At some point in our life, we step back and evaluate our habits to determine what we can do better. With the goal of living a healthier life, the idea of stepping away from habits such as alcohol or marijuana are encouraging.
With these habits come the effects of addiction, both the chemical addiction and the repetitive patterns like oral fixation that make quittin’ cold turkey more difficult. To reach the goal of getting away from these habits, consider switching to alternatives to help wean you off.
Alternatives allow you to step away from the chemical interactions, while maintaining your ritual and routine. This can be seen with cigarette smokers switching to non-tobacco cigarettes, so they can pull themselves away from nicotine while maintaining the physical habit of smoking, making the process of quitting much easier.
Of course, once your body is pulled away from the chemical dependency, you’re then supposed to work on changing your habits.
While it’s easy to find alternatives to cigarettes or alcohol, are there alternatives to weed?
These effective alternatives will help you stop smoking weed, and pull yourself away from THC.
Why is Weed Addictive?
Whenever attempting to pull away from an addictive substance, you should gain a deeper understanding of what you’re addicted to, and how it’s affecting you.
Similar to other addictive substances, weed can make you “feel good,” which your body enjoys and craves. Why shouldn’t you be more relaxed or have less muscle tension? Addiction refers to the need to have something, even without reason, leading to repetitive use.
Weed, also known as bud, marijuana, cannabis, and many other names, is best described as the cannabis plant grown for psychoactive effects. The substance creating those psychoactive effects is tetrahydrocannabinol known as THC.
Another substance responsible not for intoxication but rather for physical soothing and easing discomfort without the high also comes from the cannabis plant -- cannabidiol, known as CBD. CBD is responsible for many of the positive physical effects associated with weed, and since the 2018 reform, has become widely used as an all-natural wellness supplement. CBD promotes health benefits such as easing discomfort, soothing tension, relaxing the mind, and more
THC is the psychoactive element found in weed, which is often the source of addiction. THC can affect your body in 2 primary manners, depending on the plant's strain.
While considering what the body is craving, the best alternatives for THC involve improved overall health. Weed can give you energy, allow you to destress, and reduce pain, which are all benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.
Although hemp is a form of cannabis sativa, by law it must have below 0.3% THC, which results in no psychoactive effects. A more literal alternative that still allows you to smoke, hemp cigarettes, vape juices, oils, and raw ground hemp are a source of beneficial cannabinoids, without THC.
Smoking hemp flower as a marijuana alternative allows you to receive the taste and smell you're used to with weed, and the ability to use hemp in all the same manners as weed, without the psychoactive and potentially addictive elements. By eliminating the chemical dependency, you’re able to focus on separating yourself from the addictive aspects of THC.
While CBD is a product of marijuana, and is often consumed when smoking weed, CBD and THC act separately within the body. While THC creates a psychoactive effect, CBD can soothe the body and deliver a range of other wellness benefits.
Some strains of hemp can be grown to be packed full of CBD, so smoking hemp flower can give you a nice hit of CBD, or you can use CBD extract directly through a wide variety of products such as vapes, tinctures, lotions, capsules, and more.
Many of the relaxing and stress-relieving feelings associated with weed are thanks to CBD, such as the physical feeling of being soothed, all without the intoxicating high.
While similar to CBD cigarettes, herbal cigarettes are shaped like, and smoke similar to an actual cigarette.
Instead of tobacco or weed, herbal cigarettes are packed with:
- Passion flower
- Corn silk
- Rose petals
- Lotus leaf
- Licorice root
- Red clover flowers
This allows you to kick back and light up, without the chemical dependencies or potentially addictive substances. Each herb is packed with unique flavors and scents that you may find you really enjoy, and may even recognize from teas or dishes you already consume.
Exercising in the Great Outdoors
When you smoke weed, your body releases a chemical known as dopamine, which is responsible for the interaction between your brain’s different neurons. This communication is what tells your body to pay attention, be happy, or even feel pleasure. This is why you “feel good” when you smoke weed.
A natural way to release dopamine is to become active.
With just 10 to 20 minutes a day, being more active by walking, running, or working out can naturally raise the dopamine levels in your body. Exercise can also release endorphins, which are basically pain-relieving hormones that also work to help your body “feel good.”
While you could simply hit the gym, sunlight exposure is also known to spike dopamine levels.
Adding more to the benefits of being outdoors in nature, becoming more relaxed can increase your overall health and dopamine levels, too. Getting outside and into nature increases your natural dopamine by all three methods above.
When searching for a park, you may need to use terms such as:
- Parks (National, State, Cities)
- Nature Preserves
- Metro Parks
Tips For Effective Quitting
So you’ve decided you would like to reduce your marijuana habits. When looking at addictions, simply walking away cold-turkey can be a rough approach. Your body will begin craving the dopamine release, and may begin affecting you menally and physically. Here are some tips to help combat the cravings:
1.Tell the people around you the plan to quit. This will reduce people asking you if you want to smoke, and lets them know why you may have mood swings over the next couple weeks.
2. Set realistic goals for yourself. While quitting is the end goal, mini checkpoints are a great way to encourage and visualize your improvement. Examples of these goals could be cutting back how much you smoke each day, then cutting back to once a day and replacing the cravings with alternatives. Then switch to only using alternatives.
3. Find alternatives that help you overcome withdrawals. This is where products like hemp cigarettes truly shine, satisfying that need for the physical experience of smoking, while pulling you away from chemical dependency.
4. Change your lifestyle. Get out and do more of what you enjoy and makes you happy. You being happy releases dopamine, and getting back into a hobby can keep your mind and hands busy.
5. Try new things. You’ll never know if you enjoy things outside of your norm if you don’t try them. Go walk a trail, kayak, or explore a big city.
While pulling away from any chemical dependency will be difficult, turning to alternatives to THC can help reduce the cravings and withdrawals when pulling away from smoking weed.
Options like hemp cigarettes allow you to reduce your intake of THC, while still being able to satisfy your physical craving. Lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and picking up a hobby help you put your mind to somewhere positive, while releasing healthy levels of natural dopamine.
You can find knowledge and support along your path to a healthier life with Oklahoma Smokes, through our hemp alternatives and resources for quitting.
With THC and tobacco alternatives, your healthier lifestyle starts here!