The increasing push for legal weed all over the world is giving rise to an estimated $6.7 billion dollar industry in cannabis products, from edibles to oils. As cannabis gains greater and greater recognition as a therapeutic substance to naturally treat ailments, and weed climbs the ladder towards legal freedom, it’s time we took a step back and asked how to have a conscious relationship with this plant. As one of the most widely used recreational substances, it makes sense that we should focus on creating a weed-positive culture, that encourages ethical growing and consumption practices. So if you’ve been using poorly sourced weed in a co-dependent way, it’s time to re-frame your relationship with weed.
Just as the organic food movement has exploded across the country, so too is the organic weed movement on the incline. Marijuana, like food, should be questioned for it’s sources. What kind of soil was it grown in? Were there chemical fertilizers used in the process that leave toxic residues? Is it organically grown medical marijuana, or narco-trafficked Mexican schwag? A conscious cannabis consumer is going to consider all of these factors when they seek to engage with their joint, vaporizer, or CBD oil.
Ancient cultures once used cannabis for sacred spiritual purposes. In India it has been widely consumed for a least three thousand years for treating ailments and as a sacred plant. It’s even mentioned in the Indian creation myth where it’s considered one of the five nectars of the gods. It has also been used in ancient China, Japan and beyond. The problem is that today, what was once a spiritual practice has become a recreational endeavor, that has transformed the consumption of marijuana as medicine to a personal vice.
How to Be More Conscious With Cannabis in 5 Easy Steps
Here are some steps you can take to have a conscious relationship with cannabis that will benefit you, the planet, and your local community.
1. Buy Organic Sungrown Cannabis
Seek a weed source that you know will be good for the planet and for your health. The first thing you want to focus on is the kind of weed your are getting. Is it indoor our outdoor? Indoor grow operations allow growers to grow year round, but indoor weed requires a lot of equipment for lighting, ventilation, cooling, and dehumidifying – and therefore a lot of electricity – resulting in a large environmental footprint. Indoor weed is typically more expensive than outdoor weed, not because it is better, but because it costs so much more to grow it.
Outdoor weed is seasonal and much more sustainable than indoor, however, it consumes a tremendous amount of water, and improper growing practices can degrade land, erode soil, and lead to pesticide and fertilizer runoff. Profiteering growers using industrial growing methods create unsustainable grow operations that not only pollute the local environment, but also leaves toxic residues on the pot – contaminated product that often makes its way to medical marijuana dispensaries – and terminally ill patients.
When sourcing your weed, look for growers that use organic fertilizers and pesticides, like predatory bugs and bacteria and fungi, to avoid toxic residues on the cannabis. Smaller, organic grow operations are better for the environment and usually produce a better product. On the more energetic, spiritual level, you might consider going with a grower that brings positive intention and energy to the plant so that you know you are truly getting high vibrational marijuana.
Swami, of Swami Select, purveyors of sun, moon, and star grown marijuana, blesses his pot seeds with a drop of the River Ganges. He and his wife Nikki, a.k.a. The Cannabis Couple, are judges at California’s Emerald Cup and their farm is a vibrant, laughter and love-filled community hub.
The Sisters of the Valley created their own sacred cannabis order, and make their cannabis products by the cycles of the moon, while performing spiritual ceremonies involving burning sage.
2. Consecrate Your Cannabis
In the Santo Daime communities that smoke marijuana, or, in their words, “consecrate with Santa Maria”, the user will make the sign of the cross with their joint, before puffing on it in contemplation and then sending that doobie down the aisle to be shared with their brothers and sisters at church. If that feels a little too Christian for you, simply bringing more mindfulness to your marijuana smoking practice will shift your relationship from recreational to spiritual.
3. Create a Sacred Space
Consider creating a positive and even sacred setting for your marijuana consumption. While many of us are used to consuming weed at loud parties or in other chaotic social settings, it’s worth experimenting with bringing more intention to the setting in which you consume cannabis. By creating a peaceful, pleasing environment, you are more likely to obtain greater benefit, and possibly even spiritual insight from weed. If you are doing it socially, consider sharing it with individuals with whom you share a good connection, as cannabis can sometimes increase feelings of anxiety if you don’t feel fully comfortable with the people you are with.
4. Commune with Cannabis on Solo Nature Walks
Cannabis is considered to be a teacher plant in many cultures because it has the ability to connect your consciousness with Nature, and can be used shamanically as a “bridge” to communicate with other plants. If that sounds really woo-woo to you, I encourage you to try it.
Consume your cannabis in the great outdoors while doing solo, contemplative Nature walks…and see what opens up for you.
5. Make Cannabis Consumption a Part of Your Self-Care Ritual
One of the most wonderful delights in the world is yoga, on cannabis. The sadhus were onto that thousands of years ago, and in states where recreational marijuana and medical marijuana is legal, yoga on weed studio classes are cropping up.
You can take this to the next level by scheduling a massage or visit to the spa after your stoned yoga class. Treat yourself to hours of self-care bliss, heightened by the healing power of your organically grown, consciously cultivated medical marijuana. There is no going back!
Benefits of Having a Conscious Relationship with Weed
Now that you’ve got your ethically, organically and consciously grown weed, and you’ve created a positive setting for the experience, you are ready to receive all of the amazing benefits that cannabis has to offer. It time to shift the lens of focus from spacing out on the couch with a bag of cheetos, to communing with an amazing plant teacher that can truly bless your life. Here are some of the incredible experiences that can open up for you:
Spiritual insights and cosmic downloads.
I personally have had the experience of journeying very deep within myself, and to other worlds through communing with cannabis. Be prepared for an inner journey that can help relieve you of mental barriers, outmoded concepts and ideas, and open you up to new possibilities for your life.
Deep relaxation and a sense of well-being.
This effect is more common with indica dominant strains. There is now a great deal of evidence supporting the idea that cannabis can have therapeutic effects and is effective in the treatment of various medical conditions. An article from the U.S. National Library of Medicine states that “There is now clear evidence that cannabinoids are useful for the treatment of various medical conditions.”
Mindfulness of your consumption habits.
By being more mindful of the way you consume cannabis, you may find yourself more apt to be mindful of your other consumption habits (alcohol, coffee, sweets), and less likely to use cannabis in a co-dependent or addictive way.
Better sex & emotional intimacy
Cannabis has also been known to heighten physical connection, creating deeper emotional bonding and exciting our sexual appetite. In an article from Web MD the author states, “Cannabis can enhance the body’s ability to experience orgasms and there is scientific evidence to support this”. Dr. Mitch Earlywine, a psychology professor at SUNY Albany states, “The CB1 receptor seems to be involved in improved tactile sensations and general euphoria.” Cannabis can heighten the senses while relaxing the mood, providing a delightful gateway into sexual experience.
By becoming a conscious cannabis consumer, you benefit yourself, your community and the planet. As awareness grows as to the therapeutic, spiritual, and relational benefits so too does our perception of weed. Just as the ancients once knew, we are remembering how to engage with cannabis as a plant teacher and healer that can help us improve our lives in so many ways.