We Need to Chill Out About Categorizing ‘Medical’ Versus ‘Recreational’

I used to wake up in the middle of the night, every night, with a nightmare. In it, my body was frozen, and trigger warning: In the nightmare, I was fading in and out of unconscious, but someone was raping me. They were textbook PTSD nightmares, and I had no idea what to do about them.

I was raised in the Caribbean, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, surrounded by ganja culture. While millennial “statesiders” my age I’d meet later when I moved to the South for school and then New York for my forever home, I realized that my childhood was different. Far from the “Just Say No” and D.A.R.E rhetoric my contemporaries experienced, many of my friend’s parents were Rastafarians. I grew up understanding that cannabis was a sacrament. So I spent high school, during the Bush era, on the debate team arguing for its legalization, and college majoring in journalism, reporting on cannabis. I’ve always been vehemently pro-legalization. But the reason cannabis didn’t become a big part of my personal life until a decade ago, in 2013, was because I was a total boozehound. 

But alcohol made my PTSD stemming from my assault worse. Sometimes, back in the day, to be perfectly honest, it made me downright nasty or even suicidal. So my ambition kicked in, having seen what alcoholism can do to others (it runs in my family), and I quit. I haven’t had a drink in 10 years. I’ve been Cali Sober since before the term existed, baby. 

So, a few years into sobriety, when a stoner close to my heart told me that people used cannabis to treat anxiety, PTSD and that THC could even suppress nightmares, at first, I was skeptical. Sure, it should be legal, just like alcohol, and the government is full of shit, but would it affect me like liquor did? Personally, 12-Step programs did more harm than good. I’m a big believer that a one-size-fits-all model is not suitable for recovery, something society finally seems ready to talk about.

Especially in the first few years after my assault, I needed to be shaken and reminded of my power — which had been robbed from me — instead of admitting I was powerless, which is, in so many words, the first step of AA. I’m glad the program works for many, including people I love, and I won’t even get into the fact that its founder, Bill W., fully embraced psychedelics at the end of his life, adamant that they could treat alcoholism. Because this story is about why recreational use and medical use have more overlap than the establishment makes them out to.

When I first quit drinking shortly after my assault, I was a shell of my former self. I’d accept invitations to parties only to turn around at the door, back to the safety of my apartment, as my social anxiety was so bad even small talk was terrifying. I should add that I was prescribed a very high level of benzodiazepines, which I’m not against on principle, they have their time and place, but as anyone who’s weaned off them knows, they also have their downfalls (quite serious, benzo withdrawal can cause seizure or even death). So after doing my research and realizing that cannabis could not only quell nightmares, help me better inhabit my body, and treat social anxiety, but had a lower side effect profile than benzos, and was less physically addicting, I decided (after talking with my psychiatrist and therapist) to give cannabis a shot. It worked. It stopped my nightmares. My dissociation got better. I could socialize again; I could even goddamn do karaoke without a sip of booze or flutter of nerves. I didn’t need all that Klonopin. I was sold, even if those I knew in recovery circles at the time were not. 

So when New York legalized medical marijuana for PTSD in 2017, even though I was already using it under doctor supervision, I jumped at the opportunity and got a medical card, hitting up a dispensary right away. I was a little bummed to learn that they sold lower-dose products for much more than my dealer (I prefer the term “florist”) could offer, so like so many others in this economy, I returned to the black market and honestly eventually just let my medical card expire. 

But something else had happened by 2017. I healed. Sure, I still had anxiety, some trust issues, and enough reasons to have a therapist, but I no longer woke up every night with flashbacks. I was my outgoing, extroverted, optimistic self again. Cannabis still helped me be present, dial down any social anxiety, and only need a Klonopin if having one of those panic attacks that feel like a heart attack. Still, I started to wonder: Was I “bad” for continuing to use cannabis, not primarily for PTSD, but simply because it felt good and made life easier? And, no, to this day, it’s never made me blackout, it’s never made me say something nasty to a friend I don’t remember the next day, it’s never given me a hangover with a side of suicidal thoughts. My friends, doctors, and partner actually sometimes need to remind me to take it when I get a little bitchy now and then. 

Then I realized something even more horrifying — I was thinking like a Reagan supporter. Is it wrong to enjoy the euphoric side effects of a substance? Taking this a step further, is it morally worse to enjoy the euphoric side effects of a substance such as cannabis that’s federally illegal instead of many FDA-approved anxiety or pain treatments that also make you feel high? What was this hypocritical bullshit? I’m a Virgin Islander, goddamnit, not some regressive conservative clinging onto the bullshit the Moral Majority spent so many years spewing. 

