I'm 20 years old, I've smoke marijuana and cigarette for about 3 years and i recently quit cigarettes 4 months ago and then i started smoking "poppers" combination of weed and a finger tip of tobacco in a pull through bong. I would smoke in total about 10 cigarettes a week and about a half ounce of weed using that method.
Now recently on jan 1st 2013 ive quit everything here are the symptoms im experiencing.
-feeling hungry but not wanting to eat?
I'm looking for tips on how to fight these symptoms, mostly the phlegm.
Well done on quitting both cigs AND cannabis.
What you're experiencing is pretty common for someone quitting from cannabis and who has regularly used, over a number of years.
I would suggest you read this: http://ncpic.org.au/static/pdfs/background-papers/management-of-cannabis-withdrawal.pdf
Or this: http://www.drugfree.org.au/fileadmin/Media/Reference/CannabisWithdrawal_SmithSeymor.pdf
They will explain your symptoms a little better and gives evidence from studies and/or investigations in to cannabis use and marijuana withdrawal.
The rest of the advice I can offer is personal advice and tips I've picked up from my research and profession. Not everything works for everyone, but it never hurts to try!
Be prepared to go through some lifestyle changes. I'm withdrawing from cannabis at the moment too, after a ten year, daily habit. I've tried to stop smoking many times over the past six years, but this time I'm determined to actually be successful! lol. The longest I've managed was a 5 month abstinence, but with the 1st emotionally taxing experience, I ran back to the green. Last year, I managed to go for two weeks, but cracked because I experienced a social panic attack (silly, I know!).
-Insomnia: For the first week or so, this is a killer, but bare with it- it will gradually get better.
=Some useful things to try: a sleep routine- keep going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Even if you wake up in the middle of the night, have a walk around and a drink of water, then go back to bed and read. Getting up and walking around will expend that sudden burst of energy, the water will hydrate you (a common aggrevator with insomnia) and the reading will relax your eyes (forcing them to start closing and signal to the brain that you're tired).
A relaxation routine: meditating or reading are great ways to slow down the brain and body before bedtime. Also establish a routine before bed that takes about half an hour- an hour, for example, have a warm bath/shower, brushing teeth, deep breathing, reading (avoid brain stimulating TV & computers) and keep lighting low. Try not to drink coffee, tea, energy drinks or fizzy drinks from around 4- 5 hours before bedtime and don't go to bed hungry or too full. The reason for this is that you are preparing your body to shut down- sugars, caffiene, proteins and fats, you consume in the hours before bedtime, will play a part in how your brain dictates what it should be doing.
-Phlem: This takes a bit longer to go and this is because you've stopped the tobacco- not the cannabis. This can take up to six months to clear (apparently- I haven't given up smoking tobacco, since I was pregnant 13 years ago. Stupidly started again after my son was born!)
=Some useful things to try: steaming your face- this helps clear the sinus'. If you haven't got a conventional face steamer, try a large bowl with boiled water and a towel over your head to trap in the steam. Add a few drops of eucalytus, mint, lemongrass or citrus oil- these are great for clearing the body & mind. Alternatively, you can use a few drops of oil on a handkerchief and sniff it throughout the day to relieve your symptoms, if you don't like the idea of the steamer; however, the steamer is more effective.
Watch what you eat- cut down on dairy foods and replace full-fat milk for semi or skimmed milk. Eating a lot of dairy products increases mucus, so it figures that if you cut down on it- the mucus will reduce.
Also- try a heat pad or (covered) hot water bottle on your chest for around half an hour. It will relax the muscles on your chest and help expell phlem a little easier.
-Sweaty Hands: this goes on for about a week and I can't completely help with this! I find this symptom really annoying. I also find I'm shivering with cold, yet sweating at the same time. The only thing I'm doing for this if drinking water frequently. I know it will go away, but this is one of those symptoms that simply takes time.
-Anxiety: in the first week or so, anxiety can get really bad! However, you will find it easing after the first few days and by week two, it gets a lot better. The only drawback will be any repressed issues that you have been smoking to cover up and these can be relapse threats. For example, the reason why I smoked cannabis was because I have very bad emotional management. When I'm stoned, I find I can stabilize my emotions- I don't get extremely happy, sad, angry, etc- I'm 'balanced'. Yet when I stop smoking, I feel a rush of ever changing extreme emotions and managing them takes a lot of effort. Effort that sometimes seems impossible to muster.
