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Weed and Health
In this blog item
In this blog item NicotineThe combination of weed and tobaccoGet rid of your addictionPure effect of CannabisTake a closer look at your useA healthy earth
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Weed and Health

I will start with telling that I was quite an early bird: when I was fourteen I smoked my first joint. Friends had been doing it a bit longer, and you could say that they encouraged me to try it too. I was especially curious and felt rebellious.

With weed I had the image of something illegal, that we had to smoke very secretly on a deserted sidewalk near an empty playground. Because I had never smoked anything before in my life, at first I didn't know how to inhale. My girlfriend explained it to me: "You just have to breath in the smoke. I felt how my body found this very unnatural and did not really want to cooperate. When I persevered and a dense bite of smoke entered my lungs, I became very nauseous and dizzy within a short time. It was frightening and I remember thinking: this isn't fun at all, I'll never do this again.

Nicotine

Looking back on it now, I realise I had a distorted picture of the effects of cannabis. The joint I had smoked was filled with tobacco, a drug I had never tried before. Later, when I tried to smoke cigarettes, I got dizzy again and felt like I was going to vomit. Not so strange of course, because smoking a cigarette is bad for you. Just like I always went down by drinking a few glasses of alcohol, my body gave me the same message again: this is junk!

But I persisted and before I knew it I liked it very much. Soon I started buying packets of cigarettes with the pocket money I received that ran out faster and faster. The years went by and the little voice that wanted to stop tobacco got stronger and stronger. My body was protesting. When I started I still thought smoking was cool, that's why I wanted to do it myself. Now I was in a prison and had a picture of my lungs that were pitch black.

The combination of weed and tobacco

My relationship with weed was overshadowed by my relationship with tobacco. Often I didn't know whether I felt like a joint or a cigarette. When I finally decided to stop smoking cigarettes, I cleverly replaced this addiction with smoking many joints. Instead of my daily cup of coffee with a cigarette butt, the habit had changed a bit, so I started my day stoned every morning from that moment on. There were days when I said to myself, 'You're not going to smoke now, you have to be sober, that's important'. And yet it gnawed at me to such an extent that it gave me a headache and without further thought I rolled a new joint.

To solve this problem I decided to start smoking cigarettes again. And indeed, now I was back to square one. This vicious circle repeated itself a few more times.  

Are you at a point where you actually want to quit nicotine? Read this blog to find alternative tobacco options!

Get rid of your addiction

Luckily I don't use tobacco anymore. Although I still think it's too early to say that I 'really quit', the reassurance is beginning to come that I really did it this time. How I did it is hard to explain. It starts anyway with the will to stop. It is sometimes difficult to grasp, but you can achieve a lot when the will is there. From deep changes in your personality (behaviour of which you are not proud) to addictions (which give you a short moment of pleasure and then let you slip into a deep valley... where you have to crawl out again). I can also tell you that psychedelics have given me a lot of insight. Maybe my deep desire to stop something so damaging to my health arose after I had my first Magic Mushroom trip. During my first experiences with psilocybin, I was hit by a lightning bolt at one point: it's a miracle I exist! With this science, which penetrated to the depths of my being, it was obvious that I had to take good care of myself. Cigarette smoking was for me a way of self-sabotage and with each draw I poisoned myself a little more. By consciously making healthy choices, you feel a lot nicer. You also get a lot less need to be under the influence all the time, being sober is interesting enough!

Pure effect of Cannabis

Cannabis, on the other hand, remains a plant that will always fascinate me. I share this appreciation with a lot of other people, all over the world. The history of cannabis is very long. As the first cultivated plant, it has forged a deep bond with humans. Its properties have proved useful for a wide variety of things, from making paper and rope, to providing important nutrients, to its medicinal purposes.

So when I smoked my first joint, I did not have a pleasant experience. The times I tried it after that, the effects of the weed itself became clearer, although they still did not came to me in their pure form.  

When America started the anti-cannabis campaign in the thirties, this special plant was put down as a (life) dangerous drug. It really went very far, the statements that were made are disproportionate. An example: "If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marijuana he would drop dead of fright" (H.J. Anslinger, commissioner of the American Federal Bureau of Narcotics). This panic that was sown, still leaves its mark. There are still sources that portray cannabis as a 'gateway' drug, or make claims about its harmfulness that have not been substantiated or magnified enormously.

Take a closer look at your use

By realizing that I find it important to take good care of my body, I try to pay attention to what I use. Alcohol is a good example of a substance that I took for years for granted. Especially on social occasions a beer was never far away. Now that I know that alcohol has a very negative impact on both my physical and mental health, I try to avoid it. This turns out to be a difficult task. The temptation is present every weekend and drinking is so common in circles of friends that you are quickly called 'boring' if you don't join in. It is and remains a search for balance.

For me, cannabis is perfect to combine with a healthy lifestyle. It's always important to mention that you can also become dependent on weed. However, now that I don't combine nicotine anymore, I also experience the effect very differently. When I use organic outdoor weed, I already feel the therapeutic effect. I see cannabis more and more as a medicine, which I only take once in a while.
It is interesting to look back at the history of cannabis and where it originally occupied an important place in the world of health. A Chinese herbal encyclopaedia (2000 B.C.) already mentions what cannabis could be used for. Some examples are fighting pain and sorrow, stimulating the appetite, epilepsy, and menstruation.
There are plenty of experience stories of people who use cannabis as a means to relieve their (pain) complaints.

A healthy earth

In the end, it goes beyond my body. The earth must be healthy too! If it isn't, neither will we be. Here too, the cannabis plant can play an interesting role. As a fast growing and strong crop it can be used for different purposes. It is not for nothing that the English word 'weed' is used to name the plant. It grows almost by itself and is resistant against pests and diseases. Where cannabis is a completely biodegradable product and could be used for a wide variety of purposes, plastic and nylon are environmentally unfriendly materials that are very difficult to decompose.

Plastic is all around us and even inside us. Plastic pollutes our planet in many ways. To get rid of the ever-growing mountain, man has only a few options that are not very satisfactory: burning plastic, a complicated process that causes air pollution, burying plastic in the ground that causes soil pollution, or dumping plastic in the oceans. Even in space our waste roams around, discarded rocket parts, old satellites ... meanwhile we are talking about about about 7.5 kilos of space waste. I want to stress that it's really time for a change.

Fortunately, there are already a lot of alternatives. I hope that bioplastics (e.g. hemp) will become more and more normal. It's my dream to walk through a supermarket, where all the packaging of the products is biodegradable, and where cannabis is a nutritious, healthy ingredient again.

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