30 years have passed since I last used any sort of cannabis. I took my final hit on a joint the night before my wedding. My matron of honor and her husband, staying in a room just down the hotel hall, offered it to me to calm my nerves. I wasn't nervous about getting married, but I was dealing with the fact that my mother had shown up the day before after avoiding me for a couple of months. I was shaken up by her appearance. She was skin and bones and very sick from a recurrence of cancer. I used the marijuana to relax enough to go to sleep.
My mother passed away soon after my wedding. The marriage was over in just under 20 years. In that time, I had given up smoking weed entirely. It was a distant memory. I was a well-respected member of my community who wouldn't think of using an illegal substance. I had sworn off any recreational drugs. I wanted to maintain a clean lifestyle and be a great role model for my children. I did and I was.
After the demise of my marriage and the subsequent crumbling of my expectations in life, I moved from the heartland of America to the east coast in 2015. I was a little more jaded and a lot less concerned with appearances. In mid-July of 2018, I traveled to Oregon where I made my first ever trip to a legal dispensary.
My partner and I were interested in buying something that might ease the pain in his back and knees. After showing ID, we met with an eager and knowledgeable saleswoman, who was full of information about the possible benefits of the different cannabis-based products. We settled on a bottle of cannabis lotion that contained CBD oil and THC, but promised no effects on the brain, only on the body, which was just what we were looking for in a lotion.
I was ready to try an edible that would affect my brain. Somewhere deep in my soul, lurked memories of happiness and good times connected with weed; memories I created before I was working on a career and a place in small town society. Although I couldn't remember the exact feeling of being high, I could remember that it made me laugh and have fun, that food tasted amazing, and that I had always liked it. Why wouldn't I want to experience that again? We got a small bar of chocolate with THC and a small bar of chocolate that contained THC and CBD (for pain relief). All of this cost around $70.00. The lotion was the most expensive.
Each small chocolate bar contained four doses. It looked like a regular bar of dark chocolate divided into four breakable sections. I ate one the following night after dinner. It tasted wonderful. It was some of the best dark chocolate I have ever eaten, so it was going to be a win, even if there was a possibility that I might not feel a thing.
Back in the dispensary, the saleswoman had told us that it could take up to two hours to feel the effects of the THC. She said some people feel it earlier. I had looked edibles up online in various forums, and the consensus there was that a full stomach added to the time it took to feel high and could ultimately keep a person from feeling the effects very strongly. She also mentioned that if we weren't getting the desired effect after two hours, we may want to have a little bit more and wait another couple of hours. She said it was a personal thing, having to do with individual reactions.
My partner and I sat outside the little mountain cottage we were renting, gazing at the flower garden, and waiting. We had been hiking most of the day, so I was already tired. After eating the chocolate, the tired feeling seemed to intensify. My eyes were heavy. I didn't feel high, or like laughing, or really anything, except a strong desire to sleep. We went to bed.
I had vivid dreams that night. Good dreams, not anything disturbing. The next morning, I figured that I should try again, but on an empty stomach. I had some coffee and cannabis chocolate for breakfast before we headed back out to see more of the beauty of Oregon. Since he was driving, my partner didn't eat any of the chocolate.
This time I felt effects, but they were not like the experiences I had as a 20-year-old. I didn't laugh at things or feel intense creativity or even crave music (as I always had back in the day). I first had an inkling I was high when I caught myself staring at the colorful trucks on the highway. I thought... wait a minute, this is not normally something that would attract, let alone keep, my attention.
I spent some time thinking about the fact that I was analyzing myself reacting to the THC while I was reacting to the THC. I became quieter than usual, not commenting and chatting with my partner. I don't remember what I was thinking about, but I remember really ruminating over things. It was as if my thoughts were outside my brain and I was breathing them in and understanding them instantly. I loved it.
We settled on a fast food drive-through for a quick lunch. I ordered a sugar cookie that was better than any sugar cookie has ever tasted. I mean, this thing was sprinkled with a subtle layer of prismatic sugar that sparkled in the car-window-filtered, mountain sunshine. That's the moment that clinched it for me. I realized my brain was perceiving sensory input differently than normal (the colorful trucks and 'breathing my thoughts'). When I touched, smelled, and tasted that fast food cookie and decided it was perhaps the most wonderous cookie ever made, I knew the edible had worked for me.
During the hours I experienced a high, I was completely able to function normally. We stopped to sight-see, ordered coffee, talked to people, and walked around. I was enjoying the effects of the drug, but I never felt as if I was out of control of myself. Definitely nothing unpleasant. I was very sleepy again that night.
Overall, the experience of eating edibles was positive for me. I think if I would have spent more time in a state where cannabis is legal, I would have done more experimentation to find the right amount to take for the desired effect. Alas, transporting it to my home state is against the law, so until I venture to enlightened soil once more, my experience with cannabis is on hold again. But there is no way I'm waiting another 30 years.