Weed Made Me Less Angry. Now It Sometimes Makes Me Mad.

I was once angry. But weed helped. Then, weed kinda made me angry again.

The battle for self-improvement is ever-present and ongoing. While we’d love to remain on a constant upward trajectory, the reality is that internal and external factors regularly loom in the shadows, often serving as roadblocks and setbacks to our personal development. 

Growing up, anger was a frequent passenger in my life’s journey. A regular overwhelming fixture from my teens to mid-20s, frustrations often boiled into anger and unpleasantness. It was a period of my life that I’m now embarrassed by, particularly my pathetic ability to devolve into a whiny loudmouth far too fast and often.

Today, at 37, I’m mostly calm, though some may say otherwise. 

Weed helped play a significant role in changing my perception and approach towards life over the years. Combined with other mental health measures, I’m happy to report that I’ve been largely content for much of the last decade. That said, recent developments in this industry have challenged my mental homeostasis and my upward trajectory at times.  

Short Fuse for Too Long a Time

I developed a short fuse early on, starting around my pre-teens as a schlubby fly on the wall. My anger was a simmering stew during my earlier years, starting as a pre-teen. My feelings were a grief gazpacho created by a recipe likely known to many readers. It combines family with your own flawed life decisions. Toss in a dash of factors outside your control, and boom, you’ve got the recipe for a damn fine anger soup. 

From about 12 to 20-something, I developed a track record of being irritable, difficult at times. I was pretty damn annoying. I stewed on slights and regularly strived to defy previous bullies, bosses, and others.

By college, I was an often pissy, angry little thing who took far too much influence from the “I’mma let you finish” Kanye West era. I loved to rant and vent, all while being a stone-cold, largely uneducated dipshit.  

By my mid-20s, I was an asshole more often than not, ready to bite back or even bite first if I sensed bad times on the horizon. I must confess, I was proud of this back in the day. I thought I had toughened up and protected myself from perceived dangers.

For more than a few years, being an asshole was my natural default. Defensive stances, often supported by anger, kept me safe and protected. But over time, I realized that I didn’t like who I was or where I was going. A quarter of my life in the books, I needed peace for myself and the people around me.

Relief in Weed and Therapy

I had smoked pot since I was 18, but I never saw it as anything more than recreational. That changed when I needed to recalibrate my thinking. 

Around 26, I found myself in an embarrassing state of affairs. I was reeling after an embarrassingly short stint living in LA a year or so prior. Since then, two relationships had gone to crap, leaving me broke, lonely, and wondering what would become of my life. I was upset about work, life and losing badly in FIFA ‘13.

Around 2013, I started exploring how I can better myself. Along the way, I realized how extensively weed helped me think introspectively, examining the pros, cons, and everything in between. I credit this to a roommate who always had a quarter pound of weed and was down to share. You’re a good dude, Mike. I owe you tons. 

Unfortunately, due to a lack of medical insurance, it took me another year before I finally started going to talk therapy. In the intermediate, weed and the occasional psychedelic helped create a largely positive effect. 

By 27, I was more than ready for change. I had gone to a therapist during the summer of my first year in college. I learned quite a lot in just a few weeks. This time, I knew I would be going much longer. Talking helped—almost as much as listening. However, it took me about a year to start listening. That only came about after my therapist told me I don’t shut up and often cut people off. He told me I was tactless, which sounded tactless in itself. But maybe that’s what was needed to stick in my mind. 

Two or three years into biweekly talk therapy, my general doctor recommended a nonaddictive pill for when I felt anxiety attacks coming on. I had previously thought those feelings of chest tightness were minor heart attacks brought on by overeating buffalo chicken and ice cream. I guess I was happy to learn I was more prone to controllable mental breakdowns rather than early on-stage heart problems. 

At peak usage, I’d take about 10 or less pills every month. I stopped taking them in 2021 or 2022, I forget. Unlike pills, I never stopped using weed and shrooms. I don’t plan on changing that, either. While anti-anxiety meds did keep me in check, plant-based substances have always helped me open my mind to new ideas, perspectives, emotions, and better ways of living. I hope it stays that way.

A Sisyphean Battle with Anger

I’d love to say I’m cured. I’d love to say that anger is in the rearview and now I live life positively all the time. But that would be a lie. 

Truth is that I often struggle with feeling angry, uneasy, upset, whatever you want to call it. I probably will my whole life. As much as I’d love them not to, things get under my skin, whether I like it or not. 

Every day is an ongoing test to keep my feelings in check. After years of hard work, most days go by with anger barely present. I have clarity, breathing techniques and a cute dog to keep me grounded. This ongoing fluid management is part of my mental health regimen. Much like my cardio and strength training, there are days I do well and others I come up short. I’m trying to do my best, and on most occasions, I think I hit that mark.

