5 Benefits of Quitting Marijuana
Marijuana is a drug that many people use regularly. As one of the most commonly used substances in the United States, marijuana is popular among teenagers and adults alike. Although many people smoke weed and live normal lives, many end up in treatment for marijuana addiction. This may be news to many people, as marijuana is believed to be relatively safe and non-addictive. There are many benefits of quitting weed, and reasons you should consider quitting smoking today.
Although some studies suggest marijuana may have medical uses, there are many risks to marijuana use. With over twenty million monthly users according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is incredibly popular. Over 35% of high-school seniors in the United States reported smoking weed in the year before the survey.
Smoking pot may not seem to get in the way of your life on the surface, but there are many reasons to quit smoking weed. Here are five benefits of quitting weed that you can experience by stopping.
Although marijuana is generally considered much safer than cigarettes, it does indeed damage the lungs. According to the American Thoracic Society, regular marijuana use can cause labored breathing, worsen existing lung problems, and create bullae, or air sacs in the lungs. In addition, regular marijuana use can cause wheezing, increased phlegm, and infections from bacteria and fungus in marijuana.
If you quit smoking weed, you will notice an increase in lung function fairly quickly. Although the lungs may hurt at first or feel tight, normal function will return in a few months. As the lungs heal, you are less likely to get lung infections like pneumonia, and conditions like asthma will improve.
2. Increase Motor and Cognitive Function
It is no secret that regular marijuana use causes inhibited motor function and cognitive function. That is, one of the long-term effects of cannabis use is a decrease in the ability to think logically and control the body. A 2016 review took a look at many studies on the effects of marijuana use, finding that it was correlated significantly with a decrease in cognitive and motor function.
When you quit smoking marijuana, your mind and body will begin to clear. You will be able to think more clearly, remember things better, and move with more coordination. From playing sports to simple things like walking around your house, you are likely to find yourself more coordinated and in control.
3. Relieve Symptoms of Depression
The link between mental health disorders and drug use is long and well-accepted. However, many people self-medicate with marijuana, not realizing that it can actually worsen symptoms of mental health disorders. Specifically, marijuana can cause and worsen symptoms of depression. The correlation between marijuana use and depression has been well-documented in multiple studies.
Getting sober off of any drug, including marijuana, offers you the best chance at recovery from depression. Many regular pot smokers don’t realize they are depressed in fact. We use marijuana because it feels good, not realizing that we are medicating a state of depression or anxiety. Although quitting weed may make you feel more depressed or more anxious at first, it actually can help relieve symptoms in the long run.
4. Sleep More Soundly
Many people smoke weed to help them sleep. The anti-anxiety effects of cannabis make people feel like it helps them sleep. However, marijuana can worsen insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Especially with regular use, people have trouble falling asleep as their brain chemistry changes. On nights the person does not consume cannabis, they may experience extreme difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
People often report difficulty sleeping after quitting smoking, but this doesn’t last forever. After the marijuana leaves the system and the brain begins to rebuild normal activity, you will find an increase in ease falling and staying asleep!
5. Get Motivated
You probably know the stereotype of the “stoner,” or the lazy cannabis user. This is not just a stereotype though. There have been multiple studies linking marijuana and lack of motivation. This is largely because long-term marijuana users produce less dopamine than those who do not smoke regularly. Because dopamine is responsible for the pleasure we experience and the reward system in the brain, the decrease in dopamine means individuals who smoke regularly have a hard time feeling rewarded from normally-pleasurable activities.
One of the benefits of quitting weed is that you will be more motivated to move forward. Whether it’s with school, hobbies, or relationships, you will have more drive to move forward. This takes time, but you will notice that old likes and activities come back to you!