Stress is an unfortunate side effect of our modern, busy lives—that’s where meditation comes in. An ancient practice, meditation is used widely today to alleviate modern stressors and anxieties.
Do you know what else can help manage stress and anxiety? Cannabis. And because cannabis offers heightened sensory experiences and a deep sense of relaxation, combining its effects with meditation can be very powerful.
Note, there’s a world of difference between using cannabis to Unplug after a long day and using it intentionally to look inward and achieve a greater sense of consciousness. While some people prefer a sober mind for spiritual reflection, there’s no denying the potential cannabis has for enhancing your meditative experience.
Let’s look at the history, benefits and best practices of combining cannabis with your meditative practice.
An ancient practice
Meditating with cannabis may seem like a new-age, mystic-hipster construct, but the practice has ancient roots dating back thousands of years. Ancient Indian historical texts name cannabis as one of the five sacred plants, and according to Hindu Legend, deity Lord Shiva was a cannabis fan.
Some modern cultures still see cannabis as a sacred plant; in Nepal, there are ceremonies and spiritual festivals featuring cannabis a the centre of its holy celebrations. And of course, there is a serious spiritual aspect to cannabis too, which has long been associated with transcendence.
Benefits of meditation and cannabis
Modern science supports meditation as a powerful healing tool. Studies have shown that it can help treat clinical anxiety and possibly even change our brain structures, making us more resilient to everyday aggravations. It’s also shown to relieve stress-related issues, such as high blood pressure, as well as conditions related to inflammation, such as cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Helps you destress, curb anxiety and can relieve pain... sound familiar? The therapeutic properties of cannabis have a lot in common with meditation. It’s little surprise then, that ganja yoga classes are cropping up wherever cannabis is legal—meditation and being in tune with one’s mind and body naturally go hand in hand with all the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Best consumption methods for meditation
Cannabis interacts with each individual’s endocannabinoid system in unique ways. A number of factors can influence the spiritual effects of cannabis, including dosage, strain, setting and state of mind.
Edibles will take longer to kick in but can work wonders for planned, lengthy meditation practices. Your safest bet is to hit a vape pen or a pre-rolled joint, taking small tokes until you reach a good headspace. Tinctures also work very well for this purpose.
We don’t recommend dabbing or hitting the bong for this practice unless you’re a seasoned veteran; a subtler high is more conducive to meditation. But by all means, consume however you like you’re a meditation cannaseur!
Find the right strain
Some strains are more conducive to enlightenment than others. For example, Nigerian Haze may offer creative insight while an Indica-heavy strain like Death Star can promote full-body relaxation. Your budtender can help guide you through the properties of each strain to find one that works best for you.
Potent Sativa may not offer the same relaxing body highs you’re looking for. Sativa-dominant strains may keep you sharper and clearer, but may also be more stimulating—not exactly optimal for entering a deeply relaxing, meditative state. On the other hand, an Indica-heavy strain may be a bit too sleepy for some. An India-leaning hybrid strain is a safe bet for meditation, providing that sweet spot between relaxation and alertness. Everyone is different, so choose whichever strain feels most comfortable.
Set the tone
The wonderful thing about meditation is you can practice just about anywhere—all you need is a quiet, peaceful place to practice. You want to make sure your environment is conducive to peace and relaxation. There's a common misconception that meditation is about sitting in silence and breathing chanting “om,” when in fact, some people prefer listening to music while meditating, like calming cello, singing bowls or ambient sounds.
For many, the ritual of smoking cannabis can enhance the meditative experience. Meditation is like exercising, so try to practice every day and you’ll be well on your way to achieving inner peace.