When the majority of us were growing up, cannabis—or weed, or pot, or marijuana—was for stoners. It makes you lazy, said our parents, or worse! These days, things couldn’t be more different. While cannabis remains prohibited on the federal level, it’s legal for at least some uses in the majority of the states. And in addition to its many recognized medical uses, a growing number of us are turning to cannabis for wellness. How can cannabis help our self-care routines? Plenty of ways, as it turns out, including:
- Deepening physical practices like yoga and exercise routines
- Helping us tune into meditation and quiet reflection more mindfully
- Addressing aches and pains with a gentle, sustainable, all-natural alternative to pharmaceuticals
But first, we need to address a burning question about using cannabis for wellness: What about the high?
Cannabis for Wellness: The Question of Psychoactivity
As you’re probably already aware, the most abundant cannabinoid—what we like to think of as the “active ingredient”—in cannabis is called THC. While it imparts a number of important medical and physiological benefits, it is also psychoactive, meaning it makes you feel “high.”
Some of us find being high distracting, especially when we’re trying to deepen into a wellness practice like yoga or meditation. For others, it’s an impediment to maintaining a productive work life, or even connecting with others.
Fortunately, THC isn’t the only game in town. Increasingly, cannabis fans are interested in CBD—the second most abundant cannabinoid—for its beneficial effects, which include:
- Fighting pain
- Easing anxiety and depression
- Addressing symptoms of many conditions including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and others
While CBD does impart a slight psychoactivity, it’s very different from THC’s. It’s typically extremely mild, and is often described as a pleasant, slightly energizing “buzziness.” What’s more, many people develop a self-care practice in response to anxiety. And while the psychoactivity imparted by THC is often cited as a cause of anxiety, lower-THC strains and products are often cited as safe and gentle antidotes to anxiety.
If you find the psychoactivity of THC distracting, ask your budtender about high-CBD cannabis strains instead. Increasingly, they’re a popular way to access the benefits of cannabis for wellness with reduced or negligible psychoactivity.
Cannabis for Wellness: Powerful Medicine for Everyone (but Especially for Women)
As you’ve probably noticed, cannabis doesn’t affect everyone the same way. One major factor is sex, and it turns out that cannabis may have a special role to play in women’s wellness. In a survey of more than 1,000 women, a research group found some common themes in the reasons women turn to cannabis for wellness:
- 40% of respondents use cannabis to manage mood swings or mental health concerns
- 39% use cannabis to provide relief from premenstrual pain and cramps
- 35% of menopausal women use cannabis to address insