The good news is that you can get through the teenage years without ever smoking a joint, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“While there’s no evidence that smoking marijuana is harmful to your physical health, there is evidence that it can have an impact on your mental health,” says Dr. Kevin J. O’Brien, a professor of medicine and ob-gyn at the University of California, San Francisco.
But as you go through middle and high school, you’ll likely start to see the effects of marijuana on your social life, says Dr. O’Brien, who is also the director of UCSF’s School of Medicine.
“When you’re in the middle of your teen years, you’re socializing with a lot of your peers and you’re more likely to be exposed to marijuana use,” he explains.
As you move into early adulthood, that socialization will likely increase even more. “By 22, you’ll be more inclined to socialize with people who use marijuana, especially when you’re out partying or hanging out with friends,” says Dr. O’Brien.
Dr. O’Brien also says that as you age, you’ll likely become more sensitive to the effects of marijuana on your brain and body. He recommends looking into the long-term effects of marijuana use when you’re in your 30s or 40s, when you’re more likely to be in a position to make decisions about your health.
“If you’re not going to get into trouble with the law and you’re not at risk for addiction, you may not need an intervention,” he says. “If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other psychological health issues, it’s best to consider getting help right away.”
What Age Should You Stop Using Weed?
Your brain, like your body, is a product of your genetics. As you get older, your brain’s ability to absorb the effects of marijuana use is likely to decrease.
“There’s no evidence that marijuana use is harmful to your physical health, but there is evidence that it can have an impact on your mental health,” says Dr. O’Brien.
That’s why he recommends talking to a mental health professional about your marijuana use when you’re in your 30s and 40s.
“If you’re going to get high, you want to get high with people who are going to be supportive and who won’t judge you for your marijuana use,” says Dr. O’Brien.
Dr. O’Brien also says your risk of a marijuana-related health problem, like a heart attack or stroke, may increase as you age.
“As you age, you’re also more likely to develop conditions such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and asthma,” he says. “If you smoke marijuana, you’re more likely to have increased heart attack risk and stroke risk.”
Dr. O’Brien also says your risk of developing a mental health condition, including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, may increase as you get older.
“If you smoke marijuana, you’re more likely to have an increased risk of developing depression, anxiety, and other psychological health issues,” he says.
Do You Need to Stop Using Weed?
The best thing you can do is to stop using marijuana when you’re ready, says Dr. O’Brien.
“If you’re getting high, it’s best to have a conversation with a therapist or other mental health professional who can help you understand the effects of your use of marijuana,” he says.
If you’re interested in quitting using marijuana, there are several free resources available online that can help you get started.
One of the most common resources is the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “NIDA has a great website where you can read about all the different types of drugs and substances that people consume, including marijuana,” Dr. O’Brien says.
The website is available in English and Spanish and is packed with information about the effects of different types of drugs, including marijuana.
NIDA also has a page on marijuana for people with a substance use disorder, which is a common problem for people with mental health disorders, Dr. O’Brien says.
If you’re interested in quitting using marijuana, the site offers a variety of resources, including a list of doctors who prescribe marijuana or are qualified to prescribe it.
Other resources you may find helpful include Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which is a 12step fellowship that’s focused on helping people quit using drugs.
If you’re interested in quitting using marijuana, you can check for a meeting near you by visiting NIDA’s Meetup group. Or, you can get a free NA meeting in your area by calling the National Helpline at 8008447821.
How to Quit Smoking Weed?
If you’re ready to quit smoking weed, there are several steps you can take.
The first step is to reach out to your doctor or mental health professional. If you’re getting high and you have a mental health condition, your doctor or therapist may be able to help you quit smoking marijuana.
According to the American Psychological Association, people with depression have a higher risk of developing substance use disorders, which include smoking marijuana.
“It’s important that you have a conversation with your doctor or therapist about marijuana use,” Dr. O’Brien says.
The second step is to find a support group. Some online support groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), have groups for people with a substance use disorder.
Another option is to reach out to a mental health professional who can help you understand how to stop smoking marijuana.
“There are some people who can give you more information on how to quit smoking marijuana, but there are also other people who can give you information on how to deal with the high you’re getting from smoking marijuana,” he says. “It’s important to get a variety of information so that you can make the best decision for yourself.”
The third step is to make a commitment to stop smoking marijuana. If you’re interested in quitting smoking marijuana, you should commit to it.
Marijuana use among younger adults is surging, and medical marijuana is becoming legal throughout the United States. However, marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
“The best thing you can do is to quit smoking marijuana when you’re ready,” says Dr. O’Brien.
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