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Why People Are Going “Cali Sober”

Recently, the trend of going “Cali sober” is picking up. Popularized by Fiona Apple, Cali sober is the practice of using cannabis, but abstaining from drinking. Other definitions include the use of psychedelic drugs along with weed. 

Many practitioners of this new form of “sobriety,” use weed to experience the euphoric effects that alcohol may have once given them without the hangover the next day. Some practitioners have shifted to the Cali sober lifestyle as a way to medicate anxiety, sleep issues, or pain without using prescription drugs. In fact, research has even shown that cannabis can help people ease out of opioid addiction (found in many traditional medications) by countering some of the symptoms of withdrawal. 

Another reason why this trend is picking up has to do with the rhetoric around marijuana. In the past, it’s been fairly negative and considered a gateway drug to harder substances. However, that stigma has eroded quite a bit as awareness of its medical benefits and information on how to use it in a healthy manner has increased. Meanwhile, alcohol is being recognized fully as a drug, and one that, in many ways, is more impairing. Additionally, hard drug users and patients who have been prescribed traditional medications frequently find that marijuana offers them a way of reducing the hold of other substances. Perhaps someone still enjoys the recreation of being altered mentally or physically, but they are already on antidepressants. Alcohol can react negatively with the particular chemicals in the medication, whereas, cannabis may be tamer or practically non-interactive. 

In a professional setting, high-functioning cannabis users are a little easier to find than high-functioning alcoholics. Cannabis, in the proper dosage, has been found to increase concentration and help users achieve a flow state — or a sense of time becoming irrelevant due to being so engaged with the present task. Depending on the person, alcohol can certainly have its benefits for a window of time, however, after that window is closed, there is almost always a chemical comedown (the extremity of it is relative to the amount consumed). 

Arguably the biggest reason Cali sober is picking up steam is that people don’t necessarily want to be completely sober, but they’ve had enough bad experiences with drinking. Going Cali sober allows them to enjoy the best of both by still giving them that relief or temporary change of state to break up the monotony of their week without the potential consequences that come with excess drinking. With one, you’re more likely to wreck your car. With the other, you’re more likely to wreck your fridge. 

The bottom line is that people love indulging in things that help them escape the stresses and realities of their day-to-day lives. There’s no shame in that. There’s no shame in drinking either, but going Cali sober might be the answer for those looking to balance health with the recreational use of mind-altering substances.

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