Expanding legalization means cannabis has gone mainstream, empowering more people to open up about taking it. Old stoner stigmas calling out laziness, brain cell loss and heavy snack consumption get chipped away every time someone tells their story.

Now it’s my turn.

Cannabis didn’t make sense for me until I was in my late 30s. I’d smoked it a few times when I was in my twenties and the experiences, though vastly different, were peppered with feelings of anxiety and confusion over the overall effects. I didn’t like being high and just figured it wasn’t for me.

In 2010 I met a guy who not only enjoyed cannabis but also knew how to grow it. He was nurturing a few plants at the time and looped me into his experiences with cultivation and different strains. Before this I’d only seen cannabis as weed, a means of getting high – hearing what it took to grow the plant helped me see that it was much more complex.

As this fellow and I continued hanging out, cannabis became a part of our relationship in a very organic way. Instead of wine, we would occasionally enjoy a joint together, and I noticed for the first time that being in a relaxed environment with someone I trusted enhanced my experience – no paranoia or confusion, just a good time. I did a lot of research and with my medical card I started trying other ingestion methods like edibles and vapes.

Here’s what I discovered:

1. Cannabis helps me sleep.

The Princess and the Pea thinks I’m high maintenance – anything will wake me up. Smoking an indica strain before bedtime takes the edge off of any stress while helping me feel relaxed. Thanks to cannabis, I go to sleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

2. Cannabis eases my period pain.

I smoke or take CBD tincture to address immediate menstrual pain, and eat an edible for continuous relief while I’m sleeping. For me cannabis is effective and flexible, and it’s been the only reliable solution for the period pain I’ve endured most of my life.

3. Cannabis calms me down.

There are moments when I’m so used to being busy that I barely notice the signs of an impending meltdown. In those instances, a smoke or tincture helps ease my stress so that I’m able to better compartmentalize and regain my focus.

Cannabis is integral to my life, a source of wellness and self care that I’m also exploring as a tool for enhancing my creativity.

I went from seeing cannabis as a means of tuning out, to considering it a resource for everything from meditation to pain relief. Plus, I like getting high because it’s fun. Eight years later, I run my own business writing for the cannabis industry.

And that dude? Yep, I married him.

Featured Photo Credit: Sheila Menezes

Kaisha is a content writer specializing in the cannabis industry. Judging by her social media, she’s super into cats and Jeff Goldblum.