People Talk About the Experience That Made Them Stop Smoking Weed
(Top photo: Flickr user daddyboskeasy, via)
Smoking weed is a lot of fun, until it’s not. You might have grown up getting high and watched as all your friends slowly put down the papers, or you may well be the person out of your social group who first decided that weed wasn’t for you – whether that was because it started to make you feel weird every time you smoked it, or just because you were done with the rigmarole of waiting three hours to pick up some sub-par skunk.
Everyone has their own reasons when it comes to leaving weed behind, so for Weed Week we asked a load of people about the experience that made them want to stop getting high.
Will Smoking Weed Affect My Anxiety?
I first started smoking weed when I was around 12, and by age 15 I was getting stoned pretty much all day, every day, until one night in my room when I started to develop what I now understand to be psychosis. I could hear people calling for me in my house and would run downstairs to see what was going on, only to see there was no one home. I would hear heavy rainfall on my window, only to look outside and find a still, dry night. It started happening like clockwork: every time I started smoking I would have the same hallucinations. I knew pretty much instantly it was from the weed, but it took a long time to wean myself off it, both because I loved it so much and because it was all my social circle were interested in doing.
I stopped smoking fully until my mid-twenties, when I realised I could get stoned now and again without any of those hallucinations coming back, but now I’ve pretty much cut it out again because once I start I can’t control myself with it. I’m a stoner at heart, so getting “a bit” stoned “now and again” just doesn’t do it for me.
I started smoking weed when I was 12, cobbling together £5 in change between four of us and changing it up at the shop for a note to buy a jax with. I gradually got more and more into it as I went through my teens, which was loads of fun at the time. Then, when I was about 22, 23, I started feeling like weed was making me really anxious for about the first hour or so after smoking. I realised after a while that I was spending crazy money on smoking spliffs for a high that I hoped would wear off as quickly as possible.
Still, I carried on smoking for about another two years because it was a central part of my routine, and the addled love a routine. I eventually quit in January of 2015 after a particularly anxious episode where I was convinced I was gonna have a heart attack. I don’t want to sound high and mighty: I’d still smoke weed daily if I enjoyed it as much as I used to, but something changed in my brain, I guess, and now I’m better off without.
WATCH: High Society – The UK’s Drone-Operating Weed Thieves, Granny Growers and Pot-Friendly Politicians
I started smoking weed because of a stoner ex-boyfriend: I would only really smoke it when we were together, but then he dumped me and I just started smoking on my own all the time. After about three or four months I started to get really paranoid: I was super vigilant about everything and would get delusions. I’m still not sure if it was just the fallout of being dumped and the anxiety and depression that came with that which caused the paranoia, or the weed, but I stopped. I miss getting high, and I’ve been thinking about trying it out again because I read a lot about how much it helps anxiety. But then in turn I’m anxious about the paranoia coming back, and having to accept that maybe it just isn’t for me.
I never used to smoke weed as much as most people my age; for me it was more of a “once a fortnight” thing to take the edge off of hangovers and comedowns. In 2012 I visited Amsterdam with some seasoned stoners, and on the first day we all went to a cafe and decided to go in on some “vaporised isolate”, which you inhale from a bag. Sadly, I completely lost it. Like full on lost the plot: lost track of where I was, what was happening, didn’t recognise anything around me. To this day, the only way I can describe what happened to me in words is that I got locked inside my own mind. It was like I was thrown all of the world’s most challenging philosophical conundrums to deal with all at once, and I couldn’t even word to my friend what was happening as he walked me around the area to calm me down.
I still look back on that holiday and get little flashbacks once every six months or so, which leave me feeling very confused and anxious for about an hour. It’s really odd, because I never suffered from anxiety, but for about an hour every six months I relive the experience – although it’s becoming less frequent now. I properly decided to build on life after that, though, and I can honestly say it’s helped turn my life into an amazing experience. In a way, I appreciate that it happened.
LINK TO REALITY
I smoked weed every day for a few years from the age of 18 onwards. Blazing opened up to me a whole new social stratum of mates – people who chose to live life on their terms a bit more. Its mind-expanding, introspective properties undeniably contributed to some vitally important existential realisations and helped me to figure out my frantic brain and learn about myself a fair bit.
After suffering from drug-induced psychosis triggered mostly by a heavy diet of psychedelics at 23, I had to rethink my attitude towards all mind-altering substances, and there were times during my recovery that I would have a toke and feel my brain turning towards overly meta realms divorced from the cushiony comfortable reality weed use to give me before. Four years on, my roots to reality are more solid, but I’m still cautious with how much I smoke, because I’ve felt first-hand in my brain that unsettling link between getting high and losing touch with everything tangible and real.
I’ve been smoking since I was about 13, but mostly in a social capacity and rarely on my own. It would be in between classes at college, before and after parties or the club, and always scraping that last zoot out the grinder kind of flex. About two or three years ago I was at a festival out in the South West – I’d planned to have a fairly chilled one and just drink most of the weekend, but I had a bad stomach for some reason and I could barely drink an alcoholic beverage without being doubled over and burping constantly.
Luckily I had a nice 20 bag, but by the end of the weekend I was sick of it. I was sitting there with a big spliff in my mouth and a metallic taste on my tongue, just thinking, What is this? I don’t even enjoy it any more.’ I finished the spliff and that was it: I just decided I was done. Since then I’ve had the odd toke and it just sends my head spinning. I’m getting old, clearly. I thought I’d be smoking for life, but clearly not. Maybe edibles is the way? British Bake Off, come at me.
Get a personalized roundup of VICE’s best stories in your inbox.
