As marijuana use becomes legal in more countries and becomes more socially accepted in society, many people are wondering about marijuana advantages and disadvantages.
Now that the drug is becoming legal to purchase, use, and grow you may begin to question the benefits of using it at all. Overall marijuana is a safe, and relatively harmless, plant. However, while smoking weed can provide lots of positive aspects, the benefits of quitting weed are also just as tangible.
In other words: smoking weed may soon be a legal right for Canadians, but it might not be right for everyone all the time.
It is important to consider both the marijuana advantages and disadvantages to know if it’s really right for you. This also includes realizing the difference between a choice and a compulsive habit — one that may not be providing as much good as once thought.
So, to help decide if now is the right time to quit, here are 5 benefits of quitting weed along with some marijuana advantages and disadvantages to consider.
More Money in Your Pocket
The most immediate benefit of quitting pot is that you stop spending money on it.
An eighth of high quality marijuana strains can cost you $30-$50, on average. Those who consume cannabis regularly go through about a quarter a month. So, they’re spending around $60-100 per month or $720-1,200 a year!
Heavier smokers can go through a half ounce or more in a month. This adds up to over $2,000 a year.
What would you do with an extra $2,000 at the end of the year? You could go on vacation or buy something nice for yourself, no doubt. Even if you spent the money on something frivolous, it’s not like it’ll go up in smoke… unlike your weed.
However, I do like to point out that this is much less than the average person spends on alcohol per year. Some people spend an average of $100 per night at the bar! So if you’re really trying to save money, alcohol should be the first habit to drop!
Body and Lung Health
Even if you stop for a few months, the benefits of quitting weed can actually help you enjoy it more. People who smoke regularly can build up a chemical and mental tolerance.
Chemical tolerance means that your body needs higher doses of THC to feel the same effects as before. You may end up spending more on high-THC cannabis strains, or you may just end up smoking more of the same buds and oils that you already buy.
Mental tolerance means you underestimate the chemical effects of marijuana because you are used to it. This can be a good thing since it makes it easier to function and be coordinated while high, but you also end up smoking more when you want to feel stronger effects.
Put together, both types of tolerance end up costing you more money. If you want to be high for a particular duration, they also end up costing you more time spent smoking. Your habits end up revolving around weed, as does your budget. Smoking often isn’t particularly good for your lungs either (although not quite as bad as tobacco).
Research shows that it can take as little as two days for your tolerance to begin resetting, and four weeks is all you need for it to return almost completely back to normal. This decreased tolerance is considered one of the biggest benefits of quitting weed even among dedicated cannabis lovers.
If you want to quit buying weed for good or stop smoking it regularly, then you can also enjoy the effects of marijuana much more intensely any time you decide to take a casual puff.
If you’re wondering how hard it is for consistent smokers to quit, find out by reading the answer to this commonly asked question: Is cannabis addictive?
More Normal Sensations and Emotions
Smoking marijuana heightens many senses but it also dulls others. This psychoactive nature ends up providing both marijuana advantages and disadvantages to smokers. On the one hand, you feel negative emotions like stress or depression less intensely. On the other, you may not feel joy, sadness, excitement or happiness in the same way.
To chronic smokers, your emotions may tend to feel “flat” and less varied. Actor Woody Harrelson — a long-time stoner — said he gave up smoking weed because it kept him from “being emotionally available” in situations.
A contributor on Reddit perfectly summed up this normal experience as “emotional seasons.” When you smoke weed all day every day, your normal emotional seasons end up being a balmy spring/early summer all year long.
This “eternal spring” can feel great at first, but you miss out on natural cycles that help you grow and flourish. Much like carrots need a hard frost to grow big and sweet, you need to go through tough, stressful times to get stronger and know yourself better.
Less Worrying about Safety, Legality, Morality
Marijuana use is still illegal for many people and in many circumstances.
While Canada is poised to legalize recreational marijuana, the laws won’t be a free-for-all. You still can’t smoke in your car, for instance, and there are limits on the amount you can possess.
Even if you feel like the chances of getting in trouble for smoking pot are slim, they still exist. There are also countries like the U.S. where pot use remains federally illegal. You can end up forgetting and flying to Texas, for instance, and end up going to jail for years. They don’t mess around in Texas!
Worst of all, some employers frown upon the use of marijuana and may fire you after failing a drug test.
In addition, some people may not want their friends, family, kids or coworkers to know they smoke weed. Therefore, they have to skirt around the subject in certain conversations, clean up their house for certain visitors, etc.
Some people feel anxious just thinking about the fact that they smoke while around certain people. This feeling gets worse if they aren’t smoking the best marijuana strains for anxiety.
This is a great example of trying to weigh marijuana advantages and disadvantages. The same thing that can make you relaxed can eventually cause you stress!
Feel More Creative, Energized, and Motivated
There are cannabis strains that can make you feel energized and creative. However, they are just short-term effects.
On the whole, chronic pot smokers tend to find that they have lower natural levels of energy and motivation. This phenomenon occurs because smoking pot releases dopamine, a brain chemical that makes you feel pleased.
Normally, we get dopamine when we feel happy with something we’ve done or experienced. But regular smoking can lower dopamine production overall, especially during times when you haven’t smoked for a while.
Therefore, people who smoke tend to get more enjoyment out of doing nothing, but find it harder to be productive.
If you have trouble feeling motivated or switching up your routine, this effect alone can be one of the huge benefits of quitting weed.
For instance, Rachel Krantz, a writer for Bustle, found that she was able to be more productive, energized, and creative when she stopped smoking for a while.
So, overall, quitting weed can help you gain more control over your budget and routine while helping you experience life more vividly.
If you think now might be a good time to quit, go ahead and give it a try. No matter how long you’ve been doing it, you have the power to quit no matter how much you smoke right now.