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How I Tapered to Quit a Heavy Concentrate Habit: My First Week

By December 20, 2021April 14th, 20234 Comments

I started smoking marijuana at 19. Unlike many young weed users, I started smoking because I had spine damage and I needed something to help with the pain.

Weed provided relief that opiates, and other painkillers, couldn’t provide.

Over the next 15 years my weed usage increased dramatically. I tried to quit several times, but I was always unsuccessful. I told myself it was because I was using weed for pain management, but in reality, I had become addicted to how being high made me feel.

I found myself especially stuck this year, vaping huge amounts of 90% and higher THC concentrate. I was running through a 1-gram cartridge every 2-3 days, which was costing me about $600-$700 each month. Sometimes I’d get high without even wanting to, just because I felt I needed it to feel normal.

So, I decided to stop using for good. And weed withdrawal promptly laughed in my face.

Just three days after stopping, I experienced withdrawal symptoms including stomach cramps, nausea, and a general feeling of malaise. I knew I could feel better just by buying another vape cartridge. And so I did.

I experienced relief within a half-hour, but I was very unhappy with how “trapped” I felt with my heavy vape use. I felt like I could not get off weed. That I was just using too much. Quitting seemed impossible.

So, I devised a plan to slowly taper down to reduce my dosage. My goal was to quit weed without making withdrawal so intense that I could not handle it.

I finished my vape cartridge and began preparing.

Getting Ready to Step Down

I spent the next couple days gathering supplies. These included:

  • A 1ml eyedropper that measured in .25 ml increments
  • A bottle of THC tincture, a liquid that had a dosage of 5 mg of THC per 1 ml of fluid
  • A notebook to record the date, time, and amount of marijuana product I used

Before quitting, I dosed myself until I felt no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever.

For me, this came out to 22.5 mg of THC every 6 hours while awake. I dosed myself a total of 3 times that day, so my total use was 67.5 mg of THC.

This became my baseline dose for stepping down from my weed addiction.

Day 1 (First Day of Tapering)

On Day 1, I set my dosage to 60 mg for the day.

I dosed myself 3 times, once at 8 AM, once at 2 PM, and once at 8 PM. Each dose was 20 mg of THC. I wrote all of these doses down in my notebook, so I had a written record for accountability.

Although I was in mild discomfort and wanted more THC, I was able to control myself and stick to that dosage schedule. That night I had trouble falling asleep, but I was able to get some rest.

Day 2

On day 2, I reduced my dosage to 52.5 mg for the day.

I dosed myself 3 times, also at 8 AM, 2PM and 8 PM. Each dose was now 17.5 mg of THC.

My discomfort was moderate throughout the day and that night. I did not sleep well that night, but I got enough rest to function.

Day 3

On day 3, I decided I was going a little fast and dropped my reduction to 48.75 mg for the day.

I dosed 3 times, as usual. Each dose was now 16.25 mg of THC.

My discomfort during the day was starting to lessen and disappear at this point. That night, I slept okay for the first time in two days. I had strange dreams and woke up several times. REM rebound was already beginning, even though I was still taking relatively large doses of THC.

Day 4

On day 4, I felt that 3.75 mg was about the perfect daily reduction amount for me. I decided for all subsequent days that I would reduce by that amount.

For day 4, each of my 3 doses was 15 mg.

At this point it felt like my body was starting to get the idea of what I was doing. I felt less irritable, and my stomach wasn’t as upset. That night, I slept pretty well.

Day 5

By Day 5 I had settled into a pattern of getting up in the morning, reducing my dose, and going about my day.

I reduced again, bringing my doses down to 13.75 mg each or 41.25 mg for the day.

This was the first day (besides day 0) that I did not feel very affected by withdrawal. This was very exciting to me because it proved to me that my plan to step down was working.

That night I slept very well, although I did wake up several times.

Day 6

Day 6 was an exciting day for me. In just under a week, I had cut 30 mg off of my usage and I was barely experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

I reduced again, bringing my doses to 12.5 mg each or 37.5 mg for the day.

At this point I started noticing chronic pain issues from my spine damage reappearing. This was unfortunate as it affected my sleep, but I was willing to live with the pain if it meant breaking my dependence on marijuana.

Day 7

Today is Day 7. I am writing this at 5 PM. In another few hours I will take my third dose for the day.

