The first 30-days of sobriety are the most difficult hurdle for surviving the withdrawal. Undoubtedly you will experience both physical and mental symptoms. Regardless of which substance (s), you’re quitting.
While the severity differs depending on substance use and the duration of time using the substance, there are several common withdrawal symptoms of drug addiction. These may include headaches, chills, mood swings, diarrhea, nausea, night sweats, and intense cravings for the drug (or alcohol). This article focuses on my 30-day experience living marijuana-free.
Firstly, I understand some people do not acknowledge marijuana as a drug. Secondly, some people maintain a position that marijuana is not addicting. Thirdly, I acknowledge others who don’t believe that marijuana withdrawal is real. Lastly, I’m not negating the legitimacy of it being medicinal.
That being said, once an addict, always an addict. That is a fact about drug addiction. So while I acknowledge the medicinal properties of marijuana, I understand that it’s still liable to be abused by an addict. I’m living proof of that and the withdrawals are real.
Without a doubt, prescription painkillers are viable medications that can be and often are abused. So it’s not difficult to comprehend that same truth about marijuana. Here is what I experienced during the first 30-days of sobriety when quitting marijuana. As well as some tips for helping to get through the withdrawals.
It should be noted that my THC consumption included weed, dab, THC vape pens, and edibles. Additionally, I used it every day, all day, for four-plus years.
As well as smoking at least an eighth each day. Although I suspect with my vape pen, that figure is more.
Also, for clarification, I don’t hold a professional medical license and I’m not dispensing medical advice. This is my experience with marijuana withdrawals. If you are having difficulty quitting, you might consider treatment options such as addiction treatment outpatient groups or a stay at a recovery center.
Tips for Surviving the First 30-Days of Sobriety off Marijuana
Ready to get through your first month? Let’s do this! The first step is to throw all your weed paraphernalia and marijuana away. Such as bongs, pipes, dab rigs, and vapes. As well as any 420 memorabilia. Having these reminders in your environment creates a greater potential for relapse.
Identify Your Triggers
Identifying your triggers is critical to creating a relapse prevention plan. Obviously, drug paraphernalia is triggering. However, there are often emotional and environmental factors that need to be considered too.
Examples of Potential Triggers
- Music that reminds you of using or causes you to reminisce about those times.
- Movies and TV shows that depict and/or celebrate marijuana use.
- Driving by dispensaries.
- Untreated mental health issues.
- Overwhelming feelings such as boredom. Or H.A.L.T. (hunger, anger, loneliness, tiredness).
Spending time writing down and reflecting on what triggers you will help. Not only to understand yourself. But to develop and enforce boundaries.
Use Supplements to Overcome Withdrawal and Addiction
Boost your body with vitamins. Adding a Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and Vitamin D-3 supplement to my routine helped me feel better. I prefer the Emergen-C packets over the pill form. As well as Vitamin D drops versus pills.
Additionally, adding a CBD supplement alleviates aches, pains, and anxiety. A huge factor in why many people (myself included) begin smoking weed is to alleviate pain and anxiety. So supplementing for these ailments is vital for tolerating withdrawal.
It’s important to acknowledge that not all CBD is the same. The cheaper the bottle, the more likely it’s a hemp oil without the beneficial properties of quality CBD. Honestly, using CBD daily has been the most effective for making withdrawal tolerable. Many people enjoy a sober life with CBD pain management.
Here are a handful of other helpful supplements that assist with withdrawal symptoms. Please be mindful that some of these may interfere with blood-thinning medications, pregnancy, and other medical conditions. Research and/or speak with your doctor before adding these to your nutritional regimen.
Also, do not take all of these supplements at one time. Determine which symptoms you need assistance with before taking a handful of pills.
- L-theanine to reduce anxiety and panic attacks.
- Dandelion for nausea.
- Ginkgo Biloba promotes memory retention and enhances concentration.
- Valerian Root for anxiety and insomnia.
- Melatonin to assist with sleep.
- Ginseng for cravings.
Related Reading – All You Need to Know About Natural Supplements for Addiction
Follow a Guide for Quitting Weed
Follow a guide for quitting marijuana. There are several to choose from. These guides help you stay grounded in your sobriety. Furthermore, many educate you about the science and psychology of cannabis addiction.
Build a Good Support Network
The best decision you can make is, to be honest with friends and family about your sobriety and establish boundaries with them. Seek like-minded people who are sober. Or participating in other activities that don’t include drugs and alcohol.
If you don’t have a network of support, consider making new friends at a meeting. There are in-person and virtual Marijuana Anonymous meetings. Also, meetings are a fantastic way to stay focused on your sobriety. Another option is a treatment program. There are outpatient and inpatient for more severe addictions.
Along with finding other people who are sharing your experiences. Feeling alone in your sobriety is a potential for relapse. As well as being bored. Don’t isolate yourself. There are plenty of people to who you can relate.
Indulge Your Passions and Hobbies
Part of your relapse prevention plan should include engaging in hobbies. Or even learning something new. What are you passionate about? What activities will you substitute your weed use with?
Knowing beforehand how to battle boredom and overwhelming feelings gives you a greater chance of success. I filled a lot of that time with reading, video games, and cooking new recipes. Exercise is a fantastic activity to replace boredom with and it’s a long-term commitment to your health.
Additional Tips for Success
- Keep a sobriety journal and document your experiences and wins along the way.
