I spoke at an event recently that was hosted by a cannabis company where the topic was the new sobriety and what it looks like. One of the speakers was completely sober, another abstaining from alcohol but partaking in cannabis, while I am more on a path of sober curiosity. 

At the event, I learned the term ‘Cali sober’ which has been popping up across social and in media features by The Cut, Vice and Reddit. Depending on where you look it can mean different things but essentially it means that you chose to not drink (or drink less) but enjoy cannabis. I really gravitated to it thinking ‘hey, that’s me!’ 

About a year ago, I decided to make some changes in my life to be physically and mentally healthier, one of those was cutting down on the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption. I didn’t feel the need to go full sober but drinking on a regular basis wasn’t working for me anymore. 

So many social and entertainment-related activities are surrounded by alcohol, the holidays even more so. Everywhere you go it’s ‘what can I get you to drink’ or ‘what are you drinking’, and there are drinks with dinner, at parties, and work events. If you’re not drinking, the questions start, “Are you sick? Are you pregnant?”, potentially making the situation uncomfortable.

I have definitely noticed a trend in social circles with more and more people who don’t drink much/often/at all and a rise in people who use cannabis. With legalization, it is much more acceptable to use cannabis in social situations or as medicine. One of the biggest reasons people want to stop drinking is for health benefits. As we age, the negative side effects of alcohol get worse. If you’re over 30, you know the 2-day hangover is no fun. Cannabis is fun without the calories!

Holiday Hosting

I’m not here to define exactly what sobriety means to you, but navigating the holidays as someone who doesn’t drink can be a bit awkward. Drinking culture is such a big part of society and I think it’s time to redefine holiday hosting without all the booze.

This year, if you are hosting a holiday get together, please have other options than just beer or wine for your guests. Making a signature cocktail? Try creating a temperance cocktail or an option without alcohol. If there’s someone who isn’t drinking, be considerate of their choices, and if they don’t mention it, don’t pry with questions. We all have our own reasons for making changes, maybe they’re not drinking that night, that month, or ever again. That’s their decision to make!

If you’re attending holiday events, be respectful of where and when you are using cannabis. Check with your host to see if they have a preferred place for you to break up your bud or smoke a joint. I wrote some tips on cannabis etiquette for Twisted Extracts a little while back (see here).

More important than anything else, please be responsible and don’t drive high.

Happy Holidays!

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