While I type that last paragraph with sincerity, I am fully aware that there are friends, colleagues, strangers, and the occasional client that may call bullshit. You know what? They may be right. And if it’s any solace to them, I very likely replay our interactions occasionally, just so I can scrutinize my actions. 

I don’t like being angry, but I don’t mind getting there when I need to be. In life and work, it has helped in moments. If an older man calls a bunch of teens on the subway the C-word, then I might yell at him and make sure he stays off the train. If a client refuses to pay for services rendered, I might stand up, flexing my legal rights when needed. If a shithole news outlet steals my work, I may blast them online, even if it leads to them responding with a cheeky parody of me that’s very likely to give the publisher their first erection in years.  

But, I do often wonder if I made the right decision. 

Weed Makes Me Angry Sometimes

I must admit that being in the weed scene sometimes pulls me down. 

I appreciate this job and the life it’s created for me. But I miss getting high, having fun, and not having to deal with industry grandstanding, or even worse, uneducated people thinking they understand the nuances, when in reality, they’re often the most misinformed person in the room. 

For a plant associated with euphoria, there’s plenty in pot to make a person mad. Often, the source of anger isn’t in regards to righteous causes such as the freedom of drug war victims or fair and affordable access to cannabis through means like home cultivation. 

The source of the frustration is typically detrimental people and actions. The vast majority of the movement is well-intentioned and good. However, examples of the opposite run long and deep, creating a troubling sliver that may include: 

  • The political football legalization has become
  • The all-too-often dubious local and national lawmakers we give free passes to because they support legalization
  • Crumbling state markets under terrible laws 
  • Ignorant lawmakers
  • Paid off lawmakers
  • Legalization’s killing of medical markets
  • Tribalism
  • Dubious celebrities 
  • Unethical brand leaders
  • Unnecessary gatekeepers
  • Publications that pay writers like shit
  • Publications, brands, individuals, etc. who don’t pay their contractors
  • Brands, movements or personalities who want news outlets to lie for their benefit 
  • Clout chasers
  • Fear and rage baiters
  • Image-obsessed tryhards
  • Pseudo-thought leaders
  • Content thieves
  • People who clearly don’t care about anything but their own gains

But let’s also point the finger at ourselves on occasion. There’s a lot to be disheartened about when it comes to weed consumers. 

People flock to boof almost as much as they do clickbait-y, rage-bait content. And look, that’s life. People love looking at accidents, commenting on hot button posts, and smoking sus weed sprayed with terps so that the plant tastes like cotton candy. In short, people are attracted to stupid shit more often than not. 

We’re not stopping these habits. But, as a media professional, all I ask is that the “readers” first step off their soapbox before banging on about how they want to see positive content. 

Let’s be real: Traffic data shows that most people don’t read positive stories, no matter what they say. I’ve tried getting positive pitches approved by various outlets. Sadly, the traffic numbers often don’t warrant the commissioning, and that sucks. 

But let’s be honest. Most people don’t read at all, especially long op-eds like this. 

Okay, don’t read. Be dumb. That’s your choice. But all too often, these same cabezas full of caca who don’t educate themselves want their opinion to matter on the same level as someone who’s informed on this matter. 

I know I’m an old man yelling at clouds here, but for the love of God, read before commenting. Otherwise, you’ll risk throwing your neck out during all that digital self-fellation. But hey, at least this is a worldwide problem and not just a weed thing, right? 

An Acceptable Amount of Anger

Anger is like cayenne pepper. A sprinkling gives you the kick needed to make something right. Too much, and you’re potentially in for an uncomfortable experience. 

Managing your temper requires various approaches depending on your unique circumstances and needs. I believe that pot has played a crucial role in helping me see through nearly three decades of mental fog and stormy seas of strife to get me where I am today. Through prolonged talk therapy and weed, plus a sprinkling of psychedelics and anti-anxiety meds, I’ve been able to get my anger mainly under control. 

While I hope the day does come eventually, I doubt I’ll ever be anger-free. So, I’ll just keep pushing the rock up the hill, hopefully finding ways not to slide back as far as I have in the past. And after all, isn’t that all we can ask of ourselves? If we can’t change society or the industry, at least we can try to become the best version of ourselves, right? 

  1. I noticed how I was short temper as kid but martial art and therapy plus weed had helped calm my anger. Meditation and reading self help books pointed out how you look.I had friends took anger management they say count 10 and think before your action fighting never sovled it.i learned the hard way.cbd and certain strains can help but everybody is different.

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