How to Keep Resolutions and Quit Weed (or Other Drugs)

Each New Year brings New Year resolutions, and as the crowded gyms of January are empty and unused by February, most attempts to quit smoking, drinking or drugging fail in similar short order. While we at SC support any drug habits from curious dabbler to full-blown junky, there comes a time in most stoners’ lives when they have to cut back for awhile. No problem, it’ll always be there when you come back.

Despite all the things we hear about weed being physically non-addictive, it can still present some tough obstacles to people trying to quit. Especially if that person is the type that includes weed in nearly every activity and aspect of their daily life. Many smokers believe that weed is nothing less than a life-enhancer, and they apply it in all occasions. That can be true, but when marijuana (or any psychoactive) is treated like that it can create ties with life and happiness that become very difficult to untangle.

Wish it, Want it, Do it
Sobriety can be a perfectly enjoyable lifestyle, and frankly when you smoke weed 24/7 sobriety has a tendency to end up being the more unique perspective. But the very first and most important step to quitting is to genuinely want it. If you’re trying to quit for someone else, you are simply wasting your time. You have to recognize the negative effects in your own life (even if they’re mild), and have the desire to eliminate them.

Of course, it’s easy to tell yourself in the midst of a hazy high that you’re better off sober, but breaking the habit is another story. Things will come up that make you say “oh man, I want to stop smoking but I can’t miss out on being high at this concert” or “this party is next weekend so I’ll just stop after that.” But you’ll find that as the goalposts keep moving further and further back, it becomes easier to find justification to put off quitting. “This week at works sucks, I definitely need a bowl” or “listening to music is so much better stoned, I just have to do it tonight.”

Set a strict end date for yourself, and stick to it. Having the willpower and determination to stop is about 99% of the battle. After all, there’s no magic pill that will end your cravings. And if there is, well it’s probably addictive.

Lifestyle
If you stop smoking but never fill the void with anything productive, and continue doing everything in your life exactly the same as you were, you’re setting yourself up for failure. As creatures of habit, our minds are trained to want and to do certain things at certain times. If you always eat dinner at 7pm and go to sleep at 12, your body will crave food at 7 and will get tired at 12. If you always smoke a bowl at 5 as you sit down to watch tv, well your body is naturally going to crave weed if nothing else in your life has changed.

So make a commitment to change certain aspects of your life, at least for a month. Instead of sitting down and smoking a bowl when you get home from work, go for a jog, hike or bike. Or hell, if you don’t want to exercise, just change up your routine and take a leisurely drive through the country. Anything you can think of that isn’t related to smoking, and isn’t something that leaves you sitting around wishing you were high.

When your mind starts to stagnate, that’s when your sobriety is at its most vulnerable. So it’s important to find something engaging that you enjoy doing, and use it to occupy your mind.

High Society
Social situations involving drugs can be absolute deal-breakers for sobriety. Most of us have friends whose names are basically synonymous with smoking. If you’re trying to get sober and you go hang out with Snoop Dogg, even a tee-totaler would probably lapse into drug use. For someone who already likes the drug and is trying to quit, you can forget about it.

Just as a recovering alcoholic should avoid the bar scene, a recently sober drug user should avoid their normal smoking/doping crew. After you get some time under your belt you can re-assess, but at first you should definitely make an effort to put yourself as far away from drugs and drug users as possible. If you don’t know anyone who isn’t a user then this is probably a good time to expand your social circle. Engage in a hobby you haven’t picked up in awhile, or maybe just work on some personal projects where crowds would only distract you.

Sadly, you might consider staying away from Stoner Culture, and other drug-related websites and forums. Reading about drugs online can be just as tempting or troublesome as talking to people in real life. So lay low for awhile and keep yourself out of harm’s way.

