The cannabis high is something that a lot of people worry about.
They say, “It’s a medicine, but I don’t want to get high off cannabis.” This is a real concern. A very small amount of THC can enter the body and make you feel so uncomfortable that it’s a very scary feeling. If you’re used to the active chemical of cannabis in your system, then it’s not such a big deal. You develop a tolerance for it.
But acknowledging that the high is a real and pronounced feeling for many people is important.
Cannabis can get us so high in a very specific way. Over the centuries we’ve been for and against cannabis many times because some people feel the effects of it and it’s really scary to them. They might say, “Well, I’m the mayor of this town, and we’re going to make this illegal because I don’t want to feel this again.” It’s important to empathize and acknowledge that some people do not have a positive experience.
If we say, “The high of cannabis isn’t so bad,” then we’re in a debate and might ask ourselves to compare it with other things. Alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines such as Valium, nicotine, and caffeine can all be considered substances that get us high or alter us. They’re psychosomatic. They alter our state of being.
Alcohol can be an extremely uncomfortable feeling if you’ve never been drunk before, but moderate use of alcohol is pretty reasonable. It’s the same for cannabis. You can take a moderate amount of cannabis and feel completely safe, normal, and cognitively aware of your surroundings. It’s a very similar comparison.
Opiates get us high
Same with opiates. Many people get high from opiates, so although the high of cannabis is real, there are plenty of legal drugs that get us high. In fact, opiates get us high and the body becomes addicted to that high. The body becomes physically dependent upon it and it’s extremely difficult to get off these drugs. It’s the same with benzodiazepines like Valium used for things such as anxiety and pain where cannabis is a viable alternative. If you’re in a state where there’s medical marijuana, it’s certainly something to engage in conservatively in case you can benefit from that and reduce the potential harm of benzodiazepines or opiates.
Then nicotine. We’re all pretty much engaged with the reality of cigarettes. They’re very dangerous. If you’ve never smoked a cigarette before and you smoke one, you will feel the nicotine coursing through your body. It’s very strong. Caffeine’s the same way. If you’ve never had caffeine and you take a double espresso, you will be so revved up you may even be shaking.
They’re not all exactly the same. They definitely feel different. But the high of cannabis isn’t some greater, more pronounced, more scary feeling than the other drugs that are common and available.