The biggest downside for me--and the reason I ended up quitting--was that my sober life just sucked in comparison. I was just waiting until the end of the day when I could go home and light up.
The other downsides were that I wasn't as sharp mentally when I was sober. I wasn't as ambitious. I was less social. In other words, it made me feel fine just hanging out in my apartment doing nothing. On the balance that made pot a negative for me.
Quitting wasn't that hard. And I still think about how great I felt when I smoked. I may smoke again in the future but for now, I appreciate operating in the real world without any crutches.
This is exactly why I quit. I found myself not comprehending technical conversations as well as I used to while sober. Hanging out at home doing nothing when you REALLY do want to go out do something eventually got me to quit. For me ambition is what has guided me for so long and not having that created an emptiness. I too felt less anxiety but in the long run I was actively watching the days go by and no progress in my life.
I don't believe these things are talked about enough. Its just the stereotypical "pothead".
The other problem was the hunger. Oh my god, the hunger. Food was the best thing ever... which is bad for a guy battling weight gain ever since 18. I knew this wasn't my drug when I ate an entire pizza by myself after smoking up and my stomach absolutely hated me the entire next day. The pot-using crowd I was with another time was highly entertained when I demanded to see the chef to compliment him in person on his risotto, though. :)
So I went back to my favorite mind-altering substance- A good whiskey or a couple of dark beers. :)
But to each their own. I do think that pot users, like gamers (note: is a gamer), need to be careful that their utilization does not impede other important/impactful areas of their lives too much.
This has not been my experience at all. In fact, total opposite entirely. If I smoke up I simply can not absorb any new technical information that is above my current knowledge and skill level. I am however more creative in coming up with solutions or new ideas with the information that I already might have.
Sobriety can be boring, but until someone invents a better drug I think it's my only option until I retire.
I know it's highly anecdotal, but I'm very thankful I spent those four years smoking cannabis instead of drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or taking prescription pills.
Medicine is not a very giving topic, if you want to 'know' you better be infinitely patient and precise.
I've experienced this as well, but I don't consider it an inherit downside. To me, this is just my personal self being satisfied and at peace with not needing more than I have. Frequently I like to smoke alone in nature, just so I can rest peacefully.
But since, like OP, it makes me want to sit at home and do nothing (not inherently a bad thing), it impedes my goals of producing creative work.
There is a fine line, I think, between people who can smoke pot responsibly (every few days or only once a week) and people who cannot go a single day (or even a few hours) without smoking.
The fine line you're talking about does exist, but it doesn't have anything to do with the frequency of usage. Responsibility can be achieved with or without pot.
IMO, pot is great when you're stuck in a situation in life which you can't escape for other factors. It can make a bad situation tolerable.
IME, pot increases your tactical thinking skills while reducing your strategic thinking ability. For instance, I spent years as a programmer doing well in my job while I was high all the time. It was great during the early phase of my career when people didn't expect much out of me, other than solving a list of bugs/defects or hacking my way through things. When I 'woke up' in my 40s, I realized I failed to grow in ways that were necessary for me to advance as both a programmer and a person. Now that I have spent some time sober, I really see what it enabled me to do to myself(or not do).
If you haven't taken a 6 month break I highly encourage it. If it seems difficult I hope you are honest with yourself to the point where you realize the hold it has on you. I spent 15 years nearly constantly high. I always told myself I could quit and never managed to go more than a few days sober. I always told myself that I just didn't want to stop, but I could if I really wanted to. It wasn't until I really tried to quit that I knew the kind of hold it had on me.
I think a lot of us in the tech industry can get away with a lot of bad behavior for quite a while. Showing up late, or stoned, or both... Not pushing the boundaries but just getting by... A lot of us can do that and still be considered 'rock stars' by the people around us, but therein lies a danger.
I'm not saying you can't smoke pot regularly and be successful. There are always exceptions and people with enough willpower to make it happen. They are the minority in the people I've encountered in life, however.
However I have to be honest, my life has never been more successful than it currently is. Not to say it would be more so if I wasn't a daily user, but hopefully you see my point.
No need to respond if you're not comfortable, but in what ways did you fail to grow, that you realized? This could also be good advice for me.
I understand your feelings. My salary peaked in the midst of my binge. I was a (in my circle) somewhat of a rockstar, making tons of money, working an easy job. It's the classic story of the tortoise and the hare though. I am, in some limited technical aspects, kinda smart. Some things come easy. I let that lull me into thinking I didn't need to compete. Now I'm no longer the golden boy and struggling to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world.
I failed to learn to develop my strategic thinking. As you age, people pay you less for the work you can get done and more for your ability to lead, to strategize, to think ahead. They don't pay you to craft clever solutions(well, not as much). You have to be social, clear minded, and dependable. I let myself get buried in unfinished tasks and useless distractions. I failed to cultivate more mature relationships outside my stoner friend circle. I failed to pursue more difficult and challenging roles. Heck, a peer of mine just landed a very senior job at MS. If I hadn't had my head in the clouds, I could have achieved similar successes. I basically burned the last ten years, my thirties, getting by instead of looking ahead.
I also let a very damaging relationship persist long after I knew it was destined to fail. I should have ended my marriage over a decade ago but instead I got high and avoided it. Now I'm on the hook for long-term alimony and starting over in my 40s after losing my house and over half of my net worth.
It's definitely not all the fault of my addictions, but my choice of drugs certainly didn't help. Now that I'm beyond it(despite dipping my toe back in the waters over the last few weeks to try to ease my sleep apnea), I have the clarity to see how it held me back. I always had a voracious appetite for learning and self-improvement. During my time 'in the cloud' it turned into a self-destructive binge of useless and expensive hobbies and distractions. I emerged with not much to show for it besides some hazy memories. Life is short. Attack it.
I wasn't really hiding it. I have long hair(usually worn down) and had a reputation as being a party guy. But I had an outstanding technical reputation and that shielded me from scrutiny. I was making my company a lot of money and as long as that continued I don't think anyone really gave a shit.
