Weed: Friend or Foe?

Riley Coules
August 29, 2017

My homeopath says “weed is bad”. This notion is in large part based on the fact that marijuana alters the mind significantly; the vital force may be disturbed accordingly, with the personality modified, restorative processes inhibited, and emotion, suppressed (a big no-no).

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Weed also has the potential to halt, or at the very least inhibit, the action of any remedy taken because it overwhelms the vital force. Even coffee, mint, and some herbs do the same; to what degree depends on one’s sensitivities. Homeopathic medicine is energetic medicine, and therefore can be disrupted by strong physical substances, as well as intense–and mainly negative–emotional experiences (that which invigorates should only aid in the healing process, as ne begins to break down those barriers that have kept nir from living). Thus, most homeopaths will advise against the usage of marijuana, especially if the patient in question has a low tolerance. While this premise reigns true for the remedies “Cannabis Indica” antidotes, I propose we bestow other curative regimens with a little wiggle room.

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As a smoker for quite some time, I have to ask myself: is there ever a situation in which weed incites healing as opposed to working against it?* Furthermore, does weed offer any benefits following the cessation of treatment? In order to properly evaluate these premises, I must first explore the effects marijuana has on the mind.

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Let’s look at the cons first.

 

*Note that in this piece I write mainly about the potential of marijuana to either uproot or suppress emotion, which, in effect, heals (or doesn’t). As far as its ability to cure Parkinson’s, cancer, epilepsy, and more, weed may reduce one’s symptoms, but I wonder if it stimulates the body to heal itself–all of itself–like homeopathy can? If not, why not just do homeopathy and smoke to enjoy yourself? Or smoke so that you can look on at your afflictions, those that homeopathy brings to the fore, with fresh eyes as they are healed? Rather, as you heal them? These are my questions (!!!).

Homeopathy can even help with those physical deformities that seem unsalvageable, such as inflammation caused by herniated disks. It can stimulate the body to heal torn ligaments so that surgery is not needed, nor is the degradation process allow to progress. If we catch the problem early enough, we can cure it. If we don’t catch the problem early enough, or if some grand impact on the body has disfigured it beyond no return, we can at least ease the pain–but then again, so can marijuana.

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CONS

Weed may…

  • Foster a dream world. I’ve mentioned this before (in a post or in my head?), but throughout 2015, marijuana absolutely aided in my escapism. I would smoke and restlessly fulfill meaningless tasks in order to avoid coping with how off I had become, how I could never enjoy life or live in the present moment. I imagined scenarios in which my negativity no longer applied, grasping onto them with all my might despite their implausibility; by pretending that the shoes of my formerly happy–and formerly stable–self grounded me, I neglected the present tense as well as all the dilemmas it entailed. Some may argue that weed in fact helps us cope with depression because it allows us to escape–but here’s the problem with that claim: (1) we never actually deal with the source of our melancholia if we only envision far-fetched scenarios that make us happy (when we’ve no emotional capacity to fulfill them), instead of reflecting on those that currently encumber us; and (2) depression often reflects bodily disorder, which homeopathy is very capable of mending in its entirety along with the lower mentalities it accompanies, thus negating the need to “escape” them–any of them.
  • Prevent someone from feeling comfortable, and even capable, “low”. I’m sure you’ve heard an anti-smoker say, “What’s wrong with feeling normal?” (as they plan to down a few beers later that day). While this inquiry is likely misguided and driven by ignorance, weed can perhaps inhibit the actualization of the higher self because the self is never allowed to merely exist. How are we supposed to know what needs changing if what needs changing is constantly masked by an external substance, and furthermore only allowed to peek its head out those few times the lower self is given room to breathe (if it needs to breathe, it’s still there!)? Moreover, those who find that they can only look on at their troubles with a fresh perspective while stoned may also find that their cultivation skills are lacking while low. 
  • Be used as crutch; this dispute aligns with escapism. During my decline, I often thought, I can’t wait to get high, instead of appreciating the present moment unaffected. If this too crosses your mind, especially after a blow to your emotional stability, perhaps you do not trust that you can overcome adversity on your own. Your cultivation skills, then, are not only lacking; you don’t believe in yourself.
  • Help you feel more “in the moment”. You should be able to feel this way on your own. I have spent the last two years utterly incapable of living in–and for–the now, a premise that affected me profoundly; I knew something was wrong about my perception, I knew I was not feeling life like I normally did, but I had no idea why until my digestive issues became so overt I could no longer ignore them. My emotions have always been so sacred, so central to who I am and how I experience life; when I unwittingly suppressed them, I barely resembled myself. I completely lost my ability to connect with others, an absolute necessity in this world. We need love and we need experience. If you no longer desire to go out and often find yourself alone with the dual yearn to relate to those around you, consider your personality may be a little altered, even if you possess no overt physical signs of distress. Conflicts within the self express disharmony within.
  • Help you feel more comfortable in the presence of others. This one goes with the “crutch” con; you should be able to mingle without mood-modifiers. The usage of weed to calm social anxiety perhaps isn’t as common as it is with coke or alcohol, but certain types of marijuana (dabs especially–they’re a little bit more “uppity”) tear down interpersonal boundaries because they give you the confidence to express yourself. The connection part is not the problem here; in fact, as I’ll outline below, connecting with friends when smoking is a hell of a lot more meaningful than altering your mind with something that will make you forget your night by the next morning. But if you don’t have the confidence to express yourself, or get “goofy” until you smoke, consider you’ve contrived too many barriers. Maybe you lack self-love, and thus depend on others to provide you with the approval you desperately crave.

