When you start using cannabis, your body and brain must adapt to this being a “new normal.” And, the more frequently you consume, you keep raising the bar on the “new normal.”
Your systems adapt to your intake by shutting down some their natural concerns. That increases your tolerance. Still, if you want to recapture that first or best experience, you either take a break or increase your intake.
The cannabis users you dismiss as “stoners” may not have caught on to this cycle. So, here are indications it may be time for a break from cannabis.
10 Indicators It May Be Time for a Break from Cannabis
1. How high do you need to be?
You shouldn’t be smoking just because your peers do it. Nonetheless, your first introduction probably arises out of a social pressure.
So, you should ask yourself what you expected and how it measured up to the experience. If you enjoyed the euphoria and giddiness of your first strain or appreciated its mellow chill, decide if that was what you were after.
If you want to escalate that performance, it’s your choice, but it may suggest the kind of psychological need that links to dependence. For example, if you liked your first shot of whisky, you shouldn’t feel compelled to double or triple your intake — without some self-assessment.
2. Is this getting costly?
Buying a “dime bag” costs much more than it once did. If you’re buying legally, you must appreciate the high cost of splurging on an occasional hit or a stash that could last you for some time.
You might seriously weigh how that works into your budget as a student or parent. If you’re the occasional user, that cost will be proportionate to other luxury spending. If you’re spending into your other budget line items, it may be time to take a break.
3. What do your friends think?
In the best scenario, you smoke with some occasionally with some good friends. If they started you on cannabis, they can tell you if your experience is typical.
Maybe, you should change strain. Maybe, you should hold the inhale longer. Maybe, you are puffing too frequently. If they’ve been your tutors, you should listen to them.
But, if those same friends are worried about ongoing changes in your behavior, you should listen, too.
4. How would you grade yourself on meeting your obligations?
The time and money you spend on cannabis come out of some pocket. That’s your choice, and that’s no problem for the average toker.
But, if your choices take you away from spouse, children, and work, you may have a problem. Some users have been diagnosed as Cannabis Use Dependent (CUD), and one key indicator shows up when their choices hurt others. (Note: The number diagnosed as CUD is much smaller than those addicted to alcohol or drugs.)
5. Are you as smart as ever?
Many cannabis strains are thought to sharpen your focus, increase your productivity, and enhance your creativity. It may be why it attracts musicians, artists, and writers.
That’s not to say, it will help you run machinery, improve a craft, or speed up your piece work. No one under the influence wants a surgeon under the influence to operate.
In either case, if your work is slowing down or losing quality, you may want to think about it.
6. Do you feel healthy?
Moderation in cannabis use shouldn’t present health issues to a healthy person. Cannabis is known to affect blood flow and pressure, so you might check on that if you are predisposed to hypertension. If you have respiratory conditions, even asthma or seasonal allergies, you should consider the effects of inhaling and opt for using in some other form.
Still, if you find yourself suffering constant fatigue or skipping regular exercise, you may have physical problems worth reporting. So, a break from cannabis would logically correct such symptoms.
7. How guilty do you feel?
Some people use because they want to escape something. Some others use because they feel about escaping.
But, if you feel guilty that taking a break may disappoint others or take you out of the “in crowd,” you have other issues going on in your head. You smoke to enjoy the experience, and you stop because it makes sense at the right time.
8. Are you alone and getting “aloner?”
There’s many a time when a solitary smoke might be your best friend. No one suggests your need friends on hand to enjoy a cannabis treat or tea in the evening.
But, if you find your social of friends is dwindling or if you are left off invitation lists, your behavior may be a subject of discussion. Perhaps more important, if you close yourself off preferring the couch to the social circle, you should think about it.
9. Are you the artist you think you are?
Cannabis has long been attached to the arts. Jazz performers, for instance, have attributed their effectiveness to it. And, it sure makes more sense than depending on more the damaging alcohol, cocaine, or heroic that have destroyed so many.
Cannabis certainly will reduce inhibitions and fight stage fright. And, many users feel it improves their creativity. Still, as an artist or creative worker, you must have enough distance from the practice to determine if it really improves the art.
10. Who’s after you?
When you have a new job on the horizon or expect a drug test, it’s time to take a break. When you treat for a significant health issue, you must admit use to your doctors, but it makes even better sense to take a break until you know what’s happening.
But, if you find paranoia lingering or accumulating, it could be the strains you prefer, or it could be a clue to take a break.
Take a break from cannabis
The best on body/brain experiences in recreational and medical use of cannabis come with moderate use. There’s probably a million users who disagree, but cannabis does inebriate. So, whether you are thinking cannabis or caffeine, it makes sense to watch what that same body and brain are telling you. And, that message may just occasionally suggest taking a break.