The origin of consuming cannabis can be traced back as far as 2,500 years in what is now known to be present-day China. From what researchers and archaeologists have been able to decipher, these ancient peoples smoked cannabis flowers to aid themselves while performing rituals.
While time has certainly passed since the days of ancient rituals, cannabis has stuck around and cemented itself into the cultures of societies all around the planet. Look no further than California; if you ask anyone in the world what they know about California, the state’s history and industry around marijuana are sure to come into the conversation.
A recent study has shown that 90% of adult cannabis users cite the plant’s health and wellness benefits, but why else do people choose to indulge in consuming cannabis? The answers are widely varying, and one reason is no better than the other.
Soothing and Relaxing Effects
One reason people may choose to smoke, eat, or drink cannabis is for the plant’s notorious soothing and relaxing effects on the body. Take, for example, professional athletes. These are individuals who are pushing their bodies to the absolute limit on a daily basis when they are in season. Their options for treatment have historically been the old reliable bottle of Advil, a bag of ice, or before the 2010s, prescription painkillers. Having now been in the midst of an opioid epidemic for over a decade, we all know the troubles and dangers that these pills pose to not only individuals but societies at-large. Athletes recognize these dangers too, more often than not turning to the benefits of marijuana for pain management and muscle recovery. Former NBA and NFL players estimate that 85% of athletes consume cannabis in this capacity. Notable athletes who advocate for this use include former NFL Running Back Ricky Williams, UFC Fighter Nick Diaz, and Olympic Track Athlete Sha’Carri Richardson.
Another popular reason people may choose to consume is for the social aspect surrounding the plant and its use. The process of getting together with a group of friends, packing up a bowl or rolling a joint or blunt, and sharing it among laughs and sharing stories has become a sort of ritual in its own right. Sitting down and smoking is a way for people to get out of the house and come together in a social setting. For a long time, even in legal states, there were no institutions to recognize this ritual, limiting people to backyards and slightly cracked garages. As laws continue to adapt and change the concept of marijuana ‘bars’ are no longer just the stuff of dreams, we are seeing social consumption lounges sprout across the country, creating equal opportunity for those who choose to smoke rather than drink.
Great Way to End the Day
One last, but certainly not least, reason people choose to smoke is that it just flat-out feels good! It can make the blandest dish feel like a Michelin-star chef prepared it with love and care. It can make dry, uneventful nature documentaries transport you into another country. It can make the worst movies ever written and give you the same level of enjoyment as a Tarantino shoot-em-up period piece. Smoking weed and ‘getting high,’ for lack of a better term, can enhance the most mundane of activities into something enjoyable for people. That is just as valid as any other reason to smoke.
Humans consume cannabis for various reasons, including but not limited to the health benefits, physical recovery and relaxation, social consumption, and just because it can make the mundane extraordinary. For whatever your reason may be, spark up and enjoy!
Smoking and eating is using cannabis, so maybe also drink now that infused drinks are becoming popular.
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As a fourth year journalism student at the University of Southern California, Jacob is passionate about providing the most up-to-date stories. Jacob follows Illinois news, cannabis advertising, cannabis in sports and first-time cannabis consumers. With experience in product manufacturing and customer relations, Jacob adds immense value to the team. Currently, Jacob resides in Chicago and has experience working with the Chicago White Sox.