If you are one of the almost 75 million Americans born in a wave of post-war optimism between 1946 and 1964, we probably have something in common — a familiarity with cannabis.
We all had our rite of passage. Although (or maybe because) it was illegal, I tried it first in the park a few blocks from home. Next time behind the garage with friends. We coughed our lungs out, and I took note of how the leaves high in the maple trees made a rustling in the wind that sounded like rain. Eventually it became no big thing to hit the bong in a friend’s basement, then giggle as we tried to get the eye drops actually in our eyes before we went off to football practice, or home for dinner with our families.
Things have changed. Cannabis is no longer a been-there, done-that scenario:
- Wax, shatter, sugar and live resin are all forms of concentrated marijuana that allow people to get really stoned.
- Microdosing is also a thing, through which cannabis-infused teas and coffees, mints, chocolate-covered espresso beans and other forms, you can get just barely high. Which is kind of nice.
- Cannabidiol or CBD, a compound of the plant that doesn’t even get you high, is being used to treat epilepsy, cancer, inflammation, PTSD, anxiety and other conditions.
- Legalization is gaining momentum, as a powerful wave of change is sweeping through the states. Medical marijuana is now legal in 26 states, and recreational use has been OK’d in Colorado, Nevada, California, Oregon, Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts.
Cannabis has been used a textile, nutrient and mind-altering substance for at least 40,000 years. With no known fatal overdoses. Yet for most of the last 100 years, cannabis has been not just prohibited, but aggressively attacked as an evil weed that destroys the lives of its users. After decades of vilification, many people (including our attorney general) still see cannabis use as the first step on the road to hell.
As boomers, we know that it’s not all that dangerous. Yet there are good reasons why we might not have used cannabis for decades: Some of the old generalizations about stoners are true. Smoke too much weed and it can sap your will, and even stunt your development and growth as a person.
Anything in excess will mess you up, right? Is there a case to be made for wise, moderate use of cannabis? Because now we know that there are legitimate health benefits to using cannabis and hemp.
For health — for specific conditions, including:
Also for our mental, social and spiritual health:
- As a less-damaging alternative to alcohol and opioid use
- As an aide to creativity
- As a tool for spiritual development and growth
There’s also a movement toward breeding and developing cannabis products that are not as THC-heavy as weed has been for the past few decades — so you might be able to relax and change your state, without the risk of hours of paranoia and dread.
And a lot of questions to address:
- How safe are edibles?
- When do you want indica, when sativa?
- Is vaping good or bad for you?
- What’s a good dose to start with for edibles?
- Is it a good idea to exercise after getting high?
- Are concentrates delivering concentrated levels of unhealthy pesticides?
Maybe the main question is: If there are health benefits of cannabis, how do I take advantage of them, safely and smartly?
This is the focus of Kannaboomers. As the legalization wave grows and public opinion continues to shift, we’ll examine some of the evidence that has brought about this change, and try to equip you to take advantage of it, today and in the future.
Call me Thomas Jay. I’m just a guy, and Kannaboomers is my side project. I am not a scientist or a medical professional, so do not take anything I say too seriously (although I will do my best to be accurate, and relevant).
I am not a stoner, although I may have been one for a short time, long ago, as a student. I’ve worked as a journalist and copywriter, so I have some experience in collapsing large amounts of information into concise, intelligible reports. And that’s what I’ll be trying to do with the crazy, sprawling topic of cannabis, and how it may be a useful aid to baby boomers everywhere.
Full disclosure: My day job is in a conservative industry, and people within that industry tend to freak out at anything that approaches the bounds of established law. So I’m using a pseudonym. For now.