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Bored Without Weed? Tips and Advice For Overcoming It

Life without weed can feel hard, especially if you’ve only stopped using it recently. You now have hours upon hours of time at your disposal to do anything you want and you could be feeling great – but instead, you’re bored and feeling empty?

It’s normal to feel that way in the early stages of quitting weed or taking a tolerance break as you adjust to all the newfound time you have to fill (Bonnet & Preuss, 2017).[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414724/ Many of our readers have expressed the feeling, especially heavy users who used to spend most of their days smoking.

However, in reality, there are a lot of things out there to enjoy other than marijuana and you have the wonderful opportunity to discover (or rediscover) them one at a time.

Bear in mind that even when you were using cannabis it’s likely that you were just as bored as you are now – the difference is that weed covers the boredom up and allows its users to bury negative emotions and zone out. Weed doesn’t entertain, it numbs.

Of course, it can be hard to appreciate that sentiment when just a short while ago your life revolved around the dopamine rush from getting high (NIDA, 2021).[2]https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/how-does-marijuana-produce-its-effects

On this page, we will explain:

  • Why and how people experience boredom without weed;
  • When you can expect to feel less bored if you continue not to use marijuana; and
  • Steps you can get to help you stay calm and manage your irritability during this challenging time without smoking weed.

Why You May Feel Bored Without Weed

Some people feel bored without weed because with sustained use of marijuana, the brain becomes used to the surges of dopamine triggered by the substance, and less satisfied with other naturally rewarding activities.

Thankfully, most people that quit marijuana find that this boredom does go away with time (Budney et al., 2003).[3]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12943018/ In the same way the brain can become adjusted to using weed, it can become adjusted to life without weed.

Other reasons you may feel bored without weed include:

1. You Will Have More Time On Your Hands Without It

If you’ve been a frequent weed user, you may have found you spent many hours a day high. Further, you may have built a “routine” around it – and so when you quit using it, you will naturally have more time on your hands to fill up.

As a result, your days, especially in the early days without cannabis, can feel particularly “empty”.[4]https://leaveweed.org/marijuana-withdrawal-timeline/

2. Weed Hides Boredom

Using marijuana can feel like an incredibly easy and quick way to alleviate boredom. It can make you feel euphoric, and quiet the parts of your brain that worry (Ameri, 1999).[5]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10368032/

After quitting weed, at first, all alternatives can seem to take longer to give anything close to the same effect. Anything other than weed can feel like a chore – and without this stimulation, or the right mindset, a feeling of boredom can be inevitable.

3. You Were Bored Even Before

Some people feel bored without weed simply because they were already bored, even with weed. Many smoke to zone out, to escape. For many people, cannabis isn’t entertaining – it’s numbing, and it doesn’t prevent boredom, it simply covers it up.

7 Tips for Overcoming Boredom Without Marijuana

1. Embrace the Boredom and Work With It

It may sound cliché, but if every time you experience a negative emotion you bury it, you will never learn how to overcome it. This may be what you have been doing with weed. Bored? Get high. Stressed? Get high. Sad? Get high.

Without weed you don’t have that easy escape option, but ask yourself: Do you really want that option? Boredom is a natural part of life and it’s okay to feel that way sometimes. Most adult Americans are “bored” over a third of their time – it’s called being human. Try and accept the feeling, there’s no need to be afraid of it.

And once you’ve accepted it, and let it pass over you, you can channel that emotion in a positive direction. Instead of viewing “boredom” as boredom, you could try viewing “boredom” as an opportunity to seek out and discover new things – or revisit the things you used to enjoy but never had the time for.

Instead of viewing “boredom” as boredom, you could try viewing “boredom” as an opportunity to seek out and discover new things.

There are a million things out there you could be doing other than taking the easy way out by using a weed as a “fast-forward button” on what is a normal part of the human experience.

2. Develop a Talent With Your Newfound Time

When Albert Einstein got bored, what did he do? He discovered the laws of relativity.

When Stan Lee got bored, what did he do? He created the Marvel Universe.

When your idol got bored, what did they do? They did whatever they had to do to become your idol.

As canvassed above, boredom is really just time and opportunity. Time that you can now spend on developing a talent and improving yourself.

Whether it be learning a new instrument, a new language, or developing your coding skills, being bored is potential that you can convert into something much greater for yourself.
What talent could you start developing?x

3. Exercise Instead

Most programs for quitting weed will include exercise as a component to help you stay on track and develop a healthier lifestyle.