=Some useful tips: I've gone the yoga, exercise and meditation way, this time. The exercise is wearing me out; the yoga is generally making me feel healthier and the meditation is giving me a chance to clear my mind and allow some perspective over what I'm feeling. The meditation is also helping me slow down in the evenings. The low light and quietness is settling the physical restlessness and keeping my mind on a positive 'mantra' is giving my brain a chance to shut up. It's taking some persistance, but it's certainly helping.
Other methods to settle anxiety include cognitive behavioural strategies; question- why do I feel this way? (triggers- situations, feelings, people; look to similar situations in the past that made you feel that way) How did I cope with situations similar to this before I used to get stoned? (you were once a non-smoker and dealt with situations, etc without the need to puff; thus, you can do it again) and how can I change what I'm feeling, this time? <this may include looking at emotional reflectors.
For example- Why do I feel this way? My biggest issue at the moment is anger towards a certain person from my past. This person has a negative impact on my current life situation, because, due to his selfishness, I have to shoulder his financial and emotional responsabilities. However, the impact this person has on my life goes deeper and reminds me of a deeper rooted issue from my childhood. Whenever I stop smoking, I get a wave of burning anger towards this person that I have trouble controlling my feelings. And emotions can be strong events- my anger effects how I am with other people, my inner thoughts, my energy, my concentration- everything. How did I cope before I got stoned? I wrote about it. I rarely acted on it; it swam around in my head, until they flowed in to a poem or a diary entry. I would get it out, close it and felt as if I dealt with it. Then I would go and distract myelf. Yet when I'm stoned, I distract myself, let it build up and then I write about it, but then I'll write again and again- resurecting something, I don't neccesarily want to resurect. How can I change what I'm feeling this time? I've gone back to the old method of writing it, but I'm also exercising the anger out.
Sometimes, it doesn't take that amount of analysing- I also find that by controlling the physical symptoms of emotions (e.g for anxiety; fast heart rate), you start to change the mental aspects of the emotion.
-Feeling hungry but not wanting to eat: this will start to peter off after about the first week or two. It gradually gets better and by around week two, you'll find your appetite will increase and you'll be eating more regularly than when you were chuffing.
Some tips: eat little and often, drink fluids frequently, especially those sports drinks as they contain vital sugars and are great for the sweating (this will replace some the vitamins your losing through sweating and lack of food). Eat what you fancy- don't make yourself big healthy meals that you won't realistically eat. Try cooking your own food and being adventurous- while your cooking, you may find you actually want to eat, as the cooking smells will trigger your hunger 'brain chemicals'.
I spent day two and three not wanting to eat anything and feeling sick at even trying to get food in my mouth, but it's getting a lot better now. I still haven't had a proper meal, but I'm gearing up for it tomorrow.
Anyway- long enough post, I think! Good luck and let us know how you get on.
I have to be honest with you, I do smoke weed occasionally and I don't have an issue with that. But I did some research because like many of you I also had this problem and I was struggling with different phlegm color as well. it seems that the only negative effect from smoking marijuana that has been this ugly cough and bigger mucus production. so, it is easy, if this bothering you if this irritates your lungs than stop smoking weed. eat fresh foods, fresh vegetables, try to detox your body and I am sure that very soon everything is going to be like it used to.
Don't listen to the guy above me.
The phlegm is the chemicals from the cigarettes stuck in your body. Your body cannot exercise the buildup of some carcinogens through stool, urine and sweat alone. So the mucus is your body attempting so clean itself out. Daikon or Black Radishes, Citrus Fruits and Dill are all great for breaking down phlegm (use a blender so youre not killing yourself).
Cannabis is good tobacco is not, and cigarettes are so far beyond tobacco.
Research detoxification if you want to take it to the next level and rid your body of phlegm completely.
Also the guy above me gave really bad advice on diet, sports drinks are not good! Refined sugars cause mucus buildup.