How2Quit : Cannabis

Use the following guidelines alongside our How to Quit Action Plan in Part 4 of the How To Quit book.

Please note all page and chapter references in this article are from How to Quit.

  1. One week before you quit, start taking the Basic Supplements.
  2. Don’t quit cannabis and cigarettes at the same time. Quit one and then quit the other. See Chapter 21 for how to quit cigarettes.
  3. Take the Mood Prescription (see pg 416). Amongst other things this contains essential fats (especially omega-3), essential for normal mood, motivation and memory (see Chapter 29).
  4. Most of the withdrawal symptoms have to do with neurotransmitter depletion and imbalance. Since acetylcholine is affected you need more phospholipids, especially phosphatidylcholine. As well as taking the Basic Supplements, which provides some phospholipids, we recommend adding either 2 teaspoonfuls of lecithin or a 1,200mg capsule of lecithin each day for a month and include an egg yolk in your daily diet.
  5. If you do feel dopey, tired and unmotivated after quitting, we recommend the Stimulant Prescription (see pg 403) . Among other key nutrients, this contains tyrosine (the amino acid precursor of dopamine and noradrenalin). You’ll need 1,000mg twice a day, taken on waking and either mid-morning or mid-afternoon without food.
  6. If your main symptoms after quitting are anxiety or irritability and an inability to sleep you may benefit from more 5-HTP or tryptophan, which is in the Sleep Prescription (see pg 397). If you suffer from overactivity, restlessness, poor concentration and impulsivity, take 10mg NADH, 1g of fish oil twice a day, eat unfried oily fish three times a week, and consider hidden (IgG) food allergy testing (see Chapter 14).
  7. Cannabis affects your blood sugar balance – hence feeling hungry (‘the munchies’). Therefore, it is vital for you to become a master of keeping your blood sugar level even by following our low-GL How to Quit Diet.
  8. As you are smoking less, it’s important to stimulate your lungs with some clean air, as well as getting some endorphin-boosting, cortisol-reducing exercise. So, go for walks or jogs outside, gradually building up your endurance.

The most important keys for you to follow are:

  • Rebalance Your Brain with Amino Acids (Chapter 7) – here you will find out how your symptoms are all to do with dopamine and opioid shut down and which specific amino acids will get your brain back on track.
  • Rebuild Your Brain with Essential Fats (Chapter 10) – by optimising your intake of the brain’s essential fats you can help to undo the damage and get your memory and concentration back.
  • Balance Your Blood Sugar to Gain Energy and Reduce Cravings (Chapter 11) – by learning how to eat to keep your blood sugar, and your energy level even, you’ll have less cravings for cannabis.

What to expect 30 days later

It takes, on average, about 30 days to recover and normalise your brain’s chemistry and blood sugar balance. If you’ve been using a variety of addictive substances for years, our advice would be to stick to this kind of recovery programme for at least 90 days.

Otherwise, provided your Scale of Abstinence Symptoms Severity score has dropped by two-thirds (see Chart Your Progress on page 26), stop the Stimulant Prescription (see pg 403) and the Sleep Prescription (see pg 397), but keep taking the Basic Supplements. By now you’ll know the effects of the other temporary supplements such as tyrosine and 5-HTP. Reduce or stop these according to your need.

For more information read my book How to Quit Without Feeling S**t.

The advice given here is not a substitute for the advice of your doctor or other suitably qualified person. For any serious addiction it is vital that you do have professional support. The recommendations given here help to ensure you are optimally nourished after stopping an addictive substance which may have had a negative influence on your nutritional status.