Discreetly Dank is a recurring column dedicated to giving voice to those who dare to be wet. Each volume will come from a different writer in need of a safe space to document what it really means to be a weed lover in a world that has not yet normalized cannabis.
“I know what I had for a few years with cannabis was an addiction or something.”
There was a time in my life—those murky, tumultuous years of my early twenties—when I attributed everything I loved about life to cannabis. I was working at a dispensary in California and making more money than I ever made. I fell in love with a fellow stoner who led me into the world of secret bags and gray market allure. And I felt like I was helping people soothe their illnesses and improve their lives through the work I was doing.
As an aspiring writer still in college, I dreaded my impending graduation and how to find a job among the many other journalists who I felt were hungrier, bolder, and more determined than myself. I never felt like I knew enough to cover crime or the education system, but suddenly, everyone had questions about the weeds and where the industry was headed.
I had always dreamed of writing for a living, and the growing popularity of Factory provided me with a rhythm my teachers knew almost nothing about and yet still encouraged me to pursue.
I can not lie. I was satisfied that there were at least some answers. Using my network of people I knew in the industry, I made connections and tapped into relationships I didn’t know anyone else had, and forged a path as a writer where I felt uniquely equipped to cover the topic.
There was only one problem.
I didn’t feel confident writing about cannabis without cannabis. I couldn’t believe I could be a writer outside of the cannabis niche and without immersing myself in cannabis culture.
I credited any progress I made or victory in weeding, and began to think of it as my sword in stone, my sword in stone, and my golden wool in one piece. It opened so many doors for me, and I felt just as consumed as I could be.
Learning limits the hard way
“When I smoked weed, I was less anxious. I could get my tasks done, and I could deal with all the things I felt insecure about.”
Cannabis first came into my life when I started smoking casually at my high school in California. She was sometimes Thing, mainly at home or at parties, living in the occasional dime bag and getting sobbed from my sisters. I didn’t go to school or didn’t go to high school and I didn’t like doing my homework. But then college came.
My first years in college felt like a permanent prop for disaster. My actions didn’t seem to have the results I wanted. When I smoked weed, I was less anxious. I can get my tasks done, and I can handle all the things I’ve ever felt insecure about.
Then there was also the part where I had to learn all about cannabis to help others. How can I convince patients to try this or that edible strain if I can’t share a personal anecdote? How can I report a topic that I don’t know inside and out?
Shortly after entering the world of weed professionally, I smoked every day, blowing joints with 30% THC. Bruce Banner, and try to find the edible sweet spot. My partner was a huge dabur, so, naturally, I was a huge dabur, too.
In my sophomore year of college, I spoke with a counselor because I thought maybe smoking weed every day and trying to write all my essays high wasn’t the best option for me. When I told my counselor I was feeling lethargic, unfocused, and a bit depressed, she said I was smoking too much weed. But I didn’t really care enough to stop.
The positives of smoking weed still outweigh the negatives for me. Even if the blemishes were growing in ways I couldn’t see.
What is cannabis use disorder?
In the Harry J. Aslinger days from Reefer MadnessCannabis was considered the gateway to hell. But the work of cannabis activists in the past two generations has been to help people realize that cannabis is, in fact, very normal and boring.
A large part of my weed business was based on the idea that weed was not addictive because it contributed to much less death and disease than alcohol or cigarettes, and because they do not lead to fatal overdoses or severe dependence that can come with taking opioids or amphetamines.
But I know what I had for a few years with cannabis was an addiction or something. In fact, the term used these days is “cannabis use disorder.”
Per the CDCHaving a cannabis use disorder means that a person is “unable to stop using marijuana even though it is causing health and social problems in their life.” Some research estimates that approx 1.5% of the adult population in the United States suffers from a cannabis use disorder, but these numbers are not consistent.
Outlets such as The New York Times It reported an escalation of cannabis use among adolescentsThey claimed that their addiction to high-THC cannabis products could affect brain development, memory, motivation, and physical health. I can’t really say if this was the case for me as a teenager, but as per college, the downsides for me were definitely emotional and social.
On top of that, my work began to suffer because it was easy to rationalize not doing a task when I was high, or to find myself stuck on THC-inspired pursuits during a deadline. And when my relationship ended, I turned to a dab machine and hash gummies to quell the fluctuations I was feeling instead of seeking social or therapeutic support.
These were all signs that I smoked too much, but it took a lot of thought to figure out why weed went from being a help to a hindrance.
Practice intention and moderation
For me, and for many, cannabis can be many things — including a crutch.
What took so long for me to realize is that I no longer use cannabis to improve my life and help me seek new insights. I was drugging myself. Being as high as I was in those days used weed against me, rather than inspiring my growth.
Don’t get me wrong. The medicinal value of cannabis and its growing list of benefits has an incredible amount of potential in our society. But I think the reality of how people can do this should be avoided potentially Suffering over cannabis consumption would be dishonest of me.
I will never stop fighting for people to safely enjoy weed in any way they want, and i still use cannabis regularly. But my old one can smoke my new me under a table, and I’m glad I did.
Now that I know (and believe in the existence of) cannabis use disorder, I also know that I am better for my consciousness.