O no, Canada

Illustration by Kate Mitrano

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

Stoner in need of help! I have been smoking for about two years now. I smoke bongs, blunts, joints, etc. The weed I used to smoke was always indica, usually from dispensaries, with about 30 to 33 percent THC. My tolerance has always been pretty high. I can outsmoke friends who have smoked their whole lives, and I always enjoyed being high. I used to smoke about three to four blunts a day.

I have recently moved away from home to a little village in Quebec. There is no dispensary here, and the weed is terrible. Lately, I have been feeling super paranoid and anxious when I smoke even the smallest joint. I start tripping out, overthink bad scenarios, my heart starts racing and my hands get sweaty! I always try to drink water or take deep breaths and try to convince myself that I am just tripping. It has become kind of painful to smoke, and I feel anxious even before smoking because of what happens!

Why is this happening to me? Will it ever go away? Could it be stress from moving, being alone? Could it be the shitty weed? Do I have to quit smoking? Please help! I love weed and wish to keep smoking it, but I hate the feeling I get now.

—Ann Zaiety

Brutal. You have my empathy and sympathy. Moving to a small town with no good weed connections is a drag, especially if you’re used to high quality, thoroughly tested cannabis from a licensed dispensary. Your problem may stem from a variety of issues. Since you smoked with homies from your old ’hood and were fine, it stands to reason that you’re getting terrible weed from your local dealer. Maybe you should save up your money and take a road trip to your fave big city dispensary once a month or so to make sure you get the types of cannabis you know and love.

As to the weird thoughts, wondering about decisions you have made and all that other stuff, listen: Cannabis is great for helping you minimize and ignore the things you can’t change. However, cannabis is also well known for exacerbating anxiety attacks, especially when it’s about stuff you should be dealing with and working on. Since you live in Canada, I would suggest you take advantage of the socialized medicine and talk to a mental health professional about the things that have been happening in your life. They will probably be able to help you. Good luck.

P.S. 30-33 percent THC? That’s a really strong weed. What strain? Because I’m gonna be in Canada this fall, and I need to try it.