Weed. Ganja. Green. Mary Jane. Cannabis.
Many of us are familiar, if not users, of this recently acceptable plant. Your introduction may have been much like mine, secretive and juvenile attempt to subconsciously break a “rule”.
It’s been decided…
The legality of cannabis for medical and recreational use varies by country, in terms of its laws. Some countries that have legalized recreational cannabis are Canada, Greece, South Africa, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Uruguay to name just a handful. In the United States, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of cannabis, but at the federal level its use remains prohibited for any purpose. In addition, opportunistically. “Happy” restaurants in cities publicly offer food cooked with marijuana, or as a side garnish.
Our worldview of the natural cannabis plant is rapidly, and in my opinion, rightfully changing.
It’s all about intentions…
I’ve been a cannabis user for nearly six years now. I use it for a variety of reasons but most of all because, I enjoy it and so does my partner. One way I like to think of cannabis is as a “non-specific amplifier”: it will intensify things, such as set, setting, and intention. In that sense, I think of it as offering this incredible gift to us, which we have to learn how to use.
I look to it with reverence. For me, it’s through creating some kind of ritual can be really helpful. A phrase that is familiar in the psychedelic world is “set and setting.” Set meaning everything you bring to the encounter: preparation, state of mind, and intention- and setting being the container and environment in which it happens. So treating the plant with respect, having an intention behind the use of it, having gratitude, and so forth makes it more likely the plant will respond in kind, as it were.
It’s all about connections…
You can have a relationship with cannabis that is more spiritual, novel, and valuable. It depends solely on how you view it. As cannabis continues to gain more acceptance as a creative and medicinal tool, how many people are merely scratching the surface when it comes to cannabis’ potential as a spiritual ally?
I consider cannabis an advanced spiritual medicine because it does raise the stakes and amplify things, but if you can then channel this energy, there can be this remarkable opening- not just in the short term, but as a learned behavior and reconfiguration of how we meet each moment. It’s learning to trust the energy of the moment, which is why it is so important to be working to create gaps between thoughts to see what this plant can do for you.
It’s about knowledge…
There is also dosage, strain, and frequency of use which are all important factors. If you’ are looking to use cannabis as a spiritual ally, a lot of people think that less frequent use is better, because of the tolerance and familiarity effect that happens when you’re using it all the time. Some people think you should leave 5 or 6 days between, and others think you should only use it as rarely as you would do ayahuasca. Frequency of use can be really important for going deeper, if that is your intention.
Dosage is really important as well, and some people say less is more, especially if you are a highly sensitive person. You don’t need much, and you can always start small and work your way up. For me, I view an optimal dosage of one where I am still in the present but I am unintentionally calm and focused. Mind getting out of control, dizziness or nausea? You’ve exceeded your optimal dose. This plant packs power and it will remind you that whenever you forget.
There’s the everlong strain debate of indica versus sativa. Strains can make a difference, and there is no hard and fast rules here. It’s important to find a strain that feels right. Some feel really clear and light and numinous-inducing; they just feel more spiritual somehow. In my experience, those tend towards the sativa side of things. Others prefer the indica strains and find them more calming. Most of the experts I personally know prefer sativas because they are more sharp and clear for me. And that’s not even getting into the various forms in which cannabis can be taken. Oral ingestion of edible cannabis is a noticeably different experience from inhalation.
It’s about YOU…
When you combine dosage, strain, mindset, consumption method, setting, and intention, there’s one key factor. That factor is you. If you do decide or continue to engage with cannabis be mindful of the experience. Find the optimal level that you can be present with. So less is more when you’re starting out with it, but beyond that there is some interesting territory to explore when you can handle it.
What are some good tips and important insights for those who want to take their relationship with this plant to a higher level?
Co-authored by Natali
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