Consume Consciously with Shelby

 We asked one of our favorite editors & vintage fashion baddies Shelby Ying Hyde all about how she balances her relationship with weed to be a careerial gworl and part-time stoner.

Photo: Shelby Ying Hyde 

The story of my relationship with weed starts in a way that most would consider cliche – on the floor of my bathroom in my childhood home with an ice bong bigger than I was, as a sophomore in high-school, and a no-good ex-boyfriend.

In my college years, I preferred the plant to alcohol; it even helped me through the death of my grandmother. What initially started as a lame attempt to impress a boy, would eventually evolve into a very intentional practice that’s done wonders for both my physical and mental health. However, it wasn’t without a lot of trial and error.  

Find Your Why?

Upon entering the real world and navigating my first corporate job in a new city, no less, I needed to decide what role weed was going to play in my adult life. That first meant finding the reason behind the habit. But I wouldn’t find the answer until I asked myself why I was smoking to begin with.

When someone talks to me about their complicated relationship with cannabis, I always insist that they start by questioning the driving force behind their consumption. And that, only after they uncover the answer will they be able to determine how they should proceed. For some, getting high is a series of highs and lows in their moods, while others find the feeling makes them anxious and paranoid, in both cases it may be time to take a break. As for me, I realized that smoking socially in my late teens early twenties, turned into a thinly-veiled attempt to fill an emotional void as I got older – which wasn’t going to work.  

Set Intentions 

After being diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder a few years later, my therapist recommended using the herb in a medicinal way that didn’t include numbing my feelings. It wasn’t something that I had considered for myself; I ignorantly thought of THC being reserved for physical pain relief. But it got me thinking about all the other ways that I could use weed that were aligned with a healthier lifestyle. During the early days of lockdown, I found that smoking a bowl (or two) before a workout helped me get out of my head, push myself and focus solely on my movement. And while getting high for the gym can be an acquired taste, you may consider rolling up ahead of your next meditation session much more enjoyable.

Weed Strains Matter

A crucial part of intent is also being more cognizant of the types of strains that one consumes and for what purpose. My baseline knowledge was that sativa would give me a “head high”, while indica would be more of a “body high”. Though, Jhene Aiko’s song ‘Sativa’, in which she sings the lyrics – “you came through with that sativa. Indica be havin’ me stuck” – is always a good reminder as to which was which, for whenever I forgot.

This was when I started to notice that your average smokers aren’t particularly familiar with strains. Oftentimes, they’re smoking whatever’s available, which can contribute to how they feel about weed in general. If you’ve been unknowingly smoking indica (or an indica-leaning hybrid), chances are you conflate smoking with feeling unproductive or sleepy. Whereas, if you’re experiencing a strain that errs on the sativa side you may feel energized, or wound up when you were hoping for something more relaxing.  

When In Doubt, Take A Break

Regardless of your current status with weed, taking some time off is always a good idea. Whether you smoke everyday or only on occasion, there’s no shame in a tolerance break of any kind. One of the key aspects of maintaining a healthy relationship is to listen to your body. By rule of thumb, if it doesn’t feel good, simply don’t do it.

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