How to Smoke Weed Without Getting Addicted To That (and How to Stop Marijuana Addiction)

By Patrick Banks

Posted 2 weeks agoHEALTH

Marijuana. Weed. Pot. Grass. Mary Jane. Refer. Herb. Whatever you want to call it. Cannabis has been around for centuries, dating back to 500 B.C. It holds a long-reigning position in social circles as well as a highly regarded position in natural medicine and healing. That is pretty dope…no pun intended!
Marijuana. Weed. Pot. Grass. Mary Jane. Refer. Herb. Whatever you want to call it. Cannabis has been around for centuries, dating back to 500 B.C. It holds a long-reigning position in social circles as well as a highly regarded position in natural medicine and healing. That is pretty dope…no pun intended!

Do whatever makes your mind, body and soul happy. And if it’s weed giving you that, we don’t have the right to stand in your way.

Not often do we think of marijuana being something that we get addicted to. No way. It’s innocent and harmless; and obviously, it is not as dangerous as many other drugs out there like oh I don’t know, meth, heroin, fentanyl or crack cocaine.

So many places have legalized weed, and countless of individuals swear by it for medicinal and healing purposes. Therefore, you’re probably thinking it can’t be that bad. And you’re right it’s not that bad – in moderation.

Is it possible to get addicted to marijuana?

As much as we all love a good high, there is a thing as too much weed. One hit becomes two and two becomes three, then four and before you know it you just smoked a whole joint. Once in a blue moon – probably okay. Often – not okay.

And of course, everybody is different and will respond differently. Fair. But there becomes a point where addictive behaviours are formed and an unhealthy relationship with weed is created.

An unhealthy relationship with weed is not always easy to spot. Sometimes it can be quite hard, which is why a lot of people don’t even realize they are addicted.

In fact, using it occasionally makes me feel more fulfilled and positive towards life and all the things coming along with it.

Smoking weed also makes me feel more energized with a lifted mood and helps me develop a brighter perspective – amidst my daily grind, frustrations and pressures; name it.

That is the exact same reason I put up this guide that outlines ways of smoking weed (without getting addicted to it).

First, let’s discuss two things: how often to use and what long-term impacts marijuana has on our brains.

How Often It Can Be Used For Not Getting Addicted

There is no hard and fast rule as to the number of times you should smoke weed without getting addicted to it.

But a psychology professor Mitchell Earleywine from University of Albany (New York), who’s a medical marijuana use expert, said in a Bustle interview that a dose occasionally is generally safe, especially if you’re going to use a gizmo or a vaporizer that can heat cannabis except igniting it.

By using cannabis this way, you will be able to take advantage of the fine mist that does not contain any respiratory irritants commonly in smoke.

And you should not also worry about the usage frequency as to determine what’s going to be addictive or not because that might not be one of the major issues, according to the same source.

What is a safe amount of weed to smoke?

This is different for everyone. There is no cookie-cutter magic amount to make it easy. Sorry, this is not fantasy land. Because our bodies are all so different and react differently to different substances, what is right for you isn’t going to be right for the dude next to you.

So please for the love of the Green Gods do not try and keep up with some other guy. Yeah yeah, we know you’re a tough macho man…but sit back down and don’t screw yourself over; because trying to keep up with anyone has the potential to be a recipe for disaster.

Remember: not all marijuana products are the same and each one can affect you differently. First time trying edibles? Go easy.

Different or new to you strain? You guessed it – go easy. In situations where you are exposing yourself to something new, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Put your ego the f*ck away. Trust us.

So, let’s go to the point. The main question you need to ask none but yourself is:

Am I addicted to weed?

A good place to start is asking yourself a few detailed questions:

  • Do you feel a daily or regular need to smoke up?
  • Do you experience any sort of withdrawal-like symptoms when you go without marijuana?
  • Do you ever think maybe you should cut back on your marijuana consumption?
  • Do you crave the act of getting high or being high?
  • Do you often smoke alone?
  • Do you turn to marijuana when you are feeling; stressed, lonely, angry, depressed or sad?
  • Have you tried quitting before?
  • ALL the above are signs of addiction that you should directly address. Keep reading for guidance and suggestions on how to help remove these addictive and abusive behaviours from taking control of your life.

    Still unsure if you suffer from addiction or addictive behaviours towards weed?

    Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction

    1. You develop a tolerance

    After prolonged use, your body develops a tolerance to the stuff and no longer does a hit or two do it and you need to keep increasing your intake to get the same high you once got.

    2. You feel a need to use marijuana regularly

    Do you feel a regular need to hit the bong or smoke a joint? If you aren’t addicted, you should be able to go for prolonged periods of time without feeling a need to get high.

    3. You stop doing other things so you can get high instead

    Do you find yourself saying no to doing other things you once used to do just so you can use that time to get high instead? Changing your daily life and routine so you can make getting high a priority in your day is an addictive behaviour.

    4. You continue to use weed and get high even after seeing it causes disruption and chaos in your life

    Maybe you notice that your performance at work is falling behind, you have little to no motivation to do anything or go anywhere, and your ambition and drive is at an all-time low right in the toilet. Or maybe your friendships are slipping away. These are all the negative effects of smoking too much weed.

