Marijuana in My Life
When I first started to get interested in marijuana, I was in the military. In the military, it is illegal to use marijuana and even discussing the topic can almost initiate a urinalysis. The reason that I was interested in it was that I was experiencing chronic pain due to a hip injury. At the time I was prescribed a synthetic opioid to help with the pain relief. It concerned me that I may get addicted to the pain medication as well as the side effects of the opioid made it harder for me to concentrate on my work and made me drowsy. Additionally, I had friends who had started to use opioids for pain management and were now addicted to them and currently going through programs to ween them off of them. All of these things made me pretty resistant to using opioids as a long-term solution to my pain. This made me very interested in the stories I was hearing about the use of marijuana and pain relief.
At the time of my initial look into marijuana, I was being discharged from the military due to my pain. This made it so that in my near future I would be able to try something like marijuana as an alternative. I liked the idea that I could use something, it seemed to have no long-term addictive properties, and there was a lot of positive feedback from veterans using marijuana with PTSD, pain, and anxiety. I also was interested in the counterculture aspects of those interested in marijuana as well as I had been working in the military most of my life and wanted a release. Overall I had an idea what marijuana had to offer me, but I didn’t know if any of its properties would act on me until I tried it.
When I started to use marijuana I didn’t notice much of a change. I saw that it made me focus more on whatever I was thinking about at the time. Still, it didn’t give me the high that opioids did and make me less productive. As long as I kept busy with marijuana, I could continue doing whatever I was doing without becoming lazy. Once I stopped focusing on whatever I was doing, then my focus became on my thoughts and then I could become fixated on thinking rather than doing. Overall I enjoyed some of the focusing aspects of the plant, but at times it could cause too much thinking and make it so I didn’t enjoy socializing as much when using.
Most of the reason that I started to use marijuana was for its pain relieving properties. When I started to use, I noticed that I would forget about my pain pretty quickly. The inflammation around my injury seemed to lesson, and other aspects that came with the pain seemed to go away. After months of use, I had forgotten how much of a pain release the plant was until I had taken a break and my pain levels started to come back. Oddly enough it seemed that marijuana’s pain relieving properties lasted for a number of days before its effects seemed to go away or begin to dissipate. This seemed to be a lot more effective on my body than with opioids as I would have to continue to take them in order to reduce the pain. With marijuana, I could space out the number of days I would use and still receive pain reduction over that time period. I also experimented with CBD oils and different strains of the plant. Its hard to say exactly how each one affected my pain levels but overall a good 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD seemed to be the most effective for me.
On top of my pain, I also have a great amount of anxiety. Its hard to say where all of that comes from but a good amount of it is linked to my chronic pain, my sudden loss of a job due to my pain, and last my military service. After a while of using marijuana, I noticed that a lot of my anxiety in my normal daily life had also started to be reduced. I seemed to enjoy things more, want to be more involved in my community, and have a more positive view of just normal daily life. I don’t really notice my anxiety much unless I don’t use marijuana which seems not to have as much of a long-lasting effect on the anxiety as it does with pain. The anxiety will come back pretty quickly without consistent use.
Marijuana users are not usually known for their great work ethic. I would say that I also have noticed that when I am using it, that I don’t exactly become excited to do mundane, repetitive tasks over and over again. It does make me incredibly focused and ready to learn new and exciting topics. It gives me an open mind which allows me to be a willingness to learn and be excited about what I am learning. I also have also noticed that work that involves me being outside and working with nature seems to be a more positive experience than before. I think marijuana brings out the boredom in life and increases the desire to do more with the time you have on this planet. Because of that, jobs that make us unhappy or are something that we are not passionate about often can become less important.
Prone to Beliefs
One of the most strange things that I have noticed with marijuana is that while using I am more prone to beliefs. This means that I more open to other peoples ideas and have a willingness to listen and to consider their views as an option. There are some negative aspects of this as I would say it’s easier for me to believe some off the wall ideas that normally I would be very skeptical about. With that, I think marijuana users need to pay attention to what they watch, listen to, or read while using if they are concerned about keeping a skeptical mind.
I have noticed that the more I use marijuana, the more I have a childlike mind. I have the ability to play with ideas in my mind as I used to as a kid. I used to think about space and science and wonder what the future was like. I used to envision myself doing things in the future or fly through space and think about all the things I would see and do. All these things that I used to imagine have been consumed by my desire to be successful in life, and with that, my dreams have eventually died. Marijuana has allowed me to be creative again, with no goal in mind rather than just to enjoy imagining things. This is great overall and brought me a new zest to life that I had forgotten about completely.
The Desire to Use More
Many people that I have discussed marijuana with seriously have all expressed this desire to use more and the “addictiveness” of the plant. I oddly have not had much desire to use all day every day but it seems that this desire does affect a lot of people. There does seem to be some addictive property to marijuana which seems to be based on its psychological release that it produces either with pain or anxiety. Though I don’t have much of a desire to use more than once a day at the end of my day much like I would with alcohol, there are others who have issues with this.
Better Than Drinking
Being in the military I have had my share of drinking. I also have used alcohol to help with my pain management which is not a good idea but still something that a lot of people do. Marijuana has helped me a lot in this area. Though I would not consider myself to be a heavy drinker, marijuana for one reason or another has made my desire to drink much less than it was before. Marijuana doesn’t give me a hangover like drinking does and doesn’t cause my body to feel bloated or sick after using. In fact, it makes me feel better the next day, able to move more comfortably and excited to face the world.
I have never been someone who has had trouble going to sleep at night though if I were, marijuana most defiantly would assist me in this area. I typically feel better going to bed, sleeping, and staying asleep with marijuana. I also wake up feeling better rested and more awake then I would without using. There is typically a slight feeling of grogginess when waking up. Additionally, on top of the great sleep, I often don’t have a great memory of my dreams after waking up. I notice that I do dream and possibly dream more, but it seems that the memory of the dream fades a lot faster after using marijuana. Taking a break from marijuana for a few days increases my dream recall substantially.
Overall Is It Healthy?
Now I know I will get a lot of flak from the marijuana community for not discussing every different kind of strain from the plant or all the benefits that it has to offer. That’s not what I am doing here. I am merely talking about my experience and how it helped me. I think that overall there is a lot of benefits to the use of marijuana especially for those of us who have chronic pain or anxiety. The main thing that people need to watch out for is the same common issues for any substance that changes consciousness. Overuse can sometimes come into question, and the ability to notice the negative side effects and be honest about them. I personally try to treat marijuana as I do with any medication and with that I do my best to respect the plant.
Marijuana has overall improved my function in my life and helped me to live a much fuller happier life. How has it helped you? What are some negative and positive effects it has had
Lee is the creator of taileater.com as well as the author of a number of published articles that deal with sleep, sleep paralysis, and lucid dreaming. Lee has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is currently studying at Pacifica Graduate Institute for his Masters in Depth Psychology.Lee Adams
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