Why? Exercise releases endorphins (pleasure hormones) and helps keep you focused. Perhaps the important benefit right now is that exercise gives you something healthy, fun, and productive to do and work towards.

A walk or jog to clear your mind is a great way to relieve boredom. If you’re feeling ambitious you could even turn it into a full-blown hobby, why not start learning a martial art? Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is purported to be fun.

As an additional bonus, studies have shown that exercising when quitting cannabis can greatly increase your chances of success.

4. Try Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation is one of the number one things a person can do to deal with negative emotions.

Whether you experience boredom, stress, or cravings – draw attention to your breath and complete a few short mindfulness exercises. You may feel a weight lifted from your shoulders.

Many of those who make meditation into a long-term habit can experience life-changing effects. Like weed, over time, it can become something that is always there for you to fall back on – except much healthier.

If you’d like to learn more about meditation for boredom, we recommend this article by Headspace.

5. Find Some New Places to Hang Out

Like with learning a new talent, boredom is also an opportunity to discover new places and locations. Many users spend a lot of their time smoking weed in specific locations, such as at a friend’s house. It may be a good idea to hang out with a different friend who is less interested in using – as new scenery and to avoid temptation.

Making changes in your life, including the places you spend time, is a great way to keep away from cannabis if that is what you intend to do. There are many places you can have fun without smoking.

A couple of ideas: Why don’t you invite a friend to get a coffee with you at a café? Have you been to the cinema recently?

6. Binge Watch Your Favorite TV Shows

Whilst perhaps not the healthiest option on this list, binge-watching a new TV show or marathoning old video games can be a great way to relieve the boredom you’re feeling without cannabis.

The TV show doesn’t have to be new, you could try re-watching a show that you previously watched whilst high. You may find that in a sober state you are able to pay closer attention to what you are watching, and find a completely new angle for appreciation of your favorite series’.

Load up Netflix, get comfortable, and watch TV to your heart’s content. You should be feeling better soon.

7. Wait it Out – Boredom Without Weed Doesn’t Last Forever

The boredom you’re feeling right now, after only quitting or being without weed for a few days or weeks, will not be present this time next year.

Being able to get high and immediately receive immense pleasure affects your brain’s reward system, and it takes time for these effects to wear off – that’s why medical professionals call it “recovery”.

Appreciate what’s around you. Life without weed is can be hard at first, and boredom is painful, but this hardship is not permanent. Our minds need time to adapt without daily weed and to learn how to reward us and give us pleasure, accordingly.

Appreciate what’s around you. Life without weed is can be hard at first, and boredom is painful, but this hardship is not permanent.

All evidence shows that any boredom you feel now, you will not feel forever. The pleasures of day-to-day life always return, and you will feel amazing when they do.


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sajjad ali
2 years ago

25 year hash weed addicts , many rehabs and detoxes , don’t want to quit smoking up but have to now, at 39-40 escapism is not an option anymore. childhood undiagnosed Adhd , loneliness and a messed up head and feelings will always want to keep a door open for weed or even multiple drugs. tried to learn drawing high but would be more focused on smoking the stash rather than concentrate on learning and if i’m not high i just want to sleep all day in my room. still even if you fail try , try and try again. day 2 of my millionth quitting trial , the dopamine , reward system and boredom all make a lot of sense. but yes now i can actually do some reading online , practice drawing , play video games and watch netflix without being high or wanting to just sleep in everyday and avoid life completely. nice article great website. love n peace

sajjad ali
2 years ago

yeah, thanks for replying, it feels like I went in too long without a support system, love n care and in the end became the result of childhood physical and verbal abuse at the hands of my own mother for undiagnosed ADHD and a messed up head that did not learn to cope with life and problems and only relied on hash for support and peace. I need to win the battle, though, for me, alcohol, heroin, sleeping pills, ecstasy all have been either tried a few times, alcohol a lost count account just like hash, I’m finding it difficult to come out of the hell hole I’ve been living in for so long. but still, I’m glad that the last few years I’ve not been using multiple drugs and just hash/weed and not as much as I used when I was younger but it’s still a thorn in my consciousness so apart from boredom and add /adhd I’ve got so many serious psychological issues that if dying is not an option then finding NUMBNESS in smoking up still is. sadly after a verbal fight with my parents, I went and scored even though I did not want to and… Read more »

2 years ago

thank you

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