I Got High and Went to the Chiropractor So You Don't Have To
Scratch it off the long, long list of doing things while stoned.
At some point, anybody who has smoked marijuana has thought, “I am going to smoke weed before doing this and just see how it goes.”
The first idea probably involved food. “I am going to get high and eat my favorite lo mein,” thought a younger version of this writer. Since then, the concept has been applied to just about everything I enjoy doing — watching a movie, going for a walk, eating an entire pizza, etc.
I’ve especially enjoyed smoking up before relaxing activities like meditating or getting a massage. So before a recent chiropractic appointment I figured, what the hell? I usually feel pretty good after seeing the chiro, let’s mix it up a bit.
Of course, I was not the first one to think of combining these two activities. “I have certainly seen people using cannabis to have a more enjoyable experience in the gym, for example,” says Jordan Tishler, M.D., a Massachusetts-based medical cannabis expert at InhaleMD. Whether or not people actually get a better workout when high is up for debate. “But it can be argued that, if they enjoy the experience more, they actually might work harder or longer than they otherwise would,” Dr. Tishler says. And with that, there may also be mental health benefits, especially in the context of yoga and meditation.
So off to the chiro I went. My typical routine is ten or so minutes with electrical muscle stimulation pads (stims) on my shoulder blades and lower back followed by a session with the doctor. As I laid down on the bed, the nurse set me up with the stims and heated pads. Once set, she turned the electrical current on and waited until I said I was good.
Even without using marijuana the current feels a little funny. But after smoking? Well, it felt like 100 warm needles being poked into me. At first it was pretty intense. But after about four minutes my body got used to the sensation, and it actually felt pretty good — especially on my lower back. After about ten minutes, the sensation began to weaken naturally and my body felt very relaxed.
At this point, my high started to become stronger in my head. I felt like I was entering into a state of extreme focus — as if staying absolutely still was my only directive. And still I laid, soaking up that faint electrical sensation.
Finally the doctor came in, powered down the stims, and removed the heated pads. From there, he began his routine of massaging my back and loosening up the muscles. I started seeing him last year for back pain and help with my posture. Now, I see him when pain creeps up on a semi-regular basis. Occasionally, he hits parts that are very stiff and feel very sensitive.
That day, everything felt sensitive.
Being high seemed to increase the sensations I normally feel by almost tenfold. There were moments where I held my breath for more than ten seconds. But as sore as I was beginning to feel, it also felt kind of good. The doctor was clearly working out about a month’s worth of stiff, knotted up muscles. Especially my neck, oh man, he was doing a number on it! By the time I was done, I felt like a carpet that had gotten a proper beat down.
The doctor then did his back and neck presses, releasing quick a few cracks and pops. When all was said and done, he helped me up and said his polite goodbyes.
I felt so goddamn sore afterwards, like I’d spent the entire day moving furniture. Part of it was probably because I hadn’t seen him in a month, but damn did I feel extra sore.
And boy, did I feel very, VERY high.
Now, is this something I would recommend? Well, yes and no. If you enjoy smoking pot, this might be a fun new way to experience it. But you can’t always predict how high you’re going to get. So, if you’re like me, your high may get so intense that you won’t necessarily be able to enjoy the chiro experience as much as you would sober.
According to Dr. Tishler, there’s not much research about using cannabis in this way. But “there are huge troves of anecdotal reports of cannabis being a positive in these settings,” he says. So I’m definitely not the only one.
Walking out of the appointment, I could not believe the high I was experiencing. I felt like my mind was tuned into every little thing around me. I hadn’t experienced a high like that in a very long time. By the time I got home, though, it had mellowed out to a more comfortable level. As you can probably imagine, dinner tasted pretty damn good that night.