An idea for quitting weed - could it work?

Postby HikerOfTheSoul » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:46 pm

Hi everyone!
I'm happy to say I'm 36 days sober.

So this isn't really about me, it's just that I came up with an idea and maybe it could be helpful. I would like to discuss it with you all.

Here we go.

So, the basic idea is using eadibles to slowly ween off weed (they last longer, have higher effect on the body, have longer half-life and you can actually sort of control the amount of thc you take). One would prepare a set amount of cannabutter, or vaping juice, and use it in decreasing quantity to prepare edibles (or vaping it in decreasing strenght).

Hell, vaping would be even better, because one could use strains high in CBD (for relaxation and anxiety relief) and still have the hand-to-mouth gesture of smoking, blowing clouds... This should in theory help with tapering. It's pretty much the same principle of benzo suspension, switch to a medication with longer half-life and then slowly reduce the quantity.

I believe that by doing this instead of cold turkey one could be free from weed without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Maybe it would take time, from a month up to a year (for extremely heavy users) or so... but it's all theoretical so I would like to know your ideas about it.

Of course it wouldn't be suitable for people that already experience anxiety with weed (unless using really CBD high strains) or those who want to just get rid of it... but maybe it could help people that want to take steps in making their life better, beating this addiction in a kinda more "scientific" way and without suffering too much. Maybe it could also be helpful for chronic relapsers? Unfortunately we don't have the THC replacement therapy like we have with nicotine, but the principle is the same.
And since it's been proven that cigarettes smokers can switch to vaping and slowly decrease nicotine intake, why wouldn't it work for MJ?


Would it work? What do you think?
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#1

Postby Wave » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:46 pm

I think there is a lot of merit to cutting down before you quit, but due to compulsive nature of most stoners (myself included) I feel it will be harder to gradually reduce with edibles. For example, in the much longer time for them to kick in, for me at least it would be harder to not redose, which is like playing with fire when you are eating.

I did something similar but with hash, cut down to evenings only and then smaller and smaller amounts of hash and found it easier to moderate and reduce. That said, I started smoking bud on special occasions and realised that for me at least, now was the good time to quit.

Stupidly, I increased my useage and smoked high grade two days straight before quitting and this was the point I realised I needed to make a break, had a short 4 day break when only smoking hash and then initial withdrawals were way less. I could actually sleep for example and that was the only quit that has been possible without additional "help" (sleeping pills).

3 week in now and feel so, so much better than any other quit and I 100% feel/think/know this is due to reducing my use to <10% of times when I have quit before and it has been horrible for 3+ months.
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#2

Postby HikerOfTheSoul » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:12 pm

Yeah I agree that the greatest problem in my suggested approach is that you should have an incredible amount of willpower.

I'm happy to hear that by tapering you are now doing better in your quit. I think it should be the first line of treatment instead of going cold-turkey. You almost never do that with addictive substances, so why would you with weed?

Cigs smokers have NRT, alcoholics are treated in hospitals, heroin users have suboxone or other drugs...
I think we should try to come up with a plan to detox smokers with the least suffering possible. It would be a great milestone in weed recovery
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#3

Postby tokeless » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:55 pm

In my opinion and professional experience 'addiction' is a mixture of the substance itself and the behaviour. With cig smoking you have the nicotine or the addictive but and the behaviour of actually holding something and inhaling (oral action)... patches manage the nicotine but many fail because of the behaviour actions.
I tried just bonging years ago but really missed the mantra of skinning a joint so it didn't last.
Vaping keeps the smoking action and the oil contains the nicotine so it just mimmicks smoking so many end up vaping more than they smiled... you can hang it round your neck so it's available all the time. To stop smoking requires will power and the desire to no longer smoke.. if 1% of you wants to it's likely you'll fail at some point
My advice is to decide, plan and act. Then choose to continue regardless of the cravings... just keep choosing to not smoke.
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#4

Postby HikerOfTheSoul » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:20 pm

Hi tokeless,
I agree with you that addiction is both to a substance and a behavior.