When times got tough for my client(after nearly 6 years) I was eventually replaced with a WiPro guy.
I could have learned C++14, but instead I stuck with what I knew. I could have learned algorithms, but I stuck with the driver/systems/embedded stuff I knew. I could have learned the security frameworks and been really valuable right now.
The last 2 years have been a time of furious catching up. I'm now being courted by FANG companies and hoping I can make the cut(I need to bump my salary to afford alimony... long story).
If you haven't smoked from dawn till dusk day in day out, you can't really say people can achieve responsibility with it.
What I am saying is not to disagree, but to state that if you're a person who ends up smoking 12-16 times a day, there isn't much willpower left to handle anything but immediate responsibilities.
You may not use much, and you may not notice how your pot use affects you. But of you ever end up using more regularly, more pot per unit of time, do not fool yourself and believe it doesn't have its adverse effects.
But if you do really think that pot doesn't really impede your motivation, drive, social life etc., then show yourself. Quit for a while, if you can. If you've been deep enough into the hole, coming out will feel like a constant mental overdrive. I've heard it feels kind of like similar bliss people say they might get from meditation, or if you were under very mild psychedelics. Ideas, people, arts, everything feel more innately interesting. As if depression lifts, and the whole experience of being feels more vibrant or vivid. And slowly but surely it all fades away, if you go back to regular smoking.
Yeah, anecdotes from some other life.
> If you haven't smoked from dawn till dusk day in day out
There have been several times in my life where this was exactly my behavior, and truthfully, they weren't my best times. In fact I'm not at all proposing that endless and mindless medication, or even limited and conscious medication doesn't have adverse side-effects. That would be a foolish thing to assert.
But then again, I think the point you're trying to address is somewhat absurd. If you take anything (booze, food, sun exposure) to the extreme level of "dusk till Dawn, day in day out", you'll be facing some serious changes to your life. But I know where you're coming from, and I would generally agree.
There's definitely a moment when you start realizing that you're sobering up (long term quitting), and it feels very much like a fog is lifting, and thinking and emotions become easier to direct. Calling it blissful isn't even much of a stretch, unlike relating it to the effects of psychedelics.
> And slowly but surely it all fades away, if you go back to regular smoking
This however I can't agree with. The bliss of sobering up might be real, but it doesn't even come close to the bliss of jumping back into the rabbit hole (true about any drug). That said, this is why I choose marijuana rather than say cigarettes, or booze, or pills, or junk food. Maybe someday I can learn to cut back and be a casual user, instead of the chronic user I am today.
One thing that is difficult for me, however, is to understand how things affect me without long periods of abstinence.
Like, I'm an alcoholic, though I've become more and more functional. I pretty much only drink on the weekends and around other humans, now. But I went through about 6 months of total abstinence from drinking and I can say with a great deal of certainty that I didn't realize the various subtle ways that substance abuse was impacting my life.
It's a relavent epistemic problem, and so when I hear people saying what you're saying, I am not at all skeptical-- I believe that it is true that "Responsibility can be achieved with or without pot". I also believe that I personally was unable to fully understand my position when I was drinking every day.
I would agree with your statement about not being able to fully understand the situation if the observer is constantly under the influence, in fact I would think it's an understatement. I myself am guilty of assuming a situation to be all fine, when a sober and detoxified version of myself wouldn't agree.
With no offense to you, I'm glad my crutch is marijuana and not alcohol. I grew up with addicts as parents, one with alcohol and the other with pot, and I've witnessed first hand the dramatic and disastrous effects of long-term alcohol abuse. I'm very happy for your ability to keep the addiction at bay, and wish you the best of encouragement.
The only thing that worked for me was complete sobriety. Been sober 10 years now. Still think about drinking all the time tho.
My feeling is that we have dysfunctional behaviors and that alcohol is a tool we use to deal with that.
Its easier to not drink now, because I don't want to drink. I think that I know why I drink most of the times (and is scares me when I drink and don't know why); even when I don't know why, I can usually figure out why.
I did not want to quit drinking before my wife left me. She certainly did not make me drink. It was a way of coping with her demanding personality that I chose.
It's good if you can make not drinking work for you. I may be way off base, but if you can figure out why you are wanting to drink and if you can change that thing in your life, then that situation is far better.
If I could choose, I would still be married and have developed a different coping mechanism and just be completely sober, but that's not my choice... the fact that I don't want to drink and only do it for social expediency is cold comfort.
Same, no issues. I have no issues with responsibility. I procrastinate more, but I don't feel like I'm missing or harming anything.
That should be the natural state of man, though, I'd extend it to meeting with friends, cooking, playing, etc -- that is, being "non-productive". It took a lot of advertising and protestant ethic working hand in hand through opposing ends to move the needle towards full on consumption and full on productivity.
"All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room." - Blaise Pascal
What lifeform on Earth let you to believe that the default state of being was effortless comfort?
The default state of life is different in the frozen tundra vs the temperate rainforest. Some people live in areas where there is natural abundance of easily exploitable resources. Modernizing a bit, some people live in areas where the minimal acceptable standard of living can be supported on a few hours of work per week.
So in a way we do need something to help us "relax" in a world where we can't naturally.
That's not what ethnologists saw in most primitive people's they've examined...
I assumed protestant ethic came from all the non-anal families literally dying in an unforgiving and unfamiliar land.
What’s a non-anal family? Most families are non-anal if you consider how human reproduction works by I’m not sure that’s what you’re talking about :P
Your logic makes sense if the Earth were the same everywhere. It breaks down if you understand that New England is fundamentally different from England or Africa.
The fact that puritanism thrived says something about New England's natural state in the 1600s. It says nothing about humankind's natural state.
Really, the fact that it emerged so late in human history, and was dominant so briefly, in such an unusual place suggests it's somewhat unnatural at a species scale.
Most human good comes from this, too...
Now that's out of date. Between TV, video games, and the Web, there's now way too much ability to sit still in a room.
Food doesn't taste better.
I am less creative. I lose my English and my Dutch. I am more stupid and everyone else who's high seems so intelligent!
