There are a great many products on the Oregon cannabis market that will get you high—and now, perhaps inevitably, there's something to take when that high goes wrong. Meet Anti-Dope, a dripper bottle no bigger than Visine's that promises to help you "get right, right away."
Too stoned? Simply squeeze a few drops of the stuff (a mixture of essential oils and kosher vegetable glycerin) under your tongue and wait for the desired effect. Sounds like total hokum, right?
There was only one way to find out.
I'm not really a big sativa guy, and I've been subjected to all manner of very bad too-high highs—the jitters, the freak-outs, the head trips, a series of bum deals and bummer mental calisthenics, talking myself down from ledges metaphorical and literal, flushing stashes in prayerful probity, swearing to all deities never to smoke that particular stuff again. Which is why the onset of legal weed and today's buyers' market have been rather groovy for yours truly: I can intentionally stick to the high-CBD stuff, or, if it's the weekend and I've got good football to watch, a jolly low-THC, indica-dominant hybrid.
This assignment required me to take another tack—to seek out the biggest, dankest, THC-iest weed I could find; to smoke an uncomfortable amount of it; to first sit through the drama as a kind of control subject; then smoke it again, and administer myself with the chill-out drops so as to ascertain their effect.
"This is probably snake oil," my editor told me.
A low thump started in my chest.
Yet there I was, buying the stickiest icky on the menu at Serra dispensary on Southeast Belmont Street, which that day happened to be Liberty Haze, clocking in at 24.07 percent THC with nary any CBD to offset it. I would never buy this weed of my own volition, but like WW projects editor Matthew Korfhage gorging himself on a 10-pound sandwich, this too I could endure for journalism.
You know that feeling of being just a little too high? It's a mental discomfort; your mind goes into looped thinking, and whatever little flaw or fear or issue you've been doing your best to repress comes roaring to the surface. It's like Dante's vision of hell tailored to your particular weaknesses, with each circle a new bull's-eye for some cruel psychic dart.
For me, it usually starts like this…
"Who exactly do you think you are? Why don't you go read the comments, writer boy—your troll-ass commenters are prescient and correct. Go get a real job."
Soon it progresses, with laser specificity, toward thoughts such as…
"What a fool you must be to bring a child into this world! When it all comes crashing down, how will you support them? How will you support yourself? Go back to coffee, coffee boy. They're all gonna laugh at you!"
And on and on, until finally the weed cools it for a moment and I can get myself together. But that's not a lot of fun, right? Weed, you're the worst sometimes. And so it went with this Liberty Haze during my control session. I eventually resorted to smoking a bit of high-CBD stuff just to level out, and went to bed cursing the very legitimization of marijuana and its attendant written word. It should all just be left to the festival types.
Until the next day, when, armed with my AntiDope drops, I burned down another fat J of Liberty Haze. It came on even quicker this time—the spins, the bug-outs, the oh-shits, with my chest thump-thumping, and some shitty devil on my shoulder whispering…
"It's not gonna work out, bud. You're a hack. You'll wind up working in corporate-food PR, or worse, writing for Eater. Go back to Tacoma already, if you can even afford it. Remember when you got fired from Spaghetti Factory?"
I hate this feeling. I hate weed. And then I took some drops, and sat there for a moment. Nothing; still spooked. Zero chill. I took a couple more drops, and went outside for some fresh air. It was a cool evening, not raining but not dry—the smell of wet leaves and chimneys. I consulted my inner monologue and it whispered…
"Maybe it'll be cool, man. You know, people will always want to read stuff. Maybe it's OK for that stuff to be yours. After all, you're an OK guy, guy."
I don't know if it was the drops that chilled me out, or the thought of the drops, or the big breath of fresh air, or my own underlying faith in the universe's eternal tilt toward the karmic mean. Same difference, in the end. I didn't hate the high anymore. I didn't feel like I needed another kind of weed to smooth things over. It did not make me want to smoke any more of this high-THC bud ever again, but I definitely felt less like throwing myself into traffic.
I felt something like a calm wash over me. I went back inside, lit some incense, and closed my eyes.
Today's big-dawg THC bombs aren't for everyone, and they sure as shit aren't for me. Some of this stuff is almost too dank—it's enough to make Wavy Gravy blush. In my experience for this article, it's nice to have something like these AntiDope drops squirreled away in a kitchen drawer for future instances of the dreaded too-high. Seasoned stoners need not apply, but for erstwhile day trippers and the cannabis curious—and really, for any of the jittered among us in today's darkest timeline—it's a small comfort to think that reason and sanity might be only a drop away.