We’re seeing an unprecedented rapid expansion of medical marijuana prescriptions for treating a large list of common ailments and conditions. Many people who never thought of using cannabis in their lives, or who tried it once or twice and didn’t like it, are having to consider using it in order to gain medical relief. Why do some people reject marijuana, and how can they re-approach the possibility of using it if they need to?
I had dinner with some friends last night and this issue came up, because one of the people there (who was 70) admitted that she tried grass when she was a teenager, had a bad experience - and just entirely closed down to the possibility of trying it again. She represents a great many people who are afraid to lose control of their minds and actions - who’re concerned that they might say or do something terrible, unaccepted, damaging to their reputation if they get stoned. Is this a valid fear, and if not, why can be done about overcoming it?
It’s true that marijuana helps loosen one’s inhibitions in most cases, so the danger of ‘acting out’ is quite real. However, the deeper fear that getting high can push you over the edge into schizophrenia or psychosis - this is not valid except, as research shows, for less than 1% of the population, and getting stoned is almost never the primary causal ingredient in such permanent mental problems. If you Google schizophrenia and marijuana together, you’ll get lots of research on that issue. The Canadian and Australian studies are especially valuable.
That said, some people sometimes, when first getting high, do temporarily act up and do and say things they later wish they hadn’t. This is why, the first times you try marijuana, it’s wise to be in a situation with friends who’ll basically take care of you for an hour or so while you experiment with the experience and get to know it. Also, do take advantage of our MindfullyHigh App programs,where you’ll find a guided set of audio-visual experiences to help you stay mindful while exploring the cannabis high.
Regarding smoking marijuana versus eating it, as we discuss in the Mindfully High book, you'll need to experiment to see which is best for you. My recommendation is to try smoking it first, as this gives you most ability to determine your intake - inhale just two tokes, then wait a few minutes and see if you need more. And yes, it’s a bit of a nasty taste - but that just goes along with the territory, a small price to pay for the consciousness expansion, pain reduction, etc that ensues if you approach it mindfully. Many people prefer a pipe to rolling a cigarette, by the way, and there are lots of small pipes available to choose from.
We were also talking last night about driving while high, and the new research showing mixed reports on the danger of driving high - it’s definitely mixed. What researchers don’t know to look for, is whether the person driving high is doing so mindfully, or is in a state of intoxication from the drug. We definitely do have the choice, once we learn to manage the marijuana high.
This is what The Mindful Marijuana User is all about - learning to shift into a responsible mindset when needed, even when driving - especially when driving, which I don't advise at all, ever. And please remember, dosage is important. If you get too high, simply DON’T drive. And never drive when you’ve also consumed more than one drink of alcohol, as all studies indicate.
Especially when using guidance such as our app, there's no reason for the vast majority of people to be afraid of getting high. Just be sure to light up in a safe quiet space where you won't be bothered, use the free MindfullyHigh if possible ... and enjoy the experience. You'll find lots more information on this in the Mindfully High book as well.