By signing up to the VICE newsletter you agree to receive electronic communications from VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content.
Getting high day in, day out isn't for everyone.
Are you over 21?
Sorry, you’re too young to view this site.
We look forward to meeting you on your 21st!
Taking a Break From Smoking Weed But Still Wanna Get Stoned?
Looking to get high while you self-isolate but don’t want to smoke weed? There are plenty of other ways to get the job done and some users are turning to alternatives in light of the current pandemic we’re experiencing. With coronavirus affecting the respiratory systems of those it infects, limiting smoke exposure on the lungs may be a wise decision.
But with edibles, tinctures, capsules, and other smoke-free ways to get high, it can be difficult to decide how to go about it. Why not try many ways? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite products from our Washington dispensary locations to pair with different at-home activities.
Make breakfast and start your day with a tincture
We advise against starting your day with cannabis if you work from home. However, if you have the day off or are not currently working at this time, a wake and bake session is in order. With a bit of a twist.
Starting your day with the Awake spray tincture from Green Revolution is a great choice, especially if you wake up and struggle to get out of bed, get breakfast on the stove, and really get started.
The spray combines the energizing effects of sativa with CBG and green tea extract. With 2.5 mg of THC per spray, it’s super easy to measure your dose and keep it controlled. Since it’s designed to energize, you won’t find yourself unable to get out of bed like the usual wake and bake scenario.
Pop open a cannabis soda for gaming or watching movies
Playing video games and watching movies have several things in common. You’re sitting in one place, your attention is on a screen, and you’re probably in the mood to snack.
Make it a movie theater experience and pop some popcorn to pair with a tasty cannabis soda. Our Bellingham dispensary has a classic cola from Olala, the perfect treat to pair with popcorn or potato chips. We’ve also got plenty of Ray’s infused lemonades and other treats across our Washington dispensary locations to satisfy your sweet tooth.
When you drink a cannabis soda, expect the effects to start taking place anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. If you’re not sure how high you’ll get from it, start slow and consider starting with a low-dose soda.
Soak in the tub with THC bath salts
Elevate your typical bath time experience with the help of THC bath salts. We love the Lavender Relax salts from CERES as they help provide a sense of calm and feel great on sore, achy muscles.
If you’re looking to relax and unwind, infused bath salts are the way to go. This brand also has several other products available, including CBD Moon Cycle bath salts. And while many of the products have THC, they won’t get you high in the way eating or smoking cannabis will. Instead, you’ll feel a sense of total body relaxation and relief.
Spice up a meal with infused ramen seasoning
The college students near our Bellingham dispensary can probably attest to the life-saving qualities of ramen. When you’re in a pinch and hungry, you’re only a few minutes away from a meal if you have some on hand.
We love the do-it-yourself doors that open with Lefty’s Ramen Seasoning. Whether you’re adding an extra kick to actual ramen, spicing up a different meal, or even sprinkling it on popcorn, you can’t go wrong with weed-infused seasoning packets.
Binge-watch TV with infused bon bombs
Ever wanted to “sit around, watch soap operas, and eat bonbons” all day? It may be an old, poorly-aged phrase mocking housewives, but we’d like to reclaim it. We’re doing the world a service by staying in right now, so why not make it the most enjoyable, laid back experience possible?
If you haven’t tried infused Bon Bombs from Verdelux, you’re missing out. There are several different varieties to suit everyone’s tastes, including some vegan options. They’re all gluten-free as well.
We highly suggest making a cozy, lazy afternoon of sitting around, eating bon bombs, and binge-watching a tv show. Make it something lighthearted or funny to keep your spirits high and allow your mind to focus on something other than the news for a change.
Be sure to plan out how many you plan to eat before you get distracted by mindless television. It’s hard to stop eating once you’ve had a taste.
De-stress with PTSFree capsules
While we’re making an effort to keep our customers safe and entertained during this time, we acknowledge the toll this situation can take on mental health. We’re in a stressful time of uncertainty and it can become overwhelming to cope with.
Taking walks around the block if you can, talking to support systems virtually, and practicing mindfulness can all help to relieve some of this stress, but sometimes we need a little more help.
We recommend Fairwinds PTSFree capsules. They’re not exclusively for people with PTSD and are designed to help anyone who is “seeking a shield for the noise of daily life.” The effects may be mildly intoxicating to some, but overall, the biggest sensation will be a sense of comfort.
If you find yourself anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed during this time, you’re not alone. Turning to less intoxicating products designed to comfort and relax may be the way to go.
Get ready for bed with a nighttime mint
If you’re one of the many people who use marijuana to unwind in the evening or help fall asleep at night, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of ways to do so without smoking.
We love incorporating Moxey’s Mints in our nighttime routine. With several varieties ranging from CBD, THC, and combinations of the two, you’re bound to find one that suits your individual needs.
We love the Dream Lavender Mints because they combine the power of microdose THC and CBD with the soothing effects of lavender. They’re formulated to help relax users into sleepytime, not get them particularly high.
Our final thoughts
We hope our customers across all of our Washington dispensary locations and beyond are staying healthy and safe.
Many people are questioning whether they should be smoking right now or not. We encourage everyone to do their own research and make the best decision for themselves, taking into account their personal health and experiences.
If you’re choosing to abstain from smoking, there are so many ways to still get high. We hope our guide will help you to stay elevated during this whole ordeal.
Satori MJ is a recreational cannabis shop featuring many dispensary locations ! Check us on out on Yelp , Leafly , Instagram , Facebook , Google and Twitter.
Looking to get high while you self-isolate but don’t want to smoke weed? There are plenty of other ways to get the job done and some users are turning to…