"I have something for you!" pinged a colleague's message in my interoffice chat. I was a bit surprised when that "something" turned out to be drugs.
Let me backtrack. Ever since marijuana started getting legalized for recreational or medical use in various states, I'd been hoping to get my hands on cannabis-infused beauty products. This interest doesn't come from a true devotion to dope, though. I didn't smoke a joint until college, and even then, I was already a senior and only tried it once. Since then, I've used it a few times and enjoyed the buzz. In particular, I've found relief from my omnipresent migraines after a few hits. But because I don't live in a 4/20-friendly state, I have been wary of using it frequently (and I don't need another source of constant carbohydrate cravings).
No, I wanted to try the bud-loaded beauty products purely from a place of cosmetic obsession. Lately, trends in beauty have revolved around ingredients, and I figured that cannabis could become as hot as hyaluronic acid or snail secretions. So when my co-worker handed me a medical marijuana breath spray and balm, I was psyched.
I first tried the balm on a normal Saturday. I slicked it on my lips and waited for something to happen . . . and waited . . . and waited. Nothing. I tried licking my lips furiously and still nothing happened. The package said that it is meant to help with pain or "dermatological imbalance," so since I rarely strain muscles or experience rashes, I'll have to wait to experience this balm's full effects.
The breath spray was a bit different. "This bottle contains 100 milligrams of THC," said my colleague as she placed the product in my hand. THC, of course, is chemical that creates the psychological side effects in marijuana. Several hits off a joint is the equivalent of approximately 25 milligrams, and each spritz of this product contained two milligrams, though the package recommending consuming five to 10 sprays. "You should feel something," she warned as she walked away.
I ended up testing this product in an orthodox location: the front row of a fashion show during New York Fashion Week. I had been suffering from an impossibly painful migraine all day, and Advil, water, and coffee hadn't relieved the tension. The show also happened to be the trippiest one of the season: The Blonds. Past inspiration for its shows have been "gangsta genies," Tank Girl meets Clockwork Orange, and Tweety Bird, so it seemed like the perfect setting.
As I sat across transgender icon Amanda Lepore and envied her friends' contouring skills, I Googled the breath spray. According to manufacturer Wünder Fruit Foods, the spray's effects would take hold in approximately 10 minutes. With 30 minutes until the start of the show, I decided to spritz a modest four sprays into my mouth and enjoyed the extremely minty and slightly herbaceous flavor.
Once 20 minutes passed, I was sober and pissed. How was it that both weed products didn't do a damn thing? I angrily squirted six more sprays onto my tongue, going for the full dose. The psychedelic Blonds show came and went, and I called an Uber, getting crankier by the second.
Suddenly, as I rode down the FDR Drive, my hands felt strange. "Oh sh*t," I muttered to myself. This is my personal indicator that pot has kicked in, and it was serious — not unlike the sensation of having eaten one too many "special" brownies. My fingers felt like they were vibrating, and I felt deeply uncomfortable with the inability to focus on anything for more than a few seconds. Worse, my headache was still intact.
If you've ever been high, you know that the more you try not to panic, the more you succumb to paranoia and anxiety. I texted my boyfriend in hopes that he could assuage my fears.
"It's like I swallowed a bowling ball," I wrote desperately, "but it's stuck in my throat on top of my stomach." "What?!" my boyfriend asked. I stopped texting him and tried to calm myself down.
What I haven't told you yet is that I live with my parents, and while they're far from conservative, drug use is not something we talk about as a family. My futile attempts to straighten up as I approached my house petered out as I started laughing maniacally, realizing the comedy in the situation.
I told my boyfriend my plans to confess, and he didn't try to stop me. "They'll think it's hilarious!" I texted. "After all, it's for work! And they got married in the '70s!"
Turns out, that was stoned judgment, because my parents were not amused. I tried to explain myself but felt like a total loser as I saw my mom's visible disapproval. This was compounded by my high, which made every sentence feel like it exited my mouth in slow motion . . . as if I were talking underwater. Practically paralyzed with shame and THC, I quickly made my exit, grabbing a bag of Popcorners on my way to bed. I munched slowly on each chip and felt my teeth grinding together. Despite this unsettling feeling, it didn't stop me from
savoring inhaling the whole bag. I finally called my boyfriend.
"Why didn't you tell me that talking to my parents was a bad idea?" I hissed. "I am tripping balls and everyone is ashamed or mad!" He was silent. A sudden realization dawned on me.
"Oh my GOD," I said. "Are you high right now, too?" My boyfriend burst out laughing. He was — and working his way through a pint of chocolate ice cream.
Since then, I haven't smoked or consumed marijuana out of sheer embarrassment. I know that I overdid the dosage on that spray and take full responsibility, but I'm not convinced that THC-infused beauty products are going to be a huge hit outside the stoner population or people looking for chronic pain relief. If you feel a chemical peel burning on your skin, you can take it off. But once you consume weed breath spray, you can't get it out of your bloodstream . . . no matter how many snacks you try to dilute it with.