Anyone close to me these days or following my story knows that I quit weed about a year ago. Exactly a year actually as of June 9th. This post was promised that day but I’ve been a little preoccupied with life and work since then so it comes now. My full download of why I quit, what I’ve experienced and what it means to me going forward. It was really truly a part of my identity reinforced by the fact that I’m low key internationally known as a cannabis activist and fugitive. Quitting did not come lightly for me. Also no shade to anyone still consuming weed, I don’t think its inherently bad I just don’t think it fits in my life at this point, and that’s ok.
Be aware this will be a long post, in depth to describe my journey and where I have gone with this for those perhaps also going down a similar road.
The why is complicated. I’d intentionally quit one time before this, for 6 weeks to see what it was like. I was starting to become aware that I was emotionally dependent on it and was tired of having to build a lot of my life schedule and finances around it. I’m very much a “I don’t like to depend on anything” type of woman.
Beyond that as many know from following my carnivore adventures I’ve long struggled with digestive issues. That was actually part of what drew me to weed in the first place but when my best friend Cat brought some evidence to suggest that weed negatively impacts the pancreas. I’d nailed a lot of my digestion issues down to lack of digestive enzymes as I started supplementing with them and experiencing some relief. I had a lot of anxiety with the fact that my pancreas had seemingly just given up on producing the enzymes I needed to digest food and was looking for ways to support my system to encourage the production of these once again.
So I decided to do 6 months of no weed, telling myself that if I didn’t want to keep with it that I didn’t have to.
The Last Dab: Anyone who knew me in my cannabis days knows I preferred dabs, or butane extracted hash oil vaporized into a bong with the help of heated quartz. I liked the everything about it including the ritual of smoking, the taste, the sound of the oil sizzling in the hot quartz pan, the rush of the body high. I decided to just smoke what I had left and on June 9th, 2022 I was down to my last dab. I smoked it, felt the familiar feeling rush over my body and then felt a deep sadness. “I’m going to miss this” I thought, and I burst into tears surprising myself with my emotional outburst.
2 weeks of force feeding: The hardest part of quitting for me was about food. I literally had to force feed myself for 2 weeks because I had zero hunger signals, zero appetite and everything tasted boring. I knew this was coming but I was somewhat frustrated on how much I had depended on weed to eat. It was a cycle for me, to smoke a few dabs before going into the kitchen to prepare and eventually eat my food. After the two weeks however, that all basically went back to normal and I was able to eat and enjoy food without issue.
Feeling “Done”: Sometime after this initial two weeks I felt a shift deep within me. I was wrong, I actually don’t miss it. Quite the opposite. Suddenly I was basking in feeling sober, it was like a new high to me which makes sense considering I’d spent the better part of the last 12 years completely numbed down. I decided that I was going to continue the experiment probably for a lot longer than just 6 months. I had more money, thanks to not smoking. I had way more time and was honestly floored at how much of my day was previously spent preparing dabs, smoking them and being high in general. I had previously told myself that I needed it for productivity, but what I was feeling was the opposite.
Circus for Anxiety: It occurred to me sometime in the weeks to follow, as I was training for my first ever aerial silks performance last summer that part of the reason why it was so easy for me to feel done now was I’d found a new, much healthier means for anxiety control. Other than looking like a badass flying through the air, my experiments with circus arts helped to exhaust my entire body in a fun way which led to a drastic reduction in anxiety. I finally started to understand gym rats and their obsession with working out regularly, it quiets an otherwise loud mind in a way that also improves the body.
The Anarchists and My Worldwide Trauma Dump: On the same day as my first circus performance was also the release of episode 1 of the show known as The Anarchists, in which I trauma dumped my entire life on international television thanks to HBO Max and their streaming platform. As I watched the series, I couldn’t help but feel the irony that I’d wrapped my entire public identity around a substance I don’t even consume anymore. Beyond that, it’s more than a little frustrating to be a fugitive because of cannabis now all considered. The nice thing was I was able to watch the show with a clear mind, fresh perspective and I wasn’t numbing all the feelings that came along with it.
