It’s fairly common for each partner in a couple to use different amounts of cannabis — but how often that discrepancy becomes a point of tension, or better yet, something to bond over, depends on the relationship.
In most cases, as long as each partner’s cannabis use is measured and healthy, rather than excessive, lopsided cannabis use in a relationship shouldn’t cause any trouble. In fact, it can give each partner an opportunity to explore their own relationship to the cannabis plant in comparison to how their other half uses it.
“I don’t have any of the issues that can be common with this sort of discrepancy in cannabis use because my partner is very comfortable with weed in social settings,” says Albert. “She is also generally down for a puff and joins me on about 40 to 60 percent of the spliffs I smoke in her presence. Though it has at times made me consider how much I smoke and whether or not a break or slowdown is in order.”
When in a relationship, it’s important to remember that everyone has their own, individual relationship to cannabis and uses it for different reasons. One partner may use it medicinally for pain, insomnia or anxiety, while the other might only use it socially or recreationally. For those like Albert, the discrepancy is a chance to learn about yourself.
“My boyfriend smokes a lot more weed than I do, but it’s usually not a problem because I know that when he smokes, it calms him down and I get to see a positive side of him,” says Laura. “It’s good when we’re hanging out at home or watching a movie. Sometimes I try it, too. Sex is also much better when you’re high.”
If your partner uses cannabis more or less than you do, consider the reasons why they’re using it, and ask yourself if those reasons are ways the two of you can bond. Perhaps if your partner uses cannabis to relax, you could try it as well in a setting where you feel safe and not judged. On the flip side, if your partner smokes less frequently than you do, it’s a chance to get to know another side of them when they’re high or medicated.
For some, it’s also a way to learn about the dynamics in the relationship — for better and for worse.
“When my daughter was a baby, I stopped using cannabis because that was all her father did, and it pissed me off,” says Sarah. “He would disappear on weekend mornings around 10 am and I couldn’t find him. He was smoking out back behind the house.” Even if a couple smokes different amounts of weed, they can still use it during bonding time, rather than a way to escape from the other.
In Sarah’s case though, she learned the relationship wasn’t working. “I wish I was more aware. Looking back, I wish I smoked then, but it also made me paranoid in those days. Perhaps I did not feel safe, but what I did feel and tell people was that one of us had to be straight. I was this new mother with a baby, and was also nursing,” she says. “It wasn’t until we broke up that I started smoking again.”
Regardless of the situation, or the reasons each person in a relationship uses cannabis, the couple needs open communication to work through their lopsided cannabis use. If their communication is good, it can be a fun opportunity to learn about the plant from someone close to you, who shouldn’t judge or peer pressure you into smoking more or less than you want to.
“My significant partner doesn’t toke at all. She did, but doesn’t anymore,” says Alden. “For a while I was super bummed out. Part of the enjoyment of toking is sharing the experience. She used to get super jealous if I hung out with any girls who did toke. She was afraid I’d leave her or that I thought she was no fun anymore. It’s challenging now because she sees it as an unneeded expenditure or that I’m using it for an escape. But she’s super cool about it and knows how to be playful while I’m high and not try to act a certain way. But I still wish she toked sometimes because I feel like a ‘lonely stoner.'”
A discrepancy in a couple’s cannabis use can offer a way to discover more about your partner, yourself, and the relationship. However, like in Alden’s case, that process of discovery isn’t always easy.