Of course, legalization has upsides, such as fewer people in prison and more research on the plant’s benefits. But by 2017, and absolutely by the present day, I don’t just fit the bill for a medical patient; I’m a recreational (make that adult-use, a term I greatly appreciate) user. Yes, it helps my anxiety and PTSD. Yes, it plays a role in harm reduction, just like dear old Bill W. eventually supported, and it makes it easier not to drink. I never even think about alcohol. But cannabis is also just fun. Plenty of people who use cannabis recreationally also receive medical benefits as a nice side effect, such as lowered social anxiety or better sleep. Conversely, people with medical cards who use it for an ailment enjoy the pleasant side effect of euphoria. Is either team wrong? I think not. Does one need a stamp of government approval (since when do we trust them on this subject?) to use cannabis guilt-free? Dear god, I hope not. 

We live in a culture that moralizes euphoria. From a government-approved recovery program POV, if it makes you feel good, it’s bad. Any substance use should involve honesty about its effects. For instance, while I used to use cannabis to help with nightmares, as I got older, THC started giving me insomnia. So now, unless I’m at a concert or late-night dance party, I don’t take any after a certain hour, sticking with a low dose during the day. But that’s just me. We’re all different, and everyone’s reaction to substances is different and will likely change throughout their lifetime. But in this beautiful life on this wicked world, filled with violent crimes, people in prison for non-violent crimes, pandemics, homophobes, hurricanes, cancer drug shortages, but also love, community, science, the spiritual experience of playing with a dog — I’ll take all the euphoria I can get as long as it continues to offer a positive impact on my life. Binary thinking is so Bush-era and so over. May the adult-use cannabis consumers also enjoy lowered anxiety or pain, and may the medical patients guilt-free pop an edible before a concert and dance up a sweat while enjoying a heightened sensory experience. 

Euphorically yours, 
Sophie Saint Thomas

The post We Need to Chill Out About Categorizing ‘Medical’ Versus ‘Recreational’ appeared first on High Times.

Adios Blend 7000mg Gummies: A Potent Blend of Delta-9P and THCA

In the rapidly evolving landscape of cannabis products, the Adios Blend 7000mg Gummies from Delta Extrax are presenting a great choice for experienced users. This product, featuring a potent blend of Delta-9P and THCA among other cannabinoids, offers a unique opportunity for users, blending innovation, quality, and a diverse range of effects.

The new edibles are a part of the Adios Collection, which blends together Delta-8 THC, Live Resin, HXY9-THC, Delta-9P THC, and THCA. Each jar contains 20 gummies, with each gummy delivering a potent dose of 350mg/gummy. A truely high-potency product, so start low and glow slow, as this isn’t your everyday gummy…

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The two main compounds in this new product are THCA and THC-P (from Delta-9 THC, that’s why we refer to it as Delta-9P. Both products have been driving a lot of attention lately in the cannabis community due to their unique properties and potential effects.

Delta-9P THC, or Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THC-P), is derived from Delta 9. Unlike most THCP products tDelta-9p THC is extracted strictly from Delta-9, which comes from Hemp. As a result, even believed to be much stronger than regular Delta-9 THC, products made from Delta-9p, are legal as they are officialy still hemp…

THCA, or Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid, on the other hand, is a naturally occurring compound in Hemp and a precursor to THC. In its unheated, raw form, THCA is non-psychoactive. However, when it’s subjected to heat, as in smoking or vaping, THCA undergoes a process called decarboxylation. This process transforms THCA into Delta-9 THC, which is highly psychoactive.

What makes THCa particularly intriguing is its raw form, which contains only minimal amounts of Delta-9 THC. This characteristic allows THCA to be legally sold online, presenting an attractive option for consumers. The so-called THCA loophole enables individuals in states where cannabis is still illegal to acquire psychoactive products, a fact for which many are grateful.

Is THCA legal?

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Chloe Cherry, Actress and Model

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs is an ongoing series where interesting folks offer recommendations for all things 420 — what strains they like, what weed products are blowing their minds, and what they like to do once stoned.

Chloe Cherry is an actress and model, known for her star-making role as Faye on Euphoria. Since becoming an HBO scene-stealer, Chloe has been extremely busy. During the last fashion week, she walked for esteemed lines like GCDS, Blumarine, and Laquan Smith—and more recently, she’s modeled for next-level brands, including Betsey Johnson, iGirl, and Petra Collins’ I’m Sorry. She’s also starring in several new movies that are due to premiere before she returns for season three of Euphoria.

Chloe is also a comedic lightning rod on social media, where she delights her millions of followers with hilarious meditations on life in L.A., as well as her weekly “Niche TikTok Hour” that features a curation of the strangest videos she finds on the platform. We strongly recommend that you check those out after you’ve hit the blunt.

Chloe Cherry is a close friend and frequent collaborator of the admins here at Cash Only, and she was kind enough to make some time to hop on the phone and discuss all things weed. Below, the young icon discusses her love of shake, becoming a “TikTok Sound” that Phoebe Bridgers sampled, and the merits of Googling “the best” health products (whether you buy them or not). Enjoy!

Photo by Zach Sokol

What’s your current favorite strain?

Chloe Cherry: My favorite weed strain is going to the shop and saying, “What kind of shake do you have?” LOL. I don’t care about getting premium, top-shelf weed anymore—that stuff is way too strong. I think shake is lighter and chiller. When I smoke, I smoke—like I will smoke all day because I like the activity of smoking. Shake facilitates that, you know? I can’t smoke top-shelf weed all day. One joint of that stuff is too much. Shake helps keep my tolerance low, too.

I’ll get my shake from any dispensary. I’m not loyal to just one. That said, there’s this one called “The Weed” that is good. I like the name, it’s simple. Plus, shake costs like $18 for a quarter there. 

I only buy indica shake because I mostly use weed for the purpose of sleeping. I’m not really a day smoker. When I do embrace day smoking, it’s because I’ve been working nonstop and need a full day to relax and do nothing. So if I want a full day to myself, like a whole day to chill, I’ll smoke during the day.

Do you have a favorite weed product?

I’m a bong girl. I use one glass bong at a time, usually nothing too fancy. I usually wait too long to clean it, though. I’ll clean it once someone comments about it and says “ew.”

I’ve tried the dab pens and they’re cool, but I like a bong full of both weed and tobacco. They call it a “moke” in L.A.—in Canada they call it “batch” when it’s a spliff bowl.

I rarely smoke spliffs at home or by myself. But I will roll a spliff if I’m with other people because it’s kind of hard to share a bowl. If I’m trying to share or have a sesh, I’ll twist a spliff using American Spirit rolling tobacco.

Photo by Zach Sokol

What activity do you like to do after you’ve smoked?

I really like to go through TikTok when I’m really stoned. That’s when I curate my “Niche TikTok Hour,” which is a compilation I make and post to my Instagram story every few weeks. It’s just a curation of what I find funny. I really like TikToks where it’s one person complaining and ranting. They’re like, “I don’t understand men!” or go off about something like that. I love when someone goes off about someone random. Once I’m stoned, I have the patience to sift through all that stuff and make my little compilations.

Oh side note, they turned one of my TikTok videos into a “TikTok sound.” It’s the one where I say, “Why does every dude in L.A. make music? They just make fucking music?” I saw Phoebe Bridgers post it recently, which was really cool.

I have another recommendation. I’ve heard that weed can make your body temperature go down, so I recommend wearing something warm during whatever activity you do once you’re stoned. I usually have some blankets ready because I like to get cozy once I’m baked. I get high and then I get cold!

Can you recommend something to watch while stoned?

I love adult animation—always have and always will. Family Guy. South Park. Any season. I think South Park has only gotten funnier. I also will dig into old Vine compilations because I feel like Vine is just proto TikTok.

Interestingly, I’m not a movie girl. I SHOULD because of my job, but I’m not as much of a film buff as you’d might expect. The last good one I saw was West Side Story. It was really true to the original. Accurately done and I loved the stage production.

Photo by Zach Sokol

Can you recommend something to listen to after smoking?

I’m a hip-hop girl and a low-key music head. I really like rap generally—stoned or otherwise. I’ve gotten into indie pop and bedroom pop vibes, too. Claro. Tame Impala. I figured everyone would say Tame Impala for the list, but whatever I like them. Perfect music for being stoned. I also like Isaiah Rashad and this guy Smino.

If I could make a track with anyone, it’d be Mac Miller—R.I.P. If I could collaborate with anyone living, it’d be Tyler the Creator because he just gets it. We would make the coolest music video ever together.

Can you recommend something to read that might appeal to someone who’s high?

I love to get high and then start looking up “the best” stuff for lifestyle products or routines. Like, the healthiest meals that can change your life. Or “the best laundry detergent” or “the best hand soap.” Random life enhancers. I’ll look up all this health stuff in order to optimize my life, and being stoned inspires me to dig into those rabbit holes. I sometimes buy the actual stuff these articles recommend, but I mostly enjoy looking them up and thinking about them.

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