That's why I suggested vaping, as it's true that some people become pretty hooked on it, but it's also true that others don't and Are actually successful at quitting smoking for good.

Of course you will always need willpower and you will have to fight the cravings, but at least you could minimize the very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, or PAWS. Maybe even avoid them altogether.
That's what I'm most concerned about, finding a way to help people to quit and stay quit, since as I said there are a lot of options out there for other addictions but weed addiction is not really even considered to be a thing. That's why I would advocate for better information, more help from the state or pharmaceutical companies, new instruments to fight the battle and more studies on the effect of weed and how to quit toking for good.

I can say, speaking from experience, that I could not beat my addiction to cigs before buying an e-cig. It has quickly turned into a hobby and I have gradually been able to step down the nicotine from 6 mg/ml to 1.5mg/ml. I plan on continuing the reduction and eventually reach 0.

I just think it would be good if something like that existed for weed. I looked into medications like Marinol (which shouldn't be psychoactive and still contain all the ingredients found in weed) but I think we don't have enough research on the whole thing.

It's easy to say "just stop smoking" but this forum is full of people that are in bad situations, I was just pondering if something could be done for them except the old "let time heal you"
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#5

Postby LoosingItAll » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:06 am

One thing we need to remember is that Marijuana is different from everything listed on this thread.

Alcohol, nicotine, heroine, coke, meth, caffeine all have significant physical components of their additions. Pot does have some physical component, but most is psychological. It corrupts our neuro transmitters, gets into our pleasure centers, and screws up our priorities.

I have read a lot of these threads and can't recall reading about uncontrolled vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and other physical withdrawal symptoms we see with other drugs. Most report depression, anxiety, insomnia and night sweats. These are psychological withdrawal symptoms.

I thought about quitting for years, I wanted to quit for years but I was never mentally committed to quit so I never tried. I wasn't ready so I new I would fail.

But understand, I am not saying it's my way or no way. If tapering your use worked, that's awesome. It makes me happy when i read about folks being clean for extended periods of time without relapses. But it makes me sad when I read about the 5th, 6th, or 7th attempt to quit. I think a lot of these folks don't have their subconscious working with them. Those folks are either not mentally ready to stop or the issues that got them here are still in control.

My last bowl was January 8th. I smoked so much my tolerance was thru the roof. If I had tried to taper, my tolerance would have gone down and I think the overall effect would have been the same: high tolerance, high consumption, low tolerance low consumption but mental effect is similar. Still addicted.

Quit in the way YOU KNOW will keep you free of the green demon forever.
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#6

Postby tokeless » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:07 am

HI Hiker,
It's easy to say "just stop smoking" but this forum is full of people that are in bad situations, I was just pondering if something could be done for them except the old "let time heal you"

I think I suggest choose not to because it is a choice. I've mentioned in previous posts that if you were dropped somewhere where there was no weed what would you do? It's knowing it's there and available with one call or journey that adds to the struggle. Everyone is different.. if course they are but that includes psychological factors and some comments in these threads about " I'm dying" is bordering on hysteria imo and they're compounding their misery by focusing on it.
I never got PAWS whatever that is so how come? 35yrs daily use. I just walked away because I was truly done with it.. it became pointless. I don't consider myself unique and I have friends who quit after me and they never got it either.
Maybe those who messed with wax and concentrated forms went too far because I think the industry did and perhaps that's what's going on? I wish everyone well in their quit but the mental approach is essential as loosingitAll mentions.
Btw I'm not dismissing your suggestion as it's well intended but some people will cut down for years but that's called still smoking... it's a choice all round I guess: Cut down, taper or just stop?
As always, best wishes
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#7

Postby HikerOfTheSoul » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:02 pm

Hi tokeless, I agree with you. I know that some people can just wal away but I was focusing on the incredible amount of threads here that depict truly miserable situation.
Maybe some people can deal better with how weed affects the natural endocannabinoid system, while others can't.
In all honesty, and looking at my own experience, I sometimes came to think that the "hysteria" on this forum could stem from underlying issues and not real PAWS... like a form of mass OCD towards weed or something like that. The NoFap movement could be an example of that, or whole forums dedicated to eradicating parasites from the body, or the pseudoscience of candida albicans etc...

