Just like everything we do, from eating to exercising to masturbating, indulging in cannabis is a way to alter your state of consciousness. While it gets a lot of bad rap for being “addictive” and causing “withdrawal symptoms,” you can run into those same problems drinking coffee, eating cheeseburgers, or running half marathons. The problem with the current debate on cannabis is that the only two permissible stances are pro- or or anti-weed. As with the perceived harm or benefit of any activity, the truth isn’t black and white. Let’s think about a universally accepted idea: exercise is good for you. I would agree with that statement, unless you defined exercise as running a marathon every day, at which point I might call it pathological. My point is this: certain activities can be beneficial to your well being if you understand how to use them properly. The same goes for weed.
So how is one supposed to use marijuana? While people’s response to the plant can be highly variable, I think a general principle holds true: namely, it shows you what you need to see. In other words, it helps you to be completely honest with yourself, whether you like it or not. So many of us run around in this crazy rat race of life, distracting ourselves from our own fears, emotions and problems. We ignore them and deny their existence by filling our days with the endless guise of occupation. Rarely, do we truly sit with our deepest feelings and thoughts about our own individual nature. When you are under the influence of weed, you are directly confronted with your raw feelings, free of any self-imposed barriers.
I’ve often wondered, why is being high as titties in public is so damn uncomfortable? After one particularly harrowing negotiation with a CVS cashier during the purchase of some sour gummy worms, I was determined to figure out where this feeling was derived from. After serious contemplation, I came to the conclusion that the fear of being around people wasn’t just something that the cannabis caused. In fact, it was something that I (and I imagine many of you) deal with everyday. On a regular basis, I’m able to tone down the deafening anxiety by various substances (alcohol, coffee, food) or by simple avoidance. With cannabis, however, you have no choice but to look at your preexisting emotions straight in the face.
Not only does weed greatly amplify the thoughts and feelings that you should probably be paying attention to, it gives you the ability to be completely upfront with yourself. Continuing with the above example, I began to ponder the source of my hesitancy around strangers. Under normal circumstances, I would have completely dismissed any notion of social anxiety in order to soothe my ego but this time it was different. This time I was able to admit my own insecurities and face them squarely. It was a tremendous feeling of cleansing, as shining a light on these feelings allows you to better understand yourself.
Do I advocate constantly being stoned to the gills, examining the inner depths of our consciousness at every waking moment? Absolutely not. Actually, maybe. But should we give ourselves the chance to let our guttural emotions liberate uninhibited from time to time? Absolutely yes. Some self-examination and reflection would do wonders for people in a society that requires you to “be someone.”
Now, let’s not forget the more well-known benefits of this incredible plant. The pleasure of enhanced activities such as garfielding a delicious meal or sexual intercourse while high transcends any feelings we experience during our day to day lives. A well timed, post-blunt, dual-orgasm is probably a top 3 feeling known to mankind. Seriously, I would fuck Whoopi Goldberg with enough weed in my blood. Your senses become heightened to such a level that even music takes on a powerful form that you never knew was possible. Never have I laughed so hard, watching East West Bowl after eating a weed brownie. These, of course, are the reasons why most people choose to incubate their neurons in THC.
While I won’t sit here and tell you that I don’t also seek and enjoy these physiologically enhancing qualities of weed, it’s the honesty and introspection that really gets me. Very rarely are most of us able to achieve such a pure, unadulterated state of mind. So the next time you take a puff of a joint or a fat bong rip and you start to think “Uh oh–here we go again,” don’t fight the thoughts and emotions. Flow with them and dive deep into the mystery of your very own consciousness.