Autism + Weed – Tips for Creating a Positive Experience

I have been consuming cannabis in various forms (and levels of legality) since 2013, but I only started doing my research and approaching the topic scientifically for the last year, year and a half. I’ve had some fantastic experiences with cannabis (most as a result of writing for this blog), but I’ve also had some truly terrible cannabis experiences (one time I took too much of an edible and was high for three days). Over the last few months of scientifically reviewing cannabis strains, I have discovered some things that help me curate the best cannabis experience possible as an autistic/ADHD person. Here are my tips and tricks for having a fantastic high:

Choose Your Strain & Consumption Method

If you are just starting out with cannabis, you’ll find out quickly that there are some methods of consumption that just don’t work for you. Personally – I’m not a fan of dabs or smoking. Dry vapes get expensive, but that is my favorite way to get high. For first-timers I’d recommend a lower dose edible (5mg max) or a water pipe of some kind (put warm lemon water in the bong – you’re welcome). Carts can also be gentle enough if you keep your battery at the lowest setting. I’d also recommend taking only 1-2 inhales if you are using a cart for the first time. I used to be able to get legitimately very high off of 2-3 inhales of a cart. Even now I don’t have to do much more than that.

The strain will depend on what’s in the dispensary when you go. Think about what you want the weed for and ask the budtender what they recommend. See my guide for navigating dispensaries if you need some help talking to budtenders. I normally say things like “I need something that will help me get stuff done” or “I don’t like couch lock very much so I want something a little more on the energetic side” or even “I want something to help me sleep.”

Set Your Intentions

As we have learned with previous reviews, setting your intentions with weed is just as important as it is in witchcraft. Weed can really dial you in to one specific thing, so if you want to focus on something, decide what that is first. I usually go over my to-do list for the day in my head as I’m grinding up the weed and loading the vape. I also will play the tasks I want to do on repeat in my head while I vape. Once those first 15 minutes are up I can then jump into action. For example, as I write this I am testing Sugar Cookies, a strain with mixed reviews. Some say it’s sleepy, some say it made them creative. I decided when I started vaping that today was a writing day. And here I am, writing with more focus than I am usually able to muster.

Stay Hydrated & Fed

Grab some snacks and fill up a big glass or water bottle, then put these in the location you plan on settling in. I keep a big 24 oz. mason jar full of water near me at all times, especially when I’m high. Interoception is hard for autistic people like myself, so be proactive. Dry mouth is a common side effect of cannabis, and for me that’s a sensory issue. Having water on hand is extremely helpful. You might also find yourself getting hungry. Like a lot of autistic people you might have even forgotten food for a while. The weed will help you remember, so have some nice safe foods in easy reach.

Gather Stimming Tools

Cannabis can enhance positive sensory experiences, so have some stimming tools handy. For me this means a playlist full of stimmy beats and my stim toys. Pulling up a playlist of sensory videos on YouTube can also create a great experience. Maybe put on a “How It’s Made” marathon and let yourself become entranced by the machinery. A weighted blanket is also a nice experience while high, especially if you are using it to combat overstimulation.

Create a Sensory Nest

Even if you want a functional high to help you complete tasks, you will still want a comfy resting place. If things don’t go to plan and you find you’re experiencing a little to much high and not enough functional, you can go into your sensory nest and ride it out. It’s also very good for those times when the come down makes you sleepy. I usually pile up my things around the couch in my living room. I keep stim toys, my water, and a snack on the side table. Then I pile the weighted blanket and maybe some pillows nearby. To complete the setup, I put my earbuds in easy reach and plug in a phone charger. I keep my switch nearby as well, because sometimes playing Animal Crossing while high is fun.

Lean Into The Urge to Stim

Cannabis can remove inhibitions and make it much easier to unmask. I personally find that it makes the transition from Corporate Work Stevie to Just Stevie much easier. You will feel an increased urge to stim, be that physically or vocally. LEAN INTO IT. Stimming is so much fun while high. I often find myself rocking and swaying, which is something I don’t do too often while sober.

Every autistic person has a mask that they use to survive in public, and the truth is that it is fucking exhausting. Allow the weed to take the mask off, and let yourself stim with absolute freedom. If you’ve created a safe environment to get high in, this part should just come naturally.

Go Forth and Get High

My goal with these guides is to help autistic people like myself explore cannabis in an enjoyable way. Be on the look out for more content of this nature in the future, and if you like it, consider donating to my Ko-fi.

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