Science has begun to discover the many ways in which we can reduce stress and anxiety. While research on the effects of cannabis is still in its beginning stages, CBD and THC have both been shown to have an impact on a busy mind. But there’s something even more effective, with a lot more research behind it — meditation.
In a study from the Michigan Technological University, it was found that a single session of meditation could do wonders in reducing anxiety. However, for some, sitting down in a quiet space is anxiety-inducing. Quieting the mind can be very difficult, especially for those who might be new to the practice of meditation. That’s where marijuana and meditation might make a perfect combination.
As marijuana legalization gains traction across the U.S., more people are turning to weed to help them meditate. For many, it helps them achieve a quiet mind and inner peace a little faster. As one yogi told Vice, meditating while high helps people get a glimpse of enlightenment. This in turn aids in the process of achieving that state in the future — high or not.
Furthermore, as the right dose of marijuana and meditation can be anxiety-relieving separately, combining the two might not be a bad idea. The purpose of meditation is to gain a sense of mindfulness. Not only does this reduce anxiety, but it is beneficial to your physical health. Meditation can lower your blood pressure, ease stress, and treat chronic depression.
In fact, one 60-minute session of meditation can have an enormous impact. But what if you have a hard time sitting still, quieting a busy mind, and doing nothing for a whole hour? This is where marijuana can help. By giving yourself a sense of calm, lowering your blood pressure, and maybe zoning yourself out a little, that elusive meditative bliss could be a little easier to achieve.
Whether or not cannabis helps you meditate might be dependent on the dose and what kind of strain you’re using. While CBD has been shown to have an anti-anxiety, calming effect, THC can actually increase your anxiety. So what’s the right dose? It might be a mix of both THC and CBD, depending on what result you’re after.
According to a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders, a strain high in CBD and low in THC worked well for relieving depression. Choosing a strain high in THC with low CBD helped reduce anxiety. However, it gets more nuanced from there. What about indica versus sativa? Indica is well known to have a relaxing effect. While sativa can give the user a more energetic, creative high.
So, if you’re about to sit down on the mat and do some meditating, what’s the best way to incorporate cannabis into your routine? The general wisdom is to start off small. Experiment with strains and dosage. Find out what works and what doesn’t work for you. Everyone’s bodies and minds are different, responding uniquely to the cannabinoids present in each strain.
When it comes to how you’re consuming marijuana for meditation, it all depends on how quickly you want to find your inner zen. Edibles and meditation might be the preferred way to go, since smoking can be an irritant. If you are combining cannabis and yoga, edibles are also more gentle on your body.
However, it’s important to give your edible enough time to kick in. Depending on the individual, it could take anywhere from one to two hours to feel the effects. But as opposed to inhaling cannabis, edibles can also last a lot longer. That means, if you’re planning on spending an hour or more meditating, an edible might be best. Though getting that perfect dosing balance might be a little more difficult.
If you start experiencing unpleasant physical sensations or thoughts, that might be a sign you need to lessen your dose. Or, meditation while high might not be the best route for you. When you meditate, you’re naturally activating your endocannabinoid system. Adding marijuana to the mix could be overdoing it for some people, causing dizziness, nausea, or other unpleasant symptoms.
The goal of meditation is to gradually teach your mind and body how to reach a state of inner calm, mindfulness and peace — without the help of outside stimulants. That’s something worth remembering when incorporating weed into your practice. It might help you achieve that zen-state a little faster, but experts warn against relying on it every time. Otherwise you might be hindering yourself from reaching the ultimate goal. Which is, learning how to achieve tranquility without requiring the support of outside sources.