Had Enough Cold-Turkey?
Going cold-turkey off of drugs can be jarring both mentally and physically for many people. Especially if you work a lot of hours or live in a situation where a major lifestyle change is not possible, tapering off can be a life-saver. Tapering is a very simple method, where you take a normal amount on day 1, then half that on day 2, then half that on day 3, and so on until you are totally done. You can put more time in between your tapers, but you get the idea.

To avoid stretching out your taper indefinitely, set a strict goal for when you want to quit. For example: if you normally smoke half a gram a day, take your last eighth and say “after this I’m not buying any more weed.” Smoke two bowls on the first day, then one bowl on the second, then a couple hits the next, and then just one hit each night until it’s gone. By the time you’re done with the bag, you’ll be smoking such a little amount every day that the loss won’t be very jarring to you anymore. The same method can be applied for any drug, and if you want some personalized advice on a tapering program simply comment or email!

No Pain No Gain
Discomfort or irritability is common when quitting drugs, even those with supposedly “no withdrawals” like weed. Some people can go from 24/7 toking to total sobriety without so much as a headache,  but for others it can be a rather uncomfortable experience. Know that any unpleasant feelings you have within the first 3 days or so of quitting will be very temporary. You will be past the worst of them before you know it, and they will disappear completely within a week in most cases.

Use them as a motivator, and as a reminder of why you’re quitting in the first place. For most people and most drugs there is a magic 3 day number, and once you get past that hump you’re pretty much set. For some people it may last only a day, or sometimes up to a couple weeks in the worst case scenarios (like with harder drugs like opiates, benzos or amphetamines). But don’t let that be a detractor, every day you feel shitty is another day you’ll feel good in the future. Plus it serves as a good reminder not to use drugs for awhile, lest you reset the withdrawal clock.

Take Off the Training Wheels
Recognize and avoid replacement drugs, they will only create more problems and complicate your issues. Sometimes it will happen without even noticing, you might stop smoking only to realize you have two glasses of beer or wine every night instead.

Some people advocate marijuana maintenance in lieu of drinking alcohol or doing other harder drugs. As much as I love weed, I can’t help but feel that you’re simply trading one habit for another. Perhaps in severe situations it can be a positive experience, but for the most part it’s best to avoid muddying the waters with a trade-off like that.

Soul Search
Lastly, take some time to determine what factors led to you using drugs “too much” in the first place. If you are just quitting for awhile to reset your tolerance, that’s a bit of a different story. But if drug use or addiction is negatively impacting your life, try to find out why you started and continued using them. If you’re like me, there could be underlying depression or anxiety that you are self-medicating.

Also, take some time to research exactly what you’re getting into. While weed smokers will have effectively no issues after quitting, quitting other drugs like benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, etc.) and alcohol can have very dangerous after-effects. If you have a strong alcohol or benzo addiction, you can face seizures or even death if you try to stop too quickly or under bad conditions. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stop, of course, it just means you should make sure you’re doing it in a controlled and intelligent manner.

 

Stoners Unite! Three States with MMJ on the Ballot this November

Stoners have an insidious stigma of being unmotivated, lazy slackers. This is disputed by the millions of toking Americans who work productive jobs, take care of their families and get shit done every day in this country. But that doesn’t change the label that the media continues to reinforce.

Thankfully despite the barrage of attacks on character, each year cannabis connoisseurs are out in full force politicking and pushing for the legalization of weed at all levels of government. There have been some highly-publicized successes recently in Colorado and Washington, and some equally prominent failures in places like California and Oregon.

This November, there are three states with ballot initiatives to legalize medical marijuana that will be decided by the voters. Those states are Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

If you live in one of those states, it is imperative that you ensure you are registered and informed on how, where and what to vote on. Registration dates are closing in fast, so don’t get caught slipping and forget to have your opinion voiced! You must be registered 30 days before the election, which means prior to Oct. 5th.

Register in Florida

Register in Ohio

Register in Pennsylvania

Weed Law Infographic

This sick map details the marijuana legalization rates of each US state. Check it out!
Courtesy of: Infographic World

Weed (or other drugs) Causing Anxiety? Not Working Anymore?