No More Panic Attacks: At a certain point, not sure when specifically I started to realize that I felt calmer. No more panic attacks. Before I existed in a state of just barely avoiding boiling over with tension. A constant tightness in my chest that could swiftly turn to panic attack if too many things ended up on my to do list, or if something stressful happened in my relationship at the time which it often did, more on that later. That feeling had completely lifted and my base state was one of general calm and happiness, just flowing from one task to another. When life stresses did pop up, I was able to really look at them for what they are instead of focusing on the physical sensations they brought within my body and it was freeing.
Kicking paracetamol: For the last 2 years of my cannabis use I was taking the over the counter pain medication known here as paracetamol on a nearly daily basis for headaches I boiled down to stress. If you aren’t familiar with the substance its basically the Mexican version of Tylenol. I knew the entire time it wasn’t ideal and that regular use of NSAID’s of any kind can cause all sorts of issues including ironically headaches and digestive issues. Within a few months of quitting weed I more or less stopped needing the regular paracetamol and at this point take it maybe once every other month.
The Slow Process of Diet Expansion: Previously mentioned part of my inspiration was to help my digestive issues by quitting weed in an attempt to support my pancreas. Something that I’ve been realizing over the years is that I was able to digest basically everything without much issue before I started consuming cannabis pretty constantly save for milk, which I’ve always struggled with and supplemented enzymes for. Within a few months of quitting I’d added in foods like chocolate, avocado, rice, sweet potatoes, most fruits, coconut, peanuts and more without discomfort. Before quitting I was literally living off of chicken, corn tortillas and apples. Occasionally beef tacos with onions to mix it up and I was fucking tired of it.
No More Nausea: I used to get extremely nauseated despite eating an extremely restrictive diet about 3-5 times a week. We’re talking sitting in the bathroom trying not to throw up for an hour or so at a time type of nausea and I couldn’t figure out why. I was existing on digestive enzyme supplements and regular doses of activated charcoal. Sometime in the months after quitting I’d realized that I hadn’t felt nauseated in months. Now in this last year looking back I’ve been nauseated exactly 3 times and all three times had a clearly identifiable reason as to why.
Traveling without Weed: My first time traveling without weed was to Mexico City last fall for an art show I took part in. Packing for that trip I realized that suddenly I had way more space in my bag and less stress at the idea of traveling across part of the country with weed. No need to conceal the smell anymore. Turns out a bong, a full sized propane torch take up a lot of space in a backpack. Also having to plan adventures when traveling around taking fat dabs was more inconvenient than originally thought of.
Sober in Acapulco: For the first time ever, I went to Acapulco in the end of January without weed. Even the last time I had quit, which was in the end of 2019 to the beginning of 2020 I started smoking again literally on the way to Acapulco. I’d never experienced Acapulco sober beyond the few days post murder when I was traumatized and unable to see anything clearly. This year I experienced my former home with new eyes and it wasn’t just because I also finally have glasses and can actually see long distance. *laughs in Spanish*
Anarchapulco without Weed: I’ve been involved with Anarchapulco since 2016 and literally every year there was some heavy influence of cannabis. Sometimes selling pipes I made to conference goers, or edibles. Most of the time just heavily being under the influence the entire time. My days were structured around when I could go back to smoke or where I could find clever places to smoke. I didn’t realize how frustrating that process was until it wasn’t part of the process anymore. Beyond that it was an interesting experience having people who I’ve smoked with all the other years offering me cannabis products and me being able to say with no hesitation at all, “No thanks, I don’t partake anymore.” Freedom.
Microdosing: I am putting this here although I will likely write a whole separate post about it eventually but this was a huge part of my mind shift and transformation around food and life in general this year. I started macrodosing psilocybin about a week before Anarchapulco this year and to say my life has completely transformed since then would actually be an understatement. Nothing is the same. I am no longer able to tolerate situations which don’t serve me. This includes relationships, working situations, food issues and more. My mind is open and transformed in a way it never has been previously and I think that it simply wouldn’t have happened without my experiments with microdoses.
