The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that marijuana ranks first among the most commonly used illegal drugs in the US. The delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC component in marijuana gives users a high. THC gets into the bloodstream through lungs and affects the functions of the brain and other body parts. Should I stop smoking weed? What if I keep this habit of mine? This article discusses the effects of smoking weed and outlines the benefits of quitting the habit.
Should I Stop Smoking Weed?
Physical Side Effects
Your heart rate can increase by 2-3 times after smoking weed. This effect causes a heart attack in some smokers. The drug affects your blood sugar level, lowers your blood pressure, and increases bleeding. Smoking weed irritates the lungs and causes lung-related complications such as a persistent cough, lung infections, and chest colds.
Additional physical effects include a dry mouth, dizziness, a delayed reaction time, dilated pupils, red eyes, shallow breathing, and an increase in appetite. Withdrawing from the drug causes sleeplessness, cravings, loss of appetite, and irritability.
Mental Side Effects
Why should I stop smoking weed if it makes me feel so relaxed and happy? Because smoking weed can have negative effects on your mind and mood, which include depression, temporal memory loss, anxiety, random thoughts, paranoia, and losing your sense of time.
Potential Severe Risks
About 10% of the people who use marijuana get addicted. It may also be a gateway drug to other harder drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The THC content in marijuana leaves has increased from 1-4% to 7%. The increase in THC concentration increases the risk of addiction and strengthens its mental side effects. What's more, it is difficult to estimate the amount of THC and other compounds in marijuana even if you buy the drug from a state-authorized store. Hence, the effects of the drug are unpredictable.
Smoking marijuana causes additional health complications if you are suffering from diabetes, low blood pressure, and liver disease. Marijuana lowers the sperm count and quality and testosterone levels in men, which affects their fertility and libido. Other potential effects of marijuana include short-term psychosis, suicidal thoughts, and schizophrenia.
How Stopping Smoking Weed Changed My Life
I regained control over my emotions
Controlling my emotions means owning them, experiencing them even when I feel uncomfortable, and eventually developing enough strength to persevere them. Since I would turn to weed to overcome overwhelming emotions, dealing with a sudden and uncontrollable spillage of emotions without weed was hard at first. However, the level of empowerment I got, like the willpower and self-control I regained, helped me overcome my fear of being vulnerable.
I no longer give excuses to escape life
Using marijuana and other drugs made me an escapist. I lost my ability to handle life and the world. I used to ask, why should I quit smoking weed? When I quit as a solution to my depression, I got a strong desire to deal with my old emotional wounds. I do not have to make any excuses for me being diseased or crippled. Smoking weed numbed my emotional wounds but obsessive smoking was a constant reminder that I was diseased and crippled. I had a good excuse to remain inactive but I wanted to do more.
I have a magical sense of clarity
I am a highly creative person who still struggles with organizing my thoughts and being proactive in everything. After I quit smoking, I got clarity that I did not have before. A brilliant idea can lead to a new career or story for a creative person. Weed caused my creativity to flow but I lacked the mental capacity to control it. Besides, smoking weed impaired my memory. I could forget a new idea before I found a pen and paper to record it.
People do not consider me as dumb anymore
I remember embarrassing myself several times when I was high. People would stare at me and think that I was dumber than I really was. I hated the perception because I wanted to be perceived as capable and bright. I just quit to bring back the normal, brilliant and humorous me.
Quitting marijuana helped me save money
The best type of weed is expensive. I used to spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars every year on weed. I often wondered, "Why should I stop smoking weed if I can afford it?" But now I get it that money can be used in a better way. I now use the money to increase my retirement fund, pay off my debts, and improve my life in other ways.
My relationship with my friends and family has improved
I started smoking weed as a social activity. However, I ended up smoking alone. I used to avoid my friends, family, and social gatherings because of the paranoia and lethargy I experienced when high. But I stopped hiding and feeling isolated when I quit smoking marijuana.
I eat a healthy diet
My eating habits have changed after I stopped smoking. THC increased my metabolism and this caused me to gain excess weight. I would eat a bag of chips and a full jar of peanuts alone. Sometimes I would eat too much of healthy foods, which affected my digestive system and overall health.