    5. You ignore your daily responsibilities to get high

    Are you using marijuana to avoid things in your daily life that may stress you out? Life isn’t always easy, fair enough. But are you using marijuana to avoid something?

    6. Constantly thinking about the next time you can get high

    Does this thought take precedence over other pressing matters? Are you always thinking about your next fix? This is an addictive characteristic for sure.

    7. You experience withdrawal symptoms

    You experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, headaches, disorientation, difficulties sleeping, difficulties feeling relaxed, easily irritable, mood swings, forgetfulness, all signs of too much weed.

    How to Smoke Cannabis and Not Get Addicted to It

    You have a wide range of choices for smoking weed at your disposal. Below is only a glimpse of them.

    1. Educate yourself about its effects

    If taking other drugs, you should be informed about their contraindications with cannabis.

    Short-term effects

    Panic

    Memory problem

    Strange behaviour

    Hallucinations

    Anxiety

    Fear

    Long-Term Effects

    Poor school performance

    Lower quality of life

    Relationship issues

    Financial issues

    Antisocial behaviour

    Addiction

    Opiate abuse development

    Impaired thinking

    Decline in IQ

    Now, what are the long-term effects of cannabis on our brains? Check out the next section.

    Long-Term Impact of Weed on the Brain

    Neurogenesis

    Smoking weed promotes new brain cell growth especially in the hippocampus.  So if you’re suffering from a mood disorder, such as stress, anxiety and depression, you might want to turn to weed (but use it responsibly, not when driving, working or studying…).

    Alzheimer’s disease prevention

    Symptoms, such as depression and irritability (early stages) and delusions sleep disturbances, hallucinations and outbursts (later stages) might be treated by marijuana. The THC on it contains neuroprotective properties, which directly clear away the brain plaque “beta-amyloid,”   the disease’s primary cause.

    Using cannabis might also be useful for treating other degenerative brain disorders, such as Parkinson’s, ALS and MS.

    Brain damage prevention

    Hebrew University (Israel) researchers found that cannabinoid, which is one of marijuana’s active ingredient could protect the brain from injury.

    Theorizing that the compound has brain damage protecting properties, the scientists had given more of it to the injured mice and discovered that it could protect their brains from damage.

    Brain cancer prevention

    You might have also heard how cannabis could help in fighting cancer because it attacks cancer cell and tumour processes without harming good cells.

    As to that, chemotherapy is combined with synthetic cannabinoid also to treat appetite loss and nausea.

    Alcohol-related brain damage prevention

    Marijuana has neuroprotective properties that can prevent brain cell death.   Scientists have been looking into the potentials of cannabis treatment for alcohol abuse that leads to brain damage.

    Did you know that alcohol use is even more brain damaging than marijuana?

    That’s what the researchers from University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience discovered.

    According to their findings, drinking alcohol appears to be more harmful to health than cannabis is because the latter poses no significant long-term brain structure effects versus the prior.

    Mental function improvement

    Interestingly, drivers under cannabis influence are safer than those under the influence of alcohol are.  In addition, MRIs showed no differences even in long-term and heavy cannabis use from the control subjects regarding brain function and effects are only temporary.

    Overall mental health function

    Study after study has also proven that people have healthier and longer lives with cannabis.

    In fact, even you would even notice that they have faster recovery times from any illnesses, the performance of adversity and study and greater endurance.

    With cannabis from a weed shop, you will gain a more positive life outlook and even greater success in interpersonal activities and tasks.

    That not only exercise, meditation and supplements can help achieve these things but also including safe cannabis use.

    Read more about the effects of marijuana .

    2. Use vaporiser or other tool

    Make use of a vaporizer, which can help you use less of cannabis in getting desired effects.

    Vaporization

    Vaping is another means of smoking cannabis, which is why vape pens and other supplies can be easily found at a weed shop.

    A vaporizer, which is also used in vaping, is a best seller. It works by heating the herb up to a high enough temperature for CBD and THC extraction.

    Hookahs

    While also a way of smoking cannabis, this method is also used and is associated to shisha smoking.

    However, marijuana isn’t commonly smoked using a hookah due to low water content and fast plant burning.

    Hand Pipes

    You’ll find your friends using these devices more often than not when smoking cannabis.  Reasons for choosing it to include size, simplicity and portability. Functionality and decoration are also obvious in the latest models. Some may even disguise the pipes that can imitate objects.

    Water Pipes

    Next to hand pipes, these water pipes, also called a bong, are available in a wide range of variations, including bubblers and bongs. They are in a wide range of designs and styles.

    Rolling Paper

    They are used in smoking blunts or joints, which are marijuana rolled on a paper. On the other hand are blunts preferred for their effects and flavor.

    3. Get to know your limitations

    The safest way to go about this point is to start low. You should not ingest too much or else you might have an unpleasant experience.

    Stick with your limitations – because only you know how it affects your mind and body. Adjust accordingly.

    Be aware of ways that cannabis is affecting you, so you should know your limits.  Skip its use if you have to stay focused and alert and if its use makes you feel tired.

