We are natural beings living in a manufactured world, of course we are going to experience bouts of brain fog -uninspired moments, days, even seasons. If you have yet to educate yourself on the benefits mindfulness and meditation can bring to your life…well, today is the day!
Psychosomatically speaking, depression and anxiety are at an all time high these days. The instant gratification and idealized independence we are now suggesting as normal to our brains in the first world plays a huge role.
This manifests in different ways for different people on different days.
Whether you find your days flying by in an instant or dragging by to no end (I’ve definitely been in both camps), there is a solution to this brain fog. It’s both incredibly simple but insanely difficult.
It’s the ability to develop your intuition through increased self-awareness and an elevated sense of well being.
Surprise! It’s mindfulness-based training.
For me that means medicated meditation.
In case you didn’t gather, I’m referring to pot.
Try on the different flavors of meditation. I dare ya;)
Meditation is incredibly helpful if you’re experiencing a low season, struggling in your relationships, in an artistic slump, or any of life’s other obstacles. But mindfulness isn’t just for the depressed. It’s for the everyday.
There’s good reason why the ancient practice of meditation has been passed down from generation to generation. Research is now starting to uncover quantifiable explanations as to why we really need it. Us human folk are basically cucumbers with anxiety. Learning to manage our mind is the solution. Meditation paired with intentional, conscious cannabis use are the tools.
If you’re looking for a little more calm and a lot less overwhelm, just start the practice and feel the benefits for yourself;)
Here are a few:
- Increased immune function
- Higher brain function
- Lowered blood pressure
- Lowered heart rate
- Increased attention and focus
- Increased academic success and workplace happiness, respectively
- Decreased depressive symptoms
Meditation practice has been linked to increased thickness in the cortex, an important area for general cognitive function like attention and sensory processing (Lazar et al., 2005).
Dedicated? Long-term meditation is linked with denser gray matter in the brain stem, an area that is linked to cardiorespiratory control (Vestergaard-Poulsen, van Beek, Skewes, Bjarkam, Stubberup, Bertelsen, & Reopstorff, 2009). Similarly, this may help explain how mindfulness produces positive outcomes in cardiovascular, as well as general, health.
We really need this stuff, you guys. We are doing ourselves a huge disservice if we don’t at least dip our toes into the world of mindfulness. I can’t believe I used to go around throwing my nose up at it.
MEDITATION: THE LOOK AND FEEL
First of all, it will be different for everybody. If you are at the beginning of developing your spiritual practice, I recommend delving into a few different types to see what speaks to you most.
Generally speaking though, meditation is composed of:
- Deep breathing (activating the parasympathetic nervous system)
- Mindfulness (awareness of physical body, surroundings, noise)
- Intentional observation of thoughts
- Auditory boost: adding in ohms, mantras or music (optional)
- Olfactory boost: sage, palo santo, candles or incense (optional)
- I guess it’s all optional, isn’t it? Heres another suggestion: adding in external aides such as CBD, a meditation pillow or Tibetan singing bowls
Meditation isn’t reserved just for dudes with a man bun, ‘new age weirdos’ and buddhist monks sitting in clouds of nag champa? Oh. Okay, so now that we know that, we can start to see just why this healing modality seems to have its own hype man. The results speak for themselves.
Cannabis Enhanced Meditation
Finally, let’s couple all of this goodness with the ancient wisdom of the healing properties of cannabis. Get ready, because you’ll be hopping into your vehicle to cosmic consciousness in no time.
Okay, that sounds a bit far-fetched and hyper-idealized, I can admit, but let’s unpack that a little. Cannabis and meditation each provide an array of benefits on their own but try using them to enhance one another.
As with so many things in life, it’s all about the intention behind the usage. If you don’t choose for yourself mindfully, your subconscious will choose for you.
Of course this will vary based on how you ingest as well as the strain type, quality and volume. Even who you’re with and where you are matters. Take care to understand the ideal set and setting for yourself. Some strains deliver an energy so powerful that it can cause overwhelming anxiety. Others could put you to sleep. Don’t cheat yourself out of the experience of discovering the type of plant profile your body needs most.
