Lead illustration by Heather Benjamin
Welcome back to Stoned Sex, the column where I’ll be exploring the intersection of sex and sativas, intercourse and indicas, often through first-hand experience and interviews with experts.
For this week’s edition, we'll explore the myriad ways cannabis can heal a broken heart and help process those watery, post-breakup emotions. Stoned Sex runs every other week, so make sure to stay tuned for the next dose.
Let’s talk about breaking up with cannabis.
God no, not actually breaking up with cannabis, I mean using it to deal with a breakup. You know, to remind you that life is still really beautiful and funny and sweet, even when your heart feels like it’s bleeding so hard remnants might spew out of your mouth.
Ending a relationship can be unpredictable. Sometimes you sashay out of there, joint in mouth, dating-app downloaded, and ready to glow the fuck up. Other times, a breakup requires more recovery time than a knife wound.
We all break hearts, and we all get our hearts broken. It’s part of life. Thankfully, weed exists and it will hold your hand through the grieving process and pull you out of bed when getting up feels like a death sentence. It puts you in a more fluid head- and heart-space that supports emotional processing, ultimately helping you come to accept a situation faster.
It’s the best crutch a broken heart can ask for. So, if this past Valentine’s Day got you down, keep reading for tips on how cannabis can be a gateway to mental and emotional relief — and how to cut the cord with bastards who never deserved you in the first place.
Cannabis Can Create Peace During “The Talk”
Some of us (*hides face*) are guilty of ending long-term relationships through an email, text, or phone call. Apparently, some grown-ups — not just people in their 30's — like, emotionally mature adults, sit down and have a conversation about breaking up in person. Cannabis matchmaker and love coach Molly Peckler says that weed can help facilitate these talks and bring closure to all parties.
“Put your phones down,” she said. “Be in the moment. Share some cannabis like a peace pipe, speaking your truth while trying to be empathetic and open as possible, and allow both parties to get everything out on the table so they don’t feel like they’re holding anything in."
While that sounds highly advanced, it also sounds hella healthy — which is something we all should strive for. If cannabis can help us achieve that type of peace, why wouldn’t we use it? Research shows that marijuana can reduce negative bias in our thinking, basically helping us see that the glass is half full. This can help with the seemingly impossible task of understanding that you can like someone, respect them, and even love them — while recognizing that they are not right for you as a romantic partner.
So, instead of ghosting your ex, only for your mom to wonder if they died while the next person you date hears their name on repeat — which, make no mistake about it, is a sign of unprocessed grief — light up and have a conversation with the person you are ending a relationship with. It helps them, it helps you, and it helps your mom and your future partners.
Cannabis Is Essential Post-Breakup
Everyone is granted one week of couch lock after a breakup. Get your work done, have friends over, but also give into the edibles and Cheetos — or whatever food you’re into. Give yourself all the things that make you feel good (minus the hard drugs that make you feel like shit, duh). Buy your favorite weed treats, order in, watch your favorite shows — pamper yourself a bit. Just know that your pain will get better with time.
But if you bury your feelings, they’ll resurrect from the dead at inopportune times, like when you’re in the throes of sex with someone new and you say your ex’s name. Or, having to excuse yourself from your office so you can ugly cry in a bathroom stall. So, it’s important to process your feelings.
I can’t emphasize this enough: During the first few weeks post-breakup, practice a ton of self-care. Take baths with cannabis bath bombs, moisturize with a weed topical. While it won’t cure your heartache, it will fight inflammation and kill any physical pain. Plus, you’ll want all the comfort you can get. I wrote an entire book on this, called Finding Your Higher Self: Your Guide to Cannabis for Self-Care, if you need more post-breakup self-care ideas.
Maybe the most important breakup tip is to be nice to yourself — don’t numb yourself out. In other words, don’t smoke until your incapacitated. Rather, use cannabis to feel your feelings. Seriously, process them so your next partner doesn’t have to hear you mumble your ex’s name in your sleep.
“Rather than smoking yourself into oblivion or taking 150mg edibles, focus on the intention before consuming cannabis. I found it’s beneficial in reflection,” said Peckler, who suggests using cannabis and then journaling about your breakup. She recommends writing down a list of all the positive traits and experiences from your old relationship, and then doing the same with the negatives. The next time you’re hit with a wave of nostalgia and tempted to reach out to your ex, go over the list to remind yourself that your time is valuable and the only direction is forward.
Cannabis Can Help You Get Back in the Groove
Sam, whose last name has been withheld for anonymity, went through a brutal breakup after a three-year relationship just six months after buying a house for the two of them. He says that, at first, he was drowning his sorrows in alcohol. When he stopped the binge drinking and started puffing on reefer, it helped him process his emotions and get out of his head, ultimately helping him get back into reality.
“Cannabis helped me to relax and look at the relationship without being hyper emotional about it,” he said. “It calmed me down and helped to not just hit the bottle. It helped me see that there were other things around and rekindle relationships. I joined a kickball league and did things that I might not otherwise.” While the breakup was still rough, he’s in a happy place and is dating someone new who enjoys sharing cannabis with him.
Sure, cannabis lowers inhibitions, but it’s not going to make you blackout like other substances. It can help manage the pain without numbing you out. Lowered inhibitions combined with euphoria and relaxation make it easier to start engaging on dating apps and even agreeing to go on a first date.
Those lowered inhibitions can also help you open up on said first date — and every date after that. If you’re ready to see new people but not start anything serious, talking while sharing cannabis can help you be honest about where you’re at. But our time on Earth is precious, and with all due respect to your ex, you spent enough time on them. So, live your life, love yourself, and just focus on being happy.
Here’s a Perfect Breakup Spell
Want to learn a weed-witch ritual to help you get over your last lover? Hex yeah!
Cord-cutting spells help us sever ties with people or energy that we no longer wish to be connected to. Don’t worry, this spell doesn’t mean that your ex will never email to apologize for being such a jealous controlling asshole (but, they probably weren’t going to do that anyway). It’s like getting your hair trimmed: You need to cut away the split ends to usher in healthy growth.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
A pen, paper, rope (ideally hemp, but any will do), scissors, an item that reminds you of your ex, and sage.
This Is What You Do:
- Get high because this might hurt a little bit.
- Write a letter to your ex. Tell them why you must let this pain go. Detail the pain and hurt. Get it all out of you and onto the piece of paper.
- Place the letter beside you. Then, about three feet in front of you, place the item that reminds you of your ex.
- Cut a length of rope long enough to reach from your heart to the ex item (about three feet).
- Place one end on the ex item and the other at your heart. Sit for as long as you want and feel all the pain.
- When you’re ready, take your scissors and snip the rope right in two! As you do, imagine giant cosmic scissors cutting away the cord that connects you to the pain of the breakup and relationship. You are free.
- Rip your letter into tiny pieces. Throw out the paper, the cut cord, and your ex’s item (yes, throw it out!).
- Take out the trash. Bye-bye!
- Sage yourself, your home, put on some nice music, and do a little dance. Smoke more weed.
Breakups are hard, and cannabis can help you mourn, but at the end of the day, you have to make the most of the precious time we have on this planet. Don’t let processing turn into nostalgia or wallowing that holds you back and affects future relationships.
“It’s also about understanding that your time is very valuable,” Peckler said. “The faster that you can process a breakup and start to reflect on what you learned and clarify what you need, the less time you’re going to waste, and you’re going to create this space in your life to invite someone in who is a better fit for you.”
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