I can't remember the last time I didn't smoke pot before climbing into bed. People are often shocked by this fact, though. I eat a plant-based diet, I exercise often, I'm up at 5 a.m. every single morning, and I'm a yoga teacher. After years of being unhealthy and overweight, I'm proud of the healthy lifestyle I've built up for myself. But most people can't believe that marijuana fits into the scope of wellness, and I often find myself explaining why I cozy up to weed daily, yet don't drink alcohol.
I used to have a glass of wine with dinner almost every night, and there were many weekends when I would go out to bars with my friends and enjoy a couple of cocktails. But I soon realized that alcohol had awful effects on my body, and that's primarily because alcohol has been shown to cause inflammation in certain individuals.
A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that the primary source of inflammation in the body is lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is derived from certain gut microflora. Research also found that alcohol "can significantly increase the translocation of LPS from the gut," and while the liver is meant to detoxify LPS from the body, it can only do so much. The more alcohol you drink, the more gut issues you are likely to experience.
I experienced horrible digestive issues when I was drinking regularly (even though I wasn't having more than two glasses of wine a night). My belly was bloated, I was constipated, and I always felt full and uncomfortable. Additionally, I found that my skin would turn red every time I drank, and I would always feel sluggish the next morning. Given all the symptoms I was experiencing, it was likely that I was allergic to alcohol. It was impossible to get myself to the gym before work or pack my lunch when I felt this way, and I wasn't at the level of health that I wanted to be. Furthermore, alcohol is just a bunch of empty calories. I just couldn't lose weight when I was drinking, because it was an additional 200 or even 300 calories each night.
When I decided to take a break from drinking, I saw an immense difference in just about everything. I felt clear-headed, I didn't have any digestive issues, and I was even in a better mood day to day. It was also much easier for me to lose weight. It got to the point where I just couldn't justify drinking anymore. Everything in my life was so much better without booze. Sure, I'll have a glass of wine on special occasions, but I never even want it any other times.
At the same time, I started to smoke more weed to help with my anxiety and chronic back pain (I have scoliosis). I never felt hungover or bloated the next day, and most importantly, marijuana made it easier for me to relax, unwind, and even meditate before I went to sleep. I was also much less likely to get into a fight with my partner — who has the energy to fight about the small stuff when you're stoned?
Weed is truly a part of my wellness routine. It's my favorite form of self-care, and it gives me so much more than alcohol ever could. In fact, I would go so far as to say that there are no negatives to smoking pot regularly. Whether I'm using a vaporizer, making my own edibles, or smoking a joint, I find that weed has a positive effect on my life, and I don't plan on giving that up anytime soon.
Image Source: Unsplash / Dani Ramos