Whether you're a newbie just trying cannabis for the first time, or a seasoned pro looking to deepen your understanding of the plant, this blog post is for you. We'll be exploring the connection between weed and spirituality - two topics that often go hand-in-hand. Get ready to learn about the history, uses, and benefits of this sacred plant medicine.
Ancient Uses of Cannabis
The cannabis plant has been around for thousands of years and most likely originated in Central Asia. The first uses of the plant centered around textile making, with the stalks and stems being used to create hemp fibers used for paper, rope, boat sails, and more. Once the plant was digested by ancient humans and found to have psychoactive effects, it worked its way into medicinal practices and shamanic rituals.
Ancient humans saw cannabis as sacred and their rituals used cannabis as an entheogen, the plant was their way to reach an altered state of consciousness and help them grow spiritually. Today, many still believe the herb has consciousness-expanding properties and use it as an aid in meditation or to gain deeper insight about the mysteries of life.
Is Cannabis a Psychedelic?
Describing cannabis as an entheogen may have readers thinking cannabis is a psychedelic, but that is not the case. Cannabis is a psychoactive substance, which means that it can affect the brain and change a person's mood, perception, and cognitive processes. However, it is not generally considered a psychedelic drug.
Psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, psilocybin, and DMT, are known for their ability to produce powerful and intense changes in perception, thought, and emotion. These changes are often described as "trippy" or "hallucinatory," and can include things like vivid colors, patterns, and shapes, as well as a sense of detachment from reality.
Cannabis, on the other hand, is typically associated with more subtle changes in perception and mood. The most well-known effects of cannabis are feelings of relaxation and euphoria, as well as an increased appetite. Cannabis can also affect perception, but these effects are generally less intense than those of psychedelic drugs. While cannabis is psychoactive, it is typically not classified as a psychedelic drug.
Cannabis and Spirituality in Modern Times
While many religions today shy away from or outright ban cannabis consumption, there are still many people who use it to expand their minds.
Rastafari is a religion that began in Jamaica in the 1930s. It is based around the belief that the former king of Ethiopia Haile Selassie is God and that he will return to Africa members of the black community who are living in exile as the result of colonisation and the slave trade.
Cannabis, also known as ganja, is an important sacrament in the Rastafarian faith. Rastafarians believe that cannabis is a sacred herb that has spiritual, medicinal and therapeutic properties. They use it in religious rituals and ceremonies, such as the Nyabinghi and reasonings, to aid in meditation and to connect with the divine.
The use of cannabis by Rastafarians is rooted in the Bible, specifically in the book of Psalms, which states "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein." Rastafarians interpret this to mean that the use of cannabis is a God-given right, and that it can be used to enhance spiritual experiences and to promote peace, love and unity.
The use of cannabis by Rastafarians also has social and cultural significance as they view it as a way to resist against Babylon (western society) and to promote African consciousness and self-reliance.
Cannabis and Yoga
Cannabis and yoga have both been used for centuries to promote relaxation and well-being. Some people believe that using cannabis before practicing yoga can enhance the yoga experience by reducing anxiety, increasing focus, and promoting deeper relaxation.
Our knowledge of yoga and its relationship with cannabis can be found in the sacred text of Hinduism, the Vedas. These ancient scripts name the practice we know as yoga and label cannabis as one of the five most sacred plants on Earth. The texts even reference the god of yoga, known as Shiva, “gifting” the cannabis plant to humanity for use.
In modern times, cannabis and yoga are intentionally being brought together for practice. While some may see it as just a way to get high and do an activity, there may be science to back how yoga and cannabis can work in tandem. Both cannabis and the act of yoga activate the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, that helps keep our body in homeostasis. Cannabis activates the system by directly binding to the system's receptors, while yoga increases the amount of endocannabinoids produced so more can naturally attach to the receptors.
While there is still much to be studied about the endocannabinoid system, it seems combining yoga and cannabis could lead to a deeper, and more spiritual, practice.
Some people use cannabis to help them relax and focus during meditation, which can help to deepen their spiritual practice. Those using cannabis for meditation report it helps them to gain a heightened sense of awareness in their bodies making it easier to focus on their practice.
Nature and Connection
While most of us may see religion and spirituality as synonymous, there are those who use nature and their connections to reach their higher selves.
For those who find comfort in nature, cannabis can help them connect with the natural world and feel more in tune with their surroundings. On a similar note, some people use cannabis to help them feel more connected to their community and to those around them. Whether looking for a connection to nature, or another human being, cannabis can help users to find the spiritual connection they are looking for.
How to Use Cannabis for Spirituality
When using cannabis for spirituality, it is important to be aware of how you are using it and the amounts you are using. Those who use high doses of cannabis before meditation or a ritual may become too intoxicated to fully participate in the ceremony or if they do it may not hold as much meaning.
It is best to follow the advice of a shaman or ceremony director on how much ritual cannabis to consume. If you are practicing on your own, we advise to start with a small dose and do further research regarding your chosen practice.
Spiritual stoners looking for a convenient way to incorporate cannabis into their spiritual practice should check out E1011 Labs’ CBD and infused flower products. Our stelo™ and Ari53™ flower pods are pre filled and predosed, so users can make sure they are taking the right amount for their respective practices.
Now that you know how cannabis is connected to spirituality, you can responsibly grab your ceremony edibles and spirit quest weed strain to practice some kundalini yoga in a safe space!