Given the immense amount of misinformation and propaganda out there on the subject of recreational marijuana and intelligence — from both sides — it’s necessary to give one’s head a good shake and really sift through the facts if choosing not to go completely on personal experience. But when it comes to intelligence we could all use a little more, couldn’t we? And we don’t want to give up smoking weed, right? So why not educate ourselves on how to make it work for us rather than against us?

I’ve done a lot of research on the topic and paired that with my own personal experiences to compile these “dos and don’ts” for those who use weed recreationally. Of course, people who need weed medically are best following the advice of their doctors, so this guideline is not necessarily for them.

Don’t mix business and pleasure.

Well, obviously right? But maybe not so obvious. I mean, how many people out there wake and bake and then still go off to their jobs? It’s not gonna really help you work better, is it? Unless you’re doing something super creative or something, but really, most people at least come across as a little ditzy when they are stoned, right?

So let’s keep our best face forward and not give our co-workers reasons to think we’re less smart than they are simply ‘cuz they only know the stoned us. Same goes for having difficult discussions and such — best to keep a clear head. Best to do the majority of your brain-work and work-work sober and save the weed for the music and sex and magic when you’re being recreational.

Don’t smoke joints like they’re cigarettes.

Anything that is as much of your regular daily life routine as eating and drinking should only really be those — not the consumption of any drug, if possible. Don’t have your whole life be about the next time you’re getting high. Studies suggest that marijuana impairs the intelligence of heavy smokers rather than that of just light smokers. So keep your smoking to a healthy dose — even daily use is fine as long as you’re not smoking fatties every hour! I’d recommend no more than a gram or two per day unless otherwise prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Do get your ass of the couch, you stoner!

You know what I mean: stoners who just sit around watching TV, playing video games, and munching on junk food should really get their asses off the couch and do something with that high!

Keep your activities varied and don’t let your weed smoking make you lazy. Listen to music, have sex, have a conversation, go for a walk in nature, cuddle, cook, read, stretch, eat … anything but just smoke, watch TV, and play video games, ‘kay? It’s cool if it’s a non-habitual, intentional thing, but don’t let it go hand-in-hand with your pot-smoking habits. Mindless, repetitive shit will make you dim — not the weed, but that for sure. ‘Nuff said.

Do an occasional month-long MJ cleanse.

Studies have shown no long-term negative effects on IQ once consumption has ceased for an extended period. Specifically, a study done at Harvard University, “Cognitive Measures in Long-Term Cannabis Users”, found that after an absence of at least 28 days, cognitive changes that were present while smoking regularly were no longer present. When it comes to recreational marijuana and intelligence, it can’t hurt to let the drug — mainly the THC — be cleansed completely from the brain every once in a while, right?

Do find the right strain of weed for you.

Back in the day when nobody really knew what kind of weed it was they were smoking — pre-dispensaries — I’m sure we all had misleading experiences while super high, without knowing why. Some first-timers may have even assumed that weed wasn’t for them and have never smoked since. What a shame!

So it’s not hard to see that smoking the wrong kind of weed may not be the best for certain aspects of intelligence. Now that information is out there about strains and associated effects, you should be very clear on what effects you want pot to create — body stone or psychoactive, enervating or relaxing — and maybe even have varieties for different situations. Educate yourself on the strains that work best, then learn what works best for you.

Do surround yourself with intelligent stoners.

You are what you eat, or something like that. So then, to have both recreational marijuana and intelligence surround yourself with people (and situations) to improve it: people who read, appreciate culture, have passions … people who inspire you!

As well, people who have healthy habits. I mean you don’t want to have done all that work developing good living habits just to have friends that only influence you to watch TV, eat cheeseburgers, and smoke cigarettes, do you? So hang out with people who inspire you to be a better version of yourself — not worse — and you should do just fine.

And there you have it: a few ideas to consider. They may work for you or they may not, but hey, we can all use a little guidance sometimes, right? Hopefully, I’ve given a few possibly helpful tidbits to those who could benefit.

And “here, here!” to all the intelligent, conscious stoners out there.