Can Weed Help You Get Through The Workday?
After a long period of prohibition and a trillion-dollar “war on drugs,” marijuana use is rapidly normalizing. Nine states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational use and 29 states have legalized medicinal use with a doctor’s prescription. In many of these states, cannabis is big business; Colorado now has more dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonald’s locations combined.
What does that mean for the future of work in these states? Will more companies scrub marijuana from required drug testing? Will employees who use cannabis for mood regulation feel comfortable using it at work? And will cannabis increasingly be introduced into after-hours work functions, replacing the go-to happy hour?
In Los Angeles, where cannabis was legalized for recreational use in January, these questions are top of mind. Girlboss spoke with three 420-friendly #girlbosses here to see how they’re adjusting to life post-legalization and to get their advice on balancing cannabis with work and play.
“There’s a rampant amount of PTSD that we’re being exposed to all the time. Cannabis helps me deal with that stress and secondhand trauma.”
ForJen Byers, a cancer survivor who works as an art director and conflict journalist, cannabis plays several roles. In her work as an artist, she uses cannabis as you might expect—to assist with brainstorming, focus, and inspiration. But in work as a videographer covering domestic, environmental, and human rights abuses, cannabis acts as an unexpected bonding tool.
“A lot of the people we encounter are suspicious of strangers being affiliated with law enforcement,” she explains. “Consuming cannabis together reassures people that everyone in their circle is safe.”
Byers has covered recent historical moments such as water cannon night at Standing Rock and the Water is Life march in Washington D.C. And while she’s grateful to have captured these powerful events on camera, it takes a toll.
“There’s a rampant amount of PTSD that we’re being exposed to all the time. Cannabis helps me deal with that stress and secondhand trauma,” she says. Edibles,like Buddy Boy chocolate bars, “produce a cheerful, productive high that’s good for work.” And while Byers generally smokes sativa-dominant strains, she says a heavy indica can be nice in the field.
For those who aren’t in the know, most cannabis strains fall into one of three categories: sativa, indica, or hybrid. Sativa strains are usually described as energizing and preferable for work and creativity. Indica strains have sedative qualities and promote relaxation. Hybrids are a blend of sativa and indica, offering the effects of both. Cannabinoid is another word you should know; it describes chemical compounds like THC and CBD. THC is what produces a psychoactive effect and CBD is a non-intoxicating substance that promotes relaxation. These chemicals can be isolated to treat different ailments—that’s where THC- or CBD-dominant strains and products come in.
If you’re overwhelmed by all of that information, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. As the industry grows with legalization, dispensaries are staffing up cannabis educators—and those in the know are informally sharing their knowledge with their peers.
“To me, weed is almost like a diet.”
“You get that same horror story from everyone about how they took an edible once, got really messed up and never tried it again. It’s such a bummer because no one taught them,” Siera Shrout, an art director turned cannabis curator, says. After hearing a bunch of stories like that, Shrout held an event to familiarize her girlfriends with cannabis.
For Shrout, cannabis and work are intrinsically linked. After getting burnt out in high fashion, she found success as the creator of “Stash Panties,” underwear that comes with a tiny front pocket that allows the wearer to stash paraphernalia undetected at festivals. She’s sincerebrandedas Roze.Volca; herInstagramis a gorgeous gradient of California cannabis culture, with a lens that often lands on chic women and oozes self-care. Shrout, who freelances with a large vape company and provides consulting within the industry, says she’s “constantly surrounded by cannabis.”
But despite her immersion in the culture, Shrout is regimented about her consumption. “To me, weed is almost like a diet,” she says. She microdoses with edibles during the workday. (“Microdosing” refers to ingesting small amounts of cannabis or other substances for more subtle effects.)
“Mondois a powder that dissolves in coffee or sometimes I’ll hit my vape pen right when I wake up, then make coffee. I find that caffeine combined with a small amount of cannabis creates a prolonged wake up that’s really nice,” she says. “I never ingest more than 10mg when I’m microdosing.” Shrout also likesKin Slips, which come in flavor combinations like watermelon basil and turmeric mango and dissolve on your tongue.
While vaping is common practice in her work meetings, she prefers to skip it and stay on task. Shrout only gets high during her nighttime routine or at social occasions.
She once suffered from chronic insomnia and migraines, but credits cannabis for helping her manage both. Before Shrout started using it, she took antidepressants for almost three years; her dose kept creeping up as she sought relief. “I have to wonder, where would I be now or in 10 years if I had continued down that path?” she says.
“Whenever I smoke I get really paranoid and hyper-self-critical and I just want to go home and shut off.”
“I used to smoke weed a lot back in high school because it was a nice escape from reality,” artist Britt Harrison says. “Being teenagers, there was a lot of hysterical laughter and it was just a nice way to bond with friends.”
But when Harrison noticed some of her stoner friends falling behind and eventually dropping out of school, she decided to quit smoking and focus on her studies. More than a decade later, she still equates cannabis with those burnout days.
“Now whenever I smoke I get really paranoid and hyper-self-critical and I just want to go home and shut off, but I can’t because I’m stoned. It’s just not as pleasant any more,” she says.
