Cannabis Legal States

Green and orange marijuana buds

Boy was that an election! Donald Trump never stopped being the president and Joe Biden’s mental status likely confused him regarding his election win. But guess who has been impressively standing on stage this entire time delivering the most useful message? Marijuana was recreationally legalized in the states of New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota and Montana this year. Mississippi came in big by legalizing medical marijuana. It seems that with each passing year, cannabis is gaining more supporters who are pro-legalization. This will lead to more cannabis legal states.

The science remains young and we don’t have enough evidence to conclude any long-term health benefits or adverse effects. But we have reached a point where criminalizing cannabis users is no longer sensical. I mean, going to prison for possession of marijuana? That sounds very archaic. Remember, that even though marijuana is being legalized, should not mean that we become naive to its potential mental health side effects such as anxiety, psychological addiction or even psychosis.

Are Cannabis Legal States the Future?

I predict that the United States will legalize cannabis in all fifty states within the next ten years. The people want it legalized, it’s no longer taboo to indulge and it’s great as a stress reliever. Not everyone enjoys drinking a glass of wine to unwind. Some people prefer to take a hit of a vape pen or consume an edible and call it a night. As long as cannabis is used in moderation and you’re not experiencing any mental health symptoms, it should be fine to use. The only thing going against cannabis at the present time is that we lack the science behind long-term side effects. But with ongoing clinical research trials, we will have those answers within the next 5-10 years as well.

Cannabis legalization is here to stay.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Cannabis Legalization

The Good, Bad and Ugly

Let’s start off with The Good of cannabis legalization: governments will get to regulate the production and distribution, ensuring quality products in stores asking for an ID just like how it’s asked for alcohol and tobacco. This will ensure that people are not smoking synthetic cannabinoids (such as K2 or Spice) or low quality flowers which provide shorter durations of high, motivating people to smoke more frequently. In addition, the social aspect of legalization is surely a victory; here is a natural product that has been used since ancient China for medicinal and social purposes. It’s finally available (legally).

The Bad: mental health problems will rise. Yes, I know the argument that people who want to smoke already smoke, whether legal or not. But now imagine opening up stores all around your neighborhood with green crosses flashing. It’s going to be much more tempting for people to purchase some flower; even people who never previously smoked. The idea that it’s legal and the psychology of seeing so many people enter the shops on a daily basis will be quite enticing! In addition, the THC content of modern day cannabis is much higher. Research is still ongoing regarding whether THC can cause psychosis vs. an increased susceptibility of developing psychosis in those with genes for psychosis.

Cannabis Legalization: The Ugly

The Ugly: it makes me normal!” Psychological addiction will increase. The downside with higher THC products is that people will like it more: they will experience a more intense euphoria and increased urges to smoke more and more often. Euphoria is very nice when experiencing the daily hustles and bustles of work, stress and relationship conflicts; marijuana is great at helping you let go and enjoy the moment. With cannabis at a store near you, it will be more enticing to order products delivered to your home, seeking that euphoric high much more conveniently; getting high will become easier than doing your own damn laundry!

There, you have my take on legalization. Do I like it that it’s happening? Yes, I do. Am I realistic? Yes, I am. I truly believe that in the long-run, we will see more mental health problems surrounding cannabis, but only time can tell. What are your thoughts on this matter?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Smoking Marijuana

Positive Affirmation – Free from Cannabis

“I am free of marijuana because I realize that it’s not necessary for me to use it to be happy and find joy in life. Even though marijuana is fun, I find pleasure in socializing in a sober state of mind. I enjoy my senses without having the munchies or watching movies and listening to music in an altered state of reality. I also enjoy not coughing up a lung or experiencing panic attacks when I am getting high. I prefer to have a clear conscience and not feel guilty when I am high. Smoking marijuana is an act of my past.

Cannabis helps me think outside the box but I can also do that without using it. I enjoy meditating and thinking which help me harness new creative ideas. Cannabis intoxicates my mind and makes me want to use more. The high gets my dopamine to act funny, making me psychologically crave more of it. I’ve tried stopping cannabis in the past; the worst part are the first few weeks after stopping. I end up craving more and have to struggle to stop myself from using. Why put myself through this mental obstacle? I rather just be free and at peace, regardless of its legality.

Smoking Marijuana – The Gateway Act

Everyone says it’s not a gateway drug but they are wrong. Marijuana convinces the mind that there is more next door. This leads to either consuming more of it or seeking other substances never previously experienced. Classically, the next class of substances to make an appearance are the hallucinogens; can you say shrooms without thinking of its magical effects? And after that comes cocaine and what not. This does not apply to everyone but certainly applies to enough. Why do I need more drugs in my life? I can find mental satisfaction without consuming mind-altering chemicals.

