Almost 10 years ago, weed changed my life for the better. Before you roll your eyes, please know that I am writing this sober. I haven’t smoked in over two months so that says a lot. I am not writing this to pressure or even convince you to smoke marijuana. Or to condone abusive use of it whatsoever. However, the taboo around marijuana cannot be ignored when talking about this topic.
I would be naive to write this blog post about how weed changed my life for the better without keeping in mind the HUGE stigma that comes with it. Because of society’s propaganda on marijuana, it has become taboo when all it is is a natural plant minding its own business. The propaganda has been so well thought out and placed that it feels like if you can’t talk positively without people thinking that you are either crazy, an addict or on your way to try some heavy drug like meth or heroin. It’s so frustrating. All I ask is for you to read this from beginning to end with an open mind and heart. I look forward to the discussion it will bring but first, let’s get our facts straight.
A Short History of Marijuana
Cannabis, or marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. The main psychoactive part of cannabis that gets you high is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids.
The two main strains are sativa and indica. There are many different ways to get high. They range from smoking a bowl, bong, papers, joints, blunts, vaporizers, tea, and edibles. Recently, smoking marijuana resin (also known as dabbing) is becoming more popular and can be done through 1) hash/honey oil, a gooey liquidwax or 2) budder/mdsh, a soft solid with a texture like lip balmshatter, a hard, amber-colored solid. The resin is the most pure extraction of THC and should only be used by experienced smokers.
Whether you believe it or not, human beings have been smoking marijuana since the beginning of time. In some cultures, unlike western, they look up to the plant as sacred, with holiness and the ability of divine intervention and guidance. Historians have even found proof of its use in the Aztec, Mayan, Egyptian, Rastafari cultures in hopes of reaching enlightenment on the world and how they should live their lives.
My Personal Introduction To Marijuana
When it comes to smoking weed, I was a late bloomer meaning that I started my freshman year of college. That’s when I smoked for the first time ever while all my friends had been smoking since their freshman year of high school or even middle school. Before college, I too had this false belief that marijuana was this crazy drug that made you act crazy and did all these harmful things to your body. As a result, I was afraid of it because my judgement was based off of what I heard from people who obviously didn’t want me to even think about trying it. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t naive. I knew what weed was, what it looked like and smelt like. I knew people who smoked it but I never saw myself as someone who would.
Well never say never right ? I don’t know what pushed me to give marijuana a try but I decided to one day when I was visiting my friends in their dorm community. They had a suite so they had more room to indulge in activities without the paranoia of bringing attention to themselves and getting caught. Plus it was college so yeah. I remember smoking my friend’s bowl a few times, chillin with them for a while and then walking back to my dorm thinking I was so high.
Boy was I wrong ! It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I found out how it really was like to be high when I ate an edible brownie on a night out. I strongly suggest you not eat an edible until you are an experienced smoker because edibles are unpredictable when it comes to how much they will affect you and when the effects will start hitting ! Let’s just say I learned the hard way. This post isn’t about that night though but let me know if you’d like that story. It’s pretty hilarious and terrifying at the same time.
How Weed Helped Me Discover A New Side Of Myself
Ironically enough, that bad experience did not steer me away from marijuana. For the first few months following my edible experience, I dealt with the inevitable paranoia that comes with the plant. It wasn’t until about a year in that I began to develop the skill of overcoming my paranoia and actually enjoy being high. How’d I do it? By having great friends and giving into the feelings I had. I had to accept this new feeling I never felt before and all the thoughts that came with it. I felt like my mind was going in so many places and not all of them were good. It wasn’t until I took a step back to reflect that I realized that these thoughts were there for a reason.
That reason was to make me think about things differently. Throughout my college career I smoked heavily, ate more edibles and overtime I learned that marijuana was here to help me and not harm me. When I got over the paranoid and overthinking phases, I realized that I actually felt more like myself when I was high. I won’t lie to you. Some highs were more intense than others but with a good group of friends and writing out my feelings, I got through it and learned my biggest life lesson yet- to know and trust myself. That’s how weed changed my life for the better.
For me, weed, or marijuana gives me the opportunity to really think about life and who I am on a deeper level. When I am high, my mind starts to ask questions that I wouldn’t have thought of while sober and it still amazes me to this day. I started to ask the questions that mattered. It raised my self-awareness in ways that I never thought I ever could. It has forced me to think about situations that I’ve mentally pushed aside.