Weed suppresses when it acts as a means to thwart social anxiety, anxiety that may arise out of disorder that can be corrected. Weed heals, however, when that social anxiety subsides while low too. You’ve then taught yourself to act and behave authentically regardless of the mental state you’re in. Weed will make you real; why not be real all of the time?

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PROS

Weed may…

  • Foster a world in which reality cannot be avoided. Despite the fact that I often used weed last year to stifle my melancholia, it actually had the opposite effect a few times. I remember “coming to” while stoned and thinking to myself, what the hell is going on with me? I was extremely underweight, absolutely restless (mentally and physically), and in short, utterly lost. While sober, I could pretend like everything was peachy and somewhat accept the days I spent frantically cleaning everything and moving about; because I didn’t realize why I wasn’t feeling life anymore–or how to get my emotions, me back–I became complacent with the worthless “joys” I found in my carefully-controlled environment, those that made me the happiest anything could at the time. While high, I often realized how suffocated I was by my connection-less existence if I wasn’t engaged in something; I would then push aside my thoughts as soon as they came or spend the rest of my night depressed.

Yes, in some ways, weed can actually force you to deal with your problems, simply because you cannot lie to yourself. You may be able to manifest a dream world and live in it while high, but if reality crosses your mind, you’re fucked.

  • Help you come to the right conclusions. This one is big for me. As always, nature has provided us with substances that can be used properly and improperly. Truths are ultimately ascertained at the hand of the user, not the mode through which they may be unearthed. If you get high all day, or trip only with the intention of having a good time whilst dually avoiding fulfilling your duties, that’s on you (I’ve never understood how people could “party” while tripping. Even if I’m at a show, I’m thinking!). Weed should not be blamed for its role in enabling those who would otherwise find alternate avenues to disengage themselves from the realities of their troubles. For those who use weed and psychedelic substances to learn, getting high can be an incredibly enlightening experience because it destroys barriers perpetuated by insecurity, lack of self-awareness, and societal values. These barriers do not have to indicate disorder within, but a mere failure to expand the mind. When I tripped for the first time at a young age, I realized how incredibly critical I was. I saw so much negativity in other people, a reflection of the standards I held for myself. I learned not to merely ask “what’s wrong with this situation?”, but “what’s wrong with me?“. The inklings of perception-modification began here; who knows if I would have seen myself so clearly otherwise.

Weed also helped me surrender my ego. As a sort-of continuation of my trip (I’ve always felt like weed is a precursor to hallucinogens), I was able to understand why I retained some lowly emotions regarding those I love: I held them to unattainable standards because I was so hurt by their very human mistakes. Smoking taught me to take a step back, listen to family members’ viewpoints, and think. Instead of my sufferings becoming a crutch, I now metamorphosis them into what they should be (even if I resist for a bit!): an avenue to self-realization.