If you are having panic attacks (or severe anxiety) after smoking weed or while tripping, first understand that it has happened to probably millions of other people, and they’ve all been fine. It has happened to me and many other seasoned veterans. I know people who had a panic attack their first time smoking at 18 years old, and life-time smokers who didn’t have them until well into their 50s. So this is nothing unusual or harmful.

Knitting is very calming, and snakes are so hard to shop for

Knitting is very calming, and snakes are so hard to shop for

However, anxiety attacks can be very scary if they are happening to you or a friend in a high mindset. If you’re freaking out, just relax – take deep breaths and think about something you enjoy. Visualize it in your mind. Sit calmly and find some pleasant distractions – put on some music, watch something light-hearted, even just playing with your pet dog, cat or snake can help. And if you’re really feeling bad just find a quiet place to lie down and chill. If it’s weed it will pass (as all highs do) in less than an hour, often 15 minutes or so. Psychedelics usually last longer, but do know that in a few hours at most, you’re going to be sober.

After you’re greeted with the reassuring grip of sobriety, you will probably be very confused and possibly upset about what happened. This is normal, and expected. If you feel like you never want to smoke weed or trip again, that’s ok (but you probably will again later). For me, the solution was always as simple as just taking a week to a month or two off.

In my worst case scenario, I could return to my normal smoking-self after a 2 month abstention, but admittedly that was after an intense acid trip and a combination of factors. Typically I’ll be back to normal after a week or less. Just a few days off to set the mind right will often do wonders.

Anyway, after you’ve overcome the initial panic and discomfort, consider possible factors that may have led to this change. If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then consider avoiding those variables, or using a lot less in the future:

  • Did you use more than normal?
  • Was it a different strain or strength than you’re used to?
  • Did you smoke in an unfamiliar place (concert, festival, etc)?
  • Did you eat/vape weed when you’re used to smoking?
  • Have you had abnormal or high stress in your life lately?

It is very common for people to eat weed, or to vape weed for the first time and become unexpectedly high. Eating weed can be 2-5x stronger than smoking it, as it is absorbed differently through your body. Vaping is hard to gauge when you’re a newbie, and can get you too high as a consequence. Both of these are common factors that cause “whiteys,” and are easy enough to avoid and mitigate.

I was here

Where will you be when the acid kicks in?

Hectic areas like concerts, festivals, parties, raves, clubs, etc., can be overwhelming for even experienced smokers or trippers. Lack of an escape from the situation can induce extreme anxiety and panic attacks in many people. Your very best option in these type of situations is remove yourself from the area. Step outside for a breather, drink some cold water, splash some water in your face and see if you don’t feel better in 10 minutes. And in the future, just avoid smoking or tripping in those areas. Don’t feel bad though – I usually feel horrible when I trip at a concert, but I’ve still done it like 10 times.

Chronic anxiety or depression are another matter. I am lucky enough to have had anxiety and severe depression throughout some of my life, so I can speak on both of these matters. If you are feeling at all down or out-of-sorts, it is best to avoid tripping entirely. There’s no good that can come from psychedelics to a depressed person – trust me on that one.

Psychedelics will often amplify feelings and leave you making rash decisions and exacerbating the issue. The same qualities that turn music into sex and back rubs orgasmic will apply equally and opposite on the negative scale of emotion. There have been success stories, of course. But the ratio of good to bad when you are in a depressed, anxious or otherwise altered mindset is heavily biased toward bad. For every “psychedelics made me [temporarily] happy” I can show you 20 “I wanted to kill myself and was convinced life was a simulation that I had to end.” Freaky stuff.

Weed on the other hand isn’t quite so explosive. Many people have no problem smoking if they’re down, and may even use it as a mood stabilizer. I don’t necessarily recommend the latter, however I have done it myself so who am I to judge? If weed is not working for you, and you’re feeling more anxious or more depressed while high, then simply stop smoking. At least for a while.