I had no other choice but to address how they made me feel, find out why I felt that way and come up with solutions to overcome it. It’s helped me in friendships, situationships and even class work when I was in a rut. I’ve written papers high and gotten A’s on them all. I’ve done presentations in front of an entire class of people high and done well. I’ve run executive board meetings high and was productive and on schedule.
I’ve had situations with friends and family that I’ve mentally blocked out but would smoke and get clarity on how to move to the next step. There would be things that would be nagging me mentally while I was sober and when I would smoke, my mind would lay it all out in front of me clear as day. Then I would write down my thoughts and then go back to them when I needed some guidance. It became easier to pinpoint what and who was for me but if I made a mistake, I smoked, think about the situation with a pair of new “eyes,” faced it and forgive myself. It helped me spin everything on its head. Evaluate, believe in myself and grow. It made me feel powerful because I wasn’t afraid and pushing it away. I didn’t lose control. I gained it.
How I Learned To Master Self-Awareness & Self-Aware Through Weed
Through my own experience, I gained clarity and am no longer afraid of my own thoughts and feelings. I also didn’t use marijuana as a crutch so I didn’t abuse it. Instead, I educated myself on it even more. I learned that there were three main types- indica, sativa or a hybrid of both. Sativa mainly gives a light, airy, and uplifting high that could be enjoyed during day activities and group settings. Indica is more of a heavy body high that was good if you have anxiety, insomnia or just want to have a nice napcap at the end of a long day. Because of this, I know how easy it is to get into the routine of feeling like you need it if you aren’t careful. Indica in general makes you feel pretty chill. Some may say too chill or even lazy. If you let it, the whole day went by and you haven’t moved an itch.
This is where I believe the stigma of marijuana comes from. I understand why people get addicted to it; but because I did the inner work, I wasn’t one of those people. I can only speak for myself when I say that weed changed my life for the better. For me, marijuana was an addition to my life but it wasn’t my life. Honestly, the biggest battle I had with marijuana was the inevitable munchies. There were way too many times when I spent all my meal plan money before the semester even ended.
On the other hand, if I was going to smoke and knew I had things to get done, I would promise myself to smoke and then get to work. I pride myself on that very much. There were friends who I could easily waste away with without any judgement but I always knew that’s not who I wanted to be. I was a college girl but I was still going to be responsible. I knew I had homework to do, material to study, goals to achieve, deadlines to meet and time doesn’t wait on anyone. In my opinion, it’s all about self control, discipline and how committed you are to your goals.
How I Deal With People Who Don’t “Approve” Of Me Smoking Weed
My family members found out that I smoked in different ways individually. It was always in a natural and respectful way because I respect and love each and every one of them. I would never blatantly smoke right in their face no matter how comfortable I was smoking. I may be high around them without them knowing but like I said, I would smoke and then life went on as regular. I did what I needed to do. On the outside, I was still the same Shantel. On the inside I was even a better version of her.
Like expected, when they found out, the response would be negative. They would say how bad marijuana was, how much I was damaging my mind and body. Then they would tell about the one time they smoked it and what crazy thing happened to them. Respectfully, I would tell them that I appreciate the concern but I got this covered. That Mary Jane is my friend and has helped me overcome my depression, anxiety, and self-doubt. That it made me become the confident, empowered young woman I am today. I would even hit them with an example of when I was high around them and they didn’t even know. Most importantly, I would tell them that I take it upon myself to take breaks months at a time to reset my body. Just to prove that it wasn’t some crazy drug problem they think it is.
I’m sharing this to inspire you to open your mind to understand that weed can change your life for the better. To encourage you to do your own research and inner work to break down the limiting beliefs that society has conditioned you to believe all these years without you even knowing it. Dare to ask the tough questions and be find out the answers for yourself. Think for yourself and understand the positives that come with this natural plant. Think about the ways that it can revolutionize the way we know and help each other and treat illnesses. If you’re reading this and struggling with addiction, I pray that you can sweep the fogginess away and get the clarity you need to get back control on your life. If you’re reading this and enjoy smoking to smoke, let me know your favorite strain !
Peace and love,