New decade, new you.
We’re already a week into 2020, which means a lot of us are probably starting to feel the pressure of the self-improvement kick we rolled into January with.
If you’re finding it hard to stay on track with your health goals, you might be surprised to learn that cannabis might just be a missing piece in your wellness routine. Because as it turns out, cannabis can do a lot more than just get you high, and “being high” can mean a lot more than simply “relaxation.”
Research into the cannabis plant and how it works in our bodies is still in its preliminary phases, but emerging studies suggest its potential in health areas that most folks don’t typically think about when they think about cannabis: from reducing cravings for cigarettes to helping you get in the zone for a long run.
Somewhere between medicine and recreation, “general wellbeing” might just be one of the most common intentions for using cannabis– especially in light of the recent explosion of the CBD trend. But CBD isn’t the only compound in cannabis that people use for wellness– there are hundreds of other active molecules in the plant that contribute to its multifaceted effects and its versatile applications.
Without further ado, here are just a few ways you can try hacking your wellness routine with cannabis.
Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Always check with your doctor before starting a cannabis regimen.
The lazy stoner stereotype days are over. Professional athletes have been advocating for the cannabis plant for years (and no, we’re not just talking about Michael Phelps), and folks in the mainstream are finally starting to open up to the possibility of using cannabis alongside physical activity instead of just watching movies and relaxing.
Many people have reported that cannabis helps them with pain and inflammation following a tough workout, speeding up recovery time and getting them ready to go again, faster.
What’s more, many endurance athletes consider cannabis– specifically cannabis edibles, which are longer lasting– to be their secret weapon in long-distance training (like marathon running). But it doesn’t have to be as hardcore as running long distances– cannabis can be a perfect accompaniment for a walk in the park, dancing in your room, stretching your muscles or doing gentle yoga.
Note: cannabis and exercise is not for everyone. Check with your doctor to make sure cannabis and physical activity are safe for your body.
Apart from its workout-enhancing potential we mentioned above, preliminary research has suggested that one of cannabis’ minor cannabinoids, THCV, might act as an appetite suppressant and metabolism-enhancer. This rare compound is most commonly found in strains like Durban Poison, Girl Scout Cookies, Cherry Pie, and Tangie.
CBD might make it easier for folks to quit smoking cigarettes. Early studies have shown that CBD’s anxiolytic properties may reduce the salience of drug cues, meaning they may potentially reduce the severity of nicotine withdrawal– the severity of which often thwarts attempts to quit.
Drink less alcohol
More and more often, people (especially Millennials) are turning to cannabis rather than alcohol as a social lubricant– especially those who experience anxiety-relieving and energy-boosting effects from THC. Next time you’re at a party, maybe skip the booze and try a cannabis varietal like Tangie and Super Silver Haze, which both have great reputations as “party strains.”
But remember, the same safety rules apply to cannabis as to alcohol: do NOT smoke cannabis and drive. Ever.
Cannabis has been used as a spiritual aid for centuries. A lot of people find cannabis to be incredibly helpful for centering themselves and getting into that tranquil, blissed-out state of mind perfect for hitting the yoga mat– or the Headspace App. Some folks enjoy the THC high and find it focusing and expansive, while others prefer the more calming sensation of CBD, and still others a THC:CBD combination for a more balanced experience.
Learn a new skill
Maybe you’re learning a new language, how to play an instrument, how to draw, or how to use Adobe Creative Suite. No matter what skill you’re trying to pick up, small doses of cannabis (in other words “getting just a little bit high”) might help shift the gears in our headspace that can make it easier (or at the very least, less stressful and more interesting and fun) for us to learn new things.
As such, the term “neuroplasticity” is becoming increasingly associated with cannabis, and some recent studies have even pointed to the possibility that THC might help protect brain cells and prevent plaque accumulation that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. The jury is still out on these theories though, as research on cannabis and the brain is just beginning to gain traction in the scientific community.
Nonetheless, for some people, the sensation of being high from THC can be immensely helpful in overcoming learned cognitive biases and engrained ways of thinking about and approaching certain tasks. This might be why THC-rich cannabis can be so helpful in creative endeavors, as it is famously good at helping us see things in a different, often more playful and childlike, perspective.
Some strains, like Jack Herer for example, tend to contain minor cannabinoids and terpenes that are believed to produce focusing effects.
Perhaps one of the most common activities for stoned folks to engage in is to clean their living spaces. Room, kitchen, living room, garage, whatever. The fact is that, for some reason, getting high makes a lot of people want to clean and organize things in their living environments.
At the end of the day, cannabis can be used to enhance pretty much anything, and everyone’s body reacts to its effects differently. The key to getting it right for yourself? Consume cannabis consciously. That means setting intentions before consuming, experimenting with various products in various doses and settings, and having conversations with your budtenders before and after your experiences.