Hi LoosingItAll,
how wuold you clearly define and distinguish psychology from biology? The two are connected, whenever we talk about psychological symptoms we are also talking biology (the brain and the gut for example) and the same in reverse. When you have the flu you feel down and depressed. Phisical ailments impact the mind and so on.

We also have to consider that we don't have a definite answer from science about what causes what (is the mind stronger than the body or not?!)
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#8

Postby cleanofgreen » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:44 pm

I can only speak for my self but weening down for me would not have worked at all. I needed to get the THC out of my body so that I could see my life the way it really was. I tried to reduce many times in the past and each time I failed and was back to a gram or two a day in no time.
I needed to be THC free so that I could think about the whole situation rationally, where as with a little THC in the system, any stressful situation that would have come up and I would have just said F--k it and rolled a big fat one.
I do believe that vaporizing pure CBD oil that you can get now legally in most countries would help a lot of people to get through the first few months of withdrawal without all the nasty symptoms. If I had to do it again (which I won't) then I would definitely get some pure cbd oil to vaporize while in the first 6 months of withdrawal.
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#9

Postby Wave » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:23 pm

cleanofgreen wrote:I can only speak for my self but weening down for me would not have worked at all. I needed to get the THC out of my body so that I could see my life the way it really was. I tried to reduce many times in the past and each time I failed and was back to a gram or two a day in no time.


I guess this shows how different quitting can be for everyone as cutting down for me helped massively.

There is 100% no right or wrong but think this thread is a great idea and good to get both sides from people here. Shame there is less method than there is for cigs etc.
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#10

Postby LoosingItAll » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:31 am

I can't speak for edibles or some of the newer forms of consumption, but you can't overdose smoking weed. And, believe me I tried. My only way to consume was a good old fashioned pipe. But it was a cool pipe, titanium bowl and stem that cooled the smoke housed in aircraft grade aluminum. I smoked it for years because there was no waste. I think I miss the pipe more than the pot.

Anyway back to the point. Most everything else could cause death from overdose and there are some drugs including alcohol and benzodiazepinez that you can actually die from quitting cold. Alcohol and benzodiazepines can cause delirium tremendous, often referred to DTs, heroine addicts often are consumed with committing suicide from the physical pain, fever and sometimes seizures can cause heart issues and indirectly kill them. No one will disagree that pot will not have these same physical withdrawal symptoms.

My MA sponsor put it to me like this, coke, heroine and LSD are like a chainsaw going through your brain. Pot is like a cute little bunny rabbit, continuously head butting you. Initially it doesn't hurt at all, we use socially, for mind expansion or whatever. But eventually that cute little bunny has caused a serious concussion. We become isolated, withdrawn, give up intimacy and slowly pull away from everything and everyone that doesn't fit with our addition.

I think, and again this is me, if you continue to let the green demon in, no matter how little,, you still are isolated, at least part of the time and you perpetuate the feelings of guilt and shame associated with coming to terms with being an addict.

For me, quitting required a sledgehammer. My wife of almost 27 years was done. She was done with the neglect of her and the kids. She was done with me making excuses why I had to leave the house and go back to the office.

Some of us can just wake up one morning and decide to quit and succeed. Most need something more power, like a sledgehammer to make us stop.

Don't prolong the mental pain and withdrawal symptoms if you don't have to. If you can, take a week off, know it's going to be hell and get through it. Week one was he'll, the only thing I'm dealing with these days is depression and guilt of losing my family.

Do what works, but I think unless you are 100% committed to your quit, you will fall right back in.
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#11

Postby HikerOfTheSoul » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:10 pm

I agree with you that weed is not as harsh as other drugs.

But then why do we see so many people on this forum struggling for months or years? Or going back to smoking because they can't stand it anymore?

