If you're going to put away your pipes, papers, and bongs because you want to quit smoking weed, you might be worried about how difficult it will be to stop. That's a hard question to answer because cannabis smokers use different amounts of marijuana, people break habits in different ways, and unforeseen emotional factors can come into play. Much of kicking any habit is one's personal willpower, but there is some evidence leading us to think that while quitting cannabis may challenging, it's by no means impossible to do on your own.

Some good news we have is that when we stop smoking cannabis, we're kicking a mental habit more than beating a physical addiction. In regards to cannabis, the National Cancer Institute notes its “addictive potential is considerably lower than that of other prescribed agents or substances of abuse.” We don't experience the physiological cravings for marijuana the same way as when we're addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, opioids, or other hard drugs, but even with this advantage, it would be irresponsible to think that stopping a marijuana habit will be a piece of cake for everyone.


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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) tells us that this physical dependency “occurs because the body naturally adapts to regular exposure to a substance (e.g., caffeine or a prescription drug),” and that when we stop taking such substances “symptoms can emerge while the body re-adjusts to the loss of the substance.” So while some people can put down their smoke without a hitch, others have a rough few days ahead of them, complete with some mild - and temporary - withdrawal symptoms like appetite loss, irritability, and insomnia. Part of the reason these symptoms remain mild is that our bodies store cannabinoids (chemical compounds that sets marijuana apart from other plants) for several days, sometimes weeks, after we've last smoked and slowly release it to our systems as cravings arise; it's just that these little pick-me-ups don't pack the same punch as your last puff.



To conclude, we can't say for sure just how easy or hard it will be for you to quit smoking cannabis, we just know that mental preparation and ongoing support are definitely helpful. So unless you've simply boarded the edibles-only bandwagon, it's best to be ready for some possible short-term challenges when you want to quit smoking cannabis.