What is St John’s Wort?
St John’s Wort (SJW) is a supplement derived from a yellow-flowered herb that grows wild across Europe, as well as some parts of Asia and America. In recent years, it has developed an impressive reputation for its ability to treat depression and anxiety, as well as a range of physical ailments. It was long hailed as a miracle herb and given to treat everything from aches and pains to mood swings. However, research has shown the active ingredient in SJW, hypericin, can increase certain enzymes in the body, which in turn purge marijuana’s mind-altering ingredient, THC, quicker from your system.
Are there any downsides combining weed and St John’s wort?
There are two factors which often influence our ability to quit weed:
- Individual body chemistry
- The different levels of active ingredients in different weed strains
In other words, what works for one person may not work for another. At the same time, your body could be higher or lower in any of the 120 active weed ingredients than other users. These two factors make treatment outcomes unpredictable for everyone.
Aside from evidence suggesting SJW helps purge THC, there is a potential downside. It’s possible the increased enzyme activity could make you higher, and will do so faster, with the trade-off being a shorter high. For this reason, I’d suggest you only use SJW after deciding to stop smoking weed. It works much better as a preventative measure. Using SJW while you’re still actively smoking runs the risk of stimulating a craving towards that boosted high.
How can St John’s Wort help me to quit weed?
SJW is best known for treating mild depression. What makes it particularly effective aside from hastening the purge of THC from your body is the stimulating effect it has on your mood. As with any addiction, the craving doesn’t just stop simply because you decide to stop indulging. If you decide to quit marijuana cold turkey, it triggers hormone imbalances in the brain which affect your mood, your metabolism, your body clock, and impairs aspects of brain function. These imbalances can induce feelings of depression and anxiety, and disturb your sleep cycle. SJW’s antidepressant qualities help regulate your mood by increasing the effectiveness of neurotransmitters – chemical brain messengers such as dopamine and serotonin – which influence happiness, wellbeing, and mood stabilisation. It can take from as little as two weeks to several months for your hormones to rebalance, but when that happens, the fog of weed begins lifting from your mind.
SJW is an amazing herb, but it’s not a magic pill which will keep you off weed. Your hormones are already out of balance from smoking marijuana, and this worsens for a while once you quit. Combining SJW with other activities will help your odds at beating your weed addiction.
What else can I do to quit weed?
As simple as it sounds, exercise complements SJW in balancing hormones. If you’re committing to using SJW, then commit to regular exercise too. If you don’t exercise at all, start walking regularly for an hour each day. If you exercise occasionally, then start running or swimming three times a week. See how far you can run/swim, then aim to increase the distance weekly until you reach a level beyond your current limit. Once you reach that goal, maintain it – if you made it to this point, then it’s part of your routine now. Keep it that way. It’s easy to do, but also easy not to do. Don’t slip into the “easy not to do” trap. Exercise is one of the most effective and undervalued tools for fighting weed addiction.
Meditation is another complementary activity for reducing stress hormones as it stimulates DHEA, a naturally occurring steroid in your body which is the building block for many other hormones. DHEA moderates the three stress hormones, as well as encouraging body fat reduction and improving sexual health. As with exercise, it’s easy to the undervalue meditation. Plus we all know what exercise is, but how do you meditate? It’s easier than you think and once you commit to it daily, you’ll start experiencing some subtle changes. It will help with quitting weed and assist you in managing other areas of your life.
There’s also a program you can try developed by Tristan Wetherburn, a former weed smoker and drug dealer who has worked through some major demons to take control of his life. His Quit Marijuana course is intensive – don’t start it unless you’re totally committed quitting. But if you are ready, the course might be exactly what you need.