As someone who grew up in a time where cannabis was considered an illicit substance, I have to admit that it’s been a trip (pardon my pun) to see legalization happen in my lifetime. Of course there’s tons of benefits to legalization: in addition to rectifying criminalization that has disproportionately put people of color behind bars, it’s also provided a major boost to the economy, as well as allowed scientists to finally study the effects (read: benefits) of this medicinal plant. And as it turns out, there are quite a few benefits. So many in fact, that many people are hopping on the pot bandwagon and getting what’s called “California Sober.”
So what does it mean to be “California sober?” Here’s the gist: you give up alcohol and all other substances in favor of using only cannabis. “Once people realize that cannabis offers the same euphoric feeling you can get from other substances, and that they have the ability to wake up feeling fresh and hangover-free the next day, they get it,” says Kiana Anvaripour, CMO of cannabis retail boutique Sweet Flower. “Cannabis and alcohol react completely differently within the body.”
How differently exactly? “Alcohol is considered poison by the body,” says Anvaripour. And that poison requires a lot of work from your liver to detox. All of that detoxification comes with a lot of inflammation, which, coupled with the dehydration that comes with drinking, results in those dreaded hangovers. Conversely, “cannabis is an anti-inflammatory at its core,” says Anvaripour. Cannabis also doesn’t disrupt your sleep in the same way that alcohol does, which means you can still get all the benefits of a good night’s sleep even after a night of partying.
While partying is certainly part of it (hey, we all want to have a good time every now and then), there are many other reasons why you would incorporate cannabis into your life. “We’re seeing that people are turning to cannabis for reasons beyond just getting ‘high’,” says Anvaripour. “CBD and specific terpene profiles have a profound effect on one’s mood that allow one to relax, distress, and remain calm throughout the day – which is more important now than ever.” Cannabis also has the capability to alleviate stress, provide pain relief, enhance intimacy, and just promote a sense of general well-being. And who doesn’t want all of that?
“Once people realize that cannabis offers the same euphoric feeling you can get from other substances, they get it.”
If you’re interested in swapping your glass of wine for a hit off a joint, Anvaripour suggests getting an expert opinion first. “For anyone that is new to using cannabis, I recommend stopping by one of our stores and spending time with our Florists,” she says. “They have a wealth of knowledge to offer, and are able to guide both individuals that are new to cannabis and expert consumers to find the products that are right for them.” And go slow to start: Anvaripour recommends micro-dosing so you have as much control as possible over your dose. If you’ve already got Zoom happy hours on the books this week, don’t worry – there’s social ways to use cannabis as well. “Puff, puff, pass is a common pastime for many!” says Anvaripour (although puff puff don’t pass is the way to go these days).