My two doses already taken today were 8.75 mg each. It is exciting to see this working. While I do have cravings for more THC, it is not difficult to wait for each scheduled dose.

Reflecting on the First Week of Tapering

I have only been doing this tapering plan for one week, but I suspect that I will continue to have success. The real question becomes, how bad the cravings will be once I step down to zero marijuana use?

At that point, it will just be me versus my brain wanting something it has had in abundance for years. I am hopeful that I will be able to stay off marijuana, but I recognize the reality that I will be dealing with cravings for a very long time. For now, I’m grateful that the plan is working and that I am more functional as I go about my day-to-day life.

About is a free, web-based resource and community created by a team of healthcare professionals and researchers. We distill the facts about marijuana use and its effects into practical guidance for interested persons or for those who are thinking about or struggling to quit weed. Finding reliable, easy to understand information about marijuana should never be a struggle—that is why our core mission is to provide the most up to date information about marijuana use, abuse, addiction, and withdrawal. While we seek to empower individuals to have control over their use, we are not “anti-weed” and we support efforts to legalize adult marijuana use and study.


  • Patrick says:

    Were you on any other medications/substances at the time? Did it end well?

    Given the ability to buy d-8 edibles at head shops in the vicinity of 1250mg/pack (or 100mg d-9 Pops at LEGAL weed stores), before you know it, you’ve consumed an incredibly strong dose of THC. Any substance consumed in such high quantity for long periods of time is going to cause CWS. I do not recommend cold turkey, but the approach you’ve underlined above. Thanks for sharing!

    Alcohol has better treatment options. E.g. You can be given a benzo. CWS is treated with Gabapentin/Lyrica and/or Mirtazapine to little avail in most cases. If you smoke low THC weed 1x/night, you’ll eventually get a tolerance and want the heavier stuff.


  • Michelle says:

    I wonder how well it went for you once you hit zero thc. I’m currently doing low thc edibles trying to taper down its extremely hard.

  • Loki C says:

    I went cold turkey almost a month ago. I was a heavy vape/concentrate consumer and it’s been tough but it is doable. Also gave up alcohol about a month prior to THC and I definitely miss the THC more. The main reasons for me were to acquire a new job/pass urine test, save money, and prove to myself that I could do it. I was a daily toker for 23 years or so and had only taken a long break once before. Not sure I would have gotten this far without the support of my wife, so I’m very lucky there.

    The first week or two was the toughest and I feel like tapering off like the writer of this article suggested would have made it much more pleasant overall. I definitely feel quicker and sharper mentally and my short term memory has improved a bit. I feel like I am more emotionally available and stable as well. Also procrastinating slightly less nowadays. It’s hard to imagine THC not being a part of my life forever but I plan to go another 2-5 months, hopefully, and reassess then. I have kept the remainder of my stash in a spare room and I feel like knowing I could have gotten stoned at any time has made it feel like more of an accomplishment or feat of willpower. That may not be a good idea for everyone though.

    What brought me to this website today are the intense, vivid dreams/nightmares that I’ve been having almost every time I sleep. That has really been the worst part of cutting THC out of my routine. Before I pretty much never remembered my dreams and also fell asleep and stayed asleep much easier. Hoping my sleep normalizes soon and I hope other people are not experiencing this like I have been. Unless I change careers to surreal horror writer I don’t really see the upside here. Waking up cold and sweaty is real bummer. I do need to exercise more and I am starting a new job this week so hopefully that helps!

    Anywho, for anyone reading this, know that you are not alone and that you CAN power through it. Keep your mind busy and your body too if you can. Reading has helped a lot too whenever I start craving a buzz. Good luck and stay strong!

  • David says:

    It is an amazing feeling with the “fog” clears . I’ve stopped smoking a lot but I always seem to go back to it. The brain remembers positive feelings a lot more then negative feelings. That is more then likely the answer to why I always go back to it.
    I haven’t been diagnosed but I’m fairly certain I have CHS (Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome) I can smoke lightly for a few weeks , every day but the moment I start increasing it to multiple times a day it triggers the feeling of nausea and leads to vomiting most of the time.
    I stop for 3 -4 days and I’m good. The cycle repeats … I’ve learned to listen to my body a bit more but smoking weed causes a sensation that the brain and body aren’t communicating properly in some people.
    This all happen when I started using the vape pens , those things are way to potent. They need to have warning labels put on those , and also the flower now and days has such high amounts of thc. Warnings should include high possibility of addiction.

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