How do I prevent myself from consuming? I stop smoking marijuana and put away the substance without seeking it. Sometimes it helps to completely discard it. I stop seeking the munchies, fun experiences and thought-provoking moments; I can find those naturally. I am not here to judge others on their partaking. In this case, I don’t want to use marijuana anymore. I find happiness by being sober and enjoying what life has to offer me. While smoking marijuana may be fun, I create my life circumstances and breath fun into existence without the THC binding to my cannabinoid receptors.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Weedhead Gone Psychotic

When Weed Plants Psychotic Seeds

It’s just weed! It doesn’t harm you and it’s better than alcohol! Alcohol gets you into fights and makes you do stupid things. Weed just makes you sit on the couch and watch Harold and Kumar! What people usually think about weed right? It’s time to snap out of this mentality because weed can cause psychosis in many users, especially those who are genetically vulnerable or those who smoke a ton. Marijuana enjoys planting seeds within your mind. Oftentimes, these seeds won’t sprout, but when they do, they can turn into psychosis.

The thing about marijuana is that the THC potency is much greater than it was 10-20 years ago. Growers are interbreeding various types of marijuana plants such as indicas and sativas, resulting in more potent strains. As with any drug, a user gains confidence based on his or her past tolerance, ending up smoking more of the drug until an unexpected adverse reaction develops.

In the case of cannabis, this adverse mental reaction is oftentimes paranoia or psychosis. The problem is that you can’t just turn off a paranoid or psychotic state of mind once it kicks in; the high has to dissipate before the paranoia subsides. If the paranoia kicks in within the first 15 minutes, the user has another 45-60 minutes to go before the marijuana calls it quits on his or her mental journey.

With psychosis however, this state can last even 1-2 weeks after the marijuana high is gone. It just depends on the person and how psychotic he or she has become during the high. For instance, imagine eating an edible at 7 pm and then experiencing no high by 7:45 pm. Many users who are inexperienced will indulge in a second edible, thinking that a second dose will do the trick.

By 8: 15 pm, the high from the first edible will start to kick in. The user will think, “I knew I just needed two doses!” But around 8:40 pm, the second edible will also start to kick in and the high will intensify during the whole night. At this point, a user is very vulnerable to becoming psychotic if they have ingested a very large dose of THC.

Depending on their state of mind, the psychosis may intensify during the night, causing their mind to fall deeper down the rabbit hole, sometimes to the point of no return. Now that is something scary to think about! In the field of psychiatry, we see many people who become psychotic from marijuana.

Please stop thinking that this drug is innocent; comparing it to alcohol does not make you sound any smarter! Every drug has its pitfalls. Period.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Cannabis Holiday

The World Celebrates 4/20

April 20th marks the international cannabis celebration day where people all over the world light up to appreciate the substance known as marijuana. 4/20 is based on the the story of five California high school students who would meet at 4:20 pm to consume marijuana back in 1971. Ever since then, 4/20 has been code for “smoking weed” in the cannabis culture. Marijuana is unique because no other drug involves such a worldwide appreciation for everything related to a substance.

I guess if you consider St. Patty’s day a worldwide appreciation for alcohol, but it’s still not the same as marijuana. Marijuana is unique because it’s just starting to become legalized. Part of the allure with marijuana has been its consumption while still classified as a schedule I drug under U.S. federal law. This makes smoking the drug and partaking in activities surrounding it much more exciting and stimulating than alcohol.

What also makes marijuana exciting is that the celebration of 4/20 is unique because people are cheering for its liberation; they want to be able to be in that intoxicated state of mind without worrying about “the cops” busting them. Marijuana is known for providing a very relaxing high that is not often associated with violence or indecent behavior; people want to prove a point on 4/20 that marijuana should be legalized and consumed in peace.

While there are many consequences to getting involved with marijuana as a teenager and even as an adult, that’s not the point of 4/20. This holiday is more about appreciating the substance and the culture surrounding it. Marijuana is associated with humor and fun activities because the high makes the user interpret many ordinary events as funny; hence, why many who smoke it end up giggling and laughing out loud.

There are many positive things related to marijuana:

  • It makes spending time with friends fun and enjoyable
  • It makes activities more fun and enjoyable
  • It enhances the senses making food taste better, music sound better and sexual activities feel better
  • It increases introspection, allowing you to go deeper within yourself
  • It enhances sleep and appetite
  • It makes you think outside the box and appreciate newfound knowledge

. . . and the list goes on. I am not here to promote the use of marijuana as I know very well that there are many potential mental adverse effects, but I do appreciate the positives associated with it, such as the points provided in the list above as well as the culture associated with marijuana. Every person is different regarding their relationship with substances and each individual should come up with their own conclusion as to whether they should indulge.

What are your thoughts on marijuana and 4/20?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Losing Your Mind On Cannabis

Cannabis Edibles

While cannabis smoking is controllable, edibles can take you on an entire different plane. Smoking cannabis is convenient because you get to decide when to stop, based on how high you are. Cannabis edibles are very difficult to titrate and that is one main reason why many people show up to the ER in states that have legalized it. Losing your mind on cannabis is real and it can happen to you!

