Someone once asked me: Does smoking cannabis create any dependencies; is it addictive, and does it impact my ability to complete day-to-day tasks? It’s hard for me to determine if cannabis is genuinely addictive, but it isn’t hard for me to take a break for a day should I choose to do so. While I haven’t taken a proper tolerance break in years, it’s not because of a physical need to smoke weed every day, but because of its positive impact on my well-being. It’s also hard to define ‘addictive’ when anything can be habit-forming, whether or not you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop. There are good and bad habits; only you can decide which category your consumption falls under. My daily cannabis consumption has become a ritual akin to a morning cup of coffee or an afternoon glass of wine.
Every morning, I wake up at 5 am, shower, get dressed, have a coffee, and head to work. Science tells me that after nearly two and half years of doing these same activities at the same time every day, I have long passed the point of these becoming a habit. Most people would call this a good habit; you get up every day and get to work on time. But I have another habit, a ritual even, one which some people might question whether or not it imparts any harmful side-effects on my other so-called good habits. Every day (the same days which I practice the habit of getting to work on time), I get home from work, break out my rolling tray, a pack of raw blacks, a filter, grinder, and whatever bag of weed I happen to have on hand. I then work some magic and head outside to consume a joint that weighs between 0.5 and 1 gram – in other words, I get stoned. Why? Well, to support my well-being, of course. Let’s pretend for a second that well-being isn’t just two words separated with a dash but is instead an onion. We can peel back each layer and easily see that many factors impact our well-being. Some have a positive effect, while others have a negative impact. Stress, which my work imparts much on me, impacts my well-being negatively and inevitably leads to anxiety. The joint I am always looking forward to smoking soothes this anxiety and makes it easier to endure the following day’s stresses. It keeps me level, allows me to relax, and lets me break down the things that cause my stress.
While cannabis can help alleviate things that negatively impact our well-being, it can also help boost the things in our lives that positively impact our well-being. I have another habit that I have yet to mention. Every day after my cannabis ritual, I sit down in my studio and spend an hour contributing to my music career. Sometimes it’s working on a song; other times it’s doing sound design; every time it’s creative. While this may not be the case for everyone, I find that weed provides a boost to creativity, and creativity provides a boost to my well-being.
It’s a far cry from the terrifying demotivator that people often portray cannabis as. It doesn’t hinder my ambitions, it doesn’t prevent me from paying my bills, and it certainly doesn’t stop me from doing my day-to-day activities.