Life Changing Benefits of Quitting Weed

Administrator / Chief Clinical Officer
Certified cognitive-behavioral therapist, expert addiction and chemical dependency counselor, certified for more than twenty years of experience in adolescent, adult and family psychotherapy.
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benefits of quitting weed

Weed, pot, cannabis… These are all common terms you may have heard referring to marijuana. Weed is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the United States, often used for its effects of euphoria and relaxation—although a growing number of doctors are prescribing it for specific medical disorders. 

Although there are various diseases that could potentially benefit from cannabis abuse, for your typical recreational smoker, it wasn’t the innocuous substance it was made out to be. There are various medical conditions that could stem from the abuse of smoking weed, and as new strains are cultivated, they contain increasingly higher levels of the psychoactive component Tetrahydrocannibanoid (THC).

While some tout its relaxing, pain relieving effects in the short term, many long-term cannabis abusers are finding these transformative reasons for quitting weed.

What Is Weed? 

Marijuana is an abused substance taken from the cannabis plant. It’s typically smoked, vaporized, or ingested (in food, oil, or pill form). In recent years, patients have medicated using cannabis to help treat certain ailments under the recommendation of a licensed medical practitioner.

This notwithstanding, weed taken for medical purposes under the recommendation of a doctor is far different than its recreational use. Weed can lead to several different physical ailments, or bring repressed mental health concerns to the forefront for individuals with genetic predispositions. 


The cannabis plant has two main chemicals that produce different physical or mental effects to the abuser: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both ions have the same atom count but different types of bonds that give them different chemical properties.

THC is the most common psychoactive compound that activates the “pleasure center” in the brain and its relatives. CBD has no psychoactive effects and is often used for anti-inflammatory benefits.

Is Weed Use Really Harmless?

Recent legalization movements and frequent mentions in pop culture and the media have emboldened a movement that has eroticized weed use, and many assume it to be harmless.

While weed is definitely less harmful than other illegal drugs like heroin or cocaine, it still poses some detrimental effects that can affect the brain and body. Many casual users are now realizing tremendous benefits from quitting recreational use including breathing easier, reduced blood pressure, heightened concentration and more drive.  

physical benefits of quitting weed

Physical Benefits of Quitting Weed 

Although we usually associate weed with potential problems in mental health, there are a number of ways quitting weed can positively impact your physical health. 

Better Breathing

Although many associate respiratory problems with tobacco products such as cigarettes or vapes, weed can also damage the lungs, especially when smoked or vaporized. Research has shown that smoking weed can cause chronic bronchitis, injure the cell linings of the airways leading to cough, increase phlegm production, and cause wheezing and chest tightness. 

According to the American Lung Association, smoking weed has been linked to some cases of air pockets between the lungs and chest wall—making it more difficult for the lungs to clean out germs, dust, and infections. 

Many users find they breathe much better when stopping the use of cannabis, especially if their primary method of use is smoking. Quitting weed can reduce associated lung problems such as bronchitis, COPD or frequent lung infections. 

Reduced Risk of Heart Problems 

CB1 receptors are primarily found in the cardiovascular system (CVS) and central nervous system (CNS). Increased frequency of marijuana use can increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmias, blood pressure, hypertension and risk of heart attack or stroke.   

Increased Quality of Sleep 

Many cannabis smokers use weed to help with sleep as it can help relax the mind and muscles. While weed definitely provides short-term effects of relaxation and euphoria, studies have shown that it reduces the amount of time spent in rapid eye movement (REM). 

REM is the deepest stage of the sleep cycle and is necessary for optimal brain health. 

Long-time use of weed can drastically decrease the quality of sleep. When first quitting weed, you may notice for the first week or so increased trouble falling asleep. 76% of marijuana users have reported sleep disturbances such as vivid dreams, insomnia or frequent wake-ups when they first stop using weed. But after the initial withdrawal period their sleep returns to much better quality.    

Mental Health Benefits of Quitting Weed 

As with any drug, weed affects key regions of the brain that are responsible for reward processing, motivation and cognition such as the limbic system, basal ganglia and hippocampus. 

The mental health benefits users are finding after quitting weed are quite notable. Many start smoking weed to help reduce feelings of anxiety or depression, but over time cannabis use can actually make these problems worse. 

Increase in Motivation

Numerous self-reports by former Daily Weed consumers claim to have an increase in motivation and energy to complete tasks that were more difficult to do before. 

There have been associations from many users between heavy cannabis use and apathy, which can decrease the desire to participate in daily tasks. Self-reports indicate this apathy decreases once they stop using cannabis.

Better Focus and Concentration

Cannabis affects parts of the brain that are responsible for executive functioning. There is significant evidence that long-term users of cannabis have trouble focusing and concentrating. 

This is especially prevalent in users who start smoking during their teen years, when the brain is most vulnerable during development. Chronic weed smoking has been linked to lower performance in school and the workplace.  

These negative effects can be reduced after quitting using cannabis.

Improvement of Memory  

Studies have shown long-term use of cannabis can reduce hippocampal volume. The hippocampus is an important structure in the brain for memory formation and processing. Many daily weed smokers report that after quitting weed, within weeks their short-term and long-term memory improved. 

Help is Available 

At The Encino Recovery and Detox Center, we support all users with their wellness journey, helping them to heal the mind, body and spirit.  If you or a loved one is seeking support with a cannabis problem, our compassionate and trained team is just a call away. 


Subramaniam, V. N., Menezes, A. R., DeSchutter, A., & Lavie, C. J. (2019). The Cardiovascular Effects of Marijuana: Are the Potential Adverse Effects Worth the High?. Missouri medicine, 116(2), 146–153.

Bolla, K. I., Lesage, S. R., Gamaldo, C. E., Neubauer, D. N., Funderburk, F. R., Cadet, J. L., David, P. M., Verdejo-Garcia, A., & Benbrook, A. R. (2008). Sleep disturbance in heavy marijuana users. Sleep, 31(6), 901–908.

Administrator / Chief Clinical Officer
Certified cognitive-behavioral therapist, expert addiction and chemical dependency counselor, certified for more than twenty years of experience in adolescent, adult and family psychotherapy.
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