After being away for a couple weeks surfing in Mexico, I wanted my return post to be about skepticism south of the border, or the science of tides and waves, or something really cool like that.
Barring any insightful thoughts on those subjects, I thought at the very least I’d post about something unique, like perhaps an expose of the training regimen of the world’s greatest blind skee-ball player.
Or something puzzling, like why it is we consider a person who can play the guitar and harmonica at the same time, like Neil Young or Bob Dylan, a musical genius, but strap some cymbals to his knees and suddenly he’s an idiot.
Unfortunately, my brain is too fried from the sun, salt water, tequila, and other party paraphernalia to form any coherent ideas about those things, so I’m just going to post about smoking weed.
See the heady goodness after the fold.
First of all, raise your hand if you’ve ever tried marijuana. . . . . . . . Okay, that’s quite a few of you.
For those who may have never tried it before, I’ll offer the very brief Song of the Spliff to give you a condensed account of what it’s like :
Funny listen laughing faces munchies on the double
Stringy bouncing plopping records hear the hookah bubble
Breathing deeply holding tight mental rearranging
Falling from the chair tomorrow metabolism changing
China eyes the dolly light in the folly smile
Rolling rolling in the slip rocking for a while
Cutie monster in the head nagging harsh and silly
Thoughts exploding deviating formless willy-nilly
Giggle puppies marvel juices friendly contours yapping
Belly wonders on the tongue ultimately napping
Stretch that out for about three hours, and that’s what a pot buzz is like.
Anyway, yesterday I had a conversation with a friend who, during a recent visit to California, decided to scout the legal, medical pot shops. She told me many of them offer a variety of different, colorfully named buds for those with the proper prescription to choose from, each of which supposedly has a specified effect on the user.
Keep in mind, they don’t differentiate between the overall strengths of the different plants in their stock, but claim, or at least imply by the names and descriptions, that a specific effect of the drug is more prevalent, depending on the plant.
For example, one shop offers a selection called Pungent Paranoia, which is billed as a stinky weed that makes the smoker a little jittery and on edge.
Well, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want that kind of buzz, but then I began to wonder if everyone who uses it really experiences the claimed effect. And if so, how does the shop owner know? Did he or she test it? Who made up the test group? How big was the test group? What controls were in place? And if everyone does feel the specified effect after buying it from the shop, does the power of suggestion play a part?
Yes, I became skeptical about pot.
Now anyone who has ever put joint to lips knows the initial feeling of being off-kilter when the drug starts to take effect. Everything seems a little bit warped, and one might even wonder if he or she is properly performing even the most basic tasks, like talking or walking in the right direction. For some it may actually be enjoyable, but for most it’s just a matter of having a beer or waiting about 10 or 15 minutes to balance out and settle into a good, mellow high.
But is this the most prevalent effect of the weed called Pungent Paranoia, or simply an effect common to all marijuana?
Likewise, anyone who has ever sampled a bit of the sticky green has found themselves capable of eating an entire Volks Wagen, and would probably actually try it if it were smothered in nacho cheese. For some the term “munchies” is perfectly apt, but others often engage in a full-blown “feeding frenzy” when high. Heck, I’ve seen people lose appendages reaching for the last slice of pizza.
But again, is the appetite boost a ubiquitous effect of the weed called Extreme Munchies, or is it simply a feature of all weed that affects users to varying degrees?
Don’t get me wrong. I know a little bit about how marketing works, and I wouldn’t expect anymore “straight dope” from the pot shops than I get from any other retailer or merchant. I just never thought I’d be looking at marijuana in such a context. I never thought the effects of pot would be the subject of skepticism and critical thinking when it’s usually just silliness and giggly thinking.
At any rate, if certain effects of marijuana are, or can be, stronger depending on the plant, does anyone have any insight into why? If it’s all not just simply a marketing ploy by the legal pot shops, what is the science behind it?
By the way, I think in-depth research would probably be a lot of fun.