How to Medicate

How to Medicate by Hayes Hemingway

Everyone who medicates isn’t doing their mind and body justice, if they’re not doing it properly, and what I mean by properly is the right strain at the right time of day. You may laugh but every time you read the media using the words “he was self-medicating with marijuana” the translation is really “marijuana drove this man to do this.” What they’re actually talking about is someone who lost their mind by misusing marijuana.

While I stress that it’s possible to live a very functional life with marijuana it’s also quite possible to lead a dysfunctional life if you don’t use marijuana properly. Yes, you can misuse marijuana. Only one out of my 10 years of medicating was I completely successful in achieving the results I needed to live a functional life. That’s because while I thought I knew so much about weed, I really didn’t. I could tell the difference between good weed and wack weed. Aside from that all I knew is that I thoroughly enjoyed its tranqulizing and sedating effects, but what I’ve learned in my 13 years of medicating is how well marijuana works with your body’s different stages and energy levels throughout the day. There really is a strain for every mood. In this sense it actually is a wonder drug.

I came to this conclusion when I would medicate in high school, because this was the time I was really learning all about it. I smoked then for the same reason I do now, for my anxiety, but then each time I smoked was an experiment for me because I was always looking ahead to the results. Could I function? Would my high induce sleep, while I’m in class? Would I still be high when I got home? Would my mother be able to tell I was stoned?

Those aside, the most pressing question for me was always, “Ok, now how am I going to turn this into something I can use to get myself under control enough to where I can live normally?” I felt that way because I could sense weed’s ability to help calm my nerves, it was just a matter of getting that same strain everytime–which was impossible.

But from my experiences I came up with three main recurring types of highs to choose from.

There were  times when I was focused and incredibly alert from a high and I found that strange because I was only familiar with the kind of bud that made your whole body feel tingly. Luckily for me there was an abundance of well grown strains circulating around my High School. One day after smoking during lunch I realized when I re entered the building, that I couldn’t stop smiling because I was in such an amazing mood. I found this strange as well because I wasn’t tranquilized, I was upbeat, energetic and very friendly.   This was a world of difference when compared to my first time ever smoking when I was heavily sedated, like I was given a dosage of Anesthesia. The high I experienced felt like I was sleep-walking through the day.

So I categorized all bud by these three kinds of highs. I called the mood enhancers “party weed.” The bud that made me feel alert was called “study weed.” The kind that gave me the tingly feeling throughout my body I called “sleepy weed.” That’s the way I viewed marijuana for about 13 years.

Everything changed when I left the Zoo that is North Jersey and traded it in for the Zoo that is Los Angeles. When I got my recommendation and started getting my medicine from a dispensary I learned the 3 classifications of strains: sativa, hybrid and indica. I call them morning, afternoon and night with respect to the right times to achieve max results.

According to my original classification, study weed would be a sativa. Party weed would be a hybrid and sleepy weed would be an indica.

I loved all three types, but living in Jersey I fell in love with a strain known from Maine to Miami as Haze. It’s an extremely potent and fragant indica. The high is very heavy. When it burns it gives off a dreamy aroma; it’s almost like a perfume. I used to swear up and down that there was no weed like it.

But there were many times I felt like the strain wasn’t working for me at all. I’d use it as a mood enhancer, because it did make me happy, but what it mostly did was put me in a sleepy coma. There was a particular time it wasn’t working for me. I used to have to be at work at 5 in the morning. I couldn’t stand my job and the 10 hour shifts so I what I did was I’d smoke so that I’d be in the mood to go to work, but when your brain is sleepy and your body hasn’t quite woken up yet the indica plays off those attributes and reinforces them. So I’m up and it’s dark out, but I’m not awake and I put this into my body to cheer me up but it only makes me sleepier. So now I’ve made it harder for me to get my day going because now I want to go to work even less than I did before I smoked.

This is not how you want to start your day, so what I ended having to do was drink strong coffee to become awake after smoking, and I always feel like something doesn’t make sense if you have to take one substance to counteract another substance’s side effects.

One time I was at a friend’s house and he and his girlfriend were clipping buds the whole night. While I was rolling a blunt I asked them if I could roll the trim and they said yes. I smoked my blunt, an indica, and fell asleep soon after. When I awoke it was 3 in the morning and I wanted to go back to sleep. Instead of smoking more of my indica I rolled the trim from their clippings. I assumed it was an indica. It was a sativa. I didn’t fall back asleep until 8 in the morning — the time I should’ve been getting up.

So as you can see I do have experience using them at the wrong times of day and all that does is leave you feeling unfulfilled. Any evening I smoked a sativa I was frustrated that it didn’t get me high enough. For instance, before I knew about those three types I was smoking indica all hours of the day. And while that had small benefits I often felt like I wasn’t doing the right thing and that using marijuana wasn’t working out for me. As a matter of fact because of this, numerous times I felt like just quitting marijuana altogether. The main reason I was using it was to keep a grip on my anxiety and depression, and what I found was that if I was focused on anything negative, my high took those items and magnified them. It was getting to a point where I felt I was better off not smoking. I felt like I was going nuts. Indicas can induce schizophrenia in certain people, but you already need to have certain factors in place for that all to be possible. You need a history of mental illness or depression, and it’s no secret that people who suffer from these ailments shouldn’t be using indicas when they need to be awake.

My first landlord used to tell me I was doing it all wrong, but I didn’t get what he meant. He suffered from depression and was a sativa smoker primarily. And my experience with that type of strain was that it was predominately ineffective for me because I used it only at night. But now that I’m completely aware of how it works I’m now a sativa smoker primarily.

Every morning when I don’t feel like going to work I smoke some sativa and not only does it take away the negative feelings but it actually puts me in the mood to go to work and have a good day.

That’s all I ever wanted from weed — to be able to live a normal life.


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    Editor: Joseph Klare (The Pothead Pundit)
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