Meditation, Health, and Marijuana
In recent years, attitudes toward cannabis have steadily improved. In fact, a 2017 study by Pew Research found that 61 percent of Americans favor marijuana legalization. (In our own practice at Green Health Docs, we have certified over 7,000 medical cannabis patients in both Ohio and Maryland and are thrilled that so many patients are able to get access to this wonderful medicine with their medical marijuana card.) This year, California became the ninth state to legalize the use of cannabis for recreational reasons. As an economic leader, the Golden State’s move is sure to have a significant impact on the industry.
Undeniably, the legalization and growing acceptance of marijuana have opened many possibilities for its application. In fact, weed is showing great promise in the fields of medicine and health.
Keep reading if you are curious about how marijuana can help address various health issues when combined with popular wellness techniques like meditation.
Why You Should Meditate
Meditation has been a part of human civilization for thousands of years. What started as an ancient religious practice has become a very popular technique for promoting relaxation, focus, mental clarity, and overall vibrant health.
The world today can be an extremely stressful place to live in. One look at the news or social media can trigger overwhelming thoughts and anxiety. Meditation has become very relevant for this reason because it can help people bring balance into their lives.
You don’t need to be a monk on a tranquil mountaintop to learn how to meditate. A quick online search will yield countless materials that will introduce you to meditation and how you can make it a part of your daily routine. If you are new to meditation and would like to know more about it, here are some tips to help you get started:
Make it a habit. If you want to truly experience the benefits of meditation, then you will have to commit to making it a part of your life. The practice doesn’t have to be difficult or inconvenient for you. You can start by just sitting still for two minutes every morning.
Don’t get too worked up on details like the positions and breathing exercises just yet. The important thing is you begin. Once you’ve made it a part of your routine, you can increase the time and learn about meditation in depth.
Be kind. Meditation should foster feelings of compassion and kindness in you. Again, this doesn’t have to involve grand gestures. This can simply mean being patient with yourself and accepting feelings, both positive and negative, that may arise when you start meditating. If you feel frustrated or anxious, take time to acknowledge, and do not punish yourself for feeling that way.
Practice stillness. It is important to keep your mind still while meditating but it is equally important to understand that it’s normal for your mind to wander. Five minutes into your breathing exercises, and you may start going through the details of the business trip you have planned next week or what you’ll be cooking for dinner.
Don’t be frustrated. Simply bring your mind back to that place of stillness when it starts to wander. Your mind is like a muscle, and you will need to constantly practice keeping it still and focused for it to get used to this component of meditation.
How Marijuana Can Improve Meditation
One of the things that you will constantly hear about meditation is that it should take you to a place of inner peace and stillness. This can seem impossible with all the distractions present in the world around you.
Years of fast-paced and stressful living can make it hard for many people to just slow down and even stay still. Cannabis can be a good solution to this problem, and it may even improve your overall experience with meditation.
Cannabis is filled with psychoactive compounds, known as cannabinoids, that interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These receptors are linked to a variety of bodily functions, including mood, appetite, and behavior.
Cannabis triggers these receptors to produce notable effects, including a more-relaxed state of mind. This is why marijuana is quickly becoming a treatment for anxiety and seizures.
It can be said that marijuana has similar effects to meditation, and when you use the two together, the experience can be more profound. In fact, tantric Buddhism recognizes cannabis as important for achieving deep meditation and heightened awareness, and Rastafarians consider it key to their philosophy.
How to Safely Use Marijuana When Meditating
Keep in mind that marijuana is a drug, so it is important to exercise caution when using it. The following tips can help you keep your experience safe and more rewarding:
Find the best strain for you. Different cannabis strains produce different effects, so it is important that you research about the types and get feedback from other users. It is generally known that indica strains cause sedative and relaxing effects. On the other hand, sativa and sativa hybrids are more energizing and mentally stimulating, so they are better for use during the day.
Educate yourself on your company’s drug-use policies. Cannabis policies in the workplace vary across states. Some companies are more tolerant of marijuana and have removed it from their list of prohibited substances. However, there are employers that maintain their zero-drug tolerance policy and require employees to undergo drug tests. Always be aware of the restrictions in your company before using marijuana for meditation.
Understand how cannabis affects you. Researching the effects of marijuana is one thing, but experiencing these effects personally is another. Once you start using cannabis alongside meditation, observe how it affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Don’t abuse the drug, and always know your limits.
As always, Green Health Docs is here to answer your questions about cannabis side effects and benefits and other concerns you can think of. If you live in Maryland or Ohio, Green Health Docs can help you obtain your Maryland or Ohio medical marijuana card. Just call or text us at 240-356-1000 (Maryland) or 614-269-3085 (Ohio).