weird for a short while, but it’s really all going to be okay – no matter how far down the line you are.

Don’t be surprised if in a few months or a year, you use weed again with a completely different perspective. Weed is not dangerous, and there’s no need to think of quitting as a life or death situation.

A timeline of the side effects of quitting cannabis

Before you go taking my word as gospel, remember that everybody’s relationship with cannabis is different. Perhaps you won’t experience this timeline in the exact same way, but I think it’s going to be similar across the board. If anything, this timeline will remind you that letting go of the herb really isn’t a big deal.

First week after quitting weed

Let’s break it down. In the first week, you might feel:

  • Slightly irritable
  • Difficulty getting to sleep
  • Not much of an appetite
  • Intensely vivid dreams

Cannabis can have sedative effects, especially after prolonged use. So if you notice that you’ve got a little bit more energy than you know what to do with, it’s normal. The irritability is probably caused by the incessant thought in your head about smoking a joint.

The intensely vivid dreams cause a lot of people to seek some alternative sleeping remedy, but as someone who has quit weed multiple times, I don’t recommend it. This is one of the realest side effects of stopping weed, and it’s actually good for your health.

During extended periods of cannabis use, you can skip a lot of REM sleep (the part where you dream). When you stop, your brain enters the REM rebound, essentially making up for all of that REM dreaming that you lost. Don’t be afraid and have a little patience. It won’t last long.

Second week after quitting weed

You’ll notice that the effects during the first week will continue to become more and more subtle until you enter the second week. During the second week, you might feel:

  • Still a dampened appetite
  • Perhaps still some difficulties sleeping, although it’s unlikely
  • More intense cravings for weed

Don’t confuse having more energy with difficulty sleeping. Someone once told me that someone who smokes a lot of ganja needs twice as much sleep. So perhaps you’re just returning to some normal human sleeping habits. By now, you are probably already noticing that the quality of your sleep is improving.

When it comes to the cravings, just be patient. Your mind is just playing tricks on you. It wants to return to a habit that it’s been practicing for a long time. If you want to “replace” the habit, try going for a short walk or making a cup of herbal tea to distract your mind.

Third week after quitting weed

By the end of this week, you’ll be 21 days into being weed free. And you know what they say – it takes 21 days to break a habit! Expect to notice these things:

  • Appreciation of mental clarity
  • Increased energy throughout the day
  • The sudden realization that you have so much more money in your bank account (depending on how much you used to smoke)
  • The realization that it was really not that difficult to take an extended break from weed

So, as you can see, it just gets easier and easier. You might still have sudden cravings, but they won’t be any more powerful than the urge to drink a coffee or to have chocolate. They don’t come loaded with FOMO!

In fact, after a couple of weeks taking a break, you’ll notice a lot of positives of taking a break from weed. You’ll realize that life is really just as enjoyable without cannabis as it is with cannabis.

A heart to heart about taking a break from weed

As someone who has taken very extended breaks from weed multiple times, I think it’s really important to undo some of the propaganda about this. Some of your friends have probably even told you that stopping weed is the hardest thing that they’ve ever had to do. Well, I am here to tell you it really doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, you can even enjoy the change.

If you’ve been the kind of person who has to “duck out of the office” every few hours for a hit on your pipe, jealously watching everybody else get on with their day just fine, then you understand what I’m about to say. When the craving hits, remember all those times that you wished you didn’t need to sneak away for a hit of weed. Don’t be jealous of those who are incessantly smoking – they are probably jealous of you because you don’t “need” it anymore.

Finally, when the day arrives where you think it’s the right time to smoke again, watch your attitude change completely. My most recent break was for over one year. When I smoked cannabis again with some friends, it was beautiful, enlightening and completely psychedelic. It did not reignite my desire to use cannabis all day every day. In fact, I felt like it was something very special that I could use sparingly.

When you stop smoking weed for a while, you all of a sudden realize that it is extremely powerful. In fact, you can only really harness that power when you take a good long break from it. Why not join us in our 30 day weed tolerance break challenge!?

When you return, it will literally be like smoking weed for the first time, and you’ll wonder how you spent a decade high!


3 thoughts on “The Side-Effects of Quitting Weed: A Timeline”

  1. Cannabis can be really addictive.
    When I stop, I dont have any appetite, my libido is down, I’m shaking slightly after two days (it passes very quickly) and above all I sweat HUGELY at night for about a month. I can lose up to two liters of sweat overnight. I have to sleep wrapped in a bath towel and take a waterproof mattress pad 🙁 that’s absolutely crazy !

  2. I quit for 3 days once. I was bleeding from the ears the 1st day. The second day i went blind. The 3rd day i started heroin just to cope with the withdrawal.

    1. Anouk - WeedSeedShop

      That sounds horrible, I’m so sorry to hear that! How are you coping now?

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  • Author_profiles-WSS-Sera Jane Ghaly

    Sera Jane Ghaly

    I like to call myself the traveling gypsy wanderer of the world. Born in Melbourne Australia, but reborn just about everywhere else in the world. I have a healthy obsession with words and languages, using them as a vehicle to navigate this multi-dimensional human experience. My enthusiasm for marijuana started in the USA, and since then I’ve been traveling the world with the herb as my inspiration. Sweet Mary Jane has led me to shamanic ceremonies in the Amazon all the way to smoking ganja with the Babas in India.
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