smoking an ounce of weed

“I can smoke an ounce a week.” 3 women share the honest reason they smoke weed.

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“It is one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day.”

Any 90s-lover will recognise that line from Clueless, a teen movie about a self-absorbed high school student who ends up hooking up with her stepbrother, played by the delightful Paul Rudd.

And while it’s certainly one of the more memorable lines from the film, it’s not exactly true anymore. Slowly, the use of weed is becoming a bit less taboo and more socially acceptable. At the time of writing, recreational marijuana is legal in 11 US states and medicinal marijuana has been legalised in 33. The personal use of marijuana is completely legal Canada-wide. And we’ve all heard stories of coffee clubs in Amsterdam…

And, according to The Guardian, laws allowing Canberrans the personal use of weed (up to 50 grams and two plants) will come into effect in the Australian Capital Territory on January 31st.

With these law changes, we’re beginning to hear more stories about marijuana users – especially, why they need access to it.

No longer is weed solely associated with the stereotype of glassy-eyed stoners, but we’re beginning to hear stories of those who use weed to ease symptoms of mental illness or the pain of physical ailments. We’re hearing stories of mothers desperately seeking medicinal marijuana for their sick children and pet owners helping their ill pets. And of course, there are definitely people who smoke marijuana for a bit of fun.

We spoke to three women on why they smoke weed recreationally or self-medicate with weed, to get to know the stories behind the stigma.

Side note – Mamamia Out Loud unpacked the the debate surrounding the decriminalisation of cannabis, get it in your ears below. Post continues after audio.

3 women on why they smoke or self-medicate with weed:

Lisa, 26

“My first time trying weed was pretty unsuccessful. My cool colleagues and I met up before a work Christmas party at one of the girls’ houses, and someone had brought pot. I was quite nervous to attend this staff party and can get anxious in social situations so I got very, very drunk before trying to smoke the weed, which probably wasn’t the wisest idea. Turns out I didn’t really understand how smoking worked (having never smoked anything) and didn’t get a high.

Eventually, I got high with my flatmates – and it was worth the wait. I hallucinated that my head was about to fall off and had to get my partner to help me ‘keep it on straight’. It was heaps of fun, although I didn’t see why my then-flatmates would get high all the time (as soon as they woke up they would ‘wake and bake’ and smoke again in the afternoons). I didn’t think smoking was anything special, really. I mean, it seemed fine for the occasional fun time but I wasn’t interested in smoking more.

Four months later, I began to get sleep anxiety. I got quite sick a couple of times, and I know that all the specialists tell you to get at least seven hours of sleep a night to ensure your immune system is strong, so I put insane amounts of pressure on myself to get to sleep. This caused me a lot of anxiety around sleep.

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There were nights when I’d sleep an hour or two a night because I was so stressed about getting to sleep. I’d think, ‘if I can’t sleep I won’t be able to perform at work’ or ‘If I don’t sleep I’ll get sick and I have no sick days left’. And yes, if I just relaxed, my body wouldn’t have been coursing with adrenaline and I’d be able to sleep fine. But I am a huge overthinker and I couldn’t stop.

I ended up asking my parents-in-law for weed to help me calm down, and then began a reliance on pot to help me go to sleep. After smoking I could go straight to sleep within 60 seconds. I felt so care-free and didn’t fret all day about how much sleep I’d get that night, because it was guaranteed I would get some.

I smoked every night for about four months until I moved away from my partner’s parents and no longer had access to the weed.

The detox was… tricky, but not as bad as I thought. For the first few nights I was up until 4am each morning trying to sleep, but I had conditioned my body that sleep time means weed time. After about a week I was back to normal. My anxiety surrounding bedtime hadn’t subsided, but I wasn’t reliant on weed any more.

Six months later, I started a new job and my anxiety surrounding sleep came back. My new boss wasn’t exactly nice to me, and I stressed about my performance again. One night I just didn’t sleep at all. I tossed and turned in bed for eight hours without sleeping – and I got through the next day. After that, I relaxed a little. If even on my worst day I could turn up to work, then I didn’t need the weed.

I also rationalised that new mothers deal with way worse and more consistent sleepless nights so I didn’t need to resort to weed for help.

The stigma surrounding weed used to bother me and I hated thinking of myself as a ‘stoner’, which I guess I was at the time. I used to get really anxious if my supply was becoming low and would only buy from people my partner and I knew and trusted.

We had some really fun times while we were high but I’m glad we don’t smoke anymore. Every now and then – like if we stay home to watch a comedy on Saturday nights – I’ll wish we had a weed connection so we could light up but overall, I’m happy I’m off it.

I do struggle to sleep at times but it’s no longer every day. I wish I had CBD oil in these cases to help me sleep.”

