Perhaps as powerful as the way weed makes users feel, is how it makes them act and interact.
Grinspoon explains, using psychedelic pioneer Timothy Leary’s emphasis on the impact of “set and setting” on drug trips: “The set means all the ideas, thoughts, experiences that you have with this particular drug, and the setting is the surroundings. For instance, are you afraid you’re going to have a knock on the door and the cops will come in? Those things influence the high. So part of the set in having a sexual experience is how the people feel about each other.” Grinspoon, whose first personal experience with weed involved passing the dutch with Carl Sagan, postulates that feelings of communion between weed-smoking partners can be more profound than mere sexual sensation. To the sober or weed-culture averse, this social side effect may be one of weed’s more irritating cultural legacies — earnest hippies hugging and musing about love and the spirit and really connecting, man. But for those who indulge in a romantic setting, the heightened earnestness can free them to interact in new, thrilling, and unapologetic ways.
Update from a reader:
I don’t exactly enjoy being high. If I’m looking for a way to unwind, I prefer the way a few beers makes me feel. Pot winds me up somewhat and makes me too introspective. But my wife and I do toke occasionally because the sex is so incredibly, impossibly, off-the-scales amazing.
The first time was such an epiphany I almost immediately started getting judgmental on my former self for wasting so many years by having sex sober. Nowadays we set aside a night every month or so for our daughter to spend the night at Grandmas so we can have a pot induced sex-a-thon.