20 Things to Do Instead of Smoking Weed

20 Things to Do Instead of Smoking Weed

Smoking weed, or consuming cannabis in any form, is a personal choice, and while it has potential therapeutic benefits, it’s not without its potential drawbacks [1]. Overuse can lead to tolerance, dependence, and even negative mental health effects [2]. If you’re looking for alternatives to this habit, we’ve got you covered. This comprehensive guide will detail 20 activities you can try instead of lighting up. Let’s explore.

Physical Activities

1. Exercise

Exercise is a great way to distract your mind and body from cravings to smoke weed. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a jog, or a strenuous workout at the gym, engaging in physical activity regularly can help manage withdrawal symptoms, promote better sleep, and improve overall health. Plus, the endorphin rush exercise offers can replace the temporary euphoria often associated with smoking weed [3].

2. Yoga and Meditation

These ancient practices have long been recognized for their ability to balance mind, body, and spirit. Yoga’s combination of gentle movements and deep breathing can relieve stress and anxiety, a significant factor for many weed smokers [5]. Meditation, on the other hand, helps develop mindfulness and concentration, empowering you to resist cravings and make better decisions [17].

3. Get into Nature

Exploring nature is an effective way to reduce stress, anxiety, and improve mood [6]. The calming effect of fresh air, green spaces, and natural sounds can help clear your mind and provide a healthier, more beneficial way to pass time, especially when alone at night.

Creative Outlets

painting to quite soming weed

4. Painting or Drawing

Engaging in art can be an effective substitute for smoking weed. It gives a sense of accomplishment and serves as an outlet for expressing emotions, leading to decreased anxiety and increased self-esteem [7]. You don’t have to be an accomplished artist to benefit from this activity; the process itself is therapeutic.

5. Playing a Musical Instrument

Playing a musical instrument is not just entertaining but also beneficial for mental health. Whether you’re a novice learning guitar chords or a pianist mastering a challenging piece, immersing yourself in music can reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance cognitive functioning [8].

6. Writing

Writing is a powerful tool to channel your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, providing a therapeutic outlet. It can help you process feelings, improve self-awareness, and potentially lead to self-growth. You can start a personal journal, write short stories, poems, or even start a blog.

Social Activities

7. Spend Time with Loved Ones

Social connections are vital for mental health. Engaging with loved ones can distract from cravings, provide emotional support, and lead to increased happiness and reduced stress [10]. Plan a movie night, go for a picnic, or simply engage in meaningful conversations with your friends and family.

8. Join a Club or Society

Joining a club or a society can provide a sense of belonging, create new friendships, and fill your time with productive activities. Be it a book club, a dance group, or a cooking class, aligning yourself with a group that shares your interests can be a fulfilling alternative.

9. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community while deriving a sense of purpose and satisfaction. Whether it’s at a local food bank, an animal shelter, or a nursing home, volunteering can help you connect with others, improve self-esteem, and bring positivity to your life [11].

Intellectual Activities

Focused women reading a book in the living room

10. Read Books

Books can be your gateway to other worlds, ideas, and perspectives. Regular reading not only improves cognitive skills like concentration and comprehension, but it can also reduce stress, improve empathy, and increase knowledge [12].

11. Take an Online Course

With the vast array of online courses available today, you can learn about almost anything from the comfort of your home. It can be a coding course, digital marketing, a foreign language, or even a cooking class. This activity keeps your mind occupied, enhances your skills, and might open up new career opportunities.

12. Learn a New Language

Learning a new language exercises the brain, improves memory, and introduces you to new cultures and perspectives [13]. There are various apps and websites that make language learning fun and easy, turning it into a fulfilling hobby.

Recreational Activities

13. Play Video Games

Video games can provide immersive experiences that can distract you from cravings. Choose games that challenge your mind, or multiplayer games that allow you to socialize. However, it’s crucial to remember to balance gaming time with other activities to avoid developing a new addiction.

14. Watch Movies or TV Shows

Diving into a good film or binge-watching a TV series can be an engaging way to unwind and distract yourself. It’s a harmless pleasure if done in moderation and can stimulate your imagination and emotions.

15. Cook or Bake

Cooking or baking can be therapeutic and rewarding. Trying new recipes, exploring different cuisines, or baking a batch of cookies can keep you busy and provide a delicious result. Plus, it’s a life skill that can boost your confidence and creativity.

Healthy Habits

16. Adopt a Balanced Diet

Instead of reaching for junk food when you have the munchies, focus on adopting a balanced diet. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can provide essential nutrients, promote better health, and improve mood [14].

17. Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is crucial for overall health. A good night’s sleep can improve mood, concentration, and reduce cravings [15]. Start by setting a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, avoiding screens before bedtime, and creating a relaxing sleep environment.

18. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment non-judgmentally. Regular practice can reduce stress, anxiety, and help manage cravings [16]. It can be as simple as focusing on your breath, eating mindfully, or taking a mindful walk.

19. Herbal Tea Instead of Smoking

If you miss the physical act of smoking, herbal teas can be a comforting alternative. The act of brewing and sipping tea can be calming, and many herbal teas like chamomile or lavender are known for their soothing properties.

20. Start a New Hobby

Starting a new hobby can be an effective way to fill the void left by quitting weed. Hobbies can be varied – gardening, DIY projects, photography, knitting, bird-watching, and many more. They can provide enjoyment, a sense of accomplishment, and make your time more meaningful.

By trying out these alternatives to smoking weed, you’re not just giving up a habit; you’re gaining an opportunity to improve your lifestyle and wellness. Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, and it’s okay to try different things until you find what works best for you.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Marijuana Research Report
  2. Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. (2014). Adverse health effects of marijuana use. N Engl J Med, 370(23), 2219-2227.
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). The exercise effect
  4. Ussher, M. H., Taylor, A. H., & Faulkner, G. E. (2012). Exercise interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (1).
  5. Harvard Health Publishing. (2020). Yoga for anxiety and depression
  6. Bratman, G. N., Hamilton, J. P., Hahn, K. S., Daily, G. C., & Gross, J. J. (2015). Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. PloS one, 10(7), e0131387.
  7. Stuckey, H. L., & Nobel, J. (2010). The connection between art, healing, and public health: a review of current literature. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 254-263.
  8. Chanda, M. L., & Levitin, D. J. (2013). The neurochemistry of music. Trends in cognitive sciences, 17(

Learn More About: How Can I Manage My Irritability When I Quit Weed?

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