To many people, meditation in all its many forms represents one of the greatest cultural achievements of humanity. They see it as a time-proven path to spiritual growth and self-development. Others regard it as an unscientific new-age craze, commercialised by the global ‘mindfulness’ movement and robbed of all dignity in the process. Still other people, however, claim that cannabis can help people explore te path of meditation in a better way. Obviously, that’s the best way to grab our attention here at the Cannabis Info Centre… We decided to see what we can find out about cannabis and meditation, without being judgmental if possible.
To be fair, you could say that meditation and smoking weed have a lot in common. For starters, they are both activities directed at achieving mental or psychological results. On top of that, both practices are frowned upon by level-headed and, let’s say, ‘serious’ people, who dismiss cannabis culture and meditative techniques as fads, or pastimes for hippies and confused hipsters. Another interesting connection is the roots they share, reaching back to spiritual practices of ancient India and beyond, and it’s also safe to say that both represent industries that make billions of dollars worldwide every year. There are positive similarities too, though: in fact, there are people who believe that cannabis can actually be a way to strengthen your meditation practices.
The crucial idea in using cannabis for meditation seems to be harmony. Cannabis can improve your mental and physical balance, resulting in a state of harmony that is conductive to meditation. After all, meditation can be seen as just another way to balance your mind and body, so the effect of cannabis can help you get there more easily, without the distractions and outside influences that disrupt your zen moments. There is a catch, though: getting stoned out of your mind will not help your mindfulness at all. You could simply fall asleep while trying to meditate if you get too baked, as you can’t remain ‘grounded’ without the right intention needed for proper meditation practices.
The thing to keep in mind is that every person responds differently to various strains of cannabis, and that meditation affects every person differently, too. You will want to aim for a slight buzz to help you relax and feel comfortable during meditation; not getting so high that you forget about meditation altogether. Try different strains and be sure to keep your dosage low. Hybrid strains containing moderate levels of THC and plenty of CBD would be a good place to start. Try different types of cannabis and different quantities as you go, perhaps also experimenting with various meditation techniques, to find out what works best for you.
It Works Both Ways
The connection between cannabis, meditation, and a balanced mind can work the other way around, too. If you have practiced meditation before, your experience can come in really handy if you happen to smoke too much weed or bite off more edibles than you can chew. If you feel that familiar sense of paranoia or the Fear setting in, try to counter it by turning to meditation. Sit down, slow your breathing, and focus on that relaxed breathing pattern. Let the anxiety go. It will help you stabilize your racing mind, and you will notice that your sense of paranoia and fear will dissipate into the background.
Don’t Make Your Meditation Depend On Cannabis
A word of warning is in place here: be careful not to rely too heavily on cannabis for your meditation efforts. If you get to the point where you feel you can’t meditate properly without using cannabis first, you’re on the wrong track. This is where dosage and a sense of proportion come in. Meditating while high is similar to the notion of microdosing, where you use just enough to make you feel more relaxed and slightly buzzy, but not enough to get stoned out of your mind. This is about mindfulness, remember? Smoke too much, and you get a state of mindlessness instead. Even though the great zen masters talk about achieving a state of ‘no-mind’, baking your chakras into submission is not the way to get there.
A Few Precautions
Okay, so now you know that mild dosages of cannabis may help improve your meditation experience. If you are planning to try the combination for the first time, or if you’re into meditation but not into weed, make sure you take the following precautions before you go ahead. As any experienced stoner will tell you, it is important to eat before smoking cannabis. If you prefer to meditate in the morning, have breakfast first. Also, make sure you are properly hydrated for a positive experience – drink plenty of fluids. Find a nice quiet spot to meditate to facilitate that relaxed state of mind you’re looking for. And perhaps most important of all, be chill. Meditation is not a race: you get better at it at your own pace, and nobody is keeping score. If cannabis doesn’t help your meditation, just skip it. Practice in short, five- or ten-minute sessions and expand from there. You’ll feel more balanced, relaxed, and focused for the rest of the day. And if you prefer not to use cannabis for your meditation, that can be a real bonus: you’ll still have that stash lying around for your personal enjoyment when your day is done!