Cannabis Usage and the COVID Effect: Taking a Look at our Habits
Over the past 12 months, the world has seen some changes, to say the least. Normal, everyday activities such as seshing with friends, going to a movie, or even something as mundane as getting a bite to eat at a restaurant, now seem like a past-time that we have taken for granted.
It would be the understatement of the decade to say that our personal habits haven’t been changed along with it. The quarantine fifteen has become part of the zeitgeist, likely due to how people look to cope. The more isolated we become, the more likely we look for ways to escape the hum-drum monotony of everyday life.
TVape performed a survey with some interesting results. Not unlike food and alcohol consumption, cannabis consumption increased during COVID-19. A total of 53.89% of those polled said their cannabis consumption increased. Another interesting statistic was that vaporizer use jumped nearly 30%, compared to before. Please note that correlation does not equal causation, but it can provide some interesting indicators. TVape hypothesized this was due to people seeking out less harmful alternatives to combustion such as using a dry herb vaporizer. I do not believe that to be the only reason. I hypothesize that there is also a fairly large economical reason behind that. With so many out of work, funds are tighter and vaporizing is a more efficient means to get the most mileage out of your stash.
How did I come up with this hypothesis? Let me break it down for you. But first, you must understand a little bit more about how habits form. Habits are intrinsically motivated which means the reward is part of the activity that is eventually habitualized.
If your goal is to keep yourself distracted from the banal loop of a lockdown or to offset the mental health impacts of quarantine, or you just enjoy the act of consuming cannabis itself, you are enjoying the action that completes your objective. It becomes like a can of Pringles, “Once you pop, you can’t stop.” If you curb your hunger and are having fun, you are more likely to repeat.
Those that increased their use enjoyed it and found they could still be productive. However, consuming throughout the day via combustion quickly gets expensive. You are quite literally burning through your money.
The objective for those surveyed was likely to find a way to consume less material, but not less often. Consuming less often is far more difficult than searching for an alternative. Vaporization is an excellent way to get more out of your material as you are getting a more thorough extraction of the various compounds. An additional benefit of vaporization is that it happens to be less harmful than combustion. Of course people first tend to look into a vape pen or dab pen when first researching vaporizing when a battery-free or dry herb vaporizer might be the better way to go. The "M" for example could be considered the best vape to quit smoking as it conserves your vaping material with adjust-a-bowl technology to reduce the extraction chamber by 50% for easy micro-dosing and is easy on your lungs by using high turbulence air injection to further cool the vapor. The consumer is going to get more bang for their buck out of their supply, while simultaneously enjoying all the other benefits that come with thermally extracting their cannabis (taste, efficiency, health).
A commonly overlooked piece of information is the different boiling points of various compounds, such as cannabis or CBD, that can be more thoroughly extracted when vaporizing. When you burn cannabis, you have zero control over what compounds are released, but with a vaporizer such as The "M", and a careful heating technique (check out our heating tips here), you can tailor your experience depending on your medicinal or recreational needs. This could be why TVape found that people were consuming more throughout the day, because they are able to avoid sedative compounds via temperature control. Interested in learning more about the different boiling points of various compounds and how they can affect you? Stay tuned as we will dive into specific boiling points in more detail in a future blog.
With the increased use I do think it is incredibly important to talk about ensuring that our consumption does not become problematic. That brings me to the next subject of mindfulness and how it can impact our behavior and decision making. Our brains are wired in such a way that we will take the path of least resistance to achieve a goal, and habitual actions occur almost automatically without effort.
To help illustrate this, think of your mind as water that has been dammed. If the dam holds, the water will form a tributary and it will be taking the path of least resistance. Our brains operate in the same way. So, whenever you act, take a moment and ask why you are performing this action and reflect on it. By taking those extra seconds we can ask ourselves more pointed questions to get to a more advantageous outcome. Neuroscientist Darya Pino Rose does an excellent TED Talk on dietary habits and gives information that pertains beyond just dieting to our habits in general.
Before you consume, what is the overall objective when doing so? I urge you to take a moment and ask yourself, “why am I wanting to do this at this very moment?” By knowing the why, you can better give yourself what it is you truly want. This will help you feel more satisfied with your decision making, confident in your decisions, and it is highly likely that you will have a more enjoyable experience.