Low-tolerance means a smaller weed budget
Whenever I am asked to report the amount of cannabis I consume on average, I estimate my usage to be about a third of a gram a day, every day. And I thought that that was a conservative number. It turns out, I smoke a lot less than a third of a gram a day. It’s actually closer to about a seventh of a gram a day. How did I measure that? I bought a gram of weed, ground it up, and then only smoked from that container until the gram was gone. It took me at least a week to finish 1-gram by myself.
On average, I spend about $10 on 3.5-grams (i.e., an eighth of an ounce) of cannabis flower. Although it’s not the highest quality of weed, it gets the job done for my broke ass. If I smoke 1-gram per week, there are 52-weeks in a year, that means I smoke about 52-grams a year. Which means I have to buy one (1), 3.5-gram bag of cannabis about 15-times a year (52 / 3.5 = 14.86). 15-purchases multiplied by $10 equals $150 a year. Divide that by 12-months, and I spend about $12.50 a month on cannabis. That’s cheaper than some people’s Netflix bill.
It’s easier to try new strains
Unless I come across an unbelievable deal (like $45-ounces), I usually don’t buy my weed in bulk. Even then, the first thing I do is make sure to stash the cannabis in an airtight container as soon as I get home. That’s because I can’t smoke an ounce before it gets nasty and dried out. It often loses potency before I get to the final bud.
Which is why I usually only buy three (3) to four (4) 3.5-gram bags every few months. Or, if I’m really broke, I buy whatever $20 gets me until I get my hands on another $20. Although that method restricts my menu, the menu options available to me are constantly changing. That’s because I’m usually buying from the sales section. The sales strains are often on their way out, are no longer in production, or are not currently in season. It’s often old inventory as well. As a result, I rarely buy the same strain twice.
There’s less stigma in the doctor’s office
Living with chronic pain requires a lot of interactions with medical professionals. To be sure that my providers and I are making the most educated choices for my care, I have chosen to disclose my cannabis use. Even if my tolerance — and therefore my rate of consumption — were significantly higher, I would still report my usage to my medical providers. However, that does not remove the fact that I am at times ashamed of my consumption.
I am not immune to the stigma that is still associated with cannabis. So despite my best efforts, I still struggle with feeling ashamed of my use of cannabis for pain management. Part of my shame stems from the fact that I also consume cannabis recreationally. I’ve written about it before, but it all boils down to one thing: I’m afraid that I’m not supposed to enjoy pain management. Which seems silly, right? Shouldn’t I enjoy the fact that I’m no longer in pain? Also, why I am ashamed of enjoying pain management when I use other medications to enjoy life (e.g., antidepressants)? I’m still working on that answer, but all theories seem to point towards the cannabis stigma.
Thankfully, my providers all seem to be rather neutral on the subject. Some are more supportive than others; most seem undereducated on the benefits of cannabis (THC and/or CBD). That isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing. It also means that I am held responsible for educating my providers when I need to make a case for why cannabis is beneficial for me. However, being able to erase worry by stating a factually low consumption rate usually cuts the conversation short. Even if my provider(s) don’t know what 1-gram of weed looks like, they seem to understand that it is an inconsequential amount.