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Tough questions answered honestly by a long term cannabis consumer

Published Nov 12, 2022 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Dimitri Bong

As someone who has used cannabis for decades, I’m quite familiar with how hard it can be to get the answers you really want. Sometimes it feels like that nagging question is too silly to bring up. Others are just too painfully difficult to ask outright because the answer is personal and not always flattering. The thing is that if we really want to address the stigma that still surrounds this plant, culture and community, then we need to address all inquiries, which should help to make it an easier subject to discuss.

Lucky for me and those within my circle, I’m approachable, and because of that, I’ve been asked a million questions about cannabis. Being that person has allowed me to see that some stand out more than others as painful, awkward, personal, and absolutely necessary to answer. Though no two experiences are the same, this sort of base information can really help consumers to be more confident in this journey, and to accomplish that – I’m always more than willing to step up.

These are some of the most intimate questions I’ve ever been asked about my cannabis use.

1. How does cannabis make you feel?

After this long of a journey, toking doesn’t quite hit like it used to, but the feelings and sensations I need to feel good still remain. It’s calming and silences those annoying voices in my head that can act as a distraction when I’m trying to get a job done, which is oddly motivating. It also helps to eliminate aches and pains while improving the intensity with which I can focus, and that’s pretty amazing, even if it isn’t necessarily a “stereotypical” high.

2. Is cannabis still fun for you?

It might seem like after 10 years, the novelty of it all should wear off, but the reality is that each day I discover something new and exciting, and even when I’m using the same old products, it’s a whole lot of fun! When I’m looking to take things up a notch for a real recreational experience, it’s nice to turn to drinks, new strains, and edibles for an intense high.

It may not knock me on my butt like it used to. Still, with good friends and vibes, it’s just as fun if not more than ever before, because after this much time, I have a better understanding of how to harness this wonderful plant’s benefits.

3. Do you enjoy getting high alone?

Absolutely! Whether I’m curling up with a good book, catching up on some chores, or sitting back on a comfy couch binging my favourite series, some of the best seshes are those on the rare occasion when I get a few moments alone. This question is often asked by those who are familiar with agencies against cannabis use, many of which list getting high alone as some sort of indicator of a serious problem. I highly disagree with that theory because I know there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a buzz in peace.

4. Could you imagine your life without cannabis?

I honestly have no idea where I’d be today without the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Though I’m not comfortable with listing my use as medical because I very much love to have fun with cannabis, it’s helped me through some of the most difficult transitions in my life, both good and bad. As someone who comes from a family with a weakness for alcohol, had I not found cannabis when I did, I could have fallen into the same devastating patterns; It’s not something I like to think about.

Truthfully, I found my chosen family in cannabis, where this incredibly accepting community spirit took me in with open arms, and I couldn’t imagine it, nor wouldn’t want it any other way.

5. Is it hard for you to go without cannabis?

Most stoners would lie and say that it’s easy to go without their daily habit, as it’s common to want to deny any potential bad side of cannabis, but the reality is that it’s very difficult for me to go without my precious extracts and flower. Of course, it can be done, and my fluctuating budget over the years has tested this theory, but it’s not pleasant in any way, nor is it something I go out of my way to do.

To be clear, it’s not something I can’t get through. I can also go all day without a joint and still feel OK, even though I’m used to consuming from daybreak to sundown. Come night time those vivid dreams I’ve smoked away in the past creep in, and that can make it difficult to sleep, but the irritability and sleeplessness are also manageable. After this much time, I rely on the plant's benefits, but I am not dependent on them to survive.

6. Have you lost friends over your cannabis use?

Frankie

This is one of the most painful questions to answer, as I’m sure any enthusiast can attest. There is no denying the heavy stigma and no way around it when you’re dealing with someone who disagrees with cannabis use. Friends I grew up with have gone another way in life, completely cutting ties after discovering my not-so-secret habits. It’s unfortunate but also a necessary sacrifice in my eyes. I don’t negatively judge anyone for choosing alcohol or pharmaceuticals, and it’s only reasonable to demand that respect in return.

Otherwise, I’m out!

7. Does cannabis negatively impact your memory?

Truth be told, I’ve never been great with people's names, and with poor eyesight, faces aren’t necessarily my jam either. I don’t remember everyone's phone number as I used to in childhood, and when it comes to topics that bore me, the information doesn’t always stick. However, I wouldn’t say that has anything to do with my cannabis use, as these are traits that stuck with me throughout the years, with or without a buzz.

I research for a living, write educational articles pulling the veil back to teach consumers all that I can about cannabis, and I’ve absorbed every single little fact as if my life depended on it. I’ve never struggled to remember appointments, dates, or deadlines, despite my refusal to keep a calendar, and I can remember all the way back to when I was 3 years old, which is pretty amazing. My memory is fine, and I don’t believe cannabis adversely affects it.

Of course, I’m no medical professional, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say, and I’m a pretty good example.

8. Is your family encouraging of your cannabis use?

Not at all, and this surprises a lot of people when they see how comfortable I am speaking about it. I grew up through the ’90s when reefer propaganda was still strong, with a mother who believed I’d become a drug dealer once she found out I toked. It wasn’t until after having kids that my mother finally started to come around, and still, no one else in my family would accept it.

Alcohol was always the preferred drug in my childhood home, but somehow (thank goodness), I was still intensely drawn to cannabis, even without support or encouragement.

9.  Do you plan your day-to-day life around cannabis?

Yes, and no. I mean, there is only so much you can do when there’s an 8-hour show in a smoke-free building and I’m in charge of covering it. I wouldn’t travel somewhere where cannabis is still illegal, and I have daily ritual moments that I prefer to maintain. Of course, every day is different, but I arrange my schedule, home, and life in a way that provides me with the freedom to consume as I please, and that’s unlikely to ever change.

10. Have you ever had a bad experience with cannabis?

Yes, even Christal Chronic has her limits, and the worst incident was like many, the very first time I tried cannabis. It was impossibly overwhelming thanks to the high-quality product I overindulged in and the closest I’ve ever come to the experience many describe as greening out. Since then, I’ve built a high tolerance and because of that, my worst experience consists of smoking or eating so much that it’s impossible not to pass out curled up in bed or on the couch.

It is important to remember that no two people will have the same experiences with cannabis. However, these are my honest responses to questions about how this plant plays such a big role in my life, which I hope will provide some insight to those who are genuinely curious about what it’s like to live this lifestyle.

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Dynaleo

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