Because I Got High… Or Not…

… I took a walk through the woods. I swam in the ocean. I wrote a poem or 3. I solved a problem that had been frustrating me. I made dinner for a friend. I danced like no one was watching…

Let’s talk about what is really happening when these infamous cannabinoids meet our cells. There are two types of response.

1. Psychological which includes the following:

Emotional (euphoria, laughter, decreased anxiety).

Sensory (increased/altered perception of external stimuli, increased body awareness).

Somatic (feels like floating or sinking, impaired balance, lack of coordination).

Cognitive (distortion of time and perception, colors & sounds intensify, memory lapses, difficulty concentrating).

2. Physiological which includes:

Brief increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Blood vessels in the eyes expand causing them to appear red.

Bronchial passages relax & become enlarged.

Decreased intestinal activity & decreased nausea.

Analgesia (pain relief).

Decreased muscle spasms, seizures and convulsions.

The worst that can happen from over consumption is temporary memory impairment, paranoia, panic and sleepiness.

Of course there are some distinctions in the experience depending on how it is taken. If smoked the cannabinoids are released when inhaled. The vapor passes through the lungs’ lining into the bloodstream then through the heart and after the brain into the rest of the body. In this scenario 50-75% of the camnabinoids are absorbed.

If it is eaten or drank it is absorbed in the intestines then enters the blood through the liver where it is converted to 11 hydroxy THC delta 9 before it travels to the brain and into the rest of the body. In this case it takes 30-60 minutes to be activated. Only about 30% of the cannabinoids are absorbed but the effects last longer.

I suppose with everything it is about intent. Now the breeding practices are becoming more and more specific to create strains that highlight various benefits. Ideally consumers are armed with information and feel empowered to ask questions. Legitimate cannabis clinics and caregivers seem to be knowledgable and accommodating when addressing the needs & concerns of their patients. In the many places where access is limited and these transactions are still in the shadows there is of course a greater risk of simply not knowing what you are getting.

*Insert argument for unbiased testing and safe, healthy access here*

I think any consumer has been in a situation where they underestimated a strain then had to succumb to the weed nap. In my opinion that’s preferable to the cyclone mania of over exuberant anxious energy. In that scenario exercise could be helpful. Please use caution. Forgot what you were doing? Who doesn’t from time to time? We’ve all stood in the center of a room and asked ourselves why we had come in there in the first place. Working against stereotypes of a stoner I try to defy couch lock unless I mean to be lazy and I am always determined to remember the details that keep my life on track. I think we can all agree that people have a pretty basic 1 dimensional perception of cannabis users. I honestly think it’s legal status has much to do with it. Hopefully that is changing for the better. Especially as modernWestern medicine catches up to the East. As more people are less ashamed of stigma and more inspired to share the benefits they receive from use the more that reputation expands to reflect the true spectrum of the cannabis community.

If you don’t smoke cigarettes or drink coffee people generally accept that with ease. If you don’t drink alcohol people often respond with a look that might make you wonder if you’re suddenly sprouting a spare limb. You may of course be excused from scrutiny if you admit to being in recovery. Although under that gleam of compassion they likely want to delve into the sordid secrets of your dark side. We like intoxicants because dopamine. We have clearly created a world that wears on our senses and we are constantly seeking supplements to make us feel good even if they only give us the illusion of having a happy balanced life. I subscribe to the school of “to each their own.” This obsessive intrusion and control over other peoples live and bodies seems archaic and futile. There is no room for dogma in medicine or in recreation because everyone is different. Regardless of their circumstances individuals must be able to decide what is best for them. Part of being mature and responsible is respect for one’s own boundaries & needs and the boundaries & needs of others. I may not want my friend to drink a bottle of wine and smoke a cigarette with each glass but that is her right. She might not want me to smoke a joint and eat a pint of ice cream but that is my choice. And when we reach the bottoms of our containers and we are momentarily content there is no room to judge. More importantly there is no point.

Of course underage youth being restricted from access is necessary on principle. Moderation is also key as is labeling and cataloguing of strains. Proper dosage guidelines and even instructions can go a long way toward fighting the dreaded drooling stupors and keeping the psycho episodes on the screen.

Maybe one day soon we can have these conversations in a hospitable perhaps even openly public arena where the consumers can celebrate the plant without persecution. Frankly I think there are far more pressing concerns to be addressed legally and within the cultures of societies then a relatively harmless plant that predates our existence. Prohibition does not work. It just seems some people are reluctant to let it go. Those are the very people who could benefit from the pattern shattering effects of cannabis. I mean after all the universe itself is ever expanding I see no reason why we aren’t meant to be the same. If cannabis eases ailments and encourages us to take creative and alternative approaches to things it should be embraced. Anything that compels us to share and laugh should be a welcome addition to our pool of party favors and in our medicine cabinets alike.


















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