As the cannabis industry is expanding rapidly with the legalization of marijuana around the world, the question “should I smoke weed alone or together with friends?” is quite relevant for both novice and experienced smokers.
A lot of the time, users rely on the knowledge of the budtenders at their local dispensaries, where they get the latest cannabis news and the information about the best cannabis on the market, as they toke a bong with their friends.
If you’re a beginner, you might have been avoiding getting high alone because you don’t know what to expect. Maybe you believe you won’t find it as enjoyable to get your stash out and make some brownies, as you think of smoking weed only as a social activity.
Moreover, frequent smokers have doubts about whether smoking alone on a daily basis is a sign of getting addicted to weed as it’s sometimes the case with alcohol.
These are important concerns that we’ll try to cover in this article comprehensively. We’ll talk about what happens to you when you smoke weed, compare smoking alone to smoking with friends, and give you some heads up if you decide to do your next vape sesh by yourself.
THC and CBD 101
Weed comes from variants of the Cannabis plant which consists of more than 400 different chemicals, but it’s primarily known for one particular group of chemicals called cannabinoids. The main cannabinoids that help weed produce the effects it has on smokers are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).
Now, CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that’s explored in medicinal Cannabis products such as Cannabis oils. THC, on the other hand, gives the plant its psychoactive power and is responsible for the “high” associated with smoking weed.
These two cannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors that are primarily located in our brain, liver, kidneys, and lungs. The location of the receptors is important because it means that cannabinoids can have an effect on cognition, memory, emotional responses, motivation, and motor coordination (Hu & Mackie, 2015).
First-Time Smokers and Weed Strains
When smoking, it only takes a few minutes for weed to kick in. Typically, you’ll experience a feeling of relaxation which is why a lot of people use it as stress-relief (e.g. to take their mind off work). Studies show that smoking weed helps people sleep better because it calms the nervous system.
However, the effects of weed largely depend on the weed strain you’re smoking, and whether it’s your first time. If you are an inexperienced smoker, it might not be best to try weed for the first time alone.
Even though the side effects of cannabis use aren’t fatal (often they result in a case of the munchies and sleepiness), you might not want to be alone if you experience signs of mild paranoia, panic, or hallucinations. Moreover, if you’re a long-term user and you abuse cannabis, that can result in more serious mental health issues and addiction.
Sativa VS Indica
Depending on the marijuana breed, stoners can get different kinds of cannabis strains. While some strains produce feelings of calmness and relaxation, others cause pronounced feelings of euphoria and creativity. The three most common types are Indica, Sativa, and hybrid.
The Indica strain results in a relaxing effect for consumers, who also use it for insomnia, anxiety, and pain relief. The Sativa strain, however, has energizing effects and it might even boost creativity. And the hybrid strain is a mixture of both Sativa and Indica. While some sources say that the above-mentioned statements are true, researchers say that these categorizations can be misleading.
Smoking With Friends VS Smoking Alone
Whether you’ll enjoy some alone time watching Netflix, or playing video games while smoking on your own or you decide to get your favorite bongs out and do it with friends really depends much on your personality.
Introverts would have no problem smoking intimately with their closest friends while watching TV, but they might feel anxious and feel a weird vibe around people they’ve just met. This doesn’t mean that they’ll necessarily have a “bad trip” but they probably won’t get the most out of the experience.
On the other hand, for some people, smoking alone allows them to get rid of all their (un)conscious inhibitions. You won’t have any distractions and no one else to please but yourself. No need to engage in any discussions if you don’t feel like it. You can simply chill in peace.
Is It Safe to Smoke Weed Alone?
A recent Yahoo survey “Weed & the American Family” shows that smoking weed alone is quite common. According to the survey, 31% out of 1,122 American adults prefer smoking by themselves.
There’s nothing wrong with smoking weed alone as long as you’re not doing it as a coping mechanism or an escape from your responsibilities and misfortunes. It’s one thing to smoke weed to relax after a long busy day but reaching for the joint as a strategy to avoid real-life problems can be dangerous.
Unlike alcohol, weed doesn’t make you forget your troubles right away. On the contrary, you tend to become hyper-aware so if something’s bothering you, weed might make you revisit the problem and think about it even harder(Hu & Mackie, 2015).
Moreover, there have been numerous studies and increasing evidence showing that smoking weed can ease the symptoms and help treat chronic illnesses including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, etc. If a person is using weed to treat chronic pain, they are more likely to do that as a solitary activity.
As we have seen, there’s nothing wrong with smoking weed by yourself. Mostly, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Some people see it as an intimate and personal activity that allows them to let themselves loose. They feel anxious or vulnerable around other people so they prefer to be alone or with a close friend. Others like the social aspect of getting together with your friends and experimenting.
The important thing is not to use weed as a coping strategy and a form of unhealthy escapism that disconnects you from the problems and responsibilities that you’re trying to neglect. This can be the case regardless of whether you’re smoking alone or with a group of people.
Hu SS, Mackie K. (2015). Distribution of the endocannabinoid system in the central nervous system. In: Pertwee RG, editor. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. New York (NY): Springer