The biggest mistake that people make with cannabis edibles is impatience: they believe that it must not be working because they are still sober an hour later. So what they do is indulge in more edibles hoping to increase the effect. But what happens is that by the second or third hour after the first ingestion, the cannabis finally starts to kick in.

At this point, you might wrongfully believe that it’s the second edible that kicked in, when in fact, the second edible is still in the process of being absorbed by your digestive tract. So now you have a ticking time bomb cruising through your digestive track. At this point, your mind is slowly being altered by the THC from the first edible.

The difference between smoking and eating an edible is that the effect of the edible takes longer to kick in, and the high is more spread out, as opposed to smoking which is a “quick on, quick off.” But going back to the mistake mentioned above, two hours later, the second edible starts to kick on top of your ongoing high.

This is what is meant by a “recipe for disaster.” Not only do you have too much marijuana in your system, you are now juggling two superimposed highs. You are praying for the first one to end, and as soon as you sense a coming down from the high, the second edible takes you back up, like a never-ending rollercoaster ride.

One of the worst experiences under a high dose of marijuana is the feeling of losing your mind. It’s like you don’t know anymore which mindset is in touch with reality: your perception of reality has been divided into two. One mindset is your normal one that is buried under the intense high, and the other is the intense high which is sitting on top of your normal state of mind, preventing it from reaching the surface.

At this point, you either don’t fight the feeling and accept the notion that you may very well have lost your mind, or you keep wrestling the feeling, hoping that you step back into reality. Both scenarios are extremely uncomfortable: accepting the possibility that you have lost your mind puts you in a state of panic.

You start to feel your heart racing as if you’re about to have a terrible panic attack. So now you try to fight this uncomfortable panicky feeling, on top of the dooming mindset that has swarmed your consciousness. On the other hand, you can continue fighting the high by refusing to believe that you have lost your mind.

The second option is miserable as well because you cannot do anything but keep fighting the high, hoping that it will soon come to an end. Except that it doesn’t, because the marijuana high from two edibles may last up to 4-10 hours. At a certain point, it’s just better to close your eyes and try to fall asleep. Keep in mind that you may wake up from sleep and still be cruising in space; the high doesn’t end just because you went to sleep.

Overall, the lesson that should be learned here is that if you want to indulge in marijuana, do so by consuming a small dose of an edible and allowing 2-3 hours to see if the effects will kick in. Do not eat a large dose or rush into eating a second dose prematurely. Losing your mind on cannabis is a real phenomena that you want to absolutely avoid at all times.

Safety, sanity and happiness always come first.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Planet Covered In Marijuana

Recreational Marijuana For Relaxation

The debate continues as to whether marijuana is a good tool for relaxation. As a whole, it seems like were driven by a motor running on coffee, stimulated by nicotine when stepping out for a breath of fresh air, and turned on by alcohol when in the company of others. But does marijuana play a role in our lives as well?

Not everything that grows naturally is good for the human body and brain. Cocaine comes from the coca plant, yet people become addicted, develop nasal perforations, stroke out and even die of cardiac vasoconstriction. Tobacco comes from a plant and is the most addicting substance known to man!

And here comes in marijuana . . . a plant that provides beautiful flowers that humans can ingest and feel relaxed as well as high. The question is whether marijuana can be safely used by the masses for relaxation purposes, without bringing in all of the baggage that alcohol and tobacco have brought in.

Marijuana is not simply a pretty plant that smells great and provides sticky fat buds to roll up with. Along with the beauty comes the hidden dangers: the increased risk of developing psychosis; a lack of motivation; dullness of the mind; anxiety; social isolation and even violence in some!

But we have been trained by NORML and other organizations to believe that marijuana does not cause violence. If you are in the mental health field, you know very well that psychosis and violence go together like peanut butter and jelly! How do we know who is predisposed to developing schizophrenia before they take that first hit of Banana Kush?

On the other hand, marijuana and relaxation go together like milk and cereal: your body melts into the couch; your mind absorbs your iTunes; your eyes relax upon something beautiful; the touch of another human being feels silky smooth; your creativity sparks up a notch or two and sleep pulls you in like a black hole.

It’s important to keep in mind that this extreme relaxation that is provided by marijuana can be easily abused; after all, it is a drug. It can be abused because one may find less temptation to relax naturally, especially after experiencing the amazing effects that marijuana has on the mind. But marijuana should never be a replacement for natural happiness.

As governments around the world legalize the green skunk, we have to remind ourselves that it’s still our responsibility to use this tool appropriately, responsibly and maturely. The governments always have their own agenda and so we can not always rely on them.

The planet is covered in marijuana. Are you?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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