The social stigma against smoking pot has seen an incredible shift over the last decade. The stereotype that toking on a joint is for “unmotivated stoners” has been disproven by many successful entrepreneurs speaking out about using cannabis to enhance their mental functions.
As smoking in one’s personal life becomes more commonplace (nearly 50% of American adults), so is smoking in the workplace. If achieving a work-life balance means relaxing at home with a bit of weed and employees are just going to go home and do it anyways, some employers are starting to embrace consuming THC and CBD at the end of the workday as a company unwinding exercise.
Startups have fridges stocked with beer, why not a cabinet stocked with weed?
Creative Jobs Aren’t The Only Ones That Benefit
On May 10th, 2019, the NYC Marijuana Drug Test Ban took effect, prohibiting New York City employers from requiring a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), with the exception of safety and security-sensitive jobs or any pertaining to state or federal government contracts or grants. This law marks a recognition of smoking marijuana in one’s personal life not negatively affecting one’s work performance, and paves the way for consuming THC and CBD at work to actually enhance one’s performance.
Not all positions are suited for psychoactive or mood-altering drugs. A construction worker, truck driver, doctor, law enforcement official etc., need to remain alert and mentally unaltered at all times. However, other jobs can greatly benefit from the effects of consuming THC and CBD,
such as ones that involve:
- Creativity and brainstorming
- Presentations and public speaking
- High stress
- Physical strain
- Cannabis production or distribution
Many employers who allow THC and CBD in the workplace have a structure. THC consumption is only allowed at the end of the day to wind down, while CBD is allowed during the day to boost creativity and reduce stress.
In fact, those who suffer from anxiety find that CBD boosts performance at work. More research on the anti-anxiety properties is still coming out, especially since drugs affect everyone differently, but several studies on social anxiety disorder have found that CBD consumed before public speaking significantly reduced the speakers’ anxiety.
Choosing the Right Strains
Marijuana has un-industrious connotations, but there are strains and hybrids that can provide performance-enhancing benefits with no sedentary or lethargic side effects. Depending on the strain, the consumer could experience increased productivity, energy, mental clarity, relaxation,
calmness, or even speedy feelings to the point where a morning cup of coffee to wake up the body and mind is no longer needed.
CBD companies also make strains targeted for productivity, such as Recess sparkling CBD water. According to the CBD infused beverage company, their drink is not meant to be a “calm you down or before bed drink” but more of a “perk you up and help you focus, mental clarity enhancing drink to counteract the afternoon slump.”
Far from a wake-and-bake lazy Saturday, THC and CBD consumption at work can take place at many different times depending on the need, just like a cigarette break is incorporated for a nicotine boost. As cannabis culture continues to evolve, discreet consumption is making it easier to get a boost to get work done. Besides smoking, there are drinks, edibles and most notably, patches. Transdermal patches are known for their ability to create a subtle, long-lasting feeling, as opposed to other methods that might hit hard and fade fast. Patches can also be worn under the skin, so those in need of medical marijuana can get what they need without judgment.
However, take care that you know your limits. Don’t hit a new, questionable strain and be down and out for the workday. Micro-dose responsibly while in front of your employer, otherwise, one bad trip could ruin it for everybody.
THC vs CBD At Work
More employers are on board with CBD in the office than with THC, primarily because of the legalization differences as CBD and hemp-derived products were removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. In addition, while CBD can help with anxiety and focus, which
many employees struggle with at work, THC has psychoactive properties that, while boosting creativity, may also cause an altered state of mind. THC consumption in the office is typically seen at startups, where working 60-80 hours a week requires some outside help from more than just coffee.
Another obstacle THC faces in the office is stigma. While a growing number of companies are allowing THC and CBD in the office, they are hesitant to openly discuss it due to the potential impact this could have on relationships with other clients.
Research has shown that CBD interacts differently with the receptors on cells in the nervous system of the human body than other cannabinoids do, particularly the neurotransmitter serotonin which plays a major part in those with depression, anxiety and other mental imbalances. While all other cannabinoids from hemp and cannabis interact with two significant receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system, CB1 and CB2, CBD has very little effect on both of them.
If CBD can enhance productivity and relieve anxiety (looking at you, daunting new marketing initiative), why not use it to become a better employee?
From Happy Hours to Higher Hours
Office holiday parties are picking up on a trend this year: instead of open bars leaving the crowd dancing on the tables or throwing up in the bushes, “Cannabars” serviced by “Budtenders” are able to bring a smoking booth or catered edibles to company parties.
A cannabar, often a designated tent set up for those looking to imbibe, is in place of alcohol to avoid crossfading and the risks of mixing. Instead of a tent, some bosses get THC infused food catered to the party or department meeting.
Reena Rampersad, who owns and operates the cannabis catering service High Society Supper Club in Hamilton, Ontario says that choosing cannabis over alcohol gives the party a much different vibe. Instead of herding out sloppy drunks, the crowd is more chill and relaxed, enjoying themselves without getting too wild.
From after work higher hours to morning meetings with CBD lattes, millennials in upper management are bringing in a culture change for cannabis in the workplace. The pain of sitting in an old office chair or sitting through a meeting that should have been an email could be numbed with a little THC/CBD, as long as your employer permits. Research shows positive benefits can come from using hemp and cannabis at work, the rest is up employees delivering proven results: Is the 420-friendly office pushing through stress and anxiety and putting in extra hours? Or simply eating all of the free snacks in the fridge?