I think about pretty much nothing. I'm like a little cupcake on a couch. I am doing as much as a little cupcake on a couch as well :)
I do have less anxiety and better sex. So for me it really just is a tool to use for those two things. I mostly use it as a tool for relaxation or psychological experimentation on myself (especially my working memory behaves differently).
Bought some, put it in a zip lock bag, in a zip lock bag, in a zip lock bag, in a glass container, inside a gun safe. By the way i didn't start with this configuration by when i reached it and still could smell it everywhere i knew it had to go.
No thanks. Not opposed to using when out and someone has some but the smell was just to much to keep any in my house (this was an 8th).
It's odorless. There's nothing to tell
Overall it sounds like your experiences were much more positive than mine, though.
Even if you think you consumed a small amount, it may have been more than you could handle, especially if you are comparing it to what is consumed by somebody who has built up a tolerance. As the article says, some of what's out there is very potent.
I've smoked on and off since 14. I used to just feel kind of out of it and relaxed. It's not something I can do anymore, and not something that I miss.
Nothing to be fascinated about. The experience is different primarily from the type of strain they have inhaled or ingested.
Sativa only strain - High, euphoria, very social
Indica only strain - Sleepy, lethargic, somewhat anti-social
Sativa dominant Sativa-Indica hybrid - Not so high, still little euphoric, smooth come down after few hours.
Indica dominant Indica-Sativa hybrid - Not so sleepy / lethargic, little euphoric...
And then there's the CBD dominant ones which don't get you high, and supposedly cure you of various illnesses. Not FDA approved.
I've tried a lot of different kinds of pot (it's all legal in the PNW) and I've never experienced the good feelings other folks I know do. It's just not pleasant for me, and it's a little grating to have to repeat this to my pot advocate friends; great that you get something out of it, but the reaction to my experiences that I just haven't tried the right kind is frustrating.
I think cannabis is an amazingly useful and versatile drug, but there was a time in my life where I was high pretty much constantly and although I wouldn't want to do that today, I actually think it is more useful - as a practical tool - when you have a high tolerance.
I find that when I don't have a tolerance to it, the feeling is pretty close in resemblance to how I feel when I've had way too much coffee - at that point I can't really do anything requiring complex thought. I have to do something pretty repetitive, so I find myself cleaning or just walking, maybe working out. Still useful for something, but that's about the extent of it.
At any rate, I find that the best part of being high is when I'm on the downward slope of the experience. Then I find I am more relaxed, productive, etc. I feel that I have gotten something of physical benefit from the effects.
So ... I really don't usually enjoy being stoned anymore. But I think cannabis is a more versatile tool than people give it credit for, and should be thought of that way. I'm not saying it shouldn't be used recreationally, but rather one should consider the right way to use it in context of the desired effect. Because the range of possible uses is actually pretty large.
I guess what I'm trying to say is - I think it still deserves a place in your medicine cabinet :)
Incidentally, this echoes my experience with romantic relationships. Have you considered that you may have started dating the pot and not noticed?
I haven't missed it once honestly. Maybe I just came to a realization that I didn't enjoy it in the first place.
Edit: I'd like to add that around the same time I gave up/quit using all drugs (except a beer or two on the weekends) unless they were prescribed to me by my doctor. Even then I refused pain medication when I broke my hand because I think I have a tendency for substance abuse.
As someone who doesn't smoke, it sure sounds like sommelier's talk.
Even though it's almost legal now, the world of cannabis is full of so much mystical mumbo jumbo and outright fabrication. Take the whole CBD thing, for example. The only consensus seems to be that people who sell it say it does whatever the customer wants.
And how much CBD oil is actually being produced? Enough to stock every vape shop and every head shop in every strip mall in the entire USA with a few liters? Seems hard to imagine an industry that size.
This is in contrast to alcohol, which is straight ethanol, all the time. There's no difference in the active ingredients in alcohols. Anybody that claims a different high, based on beer, whiskey, ect., is only referring to environment and aesthetic influences, which do matter (also, hangovers may vary, due to ingredients used). There's bullshit in the industry, specifically w/CBD and medical claims, but I think it goes well beyond sommelier's talk.
Marijuana is not an easy to understand and classify, unlike other drugs, like alcohol. I think it's been pretty well established that there are significant differences between strains, though I suppose you're right, I've never seen a specific study.
Here's a very cool example, if you're interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ybu-_tDXb8
However, it's often sold in 'salves' and edibles in ineffectively small amounts, cheifly to those who are 'socially' allergic to cannabis.
The sativa/indica spectrum isn't really accurate. Pot is more like a multidimensional feature vector crossed with the user's feature vector- a complex multivariate interaction.
Trainwreck and it's daughter strain, Casey Jones, for example, have a heavily Indica dominant lineage, but behave veyr much like a Sativa. Casey Jones is amusing to bring out at parties: the volume of the room rises precipitously for about 20 minutes, and then... silence. :) It's very reliable.
The quality of the information on strains at the stores depends on the store you frequent. I tip well if the salesperson is knowledgeable and helpful.
Pretty much anything that lights up reward or adrenaline/reaction parts of the Brian can be addictive. I think its important to qualify if we are talking about innate physiological addiction (as seen in opioids or alcohol) or the kind we can get from anything. After all there are people with food addictions and yes, they need help, but that isn't about to change the legal status of food.
I respect people making their own choices to use or not use as they see fit and be warned of the experiences of others, but we need to be clear when the substance we are talking about causes innate physiological dependence, cannabis for example does not.
"Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide as well as in the Unites States. Prolonged use of marijuana or repeated administration of its primary psychoactive constituent, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can lead to physical dependence in humans and laboratory animals. The changes that occur with repeated cannabis use include alterations in behavioral, physiological, and biochemical responses. A variety of withdrawal responses occur in cannabis-dependent individuals: anger, aggression, irritability, anxiety and nervousness, decreased appetite or weight loss, restlessness, and sleep difficulties with strange dreams. But the long half-life and other pharmacokinetic properties of THC result in delayed expression of withdrawal symptoms, and because of the lack of contiguity between drug cessation and withdrawal responses the latter are not readily recognized as a clinically relevant syndrome. Over the past 30 years, a substantial body of clinical and laboratory animal research has emerged supporting the assertion that chronic exposure to cannabinoids produces physical dependence and may contribute to drug maintenance in cannabis-dependent individuals." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3606907/
Also there is no clear distinction between physical and psychological dependence, just like the lines between physical and psychological trauma is equally blurred.
Yes, this is true, I experience all of this when I take a tolerance break. But this feeling lasts 1-2 days max, even after months on end of cannabis use.
In PiHKAL, Alexander Shulgin, wrote:
"I personally have chosen some drugs to be of sufficient value to be worth the risks; others, I deem not to be of sufficient value. For instance, I used a moderate amount of alcohol, generally in the form of wine, and -- at the present time -- my liver function tests are completely normal. I do not smoke tobacco. I used to, quite heavily, then gave it up. It was not the health risk that swayed me, but rather the fact that I had become completely dependent upon it. That was, in my view, a case of the price being unacceptably high.
Each decision is my own, based on what I know of the drug and what I know about myself.
Among the drugs that are currently illegal, I have chosen not to use marijuana, as I feel the light-headed intoxication and benign alteration of consciousness does not adequately compensate for an uncomfortable feeling that I am wasting time.
I have tried heroin. This drug, of course, is one of the major concerns in our society, at the present time. In me, it produces a dreamy peacefulness, with no rough edges of worry, stress or concern. But there is also a loss of motivation, of alertness, and of the urge to get things done it is not any fear of addiction that causes me to decide against heroin; it is the fact that, under its influence, nothing seems to be particularly important to me.
I have also tried cocaine. This drug, particularly in its notorioous "crack" form, is the cause celebre of today. To me, cocaine is an aggressive pusher, a stimulant which gives me a sense of power and of being completely with it, on top of the world. But there is also the inescapable knowlege, underneath, that it is not true power, that I am not really on top of the world, and that, when the drug's effects have disappeared, I will have gained nothing. There is a strange sense of falseness about the state. There is no insight. There is no learning. In its own distinctive way, I find cocaine to be as much an escape drug as heroin. With either one, you escape from who you are, or -- even more to the point -- from who you are not. In either case, you are relieved for a short time from awareness of your inadequacies. I frankly would rather address mine than escape them; there is, ultimately, far greater satisfaction that way.
With the psychedelic drugs, I believe that, for me, the modest risks (an occasional difficult experince or perhaps some body malaise) are more than balanced by the potential for learning. And that is why I have chosen to explore this particular area of pharmacology.
What do I mean when I say there is a potential for learning? It is a potential, not a certainty. I can learn, but I'm not forced to do so; I can gain insight into possible ways of improving the quality of my life, but only my own efforts will bring about the desired changes."
- Alexander Shulgin
We all have a lot of feelings. Very few of them are unambiguously helpful and I would hesitate anyone from assuming certain impulses are purely good and should always be obeyed.
For many people, there is a need to "turn off" certain persistent feelings because they can't be sated otherwise. Some of us would simply like to be able to relax without those "gnawing" feelings bothering us, because we know our lives are successful and fulfilled beyond the point where we should be experiencing frequent discomfort for not taking constant action to improve our situation.
I’ve tried not consuming cannabis for long periods and it doesn’t improve my life overall. I did find it necessary to abstain when I has a programming/sysadmin startup job and was trying to learn and manage a huge load.
However, I’ve realized that I’ve largely smoked to cope with my significant growing medical issues over time, and my experience with life in general is not similar to that of others. Most people haven’t spent 1/3 of each day feeling much like they’re dying following meals, but I sure have.
For me, it alleviates my insomnia, anxiety, helps me relax, reduces minor aches and pains (of which I have many), and helps me work through my endless food settling/belching/chest pain/vomiting complex.
It also has a huge community around the cultivation, artistic accessories and (less engagingly) consumption. I was an artistic pipe blower for about 18 years and have a lot of other friends who have devoted their lives to making glass smoking accessories. Overall it fills a role somewhere around coffee, tobacco and wine.
My family has a long history of GI issues that went unidentified and untreated for several years. They're extremely damaging over time. If you're constantly uncomfortable you should really diagnose the root cause ASAP.
When I did see doctors, my symptoms were diagnosed as other syndromes or dismissed as something very mild. A family member who has celiac suffered from years of misdiagnosis and ineffective treatment, including surgeries, for conditions they don’t suffer from. So if I had been in the medical system all this time, it’s not clear the outcome would have been significantly better.
I agree that covering up symptoms with any drug can cause problems. It’s very common for swallowing disorders and celiac to exist for years before being diagnosed. I have celiac with the less typical presentation with fewer lower GI symptoms.
I still highly recommend to stay away from the weed if it's not legal at your location however - messing with criminals and cops can really ruin your life. If it's legal for medical use only - don't hesitate to ask the doctor (but don't be pushy or play an expert, doctors hate this), some progressive doctors at some locations may actually prescribe it for addictions, depressions and eating disorders treatment, not only for cancer/aids.
As far as the mental sharpness thing goes,I didn't notice any major changes. Some people I know would have some fogginess the day after. This never affected me personally. I think brain fog is definitely a real thing for _some_ users.
I totally understand this is anecdotal. I'm just trying to share my experiences. I hate how defensive people can be about cannabis. I am sympathetic to this because giving proponents of cannabis prohibition anything to latch onto delays progress. It should be legal. People should also have honest discussions about it. It's a fairly low risk drug IMO, but it is a drug.
On the plus side, I recently discovered low THC, high CBD strains that offer the anti anxiety benefits without loss of sharpness or short term memory. There’s almost no psychoactive effect, so this won’t get you high, but it will chill you out and help you get in the zone if you struggle with anxiety or PTSD symptoms.
Long after the high wears off, I sometimes consciously can tell "wow, I am really mentally underperforming today".
