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Cannabis Column | July 1, 2022

I tried purposeful cannabis consumption for 30 days. Here’s what I learned.

By Ethan Beberness

As a bit of a stoner (and general nerd), I’ve tried to keep notes on some of the factors that have impacted my experiences with cannabis over the years, and often found myself sorting through a mix of spreadsheets and notebooks in search of missing bits of information every time I wanted to actually use the information I’d gathered.

That’s where Jointly came in. With the Jointly app, I was able to track my cannabis consumption and a wide variety of factors affecting my experience in a single place with just a few taps. Plus, the app’s Personal Insights feature allowed me to identify which of the 15 Factors have the greatest impact on my experience — and therefore play the biggest role in determining whether I achieve my goals for purposeful cannabis consumption, whether that means relaxing at the end of the workday or enjoying a night out while avoiding booze.

In addition to using the Jointly app for tracking and adjusting the factors around my consumption habits to best fit my goals, I was able to draw on the vast amount of information available in Jointly Magazine — including interviews with wellness leaders and guidance on how to best use the app— to research how different factors might be impacting my experience.

Especially if you’re new to cannabis, remember: while the information here does contain some helpful findings about my personal experience using Jointly to track and achieve my cannabis goals, everyone has a unique endocannabinoid system and your experiences with similar products and ingestion methods may differ from mine. For this reason, I won’t spend a lot of time on the products and ingestion methods I used for this month-long experiment.

Let’s dig into a few of my goals for purposeful cannabis consumption, some of the factors that Jointly showed had the greatest impact on whether I achieved my goals and a few takeaways that might help you maximize the potential of your cannabis experiences.

Relax & Refresh

It’s important to emphasize the refresh aspect of “relax and refresh” — we’re not looking to invite an evening of hazy “couch lock.” 

Over the years, I’ve become pretty familiar with two factors that can leave me feeling groggy after consuming cannabis — and Jointly confirmed that my hydration level, as well as the quality and consistency of my diet, were important factors in helping me channel the positive energy of my cannabis use into a productive evening.

One factor that I didn’t anticipate having the outsized impact that it did was the inclusion of companion foods like mango and broccoli in my diet. Companion foods consistently had a positive impact on my mood after consuming. In fact, according to my Personal Insights, companion foods were the single biggest factor in the quality of my experience when using cannabis to relax and refresh, often correlating not only with higher energy levels but also with reductions in the frequency of negative side effects like dry, red eyes or a feeling of disorientation.

Focus & Create

My Personal Insights reveal that diet and hydration levels also played a major role in my ability to focus and create after consuming cannabis. 

More interesting to me, however, was the high impact of what researchers refer to as “set and setting” — my mindset and physical environment — on how well I was able to achieve my creative productivity goals in conjunction with intentional cannabis use.

One key to successfully focusing and creating with cannabis is to avoid relying on discipline or mental toughness to make sure things get done. Instead, I make things easy for myself by having my writing and reference materials ready, giving myself specific tasks with a bit of structure and getting started immediately once I’ve finished ingesting. This preparation leaves me with the ideal setting to get things done, and the process of getting my setting in order puts me in the right mindset for a productive work session.

Also, while Jointly’s Personal Insights indicate that dosage doesn’t play a huge role in my creative endeavors while consuming cannabis, I should point out that I’ve incorporated cannabis consumption into my creative process for about a decade and have become very comfortable dosing based on “feel” rather than a specific number of puffs or a milligram measurement of cannabinoids. Those readers who are newer to pairing cannabis with their creative work should watch their dosing carefully and note that consuming too much can easily turn even the best-prepared-for work session into a wasted afternoon. In fact, overconsumption can actually counteract the positive creative benefits that come with a lower dose. As always, start slow and take it easy.

Replace Other Substances

Though often treated very differently than cannabis in popular culture, alcohol is a drug like any other. And many people find that alcohol plays a helpful role in their lives by easing social situations and enhancing relaxation. I am not one of those people, and I’ve found that I experience bouts of anxiety and intensified depressive episodes when I am drinking consistently. 

I stopped drinking seven months before I started utilizing Jointly to track my cannabis goals and consumption, and cannabis has since totally replaced alcohol as my go-to substance for enjoying social experiences

Weed doesn’t have the best reputation as a social drug, but I found that making sure I got consistent exercise — ideally a cardio workout like running or swimming — had a significant, positive impact on my experience using cannabis in social situations later in the day. There’s an overarching trend throughout my experiment that is showcased really well here: I feel as if there is a connection between taking care of my body and consistently reaching my goals for cannabis consumption. 

As a quick side note: while this isn’t necessarily an example of replacing another substance with cannabis, one ongoing side effect from a long-term, prescription medication I take is appetite suppression. When I first began taking the medication, I took a break from cannabis to let my body adjust to the new substance. I struggled (and sometimes still do) to get three meals in every day, but reintroducing cannabis and its appetite-stimulating qualities appear to have helped me eat more often and more consistently in spite of this other medication.

Final takeaways

Going forward, I anticipate making a few changes to my daily habits in support of my goals when consuming cannabis, such as increasing my intake of companion foods and finding a regular routine for exercise. It seems to me that there is a connection between taking care of myself and my success with cannabis consumption and, using data gathered through my Jointly reports, I can begin to target specific aspects of my lifestyle that need to be addressed more urgently than others. 

I also might seek a method for supplementing the reports and data-driven analysis provided by Jointly with more qualitative, narrative notes on my experiences and the factors that I felt impacted them — similar to the notebooks I mention in my introduction, but inspired and aligned with the Jointly app. There could be useful information to be found by comparing my perception of what is impacting an experience versus what the Jointly data shows.

Get started on your cannabis wellness journey

Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabis, who you are with when you ingest, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.

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