Slowing down on your Cannabis Use,

Unpopular Opinion: Slowing down on Cannabis Use, here is why you should, and how to go about it

November 28, 2023

Everything in moderation. We understand that this could not be a very popular opinion among stoners, but I hope you will keep reading.

Weed is everywhere. Across the globe, cannabis can be found at skateparks, tech startups, athletic facilities, pharmacies, hospitals and more. Many states in the United States, twenty-one to be precise, have legalized or decriminalized marijuana possession or consumption, while others still have not. 

Though we don’t necessarily condone illegal cannabis use, it is not surprising at all that weed is the most commonly consumed federally illegal drug in the US; with 48.2 million people (18% per cent of Americans) reporting using marijuana at least once in 2019. This number has undoubtedly risen over the last few years. 

There are many reasons people like to smoke weed recreationally. Some use cannabis to self-medicate. Some consume for medical purposes, prescribed under a clinical setting. Cannabis has been shown to have many notable benefits for the mind and body. As with any other commonly used substances (from coffee to heroin), there are also some side effects or downsides to excessive cannabis use.

Let me start with: The Benefits of Cannabis

Consuming cannabis has been used amongst humans for nearly 3000 years, studies suggest. It follows that there are likely some benefits to cannabis use that have kept us in close relations with the plant. 

Please keep in mind, the more you smoke or consume, doesn't mean the more relief you'll get. Finding the right balance is how you do it. 

Scientific studies tell us that, for many people, cannabis:

It’s easy to see why many people choose to consume cannabis in some form, whether CBD or THC; eaten or smoked. With that being said, some of these benefits of weed are indeed exclusively from either CBD or THC. 

Nevertheless, cannabis in the wrong form or dose can be detrimental instead of advantageous when treating certain conditions. It is important, therefore, to consult with a physician or be well-read before consuming if you have any specific ailments you wish to treat with cannabis.

Side Effects Of Cannabis Overconsumption (Reasons To Slow Down)

As stated in the title, this is certainly an unpopular discussion among stoners. We love our dope and love is love! With that being said, and while we struggle to be “that guy”, it is important to make sure that you are not overconsuming. According to neuroscience, cannabis affects everyone differently. Some routines may be fine for some while being too much cannabis or too regular of consumption for others. Listen to your body, and be educated on the physiological effects of cannabis in order to properly manage your consumption — reaping only benefits from your weed.

Of course, there are numerous side effects and downsides to chronic cannabis use. Marijuana use disorder is a real condition that, frankly, plagues the lives of many. It is necessary to understand both sides of the coin when it comes to consuming cannabis. Studies indicate that 3 out of 10 people who use cannabis have or will develop cannabis use disorder.

Here are the common side effects of excessive cannabis consumption, and possible reasons to consider reducing use:

These side effects are not always present when people smoke weed, even at the heaviest of weed-smoking routines. Nonetheless, one should be aware of possible side effects, as they may become significant at some point in your life. In fact, there may come a time when you realise that you need to slow down your cannabis consumption, for whatever reason(s). 

Cannabis is a great tool for a wide variety of reasons, but it is still a psychoactive drug that should be used on the foundation of extensive knowledge of its characteristics. Many of us neglect to admit when marijuana is affecting or even dictating decisions in our life. Whether we are living in a cloud of smoke or have become dependent on pot to function, it is important to take care of our mental and physical health at its most pure — when in a sober state. If smoking cannabis affects your sober periods of time negatively, you should consider reducing use. Such is the case also if cannabis smoking is generally negatively affecting your life.

How To Reduce Cannabis Consumption

So, you’ve decided that you want to slow down your weed use. Perhaps, you want to continue reducing intake until you eventually quit. Or, maybe, you want to slow down a little, just to function optimally and maintain good health. Either way, here’s how you can curb your cannabis consumption.

1. Be honest with yourself

It seems obvious but is somehow an overlooked aspect of altering habits. Admitting is one of the first steps in any type of addiction recovery, even in cases when one isn’t necessarily heavily addicted. Even when you want to become a little less dependent on cannabis, it is important to acknowledge this fact. Upon being open and honest about your desire to cut down cannabis use, it will become significantly easier to create a plan, follow through and change your habits.