    Do not use it until you have completed your tasks especially if it is getting in the way of your responsibilities and obligations.

    4. Practice self-control and discipline.

    Take a break from it if you’re noticing you need more to achieve desired effects. You may want to stop using for a week or longer.

    Practice strong will on an everyday basis also in situations irrelated to smoking. The stronger your character is in general, the easier is going to be for you to control bigger addictions. Learn to say no to yourself in situations you feel you should. Tell this little rebel inside you, that sometimes it’s just better to not doing something.

    5. Choose a wide range of strains to avoid tolerance buildup

    Use high potency strains instead of a weak one to smoke less.

    6. Do not add tobacco

    Do not add tobacco to your joint because it can create nicotine dependency.    Rolling and combining the two might make it difficult to cut down on marijuana.

    7. Do not smoke in the non-smoking area

    You must be aware of both the setting and your set. Do not smoke weed in places where smoking weed is not allowed.

    You should know the health risks, your rights and the laws of using cannabis. Also, learn about its consequences.

    8. Don’t drive

    Talking about addiction or not, NEVER operate a vehicle when under the influence of your safety. You must wait for 15 minutes or more before driving. You may also want to do a sobriety test to check your balance and see if you’re impaired or not.

    How do I treat my weed addiction?

    1. Admit your weed addiction problem and accept it

    For some, the idea of being addicted to weed may be embarrassing, for others maybe it is denial. The first step, like in any other addiction, is admitting that you have a problem.

    Yes, that may be the most cliché thing you will hear today but there is no other first step. Admit it. Fix it.

    Next big thing is you must be willing to change your behaviours. How often do you know you need to do something or change something, yet are so reluctant or don’t do a damn thing about it?

    Hey man, we are all guilty of it, but this isn’t something little like you know you go to bed too late and you should start going to bed at a more reasonable time. No. Drug addiction is serious. And will alter your life in a negative way.

    2. Assess your usage habits and modify your regimen, if needed.

    Do not make excuses that you’re tired or too high to perform your task. You should not also blame weed for having a lack of control and not achieving your goals. Assess ways you’re using cannabis and modify it to fit your limitations and needs.

    Think about all the relationships it has the power to destroy. The lack of motivation to do anything with your life is also a really shitty side effect from too much green. Or think about the psychological aspect that will take over every corner of your mind.

    Do you want to feel paranoid or anxious for the rest of your life? The long-term effects on your brain and body from overuse of marijuana also doesn’t look too good for you. Prolonged overuse of marijuana has been linked to a higher risk of stroke and heart failure.

    3. Re-create your life without weed

    You need to re-create your life without weed. It may have been the focal point of your day and all you could think about was your next high but now you need to remove that from your daily ritual.

    How?

    • Stay busy. Busy brain + busy body = too busy for weed.
    • Reconnect with people you may have lost touch with because of your addiction.
    • Surround yourself with sober individuals who make a great support system
    • Focus on your work. Take time to appreciate that motivation that may have been lost or clouded from weed.
    • Find a new hobby or learn a new skill.
    • Join a support group like The 12 Step Program.
    • Consider addressing yourself to a rehab centre. Is rehab effective? Read more here.
    • Avoid situations where weed may be present – this is where sober friends fit in the picture really nice.

    4. Address the underlying issue

    Probably the most important point of them all. What is the real reason you smoke weed? Are you lonely, confused with life or bored? What is the reason for turning to that high time and time again?

    Think, because there is a reason; and it is your job to figure out what the hell it is. Because of guarantee if you don’t you are only going to turn to something else to mask your feelings.

    5. Use mental tools to strengthen your power over the addiction

    Using recovery tools like; admitting to your addiction, willing to change and addressing the issue at large are amazing first steps. And you should be proud.

    Because damn, overcoming addiction is not a walk in the park. And there will be times you want to throw in the towel, but the amazing thing here is that you have the chance to take back your power.

    Remember it’s a journey and yours alone, so don’t get too hard on yourself on comparing your recovery to anyone else’s. Capiche?!

    6. Know your limit

    Now, unfortunately knowing your limit often results from a time when you didn’t know your limit. But hey, that’s life. And when life gives you a green outtake that lesson and remember the f*ck out of that lesson the next time a joint is passed to you.

    By knowing and respecting your limit you are creating healthy boundaries with weed.

    You can smoke weed without getting addicted to it provided you practice responsible and safe use.   Also, refer to the above guide on ways of smoking weed and tips in consuming it with care.

    Hope you find this guide useful on what to learn about how many times to use cannabis, ways to prevent addiction to it and its long-term effects on the brain. So if you’re ready and equipped with needed information, you can start buying your supplies from a reputable source.

    Disclaimer: This article was not written by a medical professional the above is merely guidance and advice. Please seek proper medical treatment if you feel you have a substance abuse problem.

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    About the author Patrick Banks

    Patrick is a Berlin-based dating advisor, motivational speaker, a huge fitness and vegan diet enthusiast and the main editor at Wingman Magazine, specialised in men's health. His ultimate goal is to share with men around the world his passion for self-development and to help them to become the greatest version of themselves. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.