Marijuana is the most used illicit drug in the world, having over 200 slang terms ascribed to it; pot, grass, Mary-Jane, and, of course, weed. Weed works in the brain, affecting and changing the chemistry to cause a range of different effects in the user; from mellow, giggling relaxation to taut, hungry paranoia. The active ingredient in weed is THC, which is short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and it is increasing in strength year on year since the 70s making the drug ever more addictive, potent and potentially dangerous to the user.
What are the withdrawal symptoms?
Weed is only mildly addictive compared to nicotine, but it is still an addiction, and one which can rapidly run out of control, leading to poor life-decisions when choosing weed over more important goals and actions. If you do find yourself under the thumb of the substance, meditation and self-hypnosis can help to get your body back under control and calm the irrational fears that the drug can cause. The withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, as those from alcohol can be, but they are severe enough for up to 70% of users to light up a joint to avoid their onset or continuance.
The severity of withdrawal symptoms is generally dependent on how long-lasting and how heavy the habit has been, generally worsening with more prolonged or heavy usage. These symptoms can include, first and foremost, a craving for the drug – including restlessness, aggression and mood swings. Headaches are a relatively common symptom, and these often cannot be cured by over the counter medications and simply have to be tolerated. Lack of concentration and poor sleep patterns can be an issue; and everyone knows how awful it is to have one or two restless nights: two or three weeks of them can be horrendous! Appetite can change, leading to weight loss or gain according to how it takes the sufferer and digestion problems can ensue, as can an altered libido; leading to a decrease in sexual drive. Cramps, dizzy spells and the shakes are all symptoms of weed withdrawal that are frequently seen.
As appalling as the above symptoms sound there is a reassurance in knowing that they are limited to two to three weeks, after which time you are ‘over the hump’ and will begin to actively enjoy a life free from marijuana.
How to meditate
If you can, begin to practice meditation before you stop or as you reduce your intake of weed. This will help you maintain control as you work through withdrawal. Meditation will give you greater mental strength, and you can use this clarity to capitalize on the task of quitting weed.
Meditation consists of setting time aside each day – aim for twice a day if you can, around about 20 minutes each – and focusing on your breathing as you rid your psyche of all your accumulated distractions and negative energies, until you reach a state of near-empty peace and tranquility. Sounds a bit airy-fairy, right? Let me put it into context; you’re focusing solely on the moment. The peace and tranquility you reach in your mind exists at that moment. It’s like the moment allows a door to open in your mind for negative emotions to pass out, and for positivity to flow in. That doesn’t mean a simple exchange of good and bad emotions, but rather our subconscious communicating with us via images and colors. Ponder as you meditate; what does this color make me feel, what do I associate with it? What can I derive from the images I’m seeing? Sometimes the meaning is clear, sometimes it’s not – don’t overthink it. Just let it flow, your subconscious is doing most of the work, and that’s where most of our mental junk lies.
How will meditation make me feel?
Meditation in the beginning will feel weird, especially if you’ve associated it as an activity of the weak and pretentious. But stick with it – not only will you get better at it, but you will start to see some more clarity in the images and colors, and start feeling more positive and capable. Easy to do every day, but also easy not to do. The “easy-not-to-do” trap is the biggest obstacle we face in simple, daily habits. Consistency is king. As you continue to build up mental stamina through meditation, you’ll develop an inner-strength towards your actions and decisions, and can use this to break the hold weed has over you. You may well find meditation actually substitutes the sensation of peace and ‘one-ness’ you gained from marijuana. This inner unity can safely replace the toxic bonds of weed, granting you with the best of both worlds.
Continue to meditate as you work through withdrawal and make it a daily routine for life. If you find meditation helps you in the withdrawal process, then you won’t want to stop. However, remember: easy to do, easy not to do. As you gain more confidence with your meditation, you can look into more advanced meditation techniques for improving your overall health and thinking, taking bigger steps towards your goals, and impacting those around you.