As cannabis legalization continues across the country, more and more people are gaining access to safe, legal weed. Yet, as consumption increases, concerns are increasing regarding addiction and abuse.
Although cannabis doesn’t cause an intense physical dependency as other controlled substances do, there are ways to use cannabis in an unhealthy way that has short- or long-term impacts on a person’s life. For instance, overconsumption of cannabis can worsen mental disorders like depression and anxiety, can have lasting negative effects on the cardiovascular system, and can result in social isolation or worse.
If you are interested in taking advantage of cannabis’s notable health benefits, you need to be careful to consume cannabis responsibly. Here are a few tips to help develop healthy cannabis habits.
Give Yourself a Good Reason to Consume
People naturally fall into patterns. You wake up at the same time each morning and eat lunch around the same time each afternoon, so it might feel natural to consume cannabis around the same time every day — but unless you have a good reason to use weed, you might want to refrain from allowing cannabis into your daily routine.
Instead of consuming because your body and brain have come to expect it, you should try to consume only when you have good justification. Medical users always have valid reasons to consume, but if you primarily use recreationally, you might consider holding off until you have a reason that doesn’t feel like an excuse to consume.
As with alcohol, some people believe that using weed alone is a red flag, so you might wait until you are in an acceptable social situation to consume; then again, you might feel justified after a long, hard work week.
The key here is to stop and think about why you are consuming before you automatically consume. Hopefully, this will interrupt any compulsive behaviors that could lead to substance abuse.
Pay Close Attention to Dosage
Few regular cannabis users recognize the term “overdose” in application to their substance of choice. This is mostly because to the layperson, “overdose” is associated with a life-threatening condition; usually when a user consumes too much heroin or methamphetamine, they require extreme and immediate medical intervention to stay alive.
When someone consumes too much cannabis, this still qualifies as an overdose — but the consequences aren’t nearly as severe. More often, users experience more subtle symptoms, like paranoia and low blood pressure, but symptoms can be intense, too, like panic, nausea, rapid heart rate, and hallucinations.
Overdosing regularly can impact your body’s response to cannabinoids, either driving your tolerance level too high too fast or causing you to have bad reactions to the drug every time you consume. Thus, you should be exceedingly careful about dosing, perhaps talking to experts at a San Francisco dispensary for tips and tricks.
Don’t Let Cannabis Interfere With Other Obligations
Any time you are faced with a choice to use cannabis or stay accountable to some task in your life, you should always choose the latter. Cannabis consumption is not a good enough excuse to neglect responsibilities, especially those that provide you income, a social network, and stability. Rare are the good reasons for recreational users to be negligent to their friends and family, job, or home in favor of using a bit of the good bud.
Canceling plans or missing work to give yourself more time and space to consume a substance are hallmarks of substance use disorders. Even if you have a good reason to use weed, you should try to ensure that your interest in the user doesn’t affect your ability to uphold your responsibilities and obligations.
If you have been fired for cannabis use, if you have lost friends due to cannabis use or if you are unable to complete tasks around the house solely because of your cannabis consumption, you might need to reevaluate your practices and look for help with cannabis use disorder.
Rates of cannabis abuse are rising, likely because more people are gaining more opportunities to consume on a regular basis. Fortunately, it is possible to adopt cannabis consumption into a healthy lifestyle — as long as you take care to develop the right habits from the start.