I was hurriedly getting ready for my senior prom when I asked my mom to grab a lipstick out of my purse. She rummaged around a bit and came out not with the lipstick but a prescription container with a half-smoked joint in it. Uh-oh. Understandably, considering the time and place – long, long ago in a galaxy far far away – she freaked.
I recalled this recently at a meeting of the Los Angeles chapter of Ellementa (a women’s network focused on health, wellness and cannabis), where Sasha Perelman, founder of Forward by Revolver (an experiential agency created for cannabis brands and consumers), referred to cannabis as “a lifestyle tool.” As soon as she said it, I thought, if only I’d said, “But mom, it’s just a lifestyle tool.” It wouldn’t have helped, but it WOULD have been a great line.
Nowadays, of course, it’s more than a line. I’d never thought of it this way before, but as Sasha continued, I realized the extent to which I use cannabis as a lifestyle tool. Allow me to count the ways:
1. I’ve been known to rub in a THCA topical or slip a CBD strip under my tongue for pain relief.
2. I’m trying to figure out how to take CBD as a daily supplement to reap its anti-inflammatory benefits.
3. I’ve vaped before yoga, cardio and trainer workouts to excellent effect.
4. Ditto meditation.
5. Ditto sex (yes, I just “dittoed” sex).
6. I’ve micro-dosed before professional events to overcome networking anxiety.
7. I’ve used cannabis for fun.
Fun! It’s fun to get high, a point I’m not sure I’ve ever seen in the voluminous cannabis coverage I read. It’s fun at parties (again, great for overcoming shyness), before movies and other entertainments, and when listening to music. Cannabis even makes cleaning the house fun (well, more fun than cleaning the house straight).
8. I’ve relied on cannabis to jump-start a piece of personal writing.
At the same Ellementa gathering, Sari Gabbay, founder of the creative agency Redefining Cannabis, and Cannabliss Retreats (where you’re invited to “expand your mind, strengthen your body and awaken your spirit”), said of the plant, “She tells you who you are.” On the face of it, that’s some hippie shit I ordinarily have trouble getting behind. But all of a sudden, I knew what she meant.
Cannabis has never told me who I am (I’ve always just seemed to know). It has, however, clarified my feelings. Sometimes my gut instinct is drowned out by competing forces. But there have been instances where I’ve thought about something while high and experienced a blinding flash of insight, what Sari’s colleague Melissa Wynne-Jones has brilliantly dubbed a “spliffany.” So I’ll add:
9. Cutting through the emotional clutter.
10. Getting closer to people.
Whether its sexual intimacy, social fluency, conflict resolution (indulge with someone you love and see how quickly that argument about mustard falls by the wayside) or the natural human yearning for connection, getting high with someone tends to bond you.
The designation of cannabis as a lifestyle tool also comports with my conviction that just about everyone can benefit in some way from it. Its medical applications hold enormous promise, of course. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get high before, say, a screening of “Ready Player One.”
And though I can’t in good conscious recommend cannabis to the prom crowd -- given what we know now about brain development, Mom wasn’t wrong -- odds are the next time I go out in a poufy dress, with or without benefit of corsage, I’ll be doing so in an elevated state.