Should You Smoke Weed Alone?
It’s a question that is asked by new and experienced smokers alike – should you smoke weed alone?
This is a perfectly valid concern. Some people worry that they won’t enjoy it as much by themselves, or in the case of new smokers they can be worried about safety (What if I freak out?), and for seasoned smokers there can be questions about whether or not smoking alone is a sign of addiction the way drinking alone can be with alcohol.
So let’s take a look at each of these concerns one at a time.
Harms, but What About Benefits?
Please note that this statement of purpose doesn’t even consider the possibility that there may be associated benefits to cannabis in addition to associated harms. In fact, Toni Spinella—a master’s student in psychology and neuroscience and the study’s lead author—seems to think anyone who uses cannabis for “coping” treads in dangerous waters.
“It’s possible that they lack other coping strategies,” Spinella told the CBC. “If you’re alone, why are you using alone? That’s something that you might want to ask yourself and if you realize, ‘OK, I’m using alone because I’m sad tonight or I’m stressed,’ then maybe that’s a red flag that you should think more about.”
Fair enough, but a red flag compared to what other coping mechanisms? Whiskey? Junk food? Internet scrolling? Gambling? Binge watching? Xanax?
Is Solo Smoking Making Me Psychotic?
As for the idea that consuming cannabis alone might lead to psychosis, allow me to start by asking a couple of common sense questions:
- Is it possible that people with mental health conditions are more likely to use cannabis in an attempt to self-medicate that condition?
- Is it possible that people using cannabis to treat mental health conditions would be more likely to do so alone rather than in a social setting?
The answer to both questions is pretty clearly yes.
Studies have shown that cannabis and cannabinoids can improve the symptoms of schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. And if you’re using cannabis to treat one of these conditions, doesn’t that seem like something you’re more likely to do at home with some frequency (compared to someone who smokes weed maybe once a month whenever it’s offered to them at a party)?
Is it less fun to smoke weed alone?
That really depends on your personality. Some people actually prefer to smoke weed alone as they can become overwhelmed by company, and they enjoy the relaxing, quiet time they can have on their own. At the same time, some people smoke weed alone and find themselves wishing they were around other people. This really has more to do with who you are as a person.
Is it safe to smoke weed alone?
In a word, yes. Or at least almost certainly. Sure, some people are more susceptible to paranoia or anxiety, and they may find that smoking weed alone exacerbates this problem as there is no one around to “talk them down”. On the other hand, there are people who get anxious when they smoke weed around other people, and they actually have less anxiety when they do it alone. So again, it’s kind of dependent upon your personality.
Does it mean you’re addicted if you smoke alone?
There is almost no evidence that marijuana is physically addictive, but it certainly can be habit-forming. Of course, anything can be habit-forming for good or bad – watching TV, drinking tea, working out, eating, or smoking weed. It all depends on the impact it has on your life. If you find yourself smoking constantly (alone or with people) and the effect or expense is becoming detrimental to your happiness, it’s time to take a look at your relationship with marijuana.
So should you smoke weed alone? It depends on you and the effect that it has on you. If you enjoy smoking weed alone and it’s not impacting your life negatively, go ahead and solo-toke.
You can be as comfortable as you want
There’s no dress code when you choose to smoke alone. You can chill in your underwear. Or, you can even get high in your birthday suit. It sure beats having to put on jeans just to spark some pot.
Your stash lasts longer
Your stash can run out quick after getting high with your homies, especially if you roll blunts or have countless numbers of sessions. But when it’s just you, all you need is enough weed to get yourself stoned. The more you smoke alone, the less money you have to spend on the herb.
You get to be high in peace
From time to time, it’s nice to enjoy the silence. Too many distractions can ruin a perfectly good high. And after a long day of dealing with people, some peace and quiet at home is just what you need.
You tend to multitask
Getting high by yourself can be lonely, but not when you have plenty to do. Sometimes, you’ll spark a spliff while playing video games. And other times, you’ll surf the internet while you take bong rips. You excel at performing multiple tasks at once.
A Therapeutic Option
Even if you live the life of a fully-optimized self-actualizing perfect person, you’re still going to be touched by trauma, depression, and anxiety—all of which can be treated with cannabis, a therapeutic option that’s demonstrably safer and less habit-forming than pharmaceutical drugs.
Cannabis has even been shown to help those suffering from loneliness itself, which the medical establishment increasingly sees as a real and growing epidemic. A recent study by Cigna, a health insurance company, found that a full 47 percent of Americans often feel lonely or left out. Thirteen percent say not one person knows them well. This has serious health consequences.
You actually have time to collect your thoughts
While you don’t mind smoking weed with people, it can be hard to think straight with all the conversations going on. That’s why you prefer to get high alone so that you can reflect on the present, future, and whatever else. You also come up with some of the best ideas this way.