If you stopped smoking for a week or two (or a year, whatever), and feel like starting back up, just take it easy. If a bowl to yourself made you freak out last time, try taking just one hit. There’s no honor and glory in taking huge hits, though frat boys and moochers might have you believe otherwise. Just take a nice puff and wait a couple minutes. If you feel good and want more, take another puff and gauge your reaction.

and photo ;)

May be too intense for gramps

An older stoner gentleman I met had smoked for about 40 years, and was in his late-50s. He didn’t have his first anxiety attack from weed until he was about 55. It happened when he went from having only ever smoked shwag, to smoking a full joint of high-grade, all-American hydro. After that he kind of got turned off of the strong stuff, but figured out he could smoke just a puff or two and be satisfied.

Sometimes though, even a small amount is unpleasant or just unfun. Weed may have provided happiness and pleasure for years, and seemingly overnight it will lose every ounce of magic. It happens. Don’t feel obligated to smoke weed just because it’s a habit. Usually the magic will return later. And if it’s internal struggles that cause it, the magic will return when they eventually dissipate. Don’t force it, you’ll know when the time is right.

Drug Test FAQ

My guide to cheating drug tests has become one of the most popular articles on SC. Here are some common questions we get regarding drug tests, and the answers to them!

I have been clean 2 weeks, what are my chances of passing a drug test for THC?
Depends. If you are an athlete with low body fat and regularly exercise, you have a good chance. If you’re an average person (normal or more-than-average body fat) but only smoke once or twice a week you’ve also got a good chance. You can improve your chances by diluting your urine and supplementing with creatine/B12. Even a heavy smoker will often pass with 2 weeks clean and dilution. It’s just not a guarantee.

Do any drug tests test for gender?
No, neither a panel/EMIT test, a radioimmunoassay test, nor a GC/MS will ever test for gender, DNA, age, or anything other than presence of drugs and legitimacy (meaning if it’s real or not). Checking for DNA or those types of things without permission would be a huge violation of privacy and your medical rights.

Does a drug test check for temperature?
Yes, in almost all instances drug tests will include temperature tests. It is normally going fail you if you’re above 99˚F (37.2˚C) or below 96˚F (35.5˚C). So try to keep your urine at body temperature – that is 98.6˚F (37˚C).

Do urine cleansers or detox kits work? Which one should I buy?
No, they do not work and you should not buy them. They are a scam that just gives you some basic supplements (creatine and B12) and tell you to drink a bunch of water. Instead, dilute yourself by buying your own supplements for cheap and drinking a bunch of water. Or you can substitute urine and have a clean friend pee for you or buy synthetic urine to use.

Will a (5/7/9/10/11/12) panel test detect synthetic urine?
No, assuming it is good, modern synthetic stuff. They only test for temperature, presence of drugs, and presence of urea in some states (Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, California, Ohio, and Canada). Synthetic urine is specifically designed to beat panel tests, however if a test gets sent to a lab it could fail.

Will a lab test detect synthetic urine?
No, however you have to make sure it is formulated to account for pH balance, uric acid, and creatine. The most popular option is QuickFix Plus, and I have heard from a number of reliable sources that it works great.

Which synthetic urines are confirmed to work?
As of Sept 2014, I have had recent reports that QuickFix Plus and Dr. Green Agent X both pass drug tests with flying colors. If you know of a different one that worked for you, or have an update for us don’t hesitate to comment or email!

Can a test fail for lack of smell or color?
Nope, it will only fail if your temperature is over two degrees hotter or colder than 98.6˚F, or if there’s no urea present. Or if it detects drugs of course. However if you’re paranoid you can take some B12 vitamin before your test to give your urine a yellow hue.

