When used correctly and sensibly, cannabis is one of the greatest pleasures nature ever created. It can really enhance your life, particularly insofar as creativity, energy, focus, concentration, mood, and sleep. Hell. Even sex is better after a few tokes.
These positives can really strengthen the relationship with yourself and others around you. However, where there’s light, there’s dark, and not everything about cannabis consumption is a bed of roses.
While cannabis consumption is useful for the aforementioned benefits, it can also screw with personal and professional relationships, often quite drastically if left untamed and uncontrolled.
So, how can cannabis negatively affect personal and professional relationships? Can it strengthen relationships? What do we know so far?
Cannabis can help as a social life booster, to reduce alcohol dependency and improve your relationships, as well as help reconnect with your loved one and enhance your sex life.
Cannabis for social life = lower inhibitions, promotes great conversation, forms unique bonds
Cannabis for alcohol dependency = alcohol can ruin relationships, controlled use of cannabis may be a viable solution, start with hemp-derived CBD or try low-THC marijuana first
Cannabis for sex and intimacy = can boost mental and physical connection, heightens emotions, increases libido, increases touch sensations
Cannabis for work stress = work stress affects personal and professional relationships, try low-THC cannabis oils or flower, use only when you need relaxation or a mood lift
Negative impacts of cannabis use/misuse on relationships = lethargy, emotional disconnect, risk of psychosis, we generally recommend abstaining from cannabis altogether or switching to hemp-derived CBD
How cannabis can positively affect relationships
1. Enhanced social life
Quite possibly the biggest advantage of consuming cannabis is a heightened social life, especially if your friends are high too. If you get a group of you together and you’re baked as shit, there’s a unique type of bond that forms between you all. It sounds weird, right? But it’s true. Inhibitions lower, everything is funnier, and you’re somehow linked to the same wavelength, even if you’re sitting there doing nothing.
This heightened sense of social connection with friends may seem artificial but it isn’t, not in the same way alcohol is. You see, with cannabis, you can be high but still understand exactly what’s going on, particularly if you know how to dose well.
Finding the right balance is key when dosing for social situations. If you hit it too hard, you’re probably just going to feel the negative side effects, which lead to paranoia, anxiety, sickness, and vomiting (green out). Not a nice feeling.
However, get the balance right and you’ll be chatting, laughing, and consciously connecting with your buddies on a whole nother level.
Advice and recommendations:
Pretty much any cannabis product will enhance your social life and events. You just have to know your own limits. Too much THC can send you into a spiral, especially if you’re a rookie user.
We recommend low-THC, high-CBD marijuana products. THC beer (like Hi-Fi Hops) and wine (like Rebel Coast) are particularly useful, but only if they’re nano-emulsified. Consuming one or two glasses will cause a mild buzz for an hour or two before the effects begin to reduce.
If you’re sharing a joint or bong and you’re all newbies, stick with marijuana flower with 5-10% THC. No more than this.
Avoid marijuana concentrates. They’re extremely potent and not designed for beginners. Usually carries anywhere up to 30-60% THC.
If you find yourself in a position where you’ve consumed too much THC and negative symptoms start to arise, don’t hide it. Tell your buddies you’ve had too much and find a quiet place to lay down for an hour. Sleep if needed. If you have CBD oil on you, take a few drops. It’ll help reduce a THC high (in theory).
2. Reduced alcohol dependency issues
Alcohol dependency and abuse can ruin personal and professional relationships, oftentimes irreparably. Those with preexisting mental health disorders, predisposed to anger and violence, are particularly affected. Financial problems can also arise — so, too, can irresponsible spending and debt.
Even though it seems counterintuitive to replace one vice with another, there are a number of studies conducted during the 2000s and beyond suggesting cannabis is a viable (and less harmful) solution to alcohol dependency and abuse.
Advice and recommendations:
Our first piece of advice is to exercise caution when replacing alcohol with cannabis. While cannabis is a fantastic option to help reduce alcohol abuse, it can still be somewhat addictive and can lead to dependency. Only use it when needed.
Start with hemp-derived CBD (broad and full-spectrum) or low-strength marijuana. A 1:1 THC/CBD marijuana oil is perfect here.
If you’re predisposed to mental health problems, specifically psychosis and schizophrenia, we recommend staying away from marijuana and THC altogether. Stick to hemp-derived CBD products instead.
3. Sex and intimacy
Throughout history, cannabis has been used for sex and sex-related enjoyment, bringing people closer together in more ways than one! Ancient Indians often used it to enhance tantric performance, while the hippies of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and beyond consumed it for, well, damn near every sex act known to humankind.
While some evidence suggests cannabis consumption results in less-than-ideal sexual problems, namely its ability to cause erectile dysfunction, the positives certainly outweigh the negatives.
Now, whether you’re going through a sexual dry spell with your partner or you’re feeling like the connection between you both is lacking during the act, cannabis could help. After all, decent sex is one sign of a happy, long-lasting relationship, so why not give it a go?
Research shows cannabis can increase touch sensation, heighten emotional states, increase libido, and reduce inhibitions and allow you to fully let go of yourself. Combined, all of these benefits can really boost your sex life, potentially leading to a stronger, more fulfilling connection between you and your partner.