It's more difficult to form quick/sharp responses when talking, my though process isn't as sharp, and its kind of like my brain has more difficulty following trees of connections that I am normally very quick at.
After ending my five year exercise habit it became a lot harder to start exercising again, and brain fog and laziness began setting in. The highs also got a lot duller and less productive, and I subsequently began seeking the highs I knew from when I was in good health which led me down the wrong path for a while. I'm not blaming marijuana for this in any way, just acknowledging that I stopped exercising when I started smoking, and that some physical/mental health issues I've had since then most likely exist because I haven't been exercising.
In other words, putting psychoactive chemicals in your brain is a big deal and you should try to establish strong personal health and wellness routines before you begin doing it, and then prioritize those routines above the chemical habit.
Not sure what to do in life at this point. I see some sense in just participating in the circus and wait till death comes.
Wow. I just realized that's been my life for the past few years and I don't smoke. I might need to change something...
The reality is quite simple, different stains of pot affect people differently. Everyone is affected differently with only a few common effects. Pot can help some people while hindering others. I detest anybody who calls a pot head a loser because they smoke pot. It's just a bad stereotype. Contrary to what Jeff Sessions might believe, I am a good person, well respected, extremely intelligent, and a contributor to society. Most everyone who meets me or knows me wouldn't believe I smoke pot, but I smoke more than most pot heads could even imagine. Pot has been a miracle drug to me, much like Prozac is to others, without the liver damage. F those who diss pot smokers, there are many more of us than you can imagine.
I started smoking weed in College. Since then, I've developed a habit of smoking almost daily. Not all day, but usually a few tokes from a vape at the end of the night.
When people ask, I usually reflect that weed has been a very positive addition in my life.
I became VP of Eng. for a well known software company within 3 years of graduating. We did a lot of things right and the company eventually exited with unicorn status. I then left, bootstrapped my own startup w/ a small team, and after 2 years were acquired by a major software company which cemented financial independence. These days, I spent most of my time doing advisory/consulting/investing roles.
I achieved all of this within 10 years after graduating, AND essentially consuming weed daily(usually took breaks when traveling, etc.).
For me, it helps me with relaxing as well as creative thinking. The way I describe it is that it removes mental filters and allows you to appreciate something in a new way (that "mind blown" feeling). Sometimes the insights can be superficial, but sometimes they are not.
Nowadays, I am generally pretty open about my use when people ask. What I've found is that it is a lot more common then I used to think. So many founders, executives and otherwise "smart" people use it frequently for mostly the same reasons. I'd have never guessed.
For anyone who might be interested, I'd suggest reading Carl Sagan's essay on it in which he talks about his experiences and insights while high. He actually wrote it under a pseudonym (Mr. X) but revealed his identity through a friend after he passed. http://marijuana-uses.com/mr-x/
This is also just my own opinion - but from my own experience what I've found is that people tend to want to blame someone (or something) else for their problems in life. And generally, marijuana is a pretty good scapegoat to point a finger at.
Many people don't seem to have the same respect for self medication, however. I personally think trying alternative treatment options, be it drug based or experience based, is always a better option than slavishly following your doctor who himself is often slavishly following some established medical dogma du jour or his own financial incentives. That is not to say that standard medication is not effective in some or many cases, moreso that there are very many people who think they "need their medicine" because a doctor or psychiatrist has diagnosed them with something that is at best an educated guess (with high error margin) along a multidimensional space of possible psychological profiles that we don't fully understand. My point is that by breaking down psychological issues into various abstract "disorders", it makes questioning a Prozac users choices tantamount to begrudging a diabetic for taking his insulin.
Disclosure: I smoke more than most.
When we consistently see that studies are designed poorly (in many cases by selecting poor metrics, think self-assessed productivity on adderall or amortizing results of SSRIs over multiple severity levels of depression) and mechanisms are poorly understood, what do you think that it is?
Science is in many cases filled with perverse incentives that only complicate this relationship -- do you want citations, a popular publication, tenure, influence on policy decisions? Does your hypothesis align with the ideas which are popular enough to get funding?
The fact of the matter is that science is political, psychiatry is in its infancy, and results are not great in a lot of cases. We treat everything like we couldn't possibly be developing our generations' version of phrenology and it's hubris.
When I was an adolescent I was diagnosed with ADD after a few days of examination, and was recommended adderall, which my pareents thankfully refused.
My mom told her GP she had trouble focusing and was prescribed adderall pretty much willy nilly.
I know quite a few people who are perpetually on SSRIs for anxiety or depression, yes it works as a palliative measure for some but I do question both the long term efficacy, if the magnitude of the side effect and dependence risks are understated, and most importantly whether or not the patients worked hard at all of the endogenous variables relating to their lifestyle to optimize for happiness before slavishly accepting their diagnosis.
I don't like that the conspiracy nut / tinfoil hat / anti science pejorative gets thrown around so easily as an argument ender in discussions like this. It is most definitely NOT scientific how these diagnoses are done, it's heuristic based, it's based on observed models and patterns, obviously, since we barely have slightest idea about how our brain is working under the hood / how it differs among individuals / what leads to long term convalescence.
So, for some people, diet, exercise, getting out of unproductive or toxic relationships/jobs, can help, for others, they need the boost of an SSRI or something to get out of the bog, etc. but I definitely suspect that very many people are prematurely getting pushed to the latter option without fully exploring the former, as was the case with my mother and I (except with focus issues instead of depression, though i suspect they're related)
Think of the parent commenter -- Say he went to a doctor or a psychiatrist with his issues. How much time do you think they would spend with him before getting to the point of prescribing him something to take care of his issues. Maybe 10 hours max? Probably more like 2 or 3? Often times less? Whereas he is obviously a thoughtful, intelligent, and diligent person who has probably spent years responsibly experimenting on what works for him and found that it is marijuana. Yet that would never even be an option for the docs to prescribe to him. So if he were to slavishly follow what you deem as "science", he would be stuck in the paradigm that he needs an SSRI or benzo or whatever it may be. Whereas by being anti-scientific, and self-medicating, he's here telling us how happy/successful he is.
