Part of the way I show respect for the herb is by writing something — even a little bit — about how I’m feeling, what I’m doing and why I’m smoking whenever I consume. I do this in a little journal (well now journals, since I’ve filled the first and begun a second) which I keep with my pot and other supplies. The journal fulfills several purposes: it tracks my usage frequency to a fairly accurate degree, as I’ve actually been fairly faithful about writing in it whenever I consume.
It also helps me record my motivations for using cannabis, whether those involve needing to unwind at the end of the day (a rather common motivation as it turns out) medicating a particular pain or other condition, reducing anxiety, or some other reason. These two purposes allow me to paint a fairly accurate picture of my relationship with cannabis. For instance, I happen to know that my current path with marijuana began on October 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm, and that I’ve consumed at least 80 times since that date, or approximately 6 times in each 5 week period over that time. Perhaps if I get really curious about the details I’ll do some more metrics on my usage patterns, and also take an overall look at my recorded motivations for each of those uses.
But perhaps more interesting than these quantifiable metrics are the psychonautic and subjective aspects of the writing that occurs when I smoke. Just reading back a little bit over what I’ve written, it’s clear that I love describing the experiences — physical, and mental — that occur when I smoke. Psychonautics (defined as any methodology seeking to describe the subjective experience of being high) might feel like old hat to some folks, or rather boring, or maybe something not really as applicable to marijuana as it is to more strictly psychedelic drugs, but it’s one of the core reasons (along with health) that I use pot at all. My journalling so far is full of descriptions of the nature of each high. These descriptions vary in posture from that of the critic (though I hate substance snobbery, I have to admit that I slide into it at times in these journals) to that of a sort of wide-eyed traveller into what experiences can be gleaned from unlocking the mind with marijuana.
“I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits – and millions of Americans agree with me.” – Hunter S. Thompson
Let me be clear: much of what I write in these journals is cringeworthy, trivial, or both. Much is also boring.
in the world of real writers, debates abound regarding the particular merits of writing while high, with the majority, including a particularly well-intentioned experimenter seeming to conclude that any serious writing done while high can’t be all that good. On the other hand, there are writers who claim to write mostly or exclusively while high. That Hunter S. Thompson wrote (and did many other things) under the influence of the herb should surprise almost no one, but what about a best-seller like Lee Child, who famously claimed to write almost exclusively while smoking pot? Quite honestly, it doesn’t matter much to me. I’m make no claim to being a great writer, or at the very least not while journaling about my marijuana use. But I do recommend the practice of pot-journalling. Here are some tips if you decide to try this:
- keep your journal, and a writing implement, with your weed. It’s a pain in the ass to have to go find your journal when you really want to be sparking up. Picking up your pipe or bong? Pick up your journal too.
- get a journal that you enjoy writing in. Mine is small and minimalist with nice paper. Pick a pen that you enjoy writing with and that works. Nothing sucks like being wrapped in the warm embrace of a nice body high and having your pen run out of ink.
- commit to writing every time you consume cannabis. Sometimes has a way of turning into occasionally which can turn into seldom which is close enough to never. One of the great values of my journal is that it represents a relatively complete picture of my journey with marijuana, which is one of its values.
- Don’t think you have to write something profound or long. Some of my entires are two lines long … literally something like “Feeling tired from a very long day. I’m going to sit down on the couch and smoke some blackberry kush.”
- Write before, during and after the high sets in. What I write about before smoking is usually about my motivations. Why am I choosing to consume right now? During smoking or eating or whatever is when I record observations about the particular strain or high. How does it make me feel? What is onset like? What sensations come in what order? What does the strain taste like?
- Let go. You don’t have to be literary or profound. Write whatever comes to mind. Maybe it’s rant about something that happened to you during the day, or something you’re feeling or experiencing right then. Once in a while (admittedly it’s usually white quite high) I freeform write or draw in the journal. Who knows what might come out? It might be nonsense ( why, for instance, did I write the string anemittingpointorasteroidofsomekind in my journal the other day?) but it might be important, or deep, or something. Just let it out, whatever it is.
- Be honest about how you’re feeling and what you’re feeling. it’s ok to have a bad experience, to be sad, or to feel vulnerable or not-good.
- Sometimes write when you’re not smoking. Feeling burnt-out the day after? Write about it. It’s part of the experience. Feeling particularly grateful for something that happened while high or how you feel later? Write about that too.