Weed has long held a negative stereotype in popular culture. When someone says the words "smoke weed," it conjures images of stoners doing nothing with their lives, sitting on the couch watching endless hours of television and ordering mountains of Taco Bell. Apart from a shared love of Taco Bell on occasion, I can assure you I am nothing like these stoners you imagine. (Not that there's anything wrong with stoners!) I'm a college grad working on a master's degree at the same time as consulting and writing freelance, and guess what? I love smoking weed.
I found that smoking weed not only helped me fall asleep quickly and quiet the anxiety in my mind, but it also gave me a bedtime routine.
I moved to Northern California when I was 18 and was plunged into the world of marijuana. It was all new to me — and I soon realized that I really enjoyed the mellowed-out feeling I got when I smoked. I have dealt with anxiety and OCD for most of my life, and I found it really quelled any stresses I was managing. Despite this, I barely smoked in college. It wasn't until I started working and managing the stresses of being in my early 20s that I considered it again.
It was actually a friend training to be a therapist who suggested it. In her learnings, she had encountered a lot of studies that had shown weed in moderate amounts was helping people sleep better, reduce anxiety, and even have better sex. I decided to try smoking a bit of weed before bed, and within days, it completely transformed my life.
Sleep and getting to bed have always been tough for me. I found it difficult to unwind after a long day of work and switch off my mind. Before I started smoking weed, I would sometimes lie in bed until 3 a.m. just going over everything I had to do the next day and not getting any rest. I found that smoking weed not only helped me fall asleep quickly and quiet the anxiety in my mind, but it also gave me a bedtime routine.
My life was suddenly running a lot more smoothly. Because I was sleeping better, I was waking up with a clear head and felt more energized in the mornings. No longer did I need a huge bagel and four cappuccinos just to get in my car. I woke up naturally sometimes even before my alarm. I also felt so much less stressed during the day because I was rested.
Soon it became my thing. A part of my life and routine that I loved and that enhanced my life. Sometimes my friends will tease me about being a pothead, but they know how important it is for my well-being.
Celebrities are being more vocal about weed use, and there is a plethora of incredible female-run weed companies popping up. It seems like there's a new benefit to smoking weed being discovered every day. I know my life would definitely not be as amazing if I didn't have my bedtime routine. I wouldn't be able to accomplish what I have without it. I'm excited the stigma is fading and that more and more people are experimenting with weed in different ways to enhance their lives. Judgment about weed use is a waste of time — trying it isn't.