In our connected age, it’s hard to live a healthy, balanced home life. In Homebody we test one product that claims to help make your home life better, to see if its “lifestyle” claims stack up to actual life.
I have to admit I was high when I had the idea. A weed gummy deep, I stopped in the kitchen for a snack and found myself at the sink, scrubbing through the greasy dishes sober me had avoided all week. I enjoy a bit of weed just like I do the occasional cigar or glass of whiskey. But maybe I could harness it to knock out housework, giggling all the while?
Part of the inspiration came from Dosist, a lifestyle-meets-cannabis company based in Santa Monica and available all around California, Florida, Nevada and Canada. I heard of their products, which dispensed small “doses” of THC via vape pen or minty edible tablets (in Florida, only the vape pens are available), with slick marketing that promised they were “formulated for your well-being,” that they could help “unlock the benefits of cannabis to help you take control of your health and happiness naturally.” They sell their doses in six different “formulas”—bliss, sleep, calm, relief, arouse, and passion — that combine THC and CBD and leave the specifics of those claims up to users.
This, again, was not an entirely original idea. All sorts of folks (indigenous people worldwide, Cheech & Chong) have been using cannabis for health and wellness benefits of many kinds for many years. And in 2018, the excellent author Michael Pollan brought the idea of microdosing with psilocybin (shrooms) to the masses with his book How to Change Your Mind.
I decided to split the difference between Pollan’s mind-bending exercise and bathing in CBD oil, which I tried a few months ago and found anecdotally ineffective in a broad range of tinctures, coffee infusions and bath bombs. (Though I did feel pampered.) I started taking small doses of cannabis every time my honey-do list included housework. (I live in the beautiful state of California, where weed is as legal and easily obtained as a Slurpee.)
The Dose Dial is an interesting contraption. It’s how Apple would design a weed mint tablet dispenser; it also honestly looks like birth control. It’s kid-proof: to get your little tablet, you have to slide open a little door, press down on a button, and turn a wheel on its side with your thumb. Out pops your tablet, which at 3.7mg is less than, say, a 10mg gummy, but not that much less (dials are $30 and there are 30 tablets per dial). In a perfect world, it’d be just the right amount of weed for me to be focused enough to take on a list of chores but also zoned out enough to make said chores a breeze. I could creatively multitask—say, puzzle my way through a problem with a story while doing the dishes.
Reality was a much more mixed bag. I used the “bliss” and “calm” formulas through several days of trials.
On one day, a single blissful tablet (9:1 ratio of THC to CBD, “feel just the right amount of good”) seemingly turned me into a machine: I felt focused, stopped trolling Reddit and knocked out a story I’d been putting off, then did the dishes, tidied up the living room and did a mountain of laundry, all before my fiancee could get home.
But on another day, “bliss” seemed more like trucker speed: I couldn’t stay on-task, and finished a frustrating stretch of hours with a list of five half-done chores. On another day, I succumbed to my normal weed compulsions: cleaning up my albums,playing the guitar, then switching on a video game. The “calm” mint tablets (1:10 THC to CBD, “promote balance and help relax your mind and body naturally”), meanwhile, didn’t seem to do much to me at all, bolstering my belief that CBD doesn’t do much for me.
Clearly, the final word on how efficient my housework can be comes not some lifestyle tablet: it comes from me. When I was in the right mood, pressing the button my Dosist dispenser energized my efforts. And there’s definitely credence to using the turn of a dial as a mental marker: when I do these, it’s time to change my mindset to get shit done. For plenty of people, Dosist could work well to that end. For me, it’s telling that I didn’t continue using my tablets as carrots or sticks for getting work done. I found myself reverting to my old ways with weed: using them to de-stress after a long day with family, or giving them out at wedding afterparties to the late-night crew.
The reason we don’t know more about the effects of cannabis on our health is that the federal government continues to list it as a schedule-1 drug, right alongside peyote and meth. Medical researchers can’t get their hands on it for actual tests to see how effective it can be for treating sleep problems, anxiety or not wanting to do the dishes. When that changes, I’ll be the first to volunteer as a subject. Till then, I may stick to gummies and keep my weed strictly for fun.