Marijuana and Meditation
DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion blog post and should not be considered medical advice. If you’re thinking about combining marijuana and meditation, first talk to your physician AND a professional meditation instructor about the potential risks.
Marijuana and meditation have a lot in common.
Both have been used, together, in religious ceremonies and in spiritual practices for thousands of years.
Both marijuana and meditation promote relaxation and peace of mind, and they both help reduce chronic pain.
And, if used correctly, both can help you find mental clarity and put you in touch with your deepest, core self.
If this sounds like we’re going off into “woo-woo” territory, relax. We’re not pretending to be metaphysicists or theologians. We deal with medical marijuana, so we try to keep things as grounded in physical reality as we can.
That being said, research suggests that our mental and emotional states can impact our physical health. If we want to take control of our health, getting control of our mind is a good place to start.
After all, our mind is one of the few things we actually do have control over in life.
Although meditation and marijuana have been used in various religious and spiritual traditions, you don’t have to believe in anything in order to benefit from either.
The proof will be in the pudding, so to speak.
So let’s talk a little bit more about what’s in this pudding.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a mind-body technique designed to calm the body and mind. It typically involves settling into a comfortable position (sitting or lying down on your back) and focusing your mind on a particular object.
It usually involves sitting or lying in a comfortable position, keeping your back straight and your breathing steady, and focusing your mind on a particular object.
The object of focus can be anything: a lit candle, a statue, a point on the wall.
It can also be a word, phrase or mantra that you repeat in your mind. Or you could simply focus on your breathing.
If you get distracted and start thinking about something other than your chosen object, you simply take note that you were distracted, and you return your focus to your chosen object.
And that’s pretty much the nuts and bolts of meditation. You can do it for ten minutes or you can do it for two hours.
(If you’ve never meditated before, you may want to try ten minutes first.
Studies show that meditation could help treat the following medical conditions:
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Nicotine addiction
Pretty great, right?
Why Combine Marijuana and Meditation?
You might have noticed that the benefits of meditation are remarkably similar to the benefits of medical marijuana. Especially when it comes to treating irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, insomnia and pain.
So what happens when you combine the two?
We’ll say this: marijuana can deepen and intensify the meditation experience, and meditation can, in turn, deepen and intensify the effects of marijuana.
That can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your temperament and mental state.
Some people swear by this combination. Entire spiritual practices have been built around this combination
Others would rather not mix and match. Marijuana and meditation are pretty powerful on their own. Adding marijuana to your meditation routine, or vice versa, could be like throwing gasoline on an already blazing fire.
Meditation and Marijuana: A Positive Story
Many years ago, one of the members of the Dr. Green Relief team (we’ll call him “Rick”) ate marijuana-infused brownies for the first time.
And like many first-time edible eaters, Rick ate more brownies than he should have. Not only that, he ate them late into the evening and didn’t feel the effects until around midnight.
It was a long night for Rick.
His thoughts were out of control, and his anxiety had backed him into a corner.
Fortunately, Rick had already been studying and practicing meditation for a while.
He put on some Bob Marley to boost the positive vibes in his room, and he started meditating. Instead of fighting his thoughts, he just focused on breathing in and out. He imagined himself at the center of his thoughts, where he could observe them peacefully, instead of getting dragged down by them.
Rick didn’t come down from the high until late the next morning. Although it was a harrowing experience, it was also a valuable one, and it taught him two things:
- Edibles should be eaten in slivers, not chunks.
- Meditation can help you stay calm and centered if you’re experiencing paranoia or anxiety (a common side-effect of the cannabinoid THC)
Is It Safe?
The National Health Institute says that meditation is safe for healthy individuals.
For people suffering from psychiatric issues, there have been rare cases in which meditation made their symptoms worse. The Institute recommends that you notify your physician before beginning a meditation regimen. You should notify your meditation instructor of your condition.
It’s even more important to notify your doctor and your meditation instructor before combining meditation with marijuana.
How to Combine Marijuana and Meditation
1). Develop a meditation practice first
The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center offers free guided meditations that can help you get started.
There are also plenty meditation apps you can download on your mobile device and use for instruction.
Of course, there’s no substitute for an in-person meditation instructor. An instructor can observe you while you’re meditating, help you correct your posture and encourage you to eliminate bad habits. An instructor can also be a valuable sounding board for any feedback or thoughts that you want to share.
2). Practice meditating for at least 90 days
90 days may seem like a long time, but there’s a good reason for waiting this long.
Meditation has its ups and downs. Some days, you might feel like the time you sat went really well. Other days, you may feel like you weren’t able to shut off your mind
Also, when you spend a lot of time observing your own mind, emotional and psychological baggage can come up. You might be ready to face this baggage. Or you might not be. Again, this is why it’s so important to work with an instructor.
Doing your practice over a three-month period will give you a sense of the highs and lows of meditation. Once you have experience navigating these highs and lows, you’ll be in a better place to navigate the highs and lows that marijuana will bring into the equation.
3). Slowly introduce marijuana into your practice
Once you’re ready to introduce marijuana into your practice:
- Meditate for at least ten minutes so that you can get calm and centered.
- When you’re ready, take one puff of marijuana, and then go back to meditating.
- Observe the high feeling that’s overtaking you. Try not to get wrapped up in the fact that you’re high. Just observe it from a distance. You’ll find that doing this actually increases the intensity of the high.
- If you feel ready, you can take another puff. Continue to meditate and use additional marijuana when you feel it’s necessary.
And if you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of medical marijuana, schedule an appointment with us today!