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Weed vs Alcohol Effects

Some buzz about how and why we get buzzed.

By Mickey FinnPublished 7 years ago 7 min read

I just wanted to put down some thoughts about the differences between being high and being drunk. I am not a medical professional, or a biologist, so this is just amateur philosophy in layman’s terms. Basically, the personality, or what makes you who you are, is a combination of a conscious mind known as the “Ego” and the subconscious mind, the “Id.” Alcohol seems to affect the Ego and alters inhibition and psychology. THC, however, acts on the Id, and puts your focus on your conscious and logical thought. This is why some folds, like me, wax philosophical when we smoke and ask questions we normally wouldn’t.

The brain evolved over time from a tiny cluster of cells we would hardly recognize. As the eons passed the brain became more complex to fit the needs of the animals until, boom! People. That doesn’t mean that we lost the old stuff, though. Things like fight-or-flight and intuition come from these parts of the mind that are much too old to speak English. This part of the personality is the Id that I mentioned. It affects your behavior even though you are never aware of what it is doing, or why. It is why people have nervous tics they aren’t aware of when they are lying, and, in my opinion, it is why alcohol has proven to be so dangerous.

Not that there is anything wrong with alcohol, or enjoying it. However, there are far more cases of angry drunks than there are of angry stoners. This is due to the Ego being suppressed by the alcohol because of how that specific person’s brain developed. Along with the Id’s changes over the years, your Ego was custom built by your childhood. This part of your personality is the one taken out of the equation by alcohol. When the Temperance Movement accused alcohol of turning men into “beasts” they were actually not wrong. If the Ego is made up of all of those lessons about society, boundaries and such, when it gets suppressed, what you are left with is an unpredictable six-foot Bonobo.

Speaking for myself, I prefer being high, though I do enjoy a good whiskey. I don’t want to drink the whiskey for the effect, though. I want the taste, but I rarely have more than one or two drinks in an evening. In fact. the bottle I have now has been on my bookcase for almost two months. I have, unfortunately, let my Id out to play and found that I really don’t like that asshole.

I love the feeling of being high, though. My Ego wanders places that it doesn’t when I am weighed down by everything else. I am not subject to the whims of my subconscious self, who might be feeling good, or might be melancholy. I am one of those people that has no idea if it is a good or bad idea to get drunk until I am there.

My own thoughts on this are that some of us have an overdeveloped Ego, or logical mind, and that makes us out of touch with our Ids. If I am right, then it could be a major factor in alcoholism. Alcohol’s suppression of the Ego, means that the outcome is unpredictable for this kind of drinker when they start. If their Id is normally suppressed and gets a window, it gets to like it and steers into the behavior that feeds that need.

Marijuana’s high is completely predictable for me. I will want coffee and a snack, I will play Ghost Recon Wildlands like I get overtime for it and my jokes will be one-thousand-million percent funnier. My Id is even farther from affecting my thoughts and I can look at things objectively. In a very real way, I decide how I feel, not the lizard brain that suddenly associates some song at the bar with a bad breakup.

Being kind of a nerd, I love thinking. Science fiction, gaming, electronics and math interest me because I am good at them and I like to engage those faculties, so being high appeals to me. I also know that in about two hours, I will be back to normal.

It is long overdue to have options for how we get our buzz. Alcohol has been, more or less, acceptable in the western world despite the trends towards violence when it is abused. It is amazing that marijuana hasn’t been popularized earlier. Of course, being a nerd who loves thinking, I have some thoughts on that too.

As our society shifted from farm labor to industrial complex, the stress we are under flowed from the Id over to the Ego. Two hundred years ago, when the Industrial Revolution hit, we changed so much about our species that the planet will never be the same. Along with that, the stressors shifted from issues tied to that ancient lizard brain to intellectual issues. We simply don’t have that many problems that the Id needs to bother itself about. That makes the post-modern era the ideal environment for recreational weed to grab our attention, if you think about it.

Now, to get really weird, I am going to outline a bit of my philosophy on the universe at large. There is a reason that math describes so much of the universe, and I think that reason is that reality is a kind of calculator working towards something. The Big Bang released everything around us in the form of energy, that decayed into lighter elements, which are now decaying into heavier and heavier elements. Entropy means that each stage takes more and more energy, though.

The inevitable effect of this is that very soon, much of the matter in the universe will be too stable to transfer energy on its own. The equation then spit out a new possibility that could transfer more energy more quickly: Life. Living things seek out the energy they need, so it almost seems like that is a must at some point. However, simply being alive has limitations, no matter how big or strong the life form. The next step would be an important one.

Self-aware, or intelligent, beings like us can start to unravel the universe and work on these energy issues. We transfer much more energy, however the investment has a purpose. In the words of Carl Sagan, “Human beings are the universe becoming aware of itself.” Which means that we bring new problem-solving resources to the table for the universe to spend the energy on.

This is a very short summation of my philosophy, so if it sounds weird don’t sweat it. The point is that things have to coincide around each stage, such as the popularization of weed. I don’t think that it is any divine intervention, nor is it coincidental, but instead a mathematical necessity for the next step. The same way that scientists know that nuclear fusion is an incredible energy source but we can’t control it yet and therefore we are not ready to apply that next step.

Emotion is kind of like energy and that is why there are physical manifestations of emotion like crying, screaming, and hitting objects. It’s like built-up pressure that needs an outlet or it will destroy the thing holding it. Weed is my relief-valve. It is a step I can take to keep this big ol’ brain of mine from flying off the handle when I am frustrated by living in the Land of the DMV and the Home of the Taxed. I feel that it is an important part of our mental health to seek some kind of altered state, or buzz. I am really excited to see how popularization changes our society. And speaking of society, time to pack a bowl.


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