It has been over two months now since I smoked my last joint, which for a serious smoker like me is a very long time. Almost a record — only broken by when I was in certain countries where the option was serious punishment (Indonesia) or it simply it was not available (China). I smoked my first joint in 1969 and it was love at first hit. Cannabis has been a constant companion ever since.
The good news is that it clearly is not addictive, as I have never suffered any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The sad news is that I miss her terribly! Yes, I can get high in other ways… but there’s something special about smoking a joint. A lot has to do with the fact that it slows us down and that is a blessing for all of us considering the busy lives we lead. At least twice a day, Swami and I would sit down and take our time over a big fatty. Between the time it takes to roll it (craft it really, in the case of a “Swami Joint”) and then leisurely smoke it, we’d have at least half an hour to chill out and be together.
Joints have been my therapy, I admit. My personality type would be on the go 24/7 if it were not for the “safety meetings” that force me to slow down, take a break and enjoy the beauty of life. To be with my friends and family and literally stop and smell the terpenes. Communal joint smoking and sharing is the stimulus of many a fascinating and often funny conversation. It is a time to observe the beauty around us, whether in nature or not. Through the dense smoke, visions of alternate realities appear which just don’t happen when consuming in other ways.
When I was diagnosed with moderate COPD in early April, I vowed to fight it and prove wrong the “chronic” part of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. To that end, I quit smoking completely right after 420 and promised myself I would not resume until I felt better and was able to consider vaping. I have loyally been dosing myself with high CBD oil in the daytime and high THC oil before bedtime, with the belief that they will break down the scar tissue formed on my lungs. I have faith and that is a great foundation, but my condition also requires patience and finding other ways to get high.
Usually, around 3 p.m. I’ll eat some edibles, about 10 mg is a good dose for me just to take off the edge. I might do that again around 7 p.m. to ensure a mellow evening. I never get too high to not work on projects, which in the cannabis business never stop. Hence, I am missing those safety meetings and time outs to gather calmness around me. Edibles are a personal thing, not a shared sport like passing a joint. Where’s the fun in that?
Once I start to try out vaping methods it may be a little different, but it’s still not a joint. I have been doing research on several styles of vaporizers which work with flowers, as I choose to avoid smoking the oils completely. While some are super cool and cooling on the lungs, I’ve yet to find one that can hold more than two to three hits at a time. For most smokers that might be enough, but I am a veteran and have a super high tolerance, I admit. We’ll see if I can find the balance with a vaporizer to keep up with Swami while he’s smoking a traditional joint. Human nature is innately adaptable, so I trust the balance to filling my vaporizer while he keeps smoking his joint will be found.
Interestingly, I have found that I am not alone. Several people have confided in me that they also need to stop smoking joints due to the heat and combustion involved, which can be irritating to those with sensitive lungs. More smokers are discovering vapes that use flowers as the best way to go. So my experiment has the benefit of understanding that path so I can compassionately offer advice. Hence, I hope to find the “ground zero” of vaping flowers so that I am able to judge that way in the Emerald Cup this coming December. Will the flavors, terpenes and highs that I experience be the same for Swami when he smokes it in a joint? I truly look forward to finding that out and being able to share the discoveries.
There are a few other benefits to not smoking joints. Smoke is a very drying substance so I have found my skin to be softer and more hydrated, especially around the lips. I also have been very surprised to realize that I am remembering my very vivid dreams in the morning. Most regular cannabis smokers will tell you that they rarely recall a dream, but surprisingly the strong THC oil that I take every night gives me full-length Technicolor dreams. I can’t begin to explain how that happens, but it does. I do wake up a bit groggy but that feeling evaporates quickly. Yet the dreams are so lucid and realistic and stay with me all day. The other benefit of not smoking joints throughout the day, for better or worse, is that I get lots more work done.
I will always believe that smoking a nice joint is the full cannabis experience as intended. The temperature fluctuates as it slowly burns, the tastes change and the high comes on in a smooth and immediate way that edibles can never accomplish. In the 20 minutes it takes to smoke a joint my mood would elevate, stimulating conversations would ensue and my body would relax into a serene space. Hopefully, soon I will master the skill of vaping flowers and find that same enjoyment and medicinal values. Cannabis will always be my ally, in several forms, but boy, I do love a good fat joint!
TELL US, what is your favorite way to consume cannabis?