Meditation is a key to finding harmony and balance amongst a hectic life filled with uncertainty. Uncertainty is a normal part of human emotion and anxiety. It isn't something we'll ever remove from our psyche, but only understand better on how to embrace uncertainty and take each day at a time, as life intended it.
Everyday life requires us to be continually engaged with what's around us and obsessed with what's to come. Introspection is an important part of mental wellness, and meditation techniques are helpful in clearing your mind and spend time considering critical thoughts. Meditation is a chance to distance yourself from these thoughts, consciously seek inner silence, and exist in a state of awareness – internally and externally.
What is meditation
Think of your thoughts and anxieties as clouds floating in the sky. You're laying in the grass staring up at them. Rather than judging each 'cloud' on their purpose or placement, meditation is simplify just watching these clouds go by and seeing them as they are. When you stop judging each cloud that floats past in the sky, you'll find them float by faster and you'll be left with blue, clear skies.
Reaching this state of mind can sound easy to some, but you'll find it can be incredibly difficult to let your mind run still for 10 minutes, 5 minutes, even 3 minutes sometimes. This is where cannabis and meditation can truly open up these doors.
It's okay if your mind races. It is expected and it's healthy to embrace them. You can't have sunny days without the cloudy ones. Dwelling on these thoughts and anxieties can bring you out of your meditative state. Smoking small weed can help bring you to this mind state faster, allows you to pass over these 'cloud' thoughts more quickly. When your mindset changes, your outlook on life can too, and that's what many people need to make confident decisions.
We're not saying that smoking a joint will turn you into a Zen monk. Cannabis simply helps shift your state of mind, which is what meditation is intended to do.
What to consider when smoking weed and meditating
Smoking only in small amounts when meditating is important as to not overdo it. This is because of the biphasic ('two phase') affect of being high on THC. You achieve the first, 'desired' phase which includes relaxation and reduced anxiety when smoking a small amount. This helps you meditate. However, the opposite effects happens when you smoke too much and enter the second phase, with anxiety or paranoia higher than when you first started. This makes it far more difficult to effectively meditate.
Overdoing it on THC can make negative feelings you're seeking to relieve feel worse. You may find it difficult to let go of lingering thoughts. This all comes down to your personal tolerance to THC, and you can read more about your tolerance and the biphasic understanding of getting high through our blog post: what is THC and how it affects your body.
How to meditate when high
Once you've entered the the desired phase, you're ready to enhance your meditation. Before embarking, take a careful mental scan of your body, rate how you're feeling out of 10, and describe your current mind state with a single word. This is great to reflect back on after your meditation to recognize how you're feeling before and after. Be honest with yourself in this process and remove any internal judgement.
Guided or sound meditations found online and through apps are perfect when meditating high because it gives your mind something to focus on. It'll be easier to let go of thoughts or drift away as you'll have something keeping you focussed on letting go. If this is something you particularly struggle with, try counting your breaths as well – restarting from one without judgement whenever you lose your count. Remember to repeat your self-reflection when finished, even write it in a meditation journal and keep that in your stash box.
Why body mindfulness is important
Humans are amazing at learning from their mistakes and self-improving. The trick to taking advantage of these skills is taking time to practice them, like a muscle. When someone uses cannabis, they often have a mental change in perspective on their environment. One may notice something familiar that wasn't there before or be reminded of a time previously forgotten. These reflections happen because the effects of THC and cannabis help us draw relations between things we typically don't.
Cannabis helps you reach your meditative state through the relaxing effects it has on your body. Grabbing a cozy sweater, a blanket, and being overall physically comfortable is necessary to effectively meditate. When you find a specific strain that promotes a full body high, it can help you more easily find a state of ease.
Once you're comfortable, you're ready to begin your practice. Planning out your meditation sessions before diving in gives yourself a focus point and reduce your mind from drifting. There's no right way to meditate, and we encourage you to find that way that speaks to you best. Even walking meditations can achieve the same results and mental state. The most common focal point is one's breathing, but it can also be a hum, sound, music, or a person's guiding words.
Different states of mind and breathing rhythms share a close relationship. When nervous, panicked, or anxious, our breath escalates in order to increase the amount of oxygen in our brain. Our bodies do this by design to make faster decisions and perceive our environment quickly. When relaxed, your breathing slows, regulating your emotional response and perception. The practice of meditation invites us to recognize and be conscious of our breath. Bringing the focus to your breath and lengthening each inhale and exhale will naturally allow your mind state to follow, creating an awareness of the present moment and a clear mind.
When outside stimuli are removed on cannabis, you mind will seek to find its own stimulus. No music, television, busy streets or nature sounds distracting you means your mind will discover exciting things. Closing your eyes and bringing awareness will bring a slideshow of thoughts and memories that come unpredictably. It can be overwhelming, but satisfying and brings content feelings. Like the clouds in the sky first described, don't pass these memories any judgement, just recognize them as they are and allow your mind to flow as it desires.
With these reflections in mind, there is no single right way to meditate. Remember that cannabis affects everyone differently. While some may reach a state of mental flow faster and more vividly with cannabis, it may produce the opposite effects for some. If this is your first time meditating, seek out guided sessions to learn more about the practice than this blog post alone can offer. Like training a muscle, what's important in practice is repetition; not necessarily meaning smoke before each session, but practice your meditation each day to find it easier to reach your presently-focussed state of mind.