How long does it take to pass a drug test for THC?
It depends on a number of factors. For the average smoker – someone who takes a few hits nearly every day – you can refer to the chart below. Keep in mind, this is just my estimation of your chance of passing naturally without any dilution or effort into getting clean (in fancy chart format). If you dilute your urine and take measures to expel the THC beforehand (by exercising and such) you can significantly improve your rate of success.
graph
Read more

Will synthetic weed show up on a drug test?
That depends on the test. Most panel tests will not catch fake weed products. This includes the banned JWH series and so forth. But more and more tests are including synthetic THC, and a GC/MS would easily pick it up. The best advice (besides not using them) is to simply avoid the banned and well-known substances and opt for the more obscure alternatives. This obviously opens yourself up to the danger of unknown reactions and so forth, so proceed with great caution.

How long will urine last stored?
Room temp – maybe 8 hours or so max, realistically a few hours
Refrigerated – about a month
Frozen – a year or more

Will my employer perform a GC/MS, and if not what type of test will they administer?
Sometimes an employer will simply give you a panel test. These are the little cups that have a strip on them that tell you if you pass or fail. These are both the easiest to trick and the most unreliable. Often times they’ll give you a “lab test,” which involves physically traveling to a laboratory where they’ll administer a slightly more elaborate test. The lab will check for temperature, presence of creatine, pH balance, and adulterants. The best way to cheat a lab test is to dilute or substitute synthetic/clean urine.

GC/MS tests are almost never performed for the average person. You pretty much only see these for a security clearance or something important like that. They’re too expensive for most places. If anything a GC/MS will simply be used to “confirm” a positive (failed) test result.
Read more

What’s the best way to substitute urine?
Some people like to use a condom since they’re thin and transmit heat easily. Plus, girls can put them inside themselves to keep it the perfect temperature. However I don’t recommend that because it would be catastrophic if the condom broke.

Here’s my suggested method: Get a little bottle with a secure lid (like a 5 Hour Energy bottle) and make sure it’s perfectly clean. Put your substitute urine in there (either synthetic or clean from a friend) and wrap it with a hand-warmer. Keep a thermometer in there to make sure it stays between 96˚ and 99˚F (or 35.5˚ to 37˚C). This is an easy method as long as nobody is watching. You can also spend money on a whizzinator though I don’t think that’s necessary.
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Will my drug test look for alcohol or cigarettes?
Unless your test is for insurance purposes, normally it will not. Sometimes for probation on a DUI, underage drinking or “Minor in Possession” they will test for alcohol but it is a very crappy test and you can literally drink the night before and still pass. There’s a separate test (the EtG test) specifically for alcohol that can go back 72 hours and you’d know if they were using that one.

My take home test gave me a very faint line, did I fail?
No, any line no matter how faint on your take-home test means you passed the test. It’s counter-intuitive, I know. As long as it shows up you’re good. If it’s blank then it means you’ve failed the test.

Is there any way to beat a hair test?
Now I’m not absolutely sure on this, but there is new evidence that suggests using hair relaxers can help pass a hair test significantly. Something like 95% of the THC was mitigated in some experiments. Other than that, no.

How long should I work out before the test?
Any fat you can burn off in the weeks before your test is great. Try to sweat out as much of the fat as you can (meaning lots of cardio), then about 2-3 days before your test stop working out and load up on fat. This will help remove the fat-laden THC from your body and then mix in clean fat to reduce the concentration. Combine this with dilution and it will work wonders!
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Which drugs will not show up on a drug test (urine)?
Keep in mind the following could result in false positives, and you could always just get faulty tests, but these drugs should not trip your standard panel drug test:

  • Ketamine*
  • Tramadol*
  • Fentanyl*
  • Muscle relaxers (Carisoprodol, Cyclobenzaprine, etc)*
  • MDMA*
  • LSD
  • Mushrooms
  • Mescaline (Peyote, Peruvian Torch, San Pedro, etc)
  • Kratom
  • DXM
  • Various synthetic cannabinoids (avoid the banned ones like JWH-018)
  • Nitrous
  • Research chemicals (2c-*, DO*, *-NBOMe, etc)
  • Tobacco