Another more prominent example would be the opioid crisis.
I was going through 2-3 .5g 80-90% THC concentrate cartridges every week, and nobody would never know. It is a miracle drug for me as well, and took me off of many highly addictive prescribed benzos I would've really preferred to not been on. I cut down and switched back to flower now since concentrate doesn't really give me the full spectrum of effects like flower does. I have so much more money in my bank now too!
Somewhat unrelated question, if I may: why? I'm not much younger than you, and I've been doing technology (primarily what people today call 'devops') since the early 1990s, and honestly I enjoy it more now than ever before.
Compared to /trying/ to get a good job somewhere and trying to find housing that isn't outrageously over-priced and trying to more or less win the lottery game that is presently life in western society... it's so much easier to "treat" the issue with a "magic pill"/bottle (or other form of ingesting the drugs).
I strongly feel that if this particular drug weren't an option they'd drink alcohol or smoke...
Life isn't easy. But you also aren't naturally weak. Unfortunately, once you start doing drugs, you risk corrupting the source code of the machine you rely on.
Good for you, you made it.
Go ahead and draw your statistically insignificant conclusion if you must, but keep it to yourself.
Do you also tell depressed people to just not be sad?
- dont do drugs
- educate yourself
- find a support group
- fight for yourself
How is this controversial?
> keep it to yourself
But then who would speak out against fools like you?
Let’s be clear, this “kill the poor” precarity is mostly an American problem (maybe to a lesser extent in the UK and Canada). There are huge swathes of western society (i.e. European social democracies) that don’t fall prey to this insane ideology.
This is why the "western society" label doesn't fit on the US. Western society isn't like that generally. The US is a huge outlier.
What hypothetical utopia are you comparing against exactly? If the US is "deeply broken" then so is every society ever.
The term "deeply broken" implies that the whole thing needs to be upended and reformed. A more reasonable and informed observer would note that there remain issues to be addressed, but we have seen incremental improvements for quite some time now and there's no good reason for e.g. revolution.
Show me the non-technological incremental improvements.
The US is not a democracy, legislative power is sold to the highest bidder. Legally.
Couple that with unregulated capitalism and things are looking quite bleak.
Inequality is on the rise and there is no reason to think that trend will reverse.
But at least we have iPhones.
We're very young as a species. Our current structures of power are not intentionally constructed but inherited. There is no reason to think this is the best we can do as a species. Why don't we put the same level of effort into designing our social structures as we do into literally everything else we develop as a society? Where is the rigor?
Now look me in the eyes and tell me everything is fine.
You would make things worse.
>Show me the non-technological incremental improvements
Civil rights, LGBTQ rights, women's suffrage, the rise of the middle class, worker's rights... I could keep going.
>Couple that with unregulated capitalism and things are looking quite bleak
We don't have unregulated capitalism. Not even close.
>Inequality is on the rise and there is no reason to think that trend will reverse.
There is every reason to believe that it will if you even have a basic understanding of history. This stuff is cyclical and, in modern times, shows a constant upwards trend (i.e. trending toward economic equality and equality of opportunity).
>We're very young as a species. Our current structures of power are not intentionally constructed but inherited
Well you had better back that up because a lot of more knowledgeable people would disagree with you there. You are making a broad claim about human behavior without any evidence. I don't think you understand the gravity or far reaching consequences of that argument.
>Now look me in the eyes and tell me everything is fine.
I never said that. I said that most things are fine, in fact better than ever, and we should continually strive to improve those areas which aren't. You seem to think that 'equality' is something that we can impose by fiat, yet we have reams of evidence to the contrary.
The past is not necessarily a good predictor of the future - corps have an unprecedented amount of power over our government.
I'm making a rather specific argument as to why things are going to keep getting worse. I do not accept your general appeal to history as a counter argument to this - we are in new territory.
Why specifically should we expect the trend of increasing corporate power over our legal systems to reverse?
> Civil rights, LGBTQ rights, women's suffrage, the rise of the middle class, worker's rights... I could keep going.
LGBTQ is the only recent development, no corporate interest to fight there and it was still a ridiculous struggle.
I think that the kernel of my disagreement with you is that your argument is rooted in appeals to history. And I think the kernel of my disagreement with this notion is simply that we suck at government.
All of the modern amenities we enjoy ultimately came out of a very effective way of finding things out about the world: empiricism and the scientific method. Until we bring that to bear on systems of governance, I will not be satisfied by any appeal to our current knowledge of how these things work. Because we don't know shit.
The aviation industry is my favorite example of how much we can accomplish with empirical systems engineering. The industry has collectively achieved an absolutely ridiculous standard of safety by carefully analyzing accidents at a systems level. From mechanical failures to user interfaces to pilot training - they consider each level on its own and how they interact. And the result is absolutely incredible.
We could bring these same techniques to bear on our societies. But we don't.
All of the most powerful, most predatory actors in that society are gearing up to make that drug more widely available, experiment with its potency, and capitalize on the notion that it is "the least harmful."
I'm grateful they quoted a Stanford professor speaking truth: "We’ve learned enough about capitalism to know that’s very dangerous."
I feel like we are repeating similar mistakes we made with the tobacco industry.
That company will be doing everything it can to try and increase cannabis use to make more money. Just like the alcohol and tobacco companies.
Pot is so much less addictive and damaging to health than tobacco and alcohol, that it makes perfect sense to have it legal and as readily available as those things.
Edit: removed the rest of my comment, going to be hopeful and assume the reply I got was correct. Sincere apologies for not reading in better faith.
Last month I took a break for 2.5 weeks to lower my tolerance and get a feel for sobriety again. I went through 2-3 days of feeling slightly sick, but after that I was back to normal. I made it through the 2 weeks, but picked it up more responsibly, only using it some nights after work, and only flower. I rarely ever smoke it, only vaporize.