Advice and recommendations:
Invest in hemp-derived CBD sex lube (brands like Foria Wellness offer great lubes) — may enhance sexual pleasure
Also invest in some hemp or marijuana-derived massage oil. It’s useful for foreplay. May heighten skin sensitivity and relax the muscles.
Too much THC can make sex almost impossible. Don’t get overwhelmingly high. Micro-dose low-THC, high-CBD marijuana products and avoid going over your limit. You don’t want to get halfway through, find you’re too intoxicated to carry on, and then pass out (or, worse, vomit).
Remember, if you consume marijuana edibles, they can take up to an hour to kick in (sometimes longer). Wait it out before you commence your session of love and romance.
4. Reduced stress at work (not hating your boss and everyone around you!)
Work stress sucks and can really strain your personal and professional relationships. Why? Well, it’s quite self-explanatory. High-stress working environments can cause feelings of resentment toward your job and colleagues around you, which, in turn, spills into your personal life. It’s a nasty vicious circle.
But cannabis can make things better. Research states it’s actually quite an effective stress reliever, which is useful for:
Evenings after work where everything feels on top of you
Your boss is just being a total jerk
Now, before you go reaching for the high-grade cannabis to dull the aches and pains of stressful working life, remember high quantities of THC can spin you out, causing more problems than good if you’re not used to it.
We recommend sticking to low doses of cannabis with a low-to-moderate quantity of THC (3-10% THC approx). This will likely give you a nice euphoric buzz without exacerbating your mood or cause negative paranoia or anxiety symptoms.
Better yet, try CBD oil. You won’t get high but will feel relaxed. If you’re not a fan of having any THC in your product at all, we recommend picking a CBD oil with a broad-spectrum isolate.
It’s best that you don’t consume THC before or during office hours. The last thing you want is your boss finding out you’ve smoked a huge joint or glugged cannabis oil on company time.
How cannabis can negatively affect relationships
1. Lethargy and decreased productivity
The stereotype surrounding cannabis and its ability to cause lethargy and decreased productivity is actually true, but only partially. It really depends on the type and strength of the product you purchase, as well as how much you actually consume and your overall psychological makeup.
There’s conflicting research surrounding cannabis and productivity. Some research suggests cannabis positively impacts an individual’s level of productivity. Other research attempts, however, show cannabis negatively affects productivity. In fact, one recent study claims a single marijuana joint reduces short-term motivation to work and complete tasks.
This, of course, will impact your relationships at home and work. Not doing the household chores or missing deadlines are the two most common. In more extreme cases, falling behind or forgetting about paying the bills and not showing up for work at all will cause significant tension between you, your loved ones, and your boss.
How to avoid or prevent cannabis-induced lethargy and decreased productivity?
The most obvious? Not consuming cannabis at all. But that’s unrealistic if it’s something you enjoy or use for specific medical conditions.
Cutting back on your consumption or choosing a lower strength marijuana product is a far better alternative. If you’re a heavy cannabis consumer, reduce your THC intake by half and see how you go. If that doesn’t work, reduce it by three-quarters. Choose lower THC strains with higher CBD content too.
Not all cannabis products make you lethargic and lazy nor do all of them reduce daily productivity. Some marijuana strains are known to boost concentration, focus, and energy, while others are more sedating.
We recommend Sativa strains (Jack Herer, Durban Poison) over Indicas (Hindu Kush, Northern Lights). Sativas are commonly known for their energy and focus-boosting qualities, while Indicas are better for relaxation and sleep at night.
2. Emotional disconnect
Cannabis (specifically high-THC marijuana) is a fun and often enlightening experience able to really help you connect with positive emotions, especially when dosed correctly. However, frequent marijuana use can cause feelings of emotional disconnect via forcibly releasing dopamine over a long period of time. This, in turn, dulls the neurons, resulting in gradual but significant loss of emotional response to external stimuli.
A cannabis-induced emotional disconnect can play havoc on relationships. It’s a silent but very noticeable intimacy killer. Healthy communication declines, feelings aren’t shared, positive experiences go by the wayside, and eventual unhappiness and resentment sets in.
How to avoid or prevent cannabis-induced emotional disconnect?
If your cannabis use is causing emotional disconnect, reduce your consumption or cut it out completely.
The concern over psychosis and schizophrenia is a real one, negatively affecting personal and professional relationships. Psychosis and schizophrenia can cause extreme psychological disconnections from reality.
Many sufferers may hear voices or see things that aren’t there and create elaborate but false paranoia stories about themselves and others around them. This can result in overwhelming distress, withdrawal, depression, hostility, and violence.
How to avoid or prevent cannabis-induced psychosis and schizophrenia?
If you have a pre-existing mental health disorder (psychosis, schizophrenia, or otherwise), do not consume cannabis. Switch to hemp-derived CBD products instead, preferably without THC (broad-spectrum).
If members of your family have schizophrenia or schizophrenic tendencies, do not consume cannabis. Schizophrenia is often inherited.
Avoid consuming marijuana and marijuana-derived products during your teenage years. Research shows long-term cannabis consumption in younger users more doubled their risk of developing psychosis. Stick to hemp-derived CBD instead until you’re fully developed.