If you’re the kind of person who likes to get depressed, the holidays are a great time to do it. Rather than get all excited about the many reasons nearly any person of any background may find the holidays uncomfortable, it seems again worth discussing one of my favorite topics — weed. Along with a constantly expanding collection of shirt buttons and maintaining the high score on a nearby Pac-Man arcade machine, I make anxiety and depression hobbies throughout the year. I should say here I have zero credentials as an actual health expert. My first-aid card is expired.
I make a day-to-day living recommending cannabis to customers with a whole variety of criteria in mind. That is because the often espoused philosophy, “weed is weed,” that, “all smokes the same,” is unadulterated horseshit. Cannabis strains are unique and while many strains may have one exact quality that is great for some particular need I’m not going to get into any of that. I have worked with and served a ton of people who know more about weed than I do, and I’m not looking to blow anyone’s mind; I just want to talk about some things that have been helpful for me.
There is also nothing sillier than someone clomping into a shop with some obscure name because they heard somewhere it was the strain they needed when ‘right now I’m pretty much going to act like there are five kinds of weed.’
It’s a ludicrous understatement but the reason is all the strains on every shop’s menu land somewhere on a spectrum created by the mixing of two kinds of cannabis — indica and sativa. A great phrase to throw around is, “indicas put you in da couch, sativas, stay up and clean da house.”
An indica will generally relax you, a sativa will energize you and everyone’s reaction is different, so indicas are more comfortable for some people, sativas are more fun for others, and a lot of people love the territory in between. The dick thing about it is some handful of people get opposite reactions so it’s impossible to talk in broad strokes and truly speak to everyone.
A customer once asked for five joints of my choosing and I had fun providing him the points of the spectrum — indica, indica-leaning hybrid, fifty/fifty hybrid, sativa-leaning hybrid, and sativa. As soon as I became aware there was weed out there with an energetic effect, my assumption was I wanted to stay as far away from that as possible. My whole intent in smoking had always been to relax, to manage anxiety and ill feelings. But in the context of depression strain selection is a tricky issue. Often when someone says they’re having a shitty day I think they need an indica’s relaxation, but there are people who report having increased anxiety over the sense of being too sedated.
As much as I love denouncing cultural myths of cannabis, it is absolutely true that consuming marijuana can interfere with motivation. Getting all mellowed out on an indica might not always be helpful. I have smoked heavy indicas during times I felt completely overwhelmed and found the relief I needed to take care of unnecessarily daunting tasks, but lately my home territory is indica leaning hybrids. They are relaxing without being overly sedating, allowing me enough “chill” to go about my day and carry just a touch of sativa pep. I think of them as being more “ondacouch” than “indacouch.”
Fifty/fifty hybrids are an area I increasingly appreciate for their neutral stone, the fact of being high without lagging or becoming anxious like I do on some sativas. Some people are all about sativas, the way those strains will keep people energized enough to handle their necessities, to keep zipping along and feeling positive about it. I sell to a lot of people with challenging lives, who work hard and support families. “I don’t need that,” they’ll say when I explain a relaxing strain’s effects, “I’m already tired.” Lately I spend time with some full-on sativas I have come to trust when I am trying to get important things done and need focus, but will generally not drift outside of some sativa-leaning hybrids.
CBD, or cannabidiol, has a peculiar fit in all of this because it has a great following among people who find relief from its benefits but struggle with the stigma of cannabis. “So it doesn’t get you high, right?” is an important question for a lot of people. They also want to hear they can be more relaxed but still functional. Longtime cannabis consumers often ignore it for exactly the same reason, it doesn’t get you high. But I like to tell those customers CBD is THC’s cousin everyone thinks is lame because they haven’t hung out with him yet.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is fantastic in terms of its calming effects. Last night after I got off of work I consumed a good bit of indica, took some prescriptions I have for evenings, and was never really relaxed until I remembered to take one milliliter of a CBD tincture. Welcome to Brother Jebediah Cannabidiol Ministries, and here at Brother Jebediah Cannabidiol Ministries cannabidiol is the way and the light.
If you’re not feeling well, from the dark, from the holidays, from it being a Thursday, and you just want to get through, it’s worth mentioning that an entire shit day can be made worthwhile with some small pleasure. This can be blowing soap bubbles in a park, just a walk, or movie at home — anything you do with a little mindful appreciation you are finding a way to enjoy something. That can be so hard to do when depression has really taken hold and overwhelming events keep piling on; when you can only sneak a few minutes at best. A hot cup of tea is a good one.
So is a joint.