11.2.2020 | Hemp Cigarettes?!
Quitting Smoking – 1997
I quit smoking tobacco cigarettes on the morning of January 5, 1997. I’d just bought a pack at the liquor store across the street and settled down in a chair on our back balcony. As I lit my first cigarette I heard a voice in my head say, “Jon, you’re killing yourself.” It was so strong I assumed it was the voice of God and put out my cigarette right away.
I was indeed killing myself. I had been a two pack a day smoker for fifteen years. I have always liked smoking – the act of smoking – and the feel of taking big hits of smoke into my lungs… it was a pleasure for me. And smoking was deeply intertwined in my life – everything involved having a smoke – as it becomes for any serious cigarette smoker.
My brand of cigarettes back then was Marlboro Light 100’s. So that meant I wasn’t just taking in tobacco but all the chemicals the Marlboro company felt was important to load their cigarettes up with, and that was a lot. Every stick I voraciously inhaled was indeed killing me, pack by pack.
I heeded the voice in my head, and quit immediately, that minute. I got up, walked back into our apartment and told Tania I had quit smoking. She, of course, had heard this pronouncement a number of times before. Like most cigarette smokers, I had tried quitting on many occasions, and always failed. I quickly explained to Tania I had heard the voice of God, and this time, I had to quit!
The next month was a struggle. I had no divine intervention that helped me quit. It was sheer determination and willpower. Then the following few months were still a struggle… and the next few months after that. I even quit painting for a while, that was too wrapped up in the smoking habit like so many other activities in my life.
Nicotine was easier to quit than the habit, but having to kick nicotine and a habit at the same moment was very difficult – this is why, I believe, so many people have a hard time quitting for good. In fact what I really miss – but try not to think about it, because tobacco smoking is out of the question – is the delightful companionship that cigarettes provide.
I miss holding one in my hand, casually taking hits while in the midst of a good conversation. I miss spending ten minutes, just thinking about whatever, while taking a cigarette break. I miss the way that a cigarette occupies the hands while you’re hanging out. I miss the way you inhale a cigarette – which is so different then a joint, vape or pipe.
Well, all of that might of changed this last week.
I visited Next Level Vape and CBD shop in Yucca Valley to pick up some cleaner for my bong on Friday. This is a great shop I just started going to this last month. I had a talk with the manager when I first visited about getting CBD flowers. She said she’d look into it… well, when I visited on Friday they’d just received their first delivery of Hemp Cigarettes. Hemp Cigarettes?! Like joints? I wondered and bought a 10 pack for $13.00.
These are NOT like joints. The nicely designed packaging opened to reveal ten cigarette filters staring up at me. I pulled out the first one and it looked and felt in the hand exactly like a regular cigarette.
Even though it’s been twenty-three years, the cigarette fell comfortably into that familiar spot between my fingers. I put it up to my lips. Yup, that feels just like a cigarette. But it’s not. Each stick contains 120 mg of CBD hemp flowers and no tobacco, no nicotine.
I lit up the cigarette and took a full drag.
The stick hit just like a cigarette. The draw was full and satisfying as any cigarette I had ever smoked. The taste, which was heavily influenced by the cigarette paper, was neither cannabis nor a regular cigarette, but somewhere in between. Again, I believe it was the paper taste that made it taste almost like a regular cigarette. Part of the flavor could be the cotton filter which is just like a regular cigarette filter.
I smoked through the whole pack over the weekend to really give them a try-out. The smokes are very mind-clearing. They make my body feel relaxed. They have everything I used to look for in the smoking experience except the nicotine. And because I don’t have any nicotine in my system, I don’t get any “nic-fits” causing me to mindlessly smoke cigarette after cigarette.
I smoked one with my coffee hanging out on the patio – what a pleasure! I went out later and smoked another while I did some thinking. What a nice companion it was. During happy hour I had a couple more because they went so well with a beer.
Every one brought back the delight I used to have smoking without any of the chemicals – or the nicotine and the tobacco. While smoking them it’s hard to believe I’m not chilling with a “regular” cigarette.
Surprisingly, the ambient smell from the cigarettes wasn’t a strong cannabis or hemp smell. My wife said she couldn’t detect any pot smell at all when I was smoking one, but it didn’t smell exactly like a cigarette either. That means these can easily be smoked in public without anyone wondering who’s smoking pot – very discreet.
So, you might be wondering, what good are these? They don’t get you high… and isn’t smoking an awful, nasty habit that people are better off without?
First off, this seems to me like the perfect step towards quitting regular cigarettes. Once you get the nicotine out of the system, you still have the habit to deal with. If cigarette smoking is heavily intertwined with your life, quitting the chemical nicotine and the habit at the same time can be too big a hurdle. Why tackle both at once? With hemp cigarettes you can maintain your habit while weaning yourself off of the nicotine. Just an idea… I certainly wish I had these when I quit smoking.
Second, there are certain pleasurable effects I felt from the hemp cigarettes. This brand called BUD from Hemp Living USA were rolled from the CBD strain called Elektra, a Sativa-lean hybrid. As I mentioned earlier, I found these to be very mind-clearing and rather uplifting, while being relaxing and calming.
All-in-all, I’ll be keeping a pack of hemp cigarettes around for that occasional moment I feel like having a cigarette. My only dilemma now is what brand to choose. This brand was pretty good, but I have nothing to judge it by, so I’ll be trying out more brands of hemp cigarettes in the future. I’ve got some on order already… 😉
Until tomorrow, best of health.
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