With a scant 7 weeks left in the year, we’re now officially careening into 2018’s holiday season. If you’re like most people, that fact inspires in you at least a little anxiety. Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m not ready!” or “what did I accomplish this year?” or any number of other thoughts that cause you stress. We hear you, Friend, and we’re here to help.
As these words are coming to you from The Green Solution, you’re probably not surprised to hear that we recommend cannabis to help you find a bit of peace. But, and stay with us here, we’d like to ask a question: Have you considered pairing cannabis with meditation? It’s a combination that’s helped countless people around the world (and throughout history) to find the tranquility they sought. Is your curiosity piqued? Then read on!
Broadly speaking, the practice of meditation comes to us through the Eastern traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Interestingly, both developed in the part of the world now known as India, a region where cannabis grows naturally. In Hindu mythology, cannabis is named as one of five sacred plants, and it holds special significance to the god Shiva. According to the Vedas (the Hindu holy books), cannabis came to exist when Shiva and other gods were making Amrita, the potion for eternal life. As is wont to happen when cooking, drops of the elixir were jostled from the cauldron and spilled onto the earth. Wherever the drops fell, cannabis plants sprang up and thus were considered holy from time immemorial.
To this day, tens of thousands of Hindus from India and Nepal gather annually in Kathmandu to celebrate Maha Shivaratri, a holy festival dedicated to Shiva wherein smoking cannabis as a holy offering to Shiva is encouraged.
It turns out that there’s more than just anecdotal evidence to support the efficacy of pairing meditation, or mindfulness, with cannabis for deep relaxation and relief from stress and anxiety. According to Diana Winston, director of mindfulness education at UCLA Semel Institute’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, “Mindfulness can be helpful for a variety of physical health issues; generally speaking stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure. Also, conditions that relate to inflammation can be positively affected such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc, and it’s also been shown to boost the immune system and promote the healing response.”
Unfortunately, the federal prohibition of cannabis has limited scientific study into its effects. However, cannabis has been found in initial studies to have many of the same benefits as meditation. A 2017 study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers, and a 2013 study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found cannabis to be beneficial in reducing inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease.
Now that you’ve given it a little thought, pairing meditation and cannabis sounds like something you’d like to try. How to proceed? First, decide what sort of cannabis product you’re going to consume, how much, and when. We recommend using something with which you’re familiar. This is not a time to choose a new strain or method of consumption. We’re not looking for surprises here, but rather calm introspection. Because the endocannabinoid system of each individual is unique, there is no one “best” strain for meditation. With a little experimentation, you should be able to zero in on exactly what helps you get in the meditation zone.
Similarly, there’s no right or wrong way to practice meditation itself. There’s a famous Zen saying that goes something like this: “everyone should meditate for 20 minutes a day, unless they’re especially busy. Then they should meditate an hour a day.” That being said, a good goal to start with is 3 – 5 minutes at a time, once or twice a day.
While we here at The Green Solution are experts in cannabis, we’re not experts in meditation, but here are a couple of resources to help you get started. This article in Psychology Today offers “5 Meditation Tips for Beginners.” If you’re really gung-ho and think meditating is something you’d like to add to your personal wellness routine, there’s an app for that! Healthline.com published a list of the year’s best meditation apps (many of which are free) that can get you started.
We hope you’ve learned a little something here today, and that perhaps we’ve inspired you to find a new use for your favorite herb. As always, feel free to ask a friendly TGS Retail Associate for their recommendations in pairing cannabis with meditation. We’re here to help, and you can trust our experience.