Taking time out of your day to recenter your mind and spirit with meditation can do wonders for your mental health and overall well-being. That being said, focusing our awareness away from hectic work schedules, relationship drama, or the many screens we have around the house can seem impossible.
Distractions are plentiful in our modern lives, and even the most zen meditators sometimes have trouble getting into the right headspace to really relax their brains. But what if there was a way to make it easier? Could using cannabis actually enhance your meditation practice?
Can Cannabis Facilitate Meditating?
While the FDA has yet to approve cannabinoids for medicinal use outside of the treatment of certain seizure disorders, according to some preliminary research, they may help manage stress and anxiety.
In the paper published by the University of Washington, Dr. Susan A. Stoner (yes, that is her real name) says, “The two primary active ingredients of marijuana, THC and CBD, appear to have differing effects with regard to anxiety. Pure THC appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses and increase anxiety at higher doses. On the other hand, pure CBD appears to decrease anxiety at all doses that have been tested.”
With anxiety being one of the major impediments to effective meditation, it stands to reason that cannabis’ anxiety-reducing effects could help users reach deeper meditative states.
Benefits Of Using Cannabis While Meditating
The combination of cannabis and meditation is hardly a new phenomenon. Meditation is a practice that’s said to have originated thousands of years ago in India—a region known for revering cannabis as a sacred plant.
For many, the psychedelic experience associated with cannabis consumption is trance-like all on its own. Using cannabis can help strip away the pressures and worries of everyday life and leave your mind more receptive to meditation.
Even non-intoxicating cannabis products, like CBD, while not likely to induce any sort of spiritual trance, may elevate mood and help users generally feel more relaxed. Feeling comfortable is essential to any meditation practice. The uplifting and calming effects of CBD may help meditators achieve a mental contentment that assists them in fully embracing the meditative process.
Downsides To Using Cannabis For Meditation
It’s important to note that cannabinoids will affect everyone differently. While some strains may help certain people relax, they may make others feel increasingly paranoid. Shifting factors like set and setting also play a significant role in shaping one cannabis experience from another, even if using the exact same strain and dose.
So, while cannabis intoxication creates a mental atmosphere ideal for meditation in some people, others may find the opposite to be true. This is especially true with high-THC strains of cannabis, which can provoke increased anxiety in some people.
Which Cannabis Strain Should I Use For Meditation?
The perfect cannabis strain for meditation will vary from person to person, and users may need to do some experimenting to find what works best for them.
High THC strains are typically grouped into either indica or sativa. Generally, sativas are considered to produce a more cerebral head buzz, while indicas tend to produce a heavier body buzz. Both can be great for meditation.
Sativas are known for inspiring creativity and heightening senses, which can be great for opening one to up the meditation experience. However, some people report feelings of heightened anxiety or paranoia. The sedating body sensations with indica strains can help meditators physically relax, helping them settle into their meditation more easily.
Just be careful not to fall asleep! If you’re someone who knows THC-rich cannabis strains tend to give them anxiety, you may want to just stick with CBD.
Let us know on Twitter what strain you like to use when you meditate!