While you’ve likely read several of my posts if you’ve checked out our blog, I realized I never gave a proper introduction- I’m SweetSue & this is my personal history with a cannabis lifestyle.
“How has your life changed since you decided to grow your first pot plant?”
The question stopped me in my tracks when I considered how my life has changed since embracing the cannabis lifestyle.
My friend and I were standing in my kitchen as I prepared jars of coconut oil and assorted buds for a joint decarb and infusion cycle in the Instant Pot when the conversation turned to the changes in our lives since cannabis legalization had begun to sweep the nation and the world, and in particular, since before I morphed into an advocate for the cannabis lifestyle.
Looking back, it’s hard to distinguish the moment I made the decision to grow my own pot, and I didn’t realize at the time how much that bold choice would drastically change my life. We knew my husband was closer to death than we wanted to accept, and one day I determined that I could help him come to the end of his life smoking better weed than we were able to afford or find on the street if I grew a plant or two in the closet.
I joined an online cannabis lifestyle community to pick up some pointers on growing what I hoped would be the first of many cycles of homegrown weed.
His heart didn’t hold out the five years we’d hoped for, and within months of my first harvest he’d passed away. I consoled myself that he was able to complete his journey on this planet smoking the best herb he’d ever had, grown by my own hand.
Switching gears, I continued growing, but this time for my own recreational purposes. As a new widow, I had lots of spare time on my hands, so I expanded my participation in online cannabis lifestyle communities, where I ran smack-dab into the endocannabinoid system, and everything changed.
In casual conversation with a friend who’d been speaking on the ECS at cannabis awareness gatherings, he shared his frustration that a majority of the site’s members only thought of cannabis as a way to get high. “They’re missing the bigger picture,” he mused. Slightly embarrassed at how little I knew about the ECS (read that to mean “nothing”) I started studying myself, nosing around the edges, shocked that I hadn’t paid attention to what turns out to be our primary cellular signaling system.
I’m an educator by nature and training, and I couldn’t wait to find ways to explain what I was learning in my exploration of the cannabis lifestyle. I assured my friend I’d do what I could to spread his message and set off to do just that. My grow became oriented to medical strains for my daughter, and I jumped feet-first into the study of the ECS and cannabis.
The past four years have been a whirlwind of study and communal experimentation with my virtual friends, looking for more ways to explain that a cannabis lifestyle isn’t something to fear. Working together we explored new ways to use one of the world’s oldest plants, happily sharing what we learned.
I’ve grown cannabis using many techniques, dried and cured buds in a variety of methods, processed the harvested buds into a multitude of cannabis oils, and sought out a myriad of approaches to effective dosing, documenting it as we went, freely and enthusiastically sharing our newfound understanding with the world.
I’ve had the unusual privilege of traveling to visit cannabis gardens around the country and speak first-hand with growers about cultivation concerns, processing methods, and dosing protocols. As a result of the journey of my cannabis lifestyle, I’ve been able to test more strains in more forms than most people I know.
So yes, the changes in my life in the past five years transformed me from a quiet and complacent citizen who once made her husband and herself stop consuming pot for eight years because I thought we might be addicted, to an outspoken advocate for all things related to the cannabis lifestyle. While I accept that my experience has been more profound than the average citizen, cannabis awareness and acceptance has never been this high, with momentum moving towards broader acceptance in the future.
If you live in the right zip code, fostering a cannabis lifestyle is that much easier as you can walk into a legal outlet for cannabis goods that bear no resemblance to the low-quality, wrapped-in-a-baggie pot I purchased in the shadows for most of my adult life. This, in and of itself, is a dream come true for many of us from the baby boomer generation.
Ways my life has changed since incorporating a cannabis lifestyle
I’m more aware.
Five years ago my use of weed was to get high. I can now speak with some authority on the ECS and how cannabis interacts with it, and I’ve found opportunities to communicate many ways to grow, process and dispense cannabis as a medicine. My curious nature and passion for the subject will keep my brain and body occupied for the rest of my life as I continue to learn and share. Fortunately, there are extensive educational and cultural resources available online to satisfy a curious cannabis lifestyle student.
I have more freedom.
Freedom from the fear that someone’s going to kick the door down or stop me on the street. Freedom from the struggle of finding and acquiring weed. Freedom from that constant sense of lack and limitation when you realize there will only be two more hits apiece before it’s gone…
Freedom to choose options.
I have more options.
On any given day I’m likely to consume cannabis by smoking, eating a homemade Biobomb brownie, sipping a canna stem tea or a Dixie canna-infused drink, or applying a cannabis topical for localized relief. I’m now more likely to use cannabis in multiple ways simultaneously, whereas before it was smoked, or not at all. I have several strains of buds to choose from, and for the first time in my life, I can choose the strain to match the intention – uplifting strains for daytime use and terpene expressions for the evening that soften the effects of the day’s stresses.
When I think back on the money we spent on what the local dispensary won’t even package for sale, I shake my head in amazement. What I remember most about the underground experience of the cannabis lifestyle was the sense of lack and limitation. You carefully doled it out, and when the stash was gone you were never certain there’d be more to replace it.
A dispensary offers consumers options to find a metered dose of cannabis appropriate for recreation and medication. Today’s products can help you fine-tune ratios, profiles, and concentrations, to create individual medicines and experiences. You can find your minimum effective dose and/or choose your level of intoxication, then find products to match your intent.
See? Dreams do come true.
Dispensary access opens up the wide world of the cannabis lifestyle: buds, extracts, tinctures, oils, capsules, cartridges, lotions, patches, edibles, drinks… The sheer diversity of available cannabis products and the many ways to consume cannabis can make your head spin. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of cannabis potential.
I have greater expectations.
Increased funding for cannabis studies has doctors writing new protocols for using cannabis as a medicine based on new science that pours forth almost daily. For the first time in our lives, cannabis clinicians are collecting and sharing data about real-life applications of cannabis as a medicine with other doctors. In our lifetime, we may yet see cannabis as a first-line approach to medicine.
At the very least, in legal medical cannabis states we’re seeing the beginnings of the end to the dangerous practice of polypharmacy, particularly in senior populations. As cannabis legalization spreads and cannabis is used to taper off opioids the devastation from the epidemic of abuse and addiction to pharmaceutical pain-killers has become less of a concern.
I’m more outspoken.
My previous life seems mousy in comparison to the voice I now use for cannabis awareness. Complacent and compliant, I tracked down my weed, got it home safely, and did my best to stretch it as far as I could. Marijuana was illegal everywhere, and getting caught was a ticket to having your life destroyed.
I was a mother, doing my best to get my husband to his death with dignity and joy. When the children moved on with their own lives and their father died, there was no reason to continue being so timid about embracing a cannabis lifestyle. The more I learned of the history and potential of Cannabis sativa L., the harder it became for me to sit quietly by.
A goal achieved
My husband and I used to joke that our goal for retirement was to stay high all the time. One of us is living that dream. While I’m buzzing along, I’ll keep studying and writing, in an attempt to help others understand that there’s nothing to fear with cannabis use and everything to gain when you find the sweet spot that helps your body come closer to its goal of homeostasis.
If you have thoughts on your own cannabis lifestyle changes as the plant becomes more of a normal part of our daily lives, feel free to share them with us in the comments section below. We’re still a growing community, and I feel the more we share openly, the easier it is for those with resistant ideas about the cannabis lifestyle to let go of unfounded fears and open up to possibilities of allowing this wonderful plant to positively influence their own lives.