If you know us at all, you know that we’re thrilled about the potential of cannabis to help effect real good in people’s lives—as a therapeutic aid for a surprisingly broad range of conditions—or merely as a safe, stimulating recreational aid for responsible adult use.
That said, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Like any activity we enjoy, cannabis is best when it’s one element in a balanced and full life, not the dominant factor. Drawing upon our long experience both in the cannabis industry and as retailers who take an active interest in our customers’ lives, here are five potential pitfalls to be aware of if you’re concerned about your cannabis use and if it wavers on marijuana dependence.
1. Is Cannabis Affecting Your Relationships?
This one is first for a reason: it’s a doozy. If you use cannabis, we’d like it to be a part of healthy and whole life, and that includes personal or intimate relationships. It’s perfectly understandable that there are some people you’d rather not discuss cannabis with—your grandparents, for instance. But if you feel that you have to hide your use, or more critically that it becomes a substitute for personal or intimate relationships, it’s probably a good time to reassess your usage and priorities as this behavior could indicate marijuana dependence.
2. Does Cannabis Impact Productivity?
Not all activities are a good match for cannabis, although some strains are energizing and stimulating as opposed to sedative. If you feel that cannabis “shuts you down” and is an excuse for avoiding your personal and professional commitments, it might be time to take a pause.
3. Does Cannabis Make you More or Less Active?
It’s an old stereotype that “stoners” are “lazy,” but we couldn’t disagree more. Besides all the many uses of non- or low-psychoactive cannabis, we’re passionate about pursuing our active life goals, whether they are enjoying the great outdoors or spending socially active time engaged with friends and loved ones. If cannabis glues you to the couch, it’s a sign that your usage—as well as the particular strain—might not be a good match with your life goals.
4. Is Cannabis Affecting Your Memory?
Wait a second…could you repeat the question? For all its many benefits, not all of cannabis’ effects are positive, and it’s well-documented that it adversely affects short-term memory creation. If you find that you forget important things in your life—your keys, your mother’s birthday—it’s likely a good time to take a break and gently reset your cognitive functions.
5. Do You Feel Guilt or Shame Around Your Cannabis Use?
This potential pitfall is another important one and loops right back to the relationship piece. Not every cannabis user needs to become a cannabis advocate, but if you feel the need to hide your use, it could be an indication that it’s out of balance with your life goals.
Again, we’re certain that cannabis can play a positive role in an active life, but this demands clarity and honesty. If you can take a moment to be clear about your intentions and your desired usage, chances are you’ll be further along towards integrating cannabis into your balanced, engaged life and avoiding any type of marijuana dependence tendency. And really, that’s what we all want, isn’t it?