*The marked drugs WILL show up on a lab test, but the rest will pass.
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Which legal drugs can false positive for illegal drugs?
Keep in mind I’ve never heard any success stories of people using the “false positive” excuse to explain a bad result. But these are known to false positive, and you should avoid them before a test if you’re trying to trick one:

  • Any cough syrup – DXM or dextromethorphan is an opioid agonist, and it can confuse a test into thinking you have opiate metabolites in your urine.
  • Allergy medicine – Anything with pseudoephedrine or any -ephedrine can trip a test for amphetamine or MDMA usage. Allergy meds also commonly have DXM as well.
  • OTC or prescription Stimulants – It should probably go without saying that things like Adderall (amphetamine salts) would trip a test for amphetamine, but now it’s said. No excuses.
  • “Legal weed” blends (or synthetic cannabinoids) – Ever since the K2 and Spice craze of 2010, more tests have been including these drugs in their line-up. They will show up under THC.
  • Hemp oil, hemp seeds and poppy seeds.

Read more
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If you have a question of your own, make sure it isn’t answered already on this page (ctrl+f to help you find what you need). If not, comment there or email me at lotus@stonerculture.com and I’ll answer as soon as I can!

Lotus Vaporizer: Two Year Update

In January of 2012 I received a humble looking hand-held vaporizer named the “Lotus“. It didn’t look like much – just a simple body resembling that of a normal spoon pipe, and an interesting cap with a nickel heating pad. After the trial runs, I wrote a glowing review and praised the Lotus for being cost effective, durable, ergonomic and just all-around good. I predicted the Lotus would last a lifetime if left to its own devices, since the design is so simple and sturdy. Let’s take a look back on how this device has actually fared over the last two years.

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Donate!

We finally have a handy donation button that you will notice on the right hand side of your screen. If you have found any of this information useful or interesting, please consider helping us out. As you might have noticed there are no advertisers on Stoner Culture, and there is no plugging or shilling of any products. We feel that without the distraction of sponsor demands and advertising rules we are able to provide much more objective and helpful content (not that we haven’t considered it).

Thanks for reading and I hope you have found something entertaining or useful on our site. Of course, if you’re broke and you’d just like to say hi, feel free to shoot me an email at lotus@stonerculture.com I’d be happy to hear from ya.

Lotus

What Happens When You Get Arrested for Weed?

I’ll tell you. But first, a little back-story:

Awhile back, I was pulled over for minor traffic infraction and subsequently arrested for possessing a (fairly small) amount of marijuana, a grinder and a scale. I also had in my possession anti-psychotic pills, and a single .5 mg alprazolam. I was taken to jail and charged in one of the most strict, law-and-order counties, in a notoriously conservative state. Needless to say, this was a pretty open-and-shut case, and I didn’t stand much chance.

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Successfully Store, Transport and Ship Drugs

Storing weed is another of those forgettably simple tasks that can cause anxiety in the inexperienced cannabis enthusiast. Transporting and shipping weed is a process that can cause anxiety for any level of user. Both storage and transportation can be important to your legal safety as well as to the continued potency of your drugs, and they’re both rife with myths and misunderstandings. Let’s sort through this mess and try to clean it up.
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Updated Legal Advice

This has been updated with lots of new information relating to Supreme Court rulings. It had been neglected since 08, so it was due for a freshening up! All credit goes to VladTemplar for originally writing this.

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So you want to know the state of the law eh? Then listen up.

NOTICE – Miranda has changed, scroll down to “The most important words you may ever say”

Disclaimer: This document gives legal opinions not legal advice and nothing said in this document is to be taken as advice given in counsel. These opinions are purely informational in purpose and intent and in no way create any kind of contract for legal services between you and anyone at Stoner Culture, nor any member of the website, and most assuredly not with the author of this writing. This information is never to be considered a substitute for the advice and guidance of a licensed attorney. You are responsible for your own legal future.
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