Smoking weed gets a bad rap. OK, maybe not a bad rap, per se, but it definitely has a reputation as an activity for slackers. Many people picture the average weed smoker as a guy in his underwear, sitting on the couch, watching TV in a daze. But it's not true — and if you yourself are a woman who smokes weed, you know better, and have probably done plenty of fun, interesting things stoned.
While I've written before about how weed can be abused just like any other substance and how smoking weed can certainly make me lazy, when used in moderation, I find it can also help me become incredibly introspective and functions as a fun aid in getting to know myself better. While alcohol tends to simply make me more outgoing and get me in the mood for trouble, marijuana will often make me feel more reflective, creative, and even body positive.
Over my decade of recreational use, I've found that while it is sometimes fun to just smoke and watch Broad City , there are plenty of fun things to do high that also have the added benefit of helping me see myself more mindfully.
Not sure what the hell I'm talking about, damn hippie? Read on for nine ways I've leveraged getting high to my introspective benefit.
1. Make Some Art
The benefits of coloring are well documented — a little time with a coloring book and some crayons can yield everything from stress reduction to increased focus. But many of us tend to prevent ourselves from enjoying this meditative and creative activity as adults because we think we've outgrown it, or "aren't artists."
Well, here's my rule of thumb: pretty much anything that I used to do as a little kid (including playing dress-up) is still fun. Especially when I'm high. When I'm riding the green haze (a thing I just made up ... you think we can make it catch on?), I like to pull out that adult coloring book and some pens, put on some tunes, and go to town. Or better yet, finger paint.
If I'm doing this with a partner or friend, I'm always impressed by how much more relaxed and open our conversation becomes. It's amazing what our minds become free to do when our hands are occupied.
2. Sort Through Your Closet
This might sound like a horrible thing to do anytime, let alone when you're high; but if you're the type who sometimes gets a kick out of organization, this can actually be a lot of fun — not to mention, productive.
I find that when I'm high, I'm more easily able to get rid of those pieces that just aren't me anymore, but that I have been holding onto out of guilt or attachment. Sometimes, it's a little easier for me to see things as they are when I'm stoned. For me, that perspective is super useful when it comes to figuring out just what my style is right now, rather than what I might think it "should" be.
I find that different things come up for me when I masturbate or have sex stoned. I might have a harder time coming, or an easier time. I might find I'm having thoughts or fantasies that I wouldn't otherwise. I might feel like watching porn I haven't wanted to watch before. I just try to be honest about my desires — and follow them. I try to notice whatever's happening, without judgement, and try to pay attention to the sensations in my body and breath. It helps me be more honest and present the next time I'm having sex sober, though of course, it's different for everyone.
4. Take A Hot Bath Or Shower
To me, this just feels great. I like to take a bath, put bubbles in it and light a candle, then listen to music or read. If I'm in the shower, I like to take my time. I think of this as my chance to pamper myself, and lather up or shave slowly. The sensations feels amazing, and I feel like I'm pretty the picture of self-care.
5. Try To Meditate
Yes, I know this sounds like the worst possible time to try to empty your mind, but luckily, that's not really what meditation is all about. Mindfulness meditation is more about noticing your own thought patterns as a detached observer. I know that when I'm stoned, I'm often in a good position to do this anyway, since my normal thought patterns are somewhat disrupted and accentuated.
I like putting on a chill song, closing my eyes, and simply noticing what thoughts pop into my head. I pull myself back to my breath when I start to wander off with them. I sometimes also light a candle and simply place my attention on the flame, for extra groovy points.
6. Listen To Your Hunger
When I'm stoned, sometimes I get the munchies. And like a lot of women, I have a lot of baggage around said munchies.
But for me, being high has actually been a great time to reprogram some of my associations with food. If I feel snacky, sometimes I try asking myself: What am I actually craving right now? If I could eat one thing, what would it be?
Then, I try something truly radical: allow myself to go and eat it, without judgement. As I eat, I try to slow down and focus on the taste, the sensations, and the pleasure of the food. I try to promise myself that I will listen to my body and let it decide when I'm full, rather than deciding how much to eat based on the amount I think I "should" consume.
Though you may imagine this ending with me eating until I'm sick, that actually isn't what happens for me — in fact, often, by honoring how much food I want and my desires, I'm more likely to end up eating the amount that's right for me and my body.
7. Confront Your Own Image
When you're stoned, you usually have some interesting outside perspective on yourself — so when I want to see something truly mind-blowing, I take a hand mirror and check out my vag.
I might also try one of my favorite body image exercises, which is to confront my full body in the mirror while standing up (this is great sober as well, which goes for all of these, obviously). I look at myself in the mirror, and then turn the inward narrative out. I tell myself what I'm feeling. What do I like about what I see? By forcing yourself to say your feelings about your body to your own face, you have the potential to make friends with it and reprogram your inner critic.
For extra fun-and-trippy points, I might also do this by recording myself on Photobooth, looking at myself as I speak my inner narrative about what I see, and then play it back to myself afterwards.
8. Go See Live Music Alone
I'm a big proponent of women doing more stuff out alone. One of my favorite activities to do alone, stoned or otherwise, is to go see live jazz.
I'm lucky that I live in New York, where there's plenty of jazz, but even if you live somewhere else, see if you can find some live music. I like to let my mind wander as I watch, and I know that I feel less self-conscious sitting alone when I have someone besides the bartender to place my attention on. I might also bring a journal to write down thoughts and sketches as I listen.
Of course, it's different in every city and bar, but I find that going out alone is nothing to be afraid of. People won't tend to bother me if I look busy scribbling, and if I want to meet new people, my emboldened state helps me make some eye contact.
9. Dance On Your Own
This might sound like a silly thing to do — and it is. But it's also really fun, and in my experience, it has helped me cultivate lots of body positivity. When I put on the tunes I loved to dance to as a teen (Beyonce, Shakira, and the Save The Last Dance soundtrack — all the way) I find myself uninhibited in a way I just can't access when I'm in public. Sometimes, it's important to dance knowing no one's watching.
While I also love to do this for exercise and a dose of self-love while sober, I've found that dancing alone high makes things next-level fun. I'm already open and less likely to judge my own moves — and it feels great to be hyperaware of how good it feels just to move my body, and how sexy I really am. I highly recommend it.
This post was originally published on December 8, 2015. It was updated on June 27, 2019.