While we’re all sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic and practicing social distancing, there are a few things that we can do to maintain peace of mind during this disruption of our daily lives. Many people, especially cannabis consumers, are turning to meditation to quiet their minds and take away some of the stress and anxiety caused by current events. In case you’re looking to try a little cannabis and meditation combination, we’ve put together some great information to help maximize your results. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of meditation, as well as some of the best marijuana strains to consume before meditating.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation, or the act of mindful concentration, is a practice that has been used for centuries to exercise the mind and regulate focus. However, the benefits of meditation go far beyond improved focus; regular meditation reduces stress, improves self-awareness, encourages healthy lifestyle habits, improves physical health, and even extends mortality.
According to a 2011 literature review, meditation helps improve cognitive reasoning in times of stress which could contribute to it’s ability to increase lifespan.
Though stress can be helpful in protecting against danger, chronic stress causes cells to age quicker because it forces the body to remain in an extended state of reactivity. However, mindful meditation helps shift cognitive appraisals away from feelings of threat and conflict and into a more balanced (and happier) mindset.
Cannabis and its History in Religion and Meditation
People have been using cannabis for spiritual purposes for centuries, dating all the way back to 6th Century China where it was used in Buddhist tantric meditation practices. Whereas many non-tantric Buddhist practices involved monks and nuns who quietly sought enlightenment behind closed doors, tantric practices were done by laypeople (with much more room for mistakes). As such, cannabis was often used in rituals to ease aversions and encourage engagement.
Cannabis has been used ceremonially numerous times since then including 9th Century Assyria where it was used during religious ceremonies to increase euphoria and ward off evil spirits. Some biblical scholars even suggest that Jesus used cannabis in his holy anointing oil to heal his followers (which could explain why so many were miraculously healed, too).
How to Use Cannabis for Meditation
Cannabis can be a powerful substance so it’s important to take it slow when determining your tolerance. When it comes to smoking marijuana before mediating, the importance of microdosing should not be understated.
To avoid a wandering brain or an overly sleepy head, we recommend consuming only half of your usual dose. Be sure to take small hits to reduce airway abrasion or consume a small dose of edibles 30 to 60 minutes prior to your meditation session.
Alternatively, you can try sublingual cannabis which absorbs through the salivary glands if held in place long enough. In a comfortable place free from distraction, place your sublingual dose under your tongue or between the gum and cheek (keeping in mind that the bioavailability of edibles versus sublingual products is very different) then relax and begin your session as the cannabinoids absorb into your bloodstream.
Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth if possible then follow the prompts of guided meditation. Within a few minutes, your body should be released of pain and tension and your mind free from anxiety and stress.
Best Marijuana Strains for Meditation
To avoid a case of absent-mindedness that could derail the meditation process, be sure to choose the right strains. Some of the best strains we’ve found to work for meditation include the following:
Best Strains for Meditation:
- Lamb’s Bread: A spicy sativa strain made popular by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, Lamb’s Bread is a great strain for lifting mood, inspiring creative thought, and promoting introspection.
- Northern Lights: Though technically an indica, the piney flavor of this popular strain can stimulate the mind while the musky undertone relaxes the body. Northern Lights provides a great distraction from pain to help focus the mind on more purposeful endeavors.
- Blue Cheese: While sometimes producing mixed results, this indica dominant hybrid is notorious for its fast-acting, mood-elevating effects coupled with its powerful medicinal qualities. Within minutes, users can feel their pain and anxiety melt away and focus on the cerebral-centric body high, instead.
- Hindu Kush: This indica-dominant hybrid will glue users to the mat while keeping the mind focused. A heaviness in the limbs is sedating while an increased sense of perception helps draw focus to things like breathing patterns and blood flow.
- Jack Flash: Jack Flash works well for meditation because of its wave of effects, providing ample opportunity to focus on sensations within the body. The effects begin in the face and can be traced down the body then out through the limbs before starting over again.
Meditation works wonders for the brain and body, but just like with exercise and diet, meditation must become habit for it to be effective. Help improve your odds of meditation success by including cannabis into the ritual.
Have you tried to meditate under the influence of cannabis? Tell us about your results.