Marijuana has held a special place in my life for years. I remember the first time I
ever smoked - I can’t say that I exactly knew what I was getting myself into. I was
15 years old and at my first high school party. One of my girlfriends told me she
had some weed she wanted to smoke with me. Being a curious person who is
open to new experiences, I eagerly sat down to join her. From that moment, I
gradually started exploring what it would be like to have a relationship with weed.
For the rest of my high school years, I made a lot of really good friends who also
enjoyed smoking herb. We would mostly get together at one of the guy’s houses
to smoke and play video games, talk about life, and just chill.
When I turned 18 and moved out of my parent’s house into my own apartment,
my relationship with weed changed tremendously. I had been keeping my use a
secret from my parents and from some of my friends as well. But now I had
ultimate freedom. I could smoke whenever I wanted, in my own place, without
having that terrible feeling of paranoia that someone was going to catch on to the
secret life I had been hiding for the last few years. This was a great and liberating
feeling, until it all caught up to me and I started feeling lazy and unfulfilled.
I was pretty much always lighting up, laying on the couch, watching TV, and
eating a bunch of unhealthy food. I started digging deep into the reasons why I
loved to smoke and how I could get the most out of my sessions and really start
respecting the herb as the medicine that it is. I started listening to a lot of reggae
music, meditating, doing yoga, eating a vegetarian diet, and doing research into
the culture and history of marijuana use. As I learned more, my relationship with
weed became much healthier and much more meaningful. I started realizing that,
like many other things that make you feel good - caffeine, sugar, sex, alcohol,
tobacco - too much of a good thing can actually be very unhealthy for both
physical and mental health.
Now, after working on my relationship with weed for over a decade, I feel like I
am in a very healthy place with my usage. For me, it all boils down to
mindfulness. It is an absolute necessity to constantly check in with yourself to get
an idea of how you’re feeling. I believe this serves true for every aspect of life in
order to help maintain your health.
When I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I’ll do a quick body scan to see how
I’m feeling, why I ‘m feeling that way, and what I can do to help settle my nerves
and relax. Sometimes the answer is weed. Sometimes it’s going for a run,
practicing yoga, drinking water, or cracking open a beer. Through the process of
checking in with myself, I have been able to identify key things that help me
overcome my daily struggles. There are certain activities that I know I can turn to
that make me feel just as good as smoking herb. Don’t get me wrong, I love
getting really high and just vegging out from time to time, and I don’t think there’s
anything wrong with that. But I know that if I do that in excess, I will start feeling
discontent and unfulfilled.
In today’s world it can be very difficult to create and maintain a healthy
relationship with so many substances being right at our fingertips. When we have
a craving, we can oftentimes satisfy our desires almost instantly. Just like
everything in life, it’s all about balance. So check in with yourself, identify what
your body and mind needs, and answer honestly and responsibly.