It's been about a month, everything is fine, but I've noticed how much it really helped me cope with the realities of life, and allowed me to really think things out and keep my brain less scattered. Three years of everyday use, and I haven't really noticed any downsides to being high on cannabis nearly 24/7 other than wanting to sit alone at home and do nothing.
I have never tried any other drugs, unless prescribed.
If there is a true concern for "public safety" then the only choice is to remove it as a schedule I, educate the populace on the true consequences, regulate as any other consumable substance, and provide assistance and help for those looking to quit.
The Netherlands partly has this system, where cannabis sale is 'tolerated' for shops with permits, and where advertisements are forbidden. The system is far from ideal, but I think better than complete (de)criminalization. Additionally, the discussion about drugs is very open thanks to a number of publicly funded organizations. They do not hesitate to also note the positive sides of certain drugs, which all the more encourages a conversation about the responsible use of drugs.
Portugal has gone even further in decriminalizing other (more addictive) substances  with fairly good results.
Alcohol is just generally a more toxic chemical. People don't get cirrhosis of the liver from smoking too much marijuana. I think if you really wanted to dig into the subject, you'd also find the alcohol is also more addictive and that driving under the influence of alcohol tends to be more dangerous that driving under the influence of cannabis.
So, while there might be downsides of decriminalization, the downsides of criminalization far outweight the former.
This is actually pretty similar to how cigarettes are treated in Canada (and many countries). Restricted sales, legal ages to purchase, product covered in discouraging warnings, lots of restrictions around advertisements, tonnes of places you aren’t allowed to smoke (not just inside, but anywhere remotely close to doorways), etc. Basically sends the message “we think smoking is negative, but it’s better to tolerate it in a highly regulated way than to make it illegal.”
Do you see this as worse than our current system of criminalizing it and sending SWAT teams into dispensaries?
I see cannabis dispensery ads pretty much everywhere here in San Francisco, on Buses, bus stands, billboards, even on the taxi cab top cone thingys....
> Users or former users I spoke with described lost jobs, lost marriages, lost houses, lost money, lost time. Foreclosures and divorces. Weight gain and mental-health problems. And one other thing: the problem of convincing other people that what they were experiencing was real. A few mentioned jokes about Doritos, and comments implying that the real issue was that they were lazy stoners.
With users themselves describing problems that result from smoking marijuana like impaired concentration, short-term memory, motivation, and neglecting responsibilities. These are serious pit falls of failing to moderate. But I also feel that legalizing marijuana is a better alternative than putting users in jail. Incarceration seems like it would cause a lot of the problems described by marijuana users (lost jobs, lost marriages, lost houses, lost money, lost time).
You want THC <1% and CBD > 10%. I recently switched over to a high CBD strain and it has been a godsend for productivity. Another nice benefit of minimizing daily THC intake is I have started dreaming and remembering dreams again. THC tends to suppress dreaming activity.
In the Bay Area, you can find high CBD flower at most reputable dispensaries. I’ve tried a few products and the best one by far I’ve experienced is a strain called C3P0, sold under the Marley Naturals Red/Jellyfish brand.
(Shameless plug notwithstanding, I’m not affiliated with that brand in any way, just a very happy customer wanting to share a quality product with others who might appreciate it)
So far it seems to be working well for me in that it suppresses/blocks or otherwise mitigates the nerve pain associated with sciatic nerve damage.
Larger doses do send me to sleep, which for me is very strange because most pain relief medication prevents me from sleeping (as a side effect, it is very, very annoying)
I've only ever had a very hard time with THC, smoked or digested. Smoked and spent the weekend with a migraine. Ate and slept for about 2 days. Ate a different thing and freaked out for about a day. I really don't know what it is that makes my reaction to pot so negative; makes me wish we could pinpoint just which protein or receptor or whatever I have that's broken or overactive.
I haven't experienced any productivity beyond that which accompanies a lower pain level. Although I do very much recommend people with pain trying CBD capsules or oil. I've bought from Lazarus Naturals (I have no other relationship with them) and can recommend them as a vendor.
I had the same experience with increased dreams but they were just all anxiety dreams for a month or so, it was very unpleasant.
In general it’s good practice to maintain a close and cordial relationship with your subconscious. Dreams are one of the best ways to access this part of your self. To improve dream recall and understanding, practice writing down dreams first thing in the morning upon waking. It’s hard at first, and definitely unpleasant for anxiety dreams. But power through it. As you get in the habit, your dream recall will improve, then you will be able to decode the messages from your dreams, and then make changes as necessary.
For example, I have noticed an increase in anxiety dreams after interactions with certain emotionally abusive people in my family. Noticing this pattern motivated me to minimize my contact with these people, at which point the anxiety dreams stopped.
Specifically: a 5-10 minute period in the next 24 hours that simply disappears, leaving me standing somewhere, wondering how I got there. It has happened every time, with multiple strains. I kept returning to it because it turns off my almost perpetual emotional pain like a lightswitch.
I have yet to met anyone who has shared this experience, or read anything about in the academic literature.
The other experience that comes to mind is driving - my brain sometimes shuts off for minutes at a time. Not a good thing.
I suspect this has more to do with what's on my mind than what substance I'm taking. I'd be skeptical that it's the CBD causing this experience in your case, but without more data it's hard to say. The one thing I'd recommend is practicing some attention-based meditation, like counting breaths for a few minutes each day. It may strengthen the meta-awareness muscle and reduce the likelihood of these blank-outs.
I'm not high when it happens. And it's not a moment - at least one time was over ten minutes, involved parking a car, doing some shopping and who the fuck knows what else. I spent an hour searching for my car.
And it's never happened, ever, unless I'd smoked high CBD cannabis within the last 24 hours. I've smoke vastly more regular cannabis - but hadn't been, at least during one period when this happened. And, I'm not otherwise prone to this kind of episodic memory problem - as far as I've noticed :) I haven't had one since I stopped trying CBD cannabis.
Fwiw, I've been practicing mindfulness meditation on and off for 20 years. For a couple of years, during a period of disability, I was meditating over an hour each day.
