It’s been a busy period and as it usually does, my body is starting to send me signals that I need to slow down. So I went to visit my local doctor to see what she would recommend to help get me back on track. By the end of the consultation, I had managed to bring up the topic of cannabis. She agreed that, under my circumstances, cannabis would be a healthy way for me to relax, sleep better, and manage my aches and pains.
She recommended not to consume cannabis everyday. I told her I micro-dose and try to take a few days off per week. Generally, this is pretty easy when I’m not under a lot of stress. Micro-dosing is when you consume a minute amount — which is enough to get cannabinoids into your system — without leaving you confused or incapable of performing everyday duties. I still get high, but am able to perform my usual tasks without the confusion one can get when a higher dosage has been consumed. This subtle shift in consciousness is enough to feel less anxious and lift one’s mood. It can make the most mundane tasks, such as sweeping the yard, a glorious adventure. Cannabis is, after all, a much safer way to unwind than alcohol. When you live a stressful life, it is important to take time to relax to help avoid serious health issues.
We also discussed that the safest way for me to acquire cannabis would be to grow my own. There are no dispensaries in Belgium. I told her that I grow my own organic cannabis during the summer months in the greenhouse to last me throughout the entire year. She said that as long as I do not sell it, then there would be no problems with the authorities. In fact, the way that she said it made me feel like I was naive to even think that there would be an issue. It seems it is a non-issue in a country where such an act is decriminalized.
I asked if she could prescribe me medical cannabis, as I had heard that it was now available in Belgium. Unfortunately for me, it turns out that only people with multiple sclerosis can be prescribed cannabis in Belgium. This is fantastic for people suffering from MS and I celebrate this; but where does it leave the rest of us? If that’s the scale of things, with MS being the lowest threshold to get legal cannabis in Belgium, then helping people to deal with work-related issues or stress, such as anxiety, insomnia, or mild depression, seems to be quite low-priority according to the Belgian legal framework. It shouldn’t be as, according to Forbes, workplace stress is responsible for up to $190B in annual U.S. healthcare costs. Even with the limited population of Belgium, this would still add up to a sizable figure.
Belgium’s hands off, decriminalized approach means that if you grow your own cannabis for personal use and no profit, then authorities will turn a blind eye. There is also the added benefit of saving money that would have been otherwise spent on pharmaceutical drugs, such as painkillers or sleeping aids, and on social relaxants, such as alcohol — all of which can be addictive and even dangerous.
With my agreement, she made a note of our discussion and said she would defend me in case of any problems. This helped to set my mind at ease. I’m one of those people who are anxious, even at my best. In fact, combating anxiety is one of the main reasons I consume cannabis, so having the burden of worrying about my growing activities lifted was greatly appreciated.
Growing your own is a pragmatic and safe approach for the majority of people suffering from work-related stress to have their own cannabis supply. Stress related illnesses affect a large percentage of the population and, sustained at a chronic level, can lead to very serious problems.
I’ve spent the last few years trying to figure out the best way to get a steady, cost effective supply of high quality cannabis and all roads have led to setting up my own cannabis garden. I’ve tried dealers, coffeeshops, and cannabis clubs; but none have hit the spot for me like growing my own. Maybe I could buy on the dark web? But I’m not sure I want to go down the rabbit hole of poking around in Tor browsers, buying cryptocurrencies, and all that. To be honest, I want to get away from the computer screen if I can. Spending time in my garden is a fantastic way to do this.
Growing my own cannabis not only helps me in a medicinal sense, it also provides me a fun and rewarding hobby. It helps me get back to nature. As I grow, I learn more about the cannabis plant and other plants in general. Each year we enjoy bumper crops of peppers and courgettes and I’m forever experimenting with new things to grow.
In no way do I profess to be an expert on growing. The more I learn through talking to others, the more knowledge I realise there is to gain. Writing about what I love has opened doors to the true experts who seem all too happy to share their knowledge and growing techniques with me. For this, I am eternally grateful and hope to use this privilege to help educate others with what I learn. I try and keep my grows as simple as I can manage.
I grow using the natural light of the sun and organic growing medium, nutrients, and pesticides. I discard damaged or diseased buds and make sure that what is harvested is properly processed to the best of my abilities. I make concentrates using water as the only solvent and prepare cannabis infused olive oil. I also keep some buds aside to cure as marijuana. If I have too much, I’m generous to my friends in need.
I don’t know about you, but to me this does not seem like such an evil existence. Thanks to the decriminalized nature of cannabis in Belgium, it is not an act that will land me in jail. The visit to my doctor and our little chat allowed me to worry less about the legal implications of what I am doing and focus more on enjoying life and helping others. More and more countries and U.S. states are decriminalising for personal use. It is worth checking out whether you live in one of these places.
After growing up through the “Just Say No” era of the 80s, it took a little getting used to the idea that it’s ok to grow your own cannabis. The more people discover the benefits of cannabis, when used responsibly, the more people will find that growing their own supply is the way forward.
These hobby growers will become a huge growth market, and the industry supporting them will flourish. It is expected to be a multi-billion dollar industry in the coming years.
The wonderful thing is that this is a reality. I can actually grow enough weed to last me through the year and I don’t have to feel anxious about being arrested and prosecuted for doing so. As long as I stick to the one golden rule of not selling it.
Maybe it’s time you spoke to your doctor about growing your own cannabis too?