2. Follow the 4:20 rule

Did you know that the term “420” actually originated from a group of friends in the 70s who met for daily smoke sessions, beginning at 4:20 pm? One practical method to reduce your weed intake is setting specific hours to get and be high. Like many others, I appropriately set my daily start time to 4:20 pm. Similarly, you can decide to only smoke in the evening, after work or school, for specific activities, only a certain number of days a week, just the weekends, or even one week on and one week off. You could also decide to only smoke as a reward for substantial tasks.

3. Don’t smoke weed with every activity.

I get it. Weed makes every activity more fulfilling and fun, however, realistically speaking, deep inside we all know it is not recommended to smoke weed with every activity.

People who smoke too regularly often feel low if they don't smoke for a while as their brain has become reliant on its regular hit of cannabis to make dopamine. Just a few sessions on the treadmill can prevent marijuana cravings and use, according to a Vanderbilt study published in the journal PLoS ONE. Moreover, committing to only using your weed when it is most beneficial is a good principle to follow. Use your weed wisely and moderately.         

4. Track your purchasing and consumption

I personally do this with all my ‘substance’ consumption. It would behove you to purchase your weed in low amounts and only keep on you what you really need. Oftentimes the benefits we get from weed are present at low doses, so we often need less weed than we think. Take that into consideration when buying and carrying around your pot. 

Another smart way to cut down pot use is by weighing out your daily use. Weighing out your bud gives you a way to set tangible limits to how much you can smoke at a time or per day. You can weigh out, let’s say, a gram each day and stick to that limit. On the weekends, you can smoke 2 grams per day. 

You can even weigh out your daily dose and give the rest to a partner, roomate, or friend. That way, you are forced to stick to your limit. Even if you don’t opt for a daily limit, it can be helpful to weigh what you smoke per day or per joint, so you at least stay conscious of your intake.

5. Diversify your dopamine plugs

To advise crudely, a great way to curb one habit is by forming another. Of course, we don’t recommend replacing weed with another substance. Pot is one of the safest recreational and medical drugs that one could take, so it wouldn’t make sense to take something else to get over weed. Instead, replace some of your time smoking with other activities that release dopamine and similar hormonal chemicals. You could start exercising lightly for a few days a week, pick up a new hobby, go for walks around your area, spend time with friends and family, etc.

6. Refresh your environment.

If you are constantly around the same environment that you regularly consume cannabis, chances are you will find it difficult to effectively break your smoking habits. It could be helpful to sometimes avoid certain places you are likely to smoke.

This could mean getting out of the house more for introverted stoners or skipping the next smoke sesh you get invited to. Perhaps, you notice that some of the people you hang around seem to be negatively influenced by weed consumption. It may be necessary to start doing your own thing and refresh your environment.

7. Smoke new strains

When one smokes the same strain for a period of time, the high received from said strain can become dulled. Therefore, it is beneficial to switch up strains semi-regularly, to allow your body to be introduced to new terpenes and get better highs. By switching strains to get fresh new highs, you can reduce the amount you need to smoke, as less of a new strain will get you as high or even higher. 

EIGHTH: Use a dry herb vaporizer

According to a study by California NORML/MAPS, when vaping your cannabis, 46% of the marijuana active ingredient, THC, is delivered into the vape. This is a drastic difference from their estimated 25% for joints, due to sidestream smoke loss. The Volcano Vaporize from Storz & Bickel is a reputable and high-quality vape that we recommend. Using a vape helps you get the most out of your buds and therefore helps you reduce cannabis use. Moreover, smoking cannabis through a vape has a number of other benefits for cannabis users looking to optimise their cannabis use.


Reducing cannabis consumption can be a difficult task. Just knowing when to start slowing down can be a challenge in itself. It is important for any stoner to ask themselves whether their consumption is appropriate to their lifestyle and health goals.

While there are many benefits to smoking cannabis, there are also numerous side effects. If you do indeed wish to slow down your smoking habits, here’s what you need to do: be honest with yourself, set specific times for getting high, diversify your dopamine sources and change up your routine and surroundings.

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