Carlie, 27

“I smoke weed for several reasons. Firstly, to wind down after a long stint at work – I am sometimes away from my home for two to three days at a time for work. I also smoke to help my anxiety and because it feels amazing. Especially at munchies time and sexy times.

I suffer from pretty severe clinical depression paired with generalised anxiety disorder. When I smoke I feel… lighter. I can focus on TV, a computer game, even study sometimes. These are things I struggle to do sober because my mind is so busy, I find it hard to focus on a single task.

I do it because no other doctor-prescribed drug has helped to this degree. It helps me dull the voice in my head that says… everything. Like ‘You’re not good enough’, ‘did you turn the hair straightener off?’, ‘remember that time when you were 7 and you said something stupid?’ and ‘Fred at work seemed quiet today, he probably hates you’, and so on.

After smoking I feel amazing. There is no hangover, no comedown. I have the best sleep and wake up feeling fine. During the high I feel… I can’t even explain it. Light. The weight of the world seems to become someone else’s problem for a while and I can just enjoy TV/computer games/sex/relax time. It makes things funnier and food taste better.

When I budget hardcore, I smoke an ounce (28 grams) a month. But I can smoke an ounce a week. Generally, I lose my budget battle and get and ounce every 2 weeks. It’s $300 an ounce.

The stigma doesn’t bother me per se, but the laws/legal system do. The marijuana plant can be used for paper, textiles, plastic, clothes, medicine, and a WHOLE lot more. It’s illegal because the big companies that profit from destroying the planet (paper, plastic, etc) don’t want to lose their profits. So they demonise it as a drug and it makes me so mad, it’s a plant, not ecstasy cooked in a toilet.

I wish it was more widely accepted. Not “just” for medicinal purposes. For example, during the Melbourne Cup, alcohol and parties – domestic violence skyrockets. You never hear a story about a man/woman who got high AF and beat the shit out of their spouse. It’s less harmful and less addictive than current LEGAL drugs (alcohol, cigarettes, etc) I think it is a harmless but fun alternative to alcohol or ecstasy etc. I believe is should be legalised. It works and it’s something I also enjoy recreationally and I believe it helps me best in my current situation. I don’t want to have to rely on drugs that ARE unnatural and addictive like diazepam, which I have a prescription for.

I don’t really drink alcohol. Mostly because I have a very high tolerance and end up getting sick before I get drunk so it feels redundant. Also, who wants to ever deal with a hangover?

I’m very lucky that I have a reliable guy 15 minutes from home [for my weed]. However I have resorted to driving over an hour (each way) to get it, or rummaged through draws in my house hoping to find scraps. My brother smokes too so bribery is always an option.

On very rare occasions when I’m highly anxious I’ll have a diazepam and a bottle of moscato (mixed with alcohol diazepam can act similar to ecstasy but not as intense) to help me escape reality.

The first time I got high I was… 18-19 and at a mate from work’s party. There was weed there and he attempted to teach me how to use a bong. I coughed up my lungs and hurt my throat – but it was… insane. It hit me almost instantly and I didn’t lose control – I don’t like losing control. But everything just had this layer of ‘the world is good, who gives a sh*t?’

It’s very much a head high for me, but I’ve never been so high that I cannot think clearly (not without mixing it with harder things, of course) or keep control of myself, but at the same time – things are just better. Jokes are funnier, food tastier, existential crisis’ are put on pause and you can just enjoy the moment.”

Angie, 47

My first experience with weed was in my twenties with my husband at a family function. I was comfortable in the company of trusted family members. I had a great time dancing and eating which lead to the munchies!

Weed mostly helps me with my mental health issues as I suffer from anxiety and depression sometimes, depending on the situation I’m dealing with. It also helps me relax at bedtime if my brain is overthinking.

I take no medication from doctors when they advised me to take antidepressants because I find weed is a much better alternative with no side effects.

After smoking or eating edibles I have a feelings of contentment and deep relaxation. Sometimes it feels like a sense of freedom as all the knots in my stomach undo and go away, at times it’s drowsiness which helps with sleep time. Then, other times it’s a feeling of increased energy – this is a perfect time to go for a walk, to clean my car or to get creative in my garden.

If I’m feeling emotional, after smoking it’s like I have no worry in the world. Sometimes I also have an increased libido. I also love listening to music when stoned.

I probably smoke about 28 grams a month or 10 to 15 grams a week, and this costs me roughly $200 to $300 a month.

At times the stigma around weed bothers me. The negative view of weed as a recreational drug with the criminal/illegal sanctions associated with its use. I tend to only associate with people who understand me and my health issues and understand why it’s my choice of self-medicating.

When I can’t source weed, I’ll resort to breathing exercises and meditation.

How weed or marijuana can be used recreationally or medicinally to assist and ease ailments. 3 women reveal how weed helps them.