Harrison doesn’t deny that cannabis works for some, but is hesitant to throw a monkey wrench in her current workflow.
“I’ve seen people who are really functional while high and the benefits they get from it so I’m not against it for anyone else, but I feel like maybe it doesn’t work well with my body chemistry,” she says.
While getting high doesn’t interest Harrison anymore, she’s open to the non-psychoactive benefits that cannabis has to offer. She recently triedPapa & Barkley’s topical releaf ointment and admits it helped relieve significant tension. “I enjoy the body high; it’s the getting in my head part that I don’t like,” she says.
When it comes to boosting creativity, Harrison is happy to stick with her tried-and-true methods of strong cold brew coffee and walking around her Echo Park neighborhood.
If you’re new to cannabis, educate yourself and figure out your limits before introducing it at work.
While there are myriad options for creating your own unique relationship with weed, you may find that it doesn’t work for you—that you don’t need it, that you don’t respond to it, or that you don’t enjoy it. If you’re new to cannabis, it’s a good idea to educate yourself and figure out your limits before introducing it at work.
With so many options for discreet consumption, even seasoned smokers may find their willpower tested. Jen Byers admits it took her a while to find a healthy balance. “After the raids and evictions at Standing Rock, I was medicating all day everyday. Part of it was just self-care and to cope with the PTSD, but I found that my productivity suffered as a result,” she says.
But for some cannabis-curious workers and regular users, toke breaks just might replace smoke breaks as the new norm at work.
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Speak to a healthcare professional about any questions you may have.
Can Weed Help You Get Through The Workday? After a long period of prohibition and a trillion-dollar “war on drugs,” marijuana use is rapidly normalizing. Nine states and Washington D.C. have
The benefits of smoking weed before work
If you live in a region where it is legal to get stoned, then you have probably wondered at least once or twice what it would be like to go to work high. That is, of course, if you haven’t tried it already. According to one survey which was conducted by Survey Monkey and Mashable.com, at 10% of Americans admit to going to work stoned, or smoking weed while on the clock. That’s a lot of active consumers in the workplace, which was a major concern for many employers, but how does it really impact workers, and is it detrimental to productivity?
According to one study released by the University of Connecticut, the overall impact on productivity across thousands of employees and hundreds of employers is measured at a maximum of 1.3%. The interesting part of this research wasn’t learning that smoking weed could adversely impact productivity by 1.3%, it’s that those results were not consistent. In fact, only 50% of sectors under investigation showed any decrease in productivity, and some even show an increase in numbers, which is enough to prove that getting stoned at work does actually help some people to be more motivated in the workplace.
The benefits of smoking weed at work
Now, for the real reason, you came here, the main ways that getting stoned at work could be beneficial.
1. Less pain
This is one of the most common reasons why so many consumers will smoke weed just before or during work. Cannabis provides the benefits of two cannabinoids that can help with this, including CBD, which combats inflammation, and THC, the element that immediately soothes with a euphoric calm. If you experience less pain while at work, it can help you to be more productive, and that is especially true in jobs that require constant repetition, lifting weight or irregular movements.
Though most people think of getting stoned as an excellent way to melt into the couch and relax after a hard day at work, some types of weed can provide the opposite experience. Some of the more intense and potent cannabis strains will deplete your energy levels, strains that are low in THC and high in CBD are the perfect combination for a boost to help you make it through the day.
3. Reduced stress
For some people, work is a getaway from the insanity that is adulting at home, but for many others, it is the cause of their stress, anxiety and even depression. It might sound counterintuitive as smoking weed can make some consumers paranoid; those with a developed tolerance can benefit immensely from the calming washing away of stress during the workday.
4. Improved mood
One of the most famous benefits of smoking weed is an all-consuming sense of happiness, which is often true, especially when the right cannabis strains are selected. It is important to remember that some types of weed can result in a more adverse effect and make you unmotivated, sad and shut off from the world, none of which are going to make you feel or be any more productive at work. However, if you stick to strains that will induce a fierce set of the giggles, then it could be just what you need to keep going.
5. Makes work more fun/enjoyable
Let’s face it, the majority of workers out there do not have the luxury of an exciting or even stimulating career, and boredom tends to lead to wandering thoughts, a bad mood, and overall a relatively unproductive situation. Smoking weed before work or while on break can help to give you something to look forward to, while also making the day go by faster. If you enjoy your position more, then you are going to be more productive, which is why this is one of the greatest benefits of getting stoned for individuals in some lines of work.
The best types of weed to use at work
Smoking weed can be of great benefit, but it could also lead to a potential downfall if you aren’t careful, that is the reason why it is so important to choose the right strain for the job. Here, you will find some of the best marijuana strains in the world that are known for improving mood, focus and motivation.
- Pineapple Express
- Northern Lights
- Birthday Cake Kush
- Strawberry Cough
- Maui Wowie
- Forbidden Fruit
Methods of using cannabis to stay motivated
Have you ever heard of the saying ‘know your limit and stay within it’? That holds incredibly truth, especially when the goal is staying motivated.
If you live in a region where it is legal to get stoned, then you have probably wondered at least once or twice what it would be like to go to work high.