In mid-January, I planted my second seed. When she burst forth from the soil Jan. 19, the split seed casing clinging to the top of the green shoot reminded me of an armored helmet. Having just watched “Wonder Woman 1984,” I impulsively decided this powerful woman would bear the name of the Amazonian superhero’s secret identity: Diana Prince. Eager to avoid my earlier mistake, Diana Prince was transplanted to her forever home just five days later and then locked safely in my garage under the new grow light (20 hours on, 4 hours off). I visited my baby daily, watering her just enough to keep her healthy and thriving.
Fast-forward two months and, instead of the towering THC-laced tannenbaum I was hoping for, I was headed into Christmas week with a seedling — all of 5 inches tall — curving out of its pot at a 45-degree angle. Since A Pot for Pot purchases include growing consults via email, I sent off a few photos and a plea for help. A few days later, I heard back from an upbeat consultant named Taylor who wrote: “Thanks for reaching out! What a cute little plant!” Then came the bad news: Based on the photos I’d sent and the timetable I’d described, Mariah wasn’t going to get much bigger. Taylor’s theory was that I had probably waited too long to transplant Mariah from her seedling cup to her 5-gallon fabric pot, unintentionally creating bonsai bud in the process. But the silver lining, as Taylor pointed out, was that because of her stunted size, there would be more than enough nutrients in the soil mix to support a second attempt in that same pot.
So after a few weeks of mourning, I decided to give pot-plant parenting a second try. And this time around, I was determined to spare no expense — potential tax savings be damned. I invested in a bathroom scale so I could weigh the plant between waterings, and when Taylor offhandedly suggested an LED grow light so I could raise my little green girl indoors, I immediately ordered one and cleared a spot in my garage, not far from where my hard-partying friends used to routinely smoke plants like her in the pre-pandemic days.
Then it hit me: In my haste to marry the nostalgic farm-to-table experiences of my Vermont childhood to my love of weed, I’d forgotten the part about not forming an emotional bond and had done exactly that. Even worse, I’d given her a name and imagined a personality for her. By naming her Diana Prince, I’d become less of an urban herb farmer about to get his buzz on and more like the Titan Kronos of Greek mythology about to swallow his offspring.
That’s why, when faced with midpandemic boredom, in a state where it’s legal to grow (under California law, anyone 21 and older can grow up to six plants for recreational use) and with an unused everything-but-the-seeds kit from A Pot for Pot (purchased while researching The Times’ 2020 holiday cannabis gift guide) lurking in the corner of my home office, I decided to connect with my roots by trying to get a pot plant to put down the same. By following the process from start to finish, I reasoned, I’d be able to better appreciate how those dried little nuggets of instant staycation get from the soil to the dispensary shelf.
The essential weekly guide to enjoying the outdoors in Southern California. Insider tips on the best of our beaches, trails, parks, deserts, forests and mountains.
In early July, the curing phase of Operation Ganja Green Thumb hit Week 8. From the beginning of this botanical adventure, this was the moment I’d been thinking about and waiting for, with visions of sticky bud dancing in my head. Now was the time to literally taste the fruits of my labor, to consume something I’d planted and watched grow to maturity. This was the culmination of my very first seed-to-sesh journey, a chance to bring the lessons of my growing-up years and my enthusiasm for cannabis full circle all at once. The time had finally arrived, and, even without fear of legal retribution, I found myself reticent to pack a pipe or roll a joint and take a taste of my own medicine.
Marijuana can be addictive. About 1 in 10 people who use the drug regularly can develop a “marijuana use disorder.” These people can’t stop using marijuana even though it causing problems in their lives. This is much more likely to happen in people who start using marijuana before age 18.
Marijuana is usually rolled and smoked like a cigarette (joints or doobies), or put in hollowed-out cigars (blunts), pipes (bowls), or water pipes (bongs). Recently, it has become increasingly popular for people to inhale marijuana or stronger marijuana extracts using a vaporizer (called “vaping” or “dabbing”). Some people mix it into food or brew it as a tea.
Emotional problems. People who use a lot of marijuana are more likely to say they notice signs of depression or anxiety. If someone has a condition like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, marijuana can sometimes make symptoms worse.
These side effects are temporary, but they can make it dangerous to do things like drive while under the influence of marijuana.
Medical Use of Marijuana
Changes in the brain. Marijuana can affect the parts of the brain that play a role in our ability to remember, multitask, and pay attention.
Marijuana withdrawal can be a bit like caffeine withdrawal: It’s usually worse a day or two after someone stops using marijuana. After that, withdrawal symptoms gradually decrease. They’re usually gone a week or two after the person no longer uses the drug.
People who use marijuana for a while can have withdrawal symptoms when they try to give it up. They may feel irritable, anxious, or depressed; have trouble sleeping; or not feel like eating.
Marijuana is a shredded, green-brown mix of dried flowers, stems, and leaves from the plant Cannabis sativa. A stronger form of marijuana, called hashish (hash), looks like brown or black cakes or balls. The amount of THC (the active ingredient) in marijuana and marijuana products has increased greatly over the years.
There is also “synthetic marijuana” — manmade drugs that are chemically similar to THC — that can be dangerously strong. Names for these drugs include “K2,” “Spice,” and “Herbal Incense.” They can be so potent that overdose deaths have happened.
It may be that your child has experimented with marijuana use or tried it a couple of times with their friends. That happens a lot more these days than it may have happened when you were in school.
Nate Brown / EyeEm / Getty Images
These pictures show marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, in varying stages of growth, processing, and use. You may be concerned about plants you find growing in and around your home. Or, you may wonder whether what you discovered in your child’s room is marijuana or indicates your child may be using marijuana.
Oksana Smith / EyeEm / Getty Images
Processed Marijuana Buds
Gary Morrison / Getty Images
Even if you live in a jurisdiction where marijuana is legal, there are age restrictions and your child can end up on the wrong side of the law. You should prepare to have a conversation with your child about the risks involved in using or selling marijuana when underage.
Jeff Rotman / naturepl.com / Getty Images
Small Amount of Marijuana Ready for Sale
Michael Thomas / EyeEm / Getty Images
Your child's involvement in marijuana may have just been a passing curiosity, or it may be more than that. Before you react, you need to assess just what your child's level of involvement is with marijuana.