Based on what you're saying, my best guess for what is happening is that the memory issue might be correlated to the CBD intake but not caused by it. i.e., maybe you are taking the CBD to cope with a period of high stress or anxiety, and it's the anxiety which is causing the short-term memory loss. There is a fair amount of research correlating intense emotional stress with changes in memory or outright memory loss. Repressed memories of childhood abuse are an extreme example of this, but this also can happen for somewhat milder events.
It's not impossible that CBD could be causing your symptoms, but the lack of precedence in research findings or even other people's anecdotal experience makes this seem like the least likely scenario.
I'm curious if you have thought about doing some controlled testing, i.e. take some CBD once a week for 4 weeks every Monday, and see if you experience this memory glitch in the 24 hour period afterwards. Apologies if you've already thought of/done all of this.
As someone who lives with PTSD and has found CBD to be a godsend, I'm trying to investigate the potential downsides to this substance, and so far you're the only data point I have pointing to memory loss.
Yes, I've tested it. Yes, it's the CBD. Yes, nobody else has ever said they've experienced this symptom.
I've had constant insomnia since I was probably 8. I only sleep 4 - 5 hours a night. I feel rested typically and energetic mentally, but physically it would flair up my allergies, eczema, etc. When I moved to california, it was the first time in my life I consistently was getting 6 - 8 hours of sleep.
During that time, I held a full-time job, was promoted to tech lead, delivered a major project, and was working on a side business. I honestly think it helped me achieve those things to the extent it helped me sleep.
Then this year I moved to a new state (where it isn't legal). I stopped smoking without any side effects, had a kid, and now I am sleeping 4 - 6 hours again. Allergies are bad, eczema, etc. and I'd love to start smoking or eating it again; as it definitely helped. However, here we are where it's not legal, and I'm trying to abide by the societal rules (even if I disagree).
Often, society doesn't really know what's best.
It's a kind of new phenom that we need to grapple with because the 'bad effects' are not going to be so much chemical etc., they're going to be psychological and we're in kind of new territory.
I think the bigger question is, why are Americans self-medicating so much?
Iceland - widely considered one of the great societies on earth - uses anti-depressants as much as the US.
Here's next in line on the list of anti-depressant usage (in order of use):
Australia (10% lower usage than the US), Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, UK, Finland, Belgium (30% lower usage than the US)
Most of the countries with the highest standards of living on earth, have the highest rates of anti-depressant use. The sole exception to this are Japan and South Korea, which have particularly low rates of use due to a cultural aversion (even though Japan has a notoriously high suicide rate).
Poor and middle-tier countries can't afford routine anti-depressant use. Income levels map very nicely to anti-depressant usage. US, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Sweden are 6 of the 8 or so highest median income nations (Norway doesn't track as well, it's down the ranking), and they're the top six anti-depressant users.
Most people are "basically permanently 'kind of high'" on caffeine, or nicotine, or both. Is that distressing?
The effects of caffeine and nicotine are mild, and mostly physical. Especially with nicotine, it's a 'maintenance addiction' in that smoking in addicts is mostly to get to 'stay normal' because the body has adjusted dopamine receptors. A little bit similar with caffeine in that we build a tolerance.
I don't think it's a stretch to consider that there might be some issues with a good chunk of society walking around stoned all day. I'd put 'drunk' in a similar category.
The people who I know who are like this are themselves concerned but they can't seem to change their habits. It's not just a matter of 'physical/mental' state - they are basically different people in this mode and they know it.
The primary effect of caffeine is mental alertness.
>this is more than a little distressing
But, I mean, that's just not how our current paradigm of mental health medicine works, afaik. A lot of mental health related diagnoses are entirely based on the effects to people's lives and ability to accomplish what they want in life. The disorder _is_ the effect on your life, it's not like some internal disease that will do it's work unnoticed and then suddenly kill you if untreated or something because your blah-count is abnormal and your foo-readings are off the charts.
>the 'bad effects' are [...] _going to be_ psychological
I don't think it's fair to postulate on future effects of things like this, when we have current, researched problems with society in this area that we aren't addressing, like the attention-rent-seeking behavior of basically all software today.
You are struggling with your own personal moral beliefs.
You even stated they are "completely functional" yet you're significantly troubled by marijuana use while you have no issues with excessive use of caffeine and nicotine.
A - MJ, while a mild drug, is still a drug, and it seems like people who use it everyday are addicts.
B - On the one hand I'm OK with people making their own decisions as to how they want to live their life, but on the other hand if we are talking about the type of society that we want to have, lots of people taking hallucinogens to get through the day doesn't exactly fit the image. Something seems wrong.
C - We don't really know the long term impacts of doing this. It is probably somewhat bad somehow, even if we don't know exactly how.
If your vision is affected by visual snow (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_snow) or you are prone to have noticeable phosphene images with closed eyes, then it may be sufficient to simply focus on them while being high. The drug will greatly amplify your natural "hallucinations", subjectively up to the level of mild dose of psylocibin or LSD. Of course, taking those classic psychedelics is a more reliable way to produce visuals, but they come with headspace which is quite different (and for some less desirable and comfortable) from weed-induced one.
The same focusing technique can work for monotonic sounds - it's quite amusing to observe how fridge's buzz turns into full-blown symphony :).
Ooooh yeah I would get that sometimes...crickets playing electronica, window screens playing bluegrass, and shower faucet playing heavy metal.
You're concerned some people might be addicts, I'm concerned that you're comfortable with the status quo of criminalization.
But you’re structuring your comments as if you have an argument and evidence, when you don’t. That’s confusing people and causing fights.
It’s ok to have speculative thoughts, just frame them as such and you’ll get higher quality conversation.
Using alcohol everyday on the other hand, that can make you addicted in ways pot never can...
It may be new territory for you, but I can assure you that grown adults have been smoking pot for a long time, and understand the psychological effects and their limits.
Then I went to the mall high with a sober friend - and had to keep him from getting distracted in stores and keep him on track to buy the item we needed. That's when I realized I was High-functioning. (True stories.)