What Buddhism Taught Me About My Relationship With Weed

3 min read

First, some good news: you don’t have to quit cannabis forever to heal your relationship with it.

My approach to quitting marijuana is not based on any formal methodology. I have not been a part of any substance abuse support groups, nor have I studied any of their processes. My system is based solely on my own experience of what has worked, including many stops and starts along the way.

That’s because I don’t necessarily believe in absolutes in all contexts.

I can acknowledge that weed was an ally for me during a difficult period and I’m glad that I had it during that time.

I can also acknowledge that it has many healing benefits and is a fun addition to life, in moderation. That doesn’t mean we need to be constant companions for the rest of my life.

What changed over time was not the marijuana itself. It didn’t become an evil plant with bad intentions for me.

Here’s what I learned: marijuana is neither good nor bad. Marijuana is neutral.

Demonizing the plant itself is a mistake because marijuana is not the problem. The problem is your relationship with marijuana. In many instances, that relationship can be repaired over time if you’re able to properly address the root cause for why you were overusing in the first place.

For example: If you’re staying stoned to hide the fact that you’re not happy in your career, you might be less tempted to use weed as a crutch once you address your career issues. When you confront what you’re hiding from, the temptation to avoid it with external distraction goes down significantly.

Still, there are those amongst us who need to part ways with Mary Jane for good. The pull is too strong and the cost to our life is too steep — and that’s an assessment that you must learn to make once you honestly examine the pros and cons of using her.

Sometimes abstinence is the only way to find balance and you should respect yourself enough to know your limits. Everybody is different. However, I don’t believe that you necessarily have to quit forever to find balance in your relationship with marijuana.

This is a core difference between my philosophy and that of legacy support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. From my understanding, their philosophy is one of lifetime abstinence. Mine is one of overall lifestyle balance that can include extended periods of abstinence to keep things in perspective.

Recently, I took six months off to detox myself, then enjoyed her again for a few weeks. Coming back to the plant after six months off allowed me to see that it wasn’t “all that” and after 2-3 weeks, I kicked the habit again, knowing full well that I had solid strategies for cleaning up.

As of this writing, I’ve been off for over one hundred days again. I feel great.

When I look at previous years of continuous overuse, this cadence of extended breaks punctuated by periodic enjoyment feels so much healthier mentally and physically.

The prospect of quitting forever seems so ominous that I believe many people who really enjoy the plant will have a hard time living up to their own expectations. The more you tell yourself that you can’t ever have something, the more attractive it often seems.

It becomes an “all or nothing” proposition.

My approach is what the Buddhists would call The Middle Way — walking the line between the extremes of chronic use and complete abstinence.

Learning to take long breaks like this has taught me how to have a better relationship with the plant, how to remain self-aware of my own addictive cycles and ultimately, keep things in proper perspective.

The key is absolute and total honesty within yourself.

This journey is for you and nobody else.

Start by keeping your word to yourself. Remember the phrase: “My Word is Law”. Repeat and reaffirm it.

Once you learn to organize your energy in thought, word and action, you will resonate internally.

What you think and say, in and of themselves, are sacred acts. Your thoughts are an extension of faith, meeting the Divine halfway. Your words, the brick and mortar of your daily experience.

Remain mindful of what you’re building.

Once you push the button, you’re locked in.

There may be slip ups along the way. If and when those happen, acknowledge without judging. Accept that it happened and recommit to the path. The goal is not achieved any more swiftly by lumping judgment on top of error.

If you decide to take a break, utilize that time as a way to get to know yourself better. By the end of the experience, you’ll have gained powerful tools that don’t just enhance your self-awareness and self-discipline — but also your self-love.


If you’re interested to unpack everything I learned, I’m putting together a free presentation next week to help you break the addictive marijuana loop and come back to center. It called:

Heal Your Relationship With Marijuana: How to Break The Chronic Addiction Cycle and Get Your Life Back — Without Quitting Forever (Unless You Want To)​

Click to learn more

Here’s what we’ll be covering at the webinar:

  • How to know whether now is the right time for you to take a break from weed
  • How to navigate the 3 phases of healing your relationship with marijuana
  • How to take a break from weed and be able to continue using later it without getting trapped in the addiction cycle again
  • Probably a lot more

If quitting or reducing your MJ usage is something that’s been on your mind for a long time, but you’ve been having trouble doing it alone — this presentation will give you some solid strategies to get you started.

Reserve your seat

BTW — I am PRO CANNABIS. I still use it, but I’ve changed my relationship to it completely over the last year after struggling for a long time.

I’m not advocating you quit forever unless YOU want to. I’m going to be sharing strategies that have allowed me to take long breaks without cravings, end the addictive loop and use marijuana as a healthy supplement, not a crutch.

If that’s interesting to you, ​I highly recommend you sign up.​

ALSO — if you cannot make it at 5pm PST / 8pm EST on Weds, July 5th, that’s fine. ​Add your name anyway​. I’ll send you the recording on a private YouTube link.