- Start an exercise routine to produce natural chemical rewards.
- Listen to recovery podcasts to encourage personal growth.
- Seek therapy or rehabilitation for undiagnosed or untreated mental illness.
My First 30-Days of Sobriety Withdrawing from Marijuana
Making the decision to quit smoking weed was a difficult process. It’s legal in many states (I believe it should be federally), and society has begun to accept this reality. So it’s easily accessible and often encouraged.
In fact, many people cannot grasp the idea of someone becoming addicted to it because they don’t share that experience. So those people help make excuses for you.
That being said, I knew I was abusing it. And as a former heroin addict, I recognized I had crossed a line. So I decided to get sober again. Here are the first 30-days of sobriety, both the withdrawals and the wins.
Week 1 of the First 30-Days of Sobriety off Marijuana
Absolutely, the first week was the worst. The physical symptoms weren’t as bad as the mental struggle for me in the initial days. However, my cravings were intense. I had thrown everything away but one bong. Desperation caused me to think about scraping it several times before I finally threw it away for a small win. So let me reiterate, throw everything away. Otherwise, you will be feeling extremely tempted by whatever you have left over.
By days two and three, insomnia had kicked in. In fact, my schedule flipped, and I never got to sleep any earlier than 4:00 a.m. In addition to insomnia, once asleep, it was difficult getting up. I felt extremely exhausted.
Most days, I slept until 2:00-4:00 p.m. And once awake, I had to fight to stay that way. The fatigue was honestly a little scary. I mostly stayed in bed battling brain fog.
Additionally, I had no appetite. My husband had to remind me to eat. Mostly, I consumed maybe one meal per day. But I drank a lot of juice and water. Dry mouth was real.
Unfortunately, I experienced intense mood swings with angry outbursts. As well as a general overall feeling of irritability. Night sweats were daily and often caused me to change my clothing 2-3 times per night.
Week 2 of the First 30-Days of Sobriety off Marijuana
During the second week, cravings were still relevant. But boredom and habit were more difficult to overcome. I began experiencing vivid dreams that didn’t make sense. But I remembered every detail. Which isn’t typical.
My insomnia continued, and I decided to start taking Melatonin to help me sleep. Sometimes it worked, and other times it did not. My mind couldn’t seem to shut off. My body aches and headaches resurfaced. However, I found tremendous relief with CBD oil.
There are CBD shops that sell CBD with a minuscule amount of THC. I used that during the first two weeks before switching to a THC-free alternative.
Every night I experienced night sweats that required at least one clothing change. It should be noted, that I sleep with a fan and run AC. My room temp is never above 65 degrees. But I still break out in a sweat.
My wins included improvements in motivation and anxiety. Also, I got out of bed and began cooking and cleaning. Before, I used weed to help motivate me to clean. So it was a bit of an obstacle I overturned without it.
My mental clarity also improved, and some childhood memories came flooding back. Honestly, I’m not sure I’m counting that as a win. But it’s something that occurred.
Week 3 of the First 30-Days of Sobriety off Marijuana
Week three was plagued with vivid dreams that were crazy and extreme. I’m not sure that I’d call them nightmares. But the intensity when I wake feels as if I had one. In fact, I’m still experiencing them.
I’ve revisited a couple of places of employment and lots of faces from my past. It’s almost like I was reliving different times in my life but without any fluidity or rationale.
I was still experiencing night sweats. But had a couple of nights without them for a major win. Washing bedding daily is not a fun activity. Additionally, the night sweats didn’t always require a clothing change in the middle of the night. Furthermore, my appetite returned.
Additional wins included improved memory and anxiety. As well as I began to experience a more expansive vocabulary than my usuals, dude, and bro. All joking aside, there was a definite shift in my speech and vocabulary.
Also, my mind became much more alert. I stopped stumbling mid-sentence because I had forgotten what I was saying. Which is typical stoner behavior.
Week three is when my insomnia began to settle. But I believe the Melatonin assisted in flipping my schedule somewhat back to normal. My appetite fully returned by week three. As well as I noticed I wasn’t craving all the junk food I binged on while overindulging with stoner munchies. In fact, healthier options became more appealing. Also, I’ve experienced some weight loss without trying!
Week 4 of the First 30-Days of Sobriety off Marijuana
Week four, and I still couldn’t get over the vivid and wild dreaming. They feel similar to drunk dreams with their intensity, It’s a nightly occurrence. Also, the nightly sweats are hit or miss. I began experiencing several nights with minimal or no sweat. But I also had many nights that required clothing changes.
Although, my insomnia is gone. My irritability still existed and I was moody for a while longer. But were more tolerable and easier for me to recover from.
After The First-30 Days Sober
Woohooo! I got sober. Early sobriety doesn’t last long and I’m already feeling incredible in comparison to 30 days ago. Without a doubt, my mind is sharper, and my vocabulary continues to flourish. The brain fog is gone. I’m much more productive. In fact, my creativity is back, and I’m eager to write and focused on working on the steps.
My memory is better. My physical health is better. However, I developed a deep, dry cough. It’s unpleasant. But it’s not uncommon for smokers to cough for 90-180 days after getting sober.
All and all, my overall mental health is better without the weed, but not with my sensory overload. Please share how many days sober you have been or tell me about your sobriety journey in the comments below. And don’t forget to hit that social share button. Thanks! Those always make me smile. Stay sober, friends. That sober life is a life worth living.
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.