Addiction is a family tradition. My Irish family crest is a lion, a bloody hand and a pint of Guinness. My grandma — sweetest woman ever — used to serve her grandkids desert of cake and herself benzodiazepines topped with whipped cream.

Today, five years sober from alcohol, my main addiction is to Twitter, mostly to compulsively check whether Trump publicly said the n-word yet like Kramer at the Laugh Factory. I try to stick to non-addictive drugs (particularly ayahuasca).

So, for me, parties are minefields. It's hard to survive the peer pressure — plus my own natural desire — to drink / smoke / snort / run naked through the streets.

This is where CBD comes in — my new secret to surviving social engagements.

My CBD vape pen is streamlined and chic, a silver bullet sparkling in the dim lights of a garden party. Take a drag, and the tip glows a pleasing soft white, like a magic crystal ball with the light of a vision of the future. No buttons to push. No waiting for it to heat up. No lighter. No ashes. Not much smell. 

For cool factor, I'd pit my CBD vape pen against any bottle of beer, no matter how many hipster bicycles and mustaches are printed on the label.

"What's that?" someone will ask me. Or, if no one asks — since half the point of CBD is to talk about CBD, the same way half the point of meditating or driving a Triumph motorcycle is to talk about meditation or motorcycles — I'll ask them: "Want some? You should try it."

"This is CBD, the medicinal part of cannabis sativa, the stuff that makes kids not have epilepsy," I'll say.

Visions of happy children fills their heads (I assume).

"CBD is good for anxiety and maybe even cancer." Is this show-offy or douchey? Eh. Sometimes people look at me strangely. But I struggle so much at parties; if I can think of something to say, I'll say it.

To me, cannabis sativa is more interesting and better in every way than alcohol. Cannabis treats medical conditions. Alcohol only causes them. Cannabis smells better. It's calorie free. You drive slower after smoking, and more cautiously.

And even though weed has been legal in Colorado for five years, most people are ignorant of CBD. They really do want to learn. They want to know about whether CBD is legal everywhere (it's complicated), what kind of plants it comes from (cannabis sativa, hemp variety) and whether it gets you high (no) or will show up on a drug test (no).

And with this convo going, I'm not just the lame dude in the corner not drinking. I'm participating. Without getting fucked up. Plus, the CBD genuinely reduces my party anxiety, and I can flow, without feeling weird and anxious, the reasons I started drinking in the first place. 

This is part of why CBD is seeping into the culture like a sweet scented candle in a yoga studio. Wine, butter, smoothies, coffeebeerlotions — you name the product, someone is putting CBD in it. And why CBD is the future of cannabis, at least as much as THC is.

Last week, I planted my first CBD-only cannabis plant in my backyard. I tend to it almost like a child, or at least a pet.

It's my biggest accomplishment, stopping drinking, the interruption of a thousand-year Irish curse — and my magic silver CBD vape pen helps me keep it up. My family crest might be changing from a Guinness pint to a CBD vape pen.

[What my CBD vape pen looks like.]