Rage Quitting My Relationship: Over the months especially since quitting weed and numbing myself on a daily basis I began to get to a point where I could no longer ignore the status of my failing romantic entanglement with Cabra. There were deep seated incompatibilities that I ignored for a few years. After quitting weed things really started to come to a head on a regular basis and I finally started to mentally move towards the end goal of ending the relationship. I depended on him for certain things like banking and a lease and allowed it to go on way longer than it should have to avoid the issues that would come from the breakup. This process was greatly accelerated thanks to the microdoses which simply aren’t allowing me to partake in things that don’t fit well into my life any further.
Growing and Maintaining Savings for the First Time: I’ve been trying to save for the last 4 years since I finally had control of my own finances and simply have not been able to do so. I’ve managed to do so for a few months then money would get slow due to the ebb and flow of my lifestyle and I’d spend my savings to live and start from nothing again. This happened repeatedly until this year. I have managed to not only maintain the savings I left Anarchapulco with but add to it each month by quite a bit while still enjoying life. The really big difference is I am no longer buying cannabis and butane each month to support my habit.
High on Love, High on Life: After the breakup I took time to get really clear on what I’d actually want out of a partnership. I made a list and decided I wasn’t settling for less. I won’t get into too much detail on who this person is as they really prefer to maintain their privacy in most things but I will say that it wasn’t long before the universe plopped this person into my life with some pretty sweet bonuses too. My ability to visualize and manifest what I want has completely transformed as well as my ability to attract situations that just fit better for me. I’m not sure any of this would have been possible had I not started the process of untangling my emotional dependency on weed which was keeping me in situations that weren’t per say bad, but they weren’t in alignment with who I am now and who I want to become. I can wholeheartedly say I am now living in alignment with who I am, what I want out of a partner and subsequently what I want out of life in general and it feels good.
BREAD: While on adventures with this newfound love mentioned just now, he encouraged me to try all sorts of foods I was terrified of because of the way I used to suffer them digestively. It started with accidentally eating beans actually and nothing happened. Then I got progressively more experimental until he suggested I get some lactose pills so we could really enjoy the food in a city we were headed to. While there we ended up at a cafe and he told me seriously “you should get a grilled cheese. I don’t doubt you used to suffer but I bet if you do you will now be fine.” This is something he’d said to me at least 5 times before this. So I trusted him, and I did it and I can eat bread, no problems now. Nothing happened, other than eating a delicious monte crisco sandwich that is.
Finally on June 9, 2023 I celebrated one year officially off of cannabis without any interest in going back to my former lifestyle. When I look at my life now compared to just a year ago I am honestly unable to recognize it. So much has changed for the better. My quality of life is greatly improved. I have more energy, I’m way more productive and filled with way less anxiety all with the added bonus of simply having more money.
For years I had excuses for why I consumed weed. It helps my stomach pain. It helps my anxiety. It makes me more productive. I just enjoy life more with it. I enjoy the taste of food more with it. Turns out none of that held true. My life now is more fulfilling than it literally has ever been. Its funny to think I enjoyed food more when I was so restricted and now I can eat basically anything I want. The only food I still stay away from is basically anything heavily processed, seed oils, and soy, none of which seem appealing anyway.
All of this originally started with the sneaking suspicion that maybe my chronic constant use of cannabis wasn’t having the positive effect I thought it was. Obviously these sorts of issues aren’t going to come for someone who smokes here and there or someone who consumes it socially. But after ten years of waking and baking, 8 of those with highly concentrated butane honey oil, something had to give. Turns out my Dad’s constant reminders throughout my life of “too much of anything isn’t good for you” was right, especially in this case. I know plenty of people who can moderate their cannabis use and keep it from negatively impacting their system long term, I am not one of those people so for me its better to just not consume it at all.
Even with that, I just don’t miss it. That chapter of my life is now closed.