I Thought I Was Dying, and then, Euphoria

My journey with cannabis-infused edibles

Joe Shetina
5 min readOct 5, 2020


Photo by Pharma Hemp Complex on Unsplash

I was sitting at the dining room table, poring over underpaid remote work listings and articles about how the secret to finding success as a writer is to crank out cursory, under-researched true crime fluff when I realized my sense of smell had stopped working.

Oh, God, I thought, this is it. This is COVID.

Somehow, despite the top-notch response of our very competent federal government, COVID found its way into MY house. Goodbye, cruel world.

I shot up out of the chair. This wasn’t COVID. It was happening too fast. It was then that I realized my sense of taste had dulled, too, and my head was swimming. Buzzing, even. Oh, God. Stroke? Heart attack? Maybe that doctor who tried to prescribe me cholesterol medication despite the fact that I don’t have a cholesterol problem onto something.

Once I caught my breath and sat back down, having made peace with my impending death, I started to feel rather nice. As much as I’d imagined my own death, I never expected it to be this pleasant. I felt light and free. I’m ready death, I thought, take me.

In the midst of this building happiness, these waves of euphoria, I suddenly remembered: I’d taken a 10mg edible not a half-hour before.

I cackled for ten minutes and then climbed into bed so I could enjoy the ride.

Needless to say, I’m not used to being a stoner yet.

When marijuana finally became legal in Illinois in January — a blessing, considering how the year’s turned out so far — I didn’t expect to benefit. I’d smoked maybe three times in my life and wasn’t impressed. Childhood asthma and a lifetime of secondhand cigarette smoke made my lungs sensitive. I’d had as few experiences with edibles and very much preferred them. I’m 250 pounds and I love food — of course, I prefer the oral option. I still figured I could do without.

It started two months ago. My roommate’s mints. They offered me two (5mg each). I took both at once and liked it enough to Venmo them some cash the next time they went to the dispensary. I still haven’t actually gone myself. The surreality of being able to walk down the street and pick up 100mg of…



Joe Shetina

They/he. Writer of fiction, screenplays, plays, reviews, essays, and poetry. Chicago. https://linktr.ee/jshetina