Personally, I refer to cannabis as my spirit plant. If something called you to read this article, your endocannabinoid system may be trying to tell you something.
I like to think of it similarly to when I crave certain food colors, it’s your body intuitively guiding you towards what it needs.
But I’m new here…
New to cannabis? Remember to start with low doses, and do your research on methods of consumption.
If you’re new to meditation, I would actually recommend exactly the same. Start slow with just 3 minutes a day if you “suck at meditating” or are “too busy.”
Because the early stages of practicing meditation can seem unproductive, it is key to remember to keep the compassion with yourself. People tend to lose patience with themselves when trying out mindfulness for the first time. Because of today’s instant gratification, when we start and don’t “see’ results, we think, “my brain is just waaaaaay too busy. I am much too important for this slowing down garbage.” In contrast, when we release judgment and learn to live in the moment we open ourselves up to that Mary Jane Mentality. Rather than deal with our squirrel brain downstairs we can better regulate our emotions and improve mental agility.
Talk about conscious cannabis!
Cannabis, Consciousness and…Consistency?
First, let it be known that I wasn’t actually able to really garner any benefits from it until I developed a consistent practice. I needed a lot of time and a bit of structure to strengthen my willpower to be able to turn meditation from a chore into a habit.
A helpful tool
So, for me, personally, I was only successful in turning it into a habit when I got the Headspace app .
Headspace helped me with consistency with its daily alarm. Furthermore, it even gamifies the process by keeping a tally of how many days you consistently practice- brain hack score! Also, there are meditations for different moods, activities, challenges, goals, and more. My favorite feature though, is the daily variety. Each day greets you with a new meditation. Therefore, every morning you can begin a new with a useful lesson, tip, or piece of soul medicine. This is a non-negotiable in my schedule!
Cannabis and Meditation, The Perfect Pair
To wrap it up, incorporating a meditative practice into my life has been my secret weapon over the last year or so. The added consistency and CBD are simply bonuses. “Mindfulness programs have proven effective in supporting both healthy populations suffering routine stress and clinical populations experiencing disorders or pathology. We can see positive effects with mindfulness practices in pathologies including anxiety, depression, insomnia, cancer and chronic pain.”
Finally, with cannabis’ neuroprotective properties and enhanced relaxation benefits, why not introduce a little intentional blazing? The results could surprise you!
Do you have a daily medicated meditation practice? If not, what has been holding you back?
Chen, K. W., Berger, C. C., Manheimer, E., Forde, D., Magidson, J., Dachman, L., & Lejuez, C. W. (2012). Meditative therapies for reducing anxiety: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials. Depression and Anxiety, 29(7), 545-562.
Lazar, S. W., Kerr, C. E. Wassterman, R. H., Gray, J. R., Greve, D. N., Treadway, M. T,…& Fischl, B. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. Neuroreport, 16, 1893-1897. Doi: 10.1097/01.wnr0000186598.66243.19
Sharma, M., & Rush, S. E. (2014). Mindfulness-based stress reduction as a stress management intervention for healthy individuals a systematic review. Journal of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 19(4), 271-286.
Veehof, M. M., Trompetter, H. R., Bohlmeijer, E. T., & Schreurs, K. M. G. (2016). Acceptance-and mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of chronic pain: a meta-analytic review. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 45(1), 5-31.
Vestergaard-Poulsen, P., van Beek, M., Skewes, J., Bjarkam, C.R., Stubberup, M., Bertelsen, J., Roepstorff, A. (2009). Long-term meditation is associated with increased gray matter density in the brain stem. NeuroReport, 20 , 170-174.Doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328320012a
Welcome home! My name is Lindsey and I nurture free spirits for a living. Blazed + Amused is a space for personal growth, development and empathy with Mama Ganja as our intuitive healing tool. I serve those looking to change their story from burn out and apathy to Blazed and Amused, a lifted lifestyle from the inside out. By combining cannabis wellness, cognitive science and creative inspiration, I create tools of change + connection. My meaningful work is to help bring more mindfulness and fulfilment to your rituals around Mary Jane. Check out my weed blog or 420 Shop for more. Cheers!