I think we still don't know just how strong of an impact weed has on the brain - since we don't know much about the brain at all.

So I was trying to come up with a way to make withdrawals easier (even psychological withdrawals, why not?) and maybe my theory is wrong. But still this does not explain the existence of this forum then. If quitting weed was that easy (like it is for the vast majority of people) why some of us get so effed up by it?

The only possible hypothesis to explain this is what I said before, maybe weed use in some cases (virtually the vast majority of cases on here) is covering up other issues. Then we blame weed but we were actually using it as self medication.
That's the only possible logical conclusion to me, and it scares the sh*t out of me because maybe we are sending all these suffering and struggling people on a path with no support, convincing (brainwashing?) them that weed is a demon, and that abstince is all that it takes to be normal again (of course all of this happens subconsciously, I'm not saying it's deliberate. I believe everything that is said on here is said with very good intent).

This troubles me. Plus studies have shown that mental illness like depression usually recede by themselves in a period of up to two years (strange coincidence to me).

I don't know which conclusion to make from all of this, but maybe if we could change our point of view we could help more people? I don't know. I just hope I managed to explain my thoughts in a clear way.

Let me know what you all think please, I've really taken this subject to hearth and researched quite a bit about it. I'm really interested in going to the bottom of the issue here.
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#12

Postby tokeless » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:01 pm

I think a lot of people struggle to give up something that they feel they enjoy or benefit from.
I used to love the taste, small. The sense of connection with others and the sheer self indulgence. My ex wife asked me when we were together why I smoked weed as she thought I had a problem with it.
At that time I was stuck for an answer other than I liked it therefore giving her the belief that I was in denial... it took me some serious thought and reflection before one day (post divorce) I realised what it was I liked so much... It gave me ' space ' to just be. A moment to just be and I liked that sense of isolation. After it stopped giving me that I started to imagine not doing it. I guess you plant seeds for change to happen. Do I miss it? Yes and no but I do know I won't ever do it again. I've got different priorities now and they fulfil me. If they didn't perhaps I'd look at weed as a 'maybe'.. Good luck to everyone on their journey.
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#13

Postby cleanofgreen » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:17 pm

Hiker
maybe weed use in some cases (virtually the vast majority of cases on here) is covering up other issues. Then we blame weed but we were actually using it as self medication.

I think all addictions weather drug, food, sex etc. are covering up other issues. I get what you are saying about It troubling you to tell people on here that its only withdrawal when it could be underlying depression.
I'm coming up to 5 months next week and I thought that I was over the worst but the last 10 days have proved me wrong, I cried today coming back from a long walk I'm a 44 year old man and the only time I ever remember crying before I gave up 5 months ago was when I was a child.
I know I'm getting better as I have had a few good spells during the last month but I'm beginning to have doubts about whether for me this is withdrawal or that I have being covering up depression for a very long time with weed and now its out in the wild. The only thing that stops me going to get an anti-depressant is
1) It would probably be better for my health to smoke weed.
2) Why would I substitute a natural drug with an artificial one when they will do the same job.
3) (and this is the biggest reason) Reading the stories here of people who have gone through it and come out the other side much better people. This is what keeps me from going back to smoking or taking anti-d's
I know from the first two points above that you might think that I still have a desire to smoke, I have no desire to smoke but I need to get out off this depressive state some other way than taking anti-depressants
I might go get some 5-htp today and see if that helps as some here have had good result with that.
Any way Hiker you might be onto something there
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#14

Postby cleanofgreen » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:56 pm

I have been reading up on PAWS today and found an article on addictionsandrecovery.org which might shed some light on why it takes so long for some. Made me feel better.
Post-acute withdrawal usually lasts for 2 years. This is one of the most important things you need to remember. If you're up for the challenge you can get though this. But if you think that post-acute withdrawal will only last for a few months, then you'll get caught off guard, and when you're disappointed you're more likely to relapse. (Reference: http://www.AddictionsAndRecovery.org)


I posted the full article here
http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=104580
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