  • Help you see through the bullshit. Enlightenment accompanies arriving at “the right conclusions”. Suddenly materialism seems frivolous, our government deceptive, television contrived and the ill-intentions of others obvious (including our nation’s leaders)–which is why I’ve never understood the prevalence of weed in pop culture. How can you smoke and still produce so much image-driven, processed crap? Same music, same plot lines, same insecurities, same message: the more money, stature, and women you acquire, the further you’ve “made it”. Fans of Hollywood must be confused.

On the flip side, because weed helps you see through to people, you may connect with them on a deeper level as you value them for their soul.

  • Help you grow into yourself and be real with yourself. You know why you get a little bit more giggly after smoking, even when you’re a seasoned “toker”? Because you’re seeing things for what they really are. As such, you can’t help but laugh at yourself, laugh at the world around you, and neglect to fulfill the image of yourself you think is valuable (i.e. “aloof”). Again, weed helps us destroy our egos; that’s why people who smoke regularly tend to be quite “cool”, even if they’re quite communicative. You begin to understand more about who you are, thoroughly enjoying your own idiosyncrasies just as you begin to enjoy those of others. You don’t need to butt into every conversation you hear because you know silence is loud enough (even filling space with trivial talk sometimes denotes insecurity, or even a bit of big-headedness!). You also might find lying to yourself about your moral wrongs difficult, especially those from which only you profit.
  • Drive your spiritual growth. While higher qualities should be attainable while sober, weed is here to help us unearth the avenue to those qualities when it just seems to evade our grasp. Spiritual growth goes hand in hand with moral growth as you find meaning in conquering your lower self; how wonderful it is to work for a greater purpose! Furthermore, weed drives your alliance with nature, for which you can’t help but wonder if we’ve been given these tools for a reason. There must be a source.
  • Help you live in the moment. This one becomes a pro when you need a little boost every once in awhile, perhaps when you’re recovering from a trying life event. You need to escape a little bit and that’s alright. As long as it does not become a crutch, having a little fun will feed the vital force.
  • Help you make peace with the troubles of your past. You know to look forward now; there is so much to look forward to.

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WEED: FRIEND OR FOE?

Because weed can be used as a mechanism by which you escape the realities of everyday life–and your lower emotions–it is generally advisable to reduce or totally eliminate smoking while under treatment if you suffer from a past of dependency, wherein using the substance to suppress had become the norm. We are healing here, not supporting the fruition of old habits, those that got you into this mess in the first place. You do not want to disengage yourself so much from the process that you’re not really “there” to grow, to learn and become more cognizant; although, a little escapism every so often is OK, and weed can certainly aid in your enlightenment (see below). I will say that when I smoked at night, I felt “hungover” the next morning, and it seemed like I had to take my remedy sooner than normal, indicating that the marijuana did in fact inhibit its action… I also had zero tolerance at that point, so my trials may not reflect yours. In any event, the desires of the body and mind must be taken account, and we do not want to restrict so much that the totality of the being suffers. As long as your choices prove advantageous in the long run, to your return to who you are meant to be, who you could be without the burden of disorder altering your personality, you will be fine. Certainly don’t worry too much; life is about experience, and those experiences do not have to be arduous to guide you toward the higher. You can have fun and support your growth at the same time.

If you contemplate smoking while healing, you must first ask yourself if you desire to do so for pure enjoyment, or to avoid confronting the troublesome sentiments that arise out of this process. You will go through some lows, inevitably (although some people experience lower depressions depending on where they start, and how predisposed they are to pay attention), but also many highs. The lows will not be lower than what you’ve already experienced, do not fret; yet the highs will most certainly be higher, for which you will feel very grateful, and perhaps inclined to go with the grain–you can flourish by your own hand!–as opposed to against it. We know disturbances of the mind directly cause illness within the body, and that the healing process abides by the same principle. So when marijuana is sought for the right reasons–to expand as opposed to stifle–it can also be an asset to the restorative journey because it guides you into reflection and facilitates the identification of your ego. Ultimately, the propensity of weed to uplift and enlighten is directly related to the individual that uses it; you decide if it is a blessing or a burden, a friend or a foe.