Marijuana is among the safest drugs in the world. Despite decades of bad laws, misinformation, and paranoia, most of us are now aware of just how wonderful marijuana can be. It has medicinal properties, it’s impossible to overdose on, and it’s beloved by millions.
Still, marijuana’s fans need to remember that all things in life have their dangers. From chocolate bars to sex, anything can be turned into an addiction by our minds. Anything (and we do mean anything) can be dangerous to our mental health under the right circumstances. And marijuana, like many other things, can be made healthier if we fine-tune our behaviors.
That’s why we’re here with this guide to fitting your drug of choice into a lifestyle that feels happy and healthy.
Stay sober behind the wheel
Marijuana is safer than alcohol in a great many ways. But that doesn’t mean that you can smoke marijuana and then drive. As with alcohol intoxication, you need to abstain from things like driving and operating heavy machinery for the duration of your high.
Smoking versus vaping
Cigarette smoking has long been known to be dangerous — we know that enough smoking will lead to you needing everything from dental services to chemotherapy — but what about marijuana?
It’s not as unhealthy to smoke marijuana as it is to smoke tobacco, but it’s not exactly healthy either. Breathing in hot smoke is never a great idea. Fortunately, there are alternatives to smoking.
Choosing to vape instead of smoke gives your lungs a much-needed break. You can head to a reputable brick-and-mortar smoke shop, or an online smoke shop, to pick up a vape pen and other essentials.
Smoking, self-medicating, and your mental health
Marijuana has well-known medicinal properties. If a doctor prescribes marijuana to you to treat the symptoms of some kind of medical condition, then you should take care to take marijuana as often as you are told to do so.
But just because marijuana can be medicine doesn’t mean that you should be “treating” yourself. Like other intoxicants, marijuana is prone to be used to numb the pain of things like anxiety and depression. Again, this can work quite well under proper supervision. But when you take it upon yourself to become high as an alternative to facing your own mental health issues, you’re doing something that experts call “self-medicating”.
Self-medicating is bad for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most important is that it can mask the symptoms of mental illness, which will delay treatment and hurt you in the long run. Being high all the time could also hurt your career or your personal life.
If you think that you may be struggling with any kind of mental health condition — or even if you’re just a little worried about the possibility — then you should reach out to a mental health professional like a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. Work with that professional to help find treatments that work for you.
You may or may not continue using marijuana, but if you are able to and would like to, working on your mental health will allow you to do so in a way that is balanced and healthy.
A time and a place for marijuana
Some of us rely on marijuana for things like pain reduction and use it constantly. But others among us don’t really need marijuana — and we probably shouldn’t be using it around the clock.
After all, being high means that we need to avoid driving and handling other important and potentially dangerous tasks. While marijuana is perfectly safe, being high all of the time is not a great way to go through life.
Practice moderation, and fit your marijuana use into a healthy and complete lifestyle. When you do, you’ll get more out of marijuana and more out of life.