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You Know What I Learned After a T-Break? That I Really Love Smoking Weed

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Much ink has been spilled over the hallowed tolerance break, affectionately known to us stoners as the slightly threatening, slightly alluring “T-Break.” When you should take them, what they are, why you should take them, and a lot of other thoughtful discussions, that I have participated in, too, all with the goal of being a more thoughtful cannabis consumer. But something in the T-break assumption has always struck me as a little off, a little self-stigmatizing. The baseline assumption is that there’s an inherent threshold of negative amounts of cannabis use for everyone, and I want to try and unpack it here with like-minded readers.

Let me go on record as saying that T-Breaks are incredibly beneficial. While I can only moderately speak to the science behind why, as I’m not a doctor, I also think it’s never a bad idea to evaluate habitual behavior. See if you’re actually paying attention to things, whether or not they are helping or hurting. 

There was a time a couple of years ago, before I got pregnant and had a baby when I was wondering this for myself, whether or not my cannabis consumption was a problem. I smoke a lot of weed. Wake-and-bake, throughout the day puffing and bongs, evening edibles and more bongs and joints. On weekends, I typically also eat edibles during the day. For context, I’m a mother to a one-year-old, a wife, and I help run creative strategy for a media company, in addition to running my cannabis newsletter https://cannabitch.substack.com/. I don’t drink very much, except when tasting wine or cocktails for work, and I’ve got a busy, heady life. I think cannabis helps me—I enjoy how I feel in body and mind after using it, and because I have ADHD, for which I do not take pharmaceutical medication, I also believe it helps to settle my mind and keep me focused.

But I dunno. Everyone else says that smoking lots of weed is very bad for you! Even pro-stoner movies, like Half Baked, revolve around the premise of, “Holy shit, these people light up a lot. Let’s make it a punchline.” At the end of that movie, which is presented as a happy, pro-head conclusion, Thurgood (Dave Chappelle’s character) reveals he’s still smoking weed, which was his struggle versus his anti-weed girlfriend, Mary Jane, all along. Hurrah! But the catch is that it’s still a secret, and the movie fades to black. How is that a win if you still have to hide it!? And that’s just the media that’s created specifically for us. The rest of it is even more judgemental.

So it’s no surprise that anti-weed stigma seeps into even the most THC-laden brains, like mine, even though I should know better. That said, I am a journalist and writer by trade and nature, so I’m down for a little healthy skepticism. I’ve embarked on various T-Breaks of various lengths, some as short as a day or two, others as long as a year, back around a decade ago, and, more recently, one that was about nine months long, give or take (I was pregnant). Before I got pregnant, I was consuming more than I ever had in my life, and that’s where the wondering around my use started to ratchet up in my brain.

For years, I had been at the point where I knew I couldn’t go a day without using cannabis, couldn’t buck the urge. That bothered me in theory more than in practice: my multiple-times-a-day consumption wasn’t affecting my daily life negatively, per se, but I didn’t like nor trust the compulsion. Life took care of that for me in short order: During this period, I became pregnant and promptly stopped consuming anything with THC. Then, I had my baby, who was happy and healthy and who remains so. 

Now, 13 months later, I’m back to consuming throughout the day at levels that would frankly scare most people, especially mothers and folks who have traditional ideas about how mothers should behave and what substances they should consume and when. I work full-time, and I’m firing on all cylinders. I check in with my health practitioners, including my therapist, who is 420-friendly and believes my use helps me manage my ADHD. I spend a lot of time at home with my son and my family. I’m happy, functional, healthy, and, truthfully, currently living my best life.

So, what did I learn after all this thinking and breaking, only to end up more-or-less in the same spot? I’m sure there are many reading this who would be like, “Jackie, you’re addicted to weed,” and that conclusion is supposed to be a bad thing. That I can’t or won’t stop, despite society loudly or quietly hinting I should, and designations swirling around medicine and media like “Cannabis Use Disorder,” which I certainly qualify for, saying my use is problematic. But even if these designations are accurate, if that’s the case, who is it hurting at this present moment? Certainly not me, nor anyone in my family. Not my employers, not my friends. So I’m just not sure it matters, and I think the only person I’ve needed to answer to this whole time is me, and clearly, I lost sight of that. 

So I’m just going to say it once and for all: I consume a ton of weed, and I absolutely love it. Not much more I need to say beyond that.



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