Mindfulness—a meditative act that can open the door to inner peace and new perspectives—goes hand-in-hand with cannabis. Practiced by some 500 million people around the world, mindfulness, when mastered correctly, can aid you in achieving overall wellness and mental clarity. Since cannabis serves as a natural tool for introspection, reflection, and relaxation, the trichome-encrusted green plant may prove useful for accomplishing self-awareness.
Jessie Gill of Marijuana Mommy is a cannabis nurse. When asked about cannabis and mindfulness, she says, “Cannabis can benefit mindfulness in several ways. Many consumers report cannabis helps them slow down their thoughts and focus on one thing, which is what mindfulness is all about.”
Designating just a few minutes (or hours, depending on your level of commitment) to mindfulness every day could radically transform quality of life. The technique, which can be practiced in many ways, involves guided imagery, breathing methods, and various other practices that aid in soothing the body, mind, and soul.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), researchers have found that mindfulness-based therapy is beneficial in altering the affective and cognitive processes that various clinical problems stem from. In fact, the 7,000-year-old practice of meditation may have a role in reducing the risk of heart disease; not to mention various other types of disease.
Individuals who embrace mindfulness as part of their daily routine can gain greater control over their thoughts, relieve muscular tension, enhance sensory perception, and amplify their sense of contentment. That’s without even mentioning the influence that meditation can have on your sex drive!
The ancient practice of mindfulness is rooted in conscious decision-making and retrospection. While the practice does not come easy at first, it is possible to tune in through seated meditation, focused breathing, and yoga sessions.
Add cannabis to the mix and you’ve got a match made in heaven! In particular, strong indica and hybrid strains can mimic the effects that meditation has on the brain to trigger feelings of self-awareness, euphoria, empathy, relaxation, and improved pain tolerance.
Starting your day with a “wake and bake” session is a sure-fire way for some to reach a mindful state. This popular morning ritual can assist you in achieving a positive mental state that will serve you as the day goes on. Since strains, such as Durban Poison, Purple Haze, and AK-47 can stimulate creativity, a morning smoke session offers the perfect chance to repeat positive affirmations.
Here are some examples of positive affirmations:
Sometimes, we forget to protect our energy. From lack of sleep to dehydration and poor diet, there are many ways in which your energy levels may become depleted. Fortunately, practicing mindfulness and cannabis—contrary to popular misconception—can drastically recharge your energy levels.
Energizing breathing meditations, combined with the consumption of a non-sedating cannabis strain, may help you to avoid feelings of lethargy and tiredness. However, the type of cannabis product you choose to combine with mindfulness will influence your energy levels.
For example, strains rich in cannabidiol (CBD) can be relied on to maintain energy throughout the day, whereas THC may induce feelings of sedation. Heather Dagley, a cannabis coach at Veriheal and author at Bud & Blossom, supports the idea of using CBD as an add-on to mindfulness meditation.
“CBD is non-intoxicating, so it is a great supplement to your day-to-day activities, even during work hours if that’s an option for you! I like to pair CBD with movement for a little energy boost when I am feeling humdrum in the afternoons. I’ll take a few puffs of CBD flower from my vape device and go on a quick walk around the block. Both CBD and movement, it turns out, are great for the endocannabinoid system. And, they feel pretty good for the soul, too,” says Heather.
She recommends starting out at low doses of CBD and increasing gradually, so you can figure out how it impacts your energy levels. According to scientific studies, higher doses of CBD can be sedating. With that being said, the best way to find your “sweet spot” is to experiment with small, daily doses of 15-20 mg for one week.
Heather also recommends consuming a cannabis strain high in limonene – a terpene known for boosting mood. She notes,
“Limonene is usually rich in strains with a ‘citrus’ sounding name, ie: Grapefruit, Island Sweet Skunk, Super Lemon Haze, etc. Consider imbibing with a limonene-rich strain and turning on your favorite song for a truly elevated moment!”
As more U.S. states choose to legalize cannabis, in whatever form that might be, the plant is becoming increasingly appealing to people with an active lifestyle. Interestingly, a new study from UC Boulder hypothesizes that almost 50% of pre-workout smokers felt more motivated to exercise after they consumed the plant.
“Anecdotally, THC seems to help most before and during endurance exercise,” said professor and researcher of cannabis and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D.
Furthermore, research has indicated that cannabis can reduce racing thoughts, induce a good night’s sleep, and ease inflammation. Ultimately, cannabis could positively impact a workout session and/or recovery. As a direct effect of this, mental health can be improved, thus improving the chances of engaging in conscious mindfulness.
A report by Insider also revealed that consumers have lower anxiety levels, reduced pain, and improved consistency in workout sessions when they consume cannabis.
The thoughts that plague your mind before sleep will not only have an impact on your level of restfulness, but also, your dreams, energy levels, and mentality the following day. For this reason (among many others) it’s well worth trying an indica-dominant strain that can ease physical and mental tension.
Your brain is in control of your entire body and therefore the signals that it receives before any activity (most importantly sleep) will considerably impact its functioning. Inform your brain that it’s time to rest by relaxing during a regular bedtime routine.
“When winding down at the end of the day, especially if you’re someone who deals with insomnia or issues of sleep, I think it’s good to get into a routine with any cannabis consumption or hemp consumption. I recommend mindfulness but setting an intention,” says chef and cannabis educator, Liv Vasquez.
Vasquez, the winner of Netflix’s Cooked with Cannabis, also recommends putting phones and computers away, journaling or meditating before bed, drinking a tea infused with cannabis honey. and trying a CBN patch or tincture.
Getting into the habit of winding down each evening will program the mind into understanding that it is entering a mode of mindfulness for a productive day ahead.
Before you give in to the temptation of soothing the mind, body, and soul with cannabis, consult with your doctor or healthcare practitioner. By doing so, you can get the go-ahead and mitigate the potential risk(s) associated with cannabis’ synergistic effects should you already be using some type of prescription drug.
It’s also worth considering a personalized cannabis wellness program; more social event organizers are introducing the plant into their businesses, such as yoga, art classes, religious/spiritual ceremonies, writer’s circles, and more.
To sum up, Jessie Gill offers the following advice for people seeking the best strains and doses for mindfulness:
“Consumers should also know that these benefits can be dose-dependent and results may vary from strain to strain. Enhanced mindfulness is best achieved with low to moderate doses of cannabis. As always patients need to find the strains that work best for their particular body chemistry.”
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