How many cannabis consumers are vegetarians, or vegans? How many have transitioned to a meat-free lifestyle as a result of being cannabis consumers? We have no official statistics or scientific studies to offer. However, we have observed the community around us, and there seems to be some correlation between cannabis and vegetarianism. In this article, we attempt to explain the nature of this correlation.
2016: The return of the Vegetarian, Cannabis-Fuelled Hippie
From the biased images that have filled one’s young, suggestible mind to the real life experiences one may or may not have accumulated since then, the public image cast by the cannabis community can, at times, fulfil all the hippie dreams of this world.
According to said hippie dreams, cannabis enthusiasts are fairly relaxed. They wear hemp bracelets. They wear hemp everything. They sport long beards and long hair, or short hair, or shave, and rub shoulders with no animosity whatsoever. They like bonfires and alternative art. They are vegetarian, or vegan.
… Granted, the typical cannabis-themed event can look like a modern Woodstock. Is this so surprising? Cannabis is a plant. And upon researching cannabis, one gets to realize it is quite an impressive plant. Worship ensues. Cannabis festivals happen. Nature wins. Hippies thrive.
But what could 2016 possibly have to do with 1969? If anything, current events seem to stray further and further from the hippie era. Except it all depends on what one’s point of reference is. Surely, we haven’t reached a cultural level in which hippie music, behaviour and beliefs are especially welcome. Yet, could we be any closer to it?
By the mid-60s, young people, especially in the USA, had reached a dangerously high level of frustration. Between wars, ultra-conservatism, hate crimes, and the conflict between so-called “races”, they chose to rebel by denying what they had been taught, and replaced this knowledge with new philosophies, lifestyles, and morals.
Does this ring any bells? Between the worrying political games currently being played all over the world, the rise of internet-powered social justice, and the hecatomb of cultural icons 2016 is becoming infamous for, it looks like the world is ready for a renewal of the hippie school of thought.
Do you remember anyone caring so very much about hemp seeds, kale, goji berries and other superfoods, say, 5 years ago? Maybe these “food trends” have to do with a deeper movement slowly anchoring itself into our cultures: the return of the Vegetarian Cannabis-Fuelled Hippie as a modern role model.
Cannabis can help get rid of mental obstacles
Why is it that cannabis consumers tend to naturally form somewhat of a loving “hippie” community?
A large part of the population associates cannabis use with a large bundle of clichés that are, it turns out, more fitting to so-called “hard drugs”. Addiction, resulting fits of withdrawal, lack of responsible behaviours, financial issues, you name it.
In actuality, adopting a healthy, rewarding lifestyle while being a cannabis consumer can be achieved surprisingly easily. Life can become even easier if the country you reside in can provide a minimum of safety in regards to your cannabis consumption. For instance, you could be authorised to grow your own cannabis. Consumption and possession could be decriminalised. You could be a registered cannabis patient. Or simply, cannabis could be fully legal on a national level.
Furthermore, cannabis has been proven to be of tremendous help in fighting mental illnesses such as social anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. From there, one could claim that every recreational cannabis consumer self-medicates for one or several mental illnesses, however severe they may be. After all, many cannabis strains are known for their “relaxing” effects. Quite a catch-all term if you think about it!
As a regular cannabis consumer, once you have reached plenitude, and have access to cannabis according to your needs, rather than according to its availability, there is a good chance your life will change as a result.
Humans are on a constant quest for peace of mind. Mental illness is one major obstacle to reaching it. If cannabis helps you increase your levels of happiness, fulfilment, and motivation, soon your brain will be looking for a “next step”. It could be finding a new professional occupation, starting to care more for your physical health, and/or starting to care for others, animals, society, the environment …
Arguably, vegetarianism or veganism could constitute a solution for whichever “next step” project you have in mind. It could also turn out to be among the most realistic, most likely achievable options available to you – especially vegetarianism, which is becoming increasingly accessible.
Munchies: an impossible long-term relationship
Even as a knowledgeable, regular cannabis consumer, you may still find yourself in a fit of the munchies, depending on what type of strain you consume, or depending on your personal tendencies, and tolerance.
“The Munchies” can express themselves in many devastating ways, from ruining your no-carb diet to eating the entire contents of your pantry and possibly others’ pantries. When you consume cannabis on a daily basis, but are not afflicted with a condition involving a lack of appetite (such as an eating disorder), there is a threshold beyond which you stop responding to the “munchies” signals. Let’s call it the natural way your body prevents itself from becoming a small country.
Yet, the appetite factor of this equation never really goes away. That is, after all, a chemical process triggered by cannabinoids, one that can’t be fended off simply by being denied.
In the process of remediating to the situation, you may go on a cooking spree involving principles such as eating as much, but less unhealthily, reducing carbohydrates, reducing foods high in fats, going easy on processed items, laying off sugar, etc.
And what generally stands in your way right at the corner of cucumber water and bacon-wrapped mac and cheese pizza-pies? Vegetables! Grains! Roots! Foreign dishes! Anything not entirely covered with mayonnaise or ranch dressing!
Diversify your munchies, cannabis seems to be telling you. Or else … !
Cannabis botany and the fear of the unknown
Many countries depend on highly restrictive cannabis-related policies. This generally means cannabis consumers resort to using the black market to procure themselves the medication or entertainment they need. For the same reasons, many choose to cultivate cannabis at home, or in the grow space of their choice.
If you have grown a single cannabis plant, and have cared for it beyond planting the seed it originated from, you know what goes into said plant is of significant importance. If you were to look up what sort of fertilizer is fitting to growing cannabis, as a novice, you would be quick to discard most of them. Store-bought chemicals, some of them smelling like dead fish? Human urine? Tobacco-based mixtures? If you aren’t exactly the most accomplished gardener, these can sound a bit scary.
Long story short, taking on cannabis cultivation can be quite the wakeup call. Once you have come to the realization everything you put into your plants will end up being inhaled by whoever consumes your harvest, you may start applying this principle to everything that goes through you. In no way are we suggesting that one is clueless of the organic food market or the process that leads animals to becoming supermarket meat until one finally grows a cannabis plant. But one might become more aware, and more impacted by it once they are part of the production chain themselves.
Cannabis opens your mind to others
Certain studies have underlined very specific parts of the brain that are altered by a long term use of cannabis. Scientific studies on one hand, seem to report somewhat of an “autistic-like” behaviour observed in long term consumers of cannabis, at least in regards to empathy. In other words, these subjects encountered more difficulties than their non-consumer counterparts identifying others’ emotions without being explicitly told about the nature of said emotions.
Anecdotally based theories however, seem to confirm the exact opposite. It would seem the shift takes place in different instalments. What if a cannabis consumer could not identify your very obvious emotional state immediately simply because their brain is processing the information as part of a big picture, allowing them to further understand the boundaries, details and subtleties of your state of mind?
To make a long story short, despite the scientific evidence available, the reality of things seems to point towards an overly-emotional, ultra-empathic, altruistic trope of the cannabis consumer, rather than the other way around. Let us not forget about the holy “puff puff pass”, an actual pillar via which the cannabis community connects with each other.
Are you a cannabis consumer? What is your preferred diet? Did you notice plethora of vegetarian cannabis enthusiasts as we did? Do you think this is all in our collective, intoxicated head? Let us know in the comment section below.