Weed helped me quit cigarettes– and recognize my trauma

weed helped me quit cigarettes

Cannabis was a trusted ally in both serious attempts that I made to quit cigarettes. Eventually, weed helped me quit cigarettes. I was reminded of this when reading a research paper on CBD for quitting nicotine. Knowing how these compounds might help accomplish a goal like putting down the smokes is stunning. But I want people to understand the potential side effects of the plant as well.

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Cannabis as a cessation tool

The first time I tried to quit smoking cigs, I rolled a lot more joints to replace the habit. I added herbs like lobelia and lavender for a little extra funk. The method worked for a minute, but the social presence of cigarettes beckoned me once more. The second successful attempt at putting down the pack of smokes, I also rolled up cannabis joints more often to mimic the movement of cigarettes.

Though both tries had different outcomes, they shared commonalities. Each time, I started smoking tons more weed and getting higher more frequently. The joints helped me through the initial phase of kicking cigs, but eventually, my consumption grew to consume my tobacco habits rather than purging them altogether. The aide became a growth and had to be severed. This happened again years later for a much deeper wound.

Years after buying my final pack of cigarettes, I dove into darker shadow work. Shadow work explores our internal dark sides to learn and grow into balanced, regulated people.

In moving through an immense personal trauma, I was engaging in a lot of shadow work that required repair. My repair tools are blowing bowls, taking baths, and being cozy. The first one— smoking lots of weed—started to get out of hand.

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Cannabis as a crutch

While I was working on my trauma, eventually, my cannabis consumption simply numbed and consumed it. It was uncovered, it was raw, but it was slowly being nursed into a complacent, hidden gem by my pot-placated mind. This was cannabis consumption unchecked—I was using the plant to numb rather than grow.

At points in my healing journey so far, that wasn’t all bad. The mind is ready to work on deep trauma when it’s ready. People who uncovered a wound that wasn’t ready to heal might need some time. The numbness ferries them to a time when their minds can deal. That was my experience, at least. The weed held me until I could stand on my own two feet.

Cannabis is a powerful tool that has helped me in many ways since I first started mindfully consuming–from quitting cigarettes to healing my inner self. The downside is that when we aren’t consuming consciously, there’s a chance this brilliant tool can bring us down.

This is why I check in regularly with my consumption. I ask myself whether I’m reaching for cannabis again for any specific reason. I question whether I need another bowl, a pull of a vape pen, or an edible. I also track how much I purchase from the dispensary to gauge whether I’m buying more or less than usual. That is what mindful consumption looks like for me. It may look different for someone else, but it generally centers on an internal dialogue.

Cannabis isn’t a bandaid or a cure-all; it’s a powerful tool that should be used with wisdom and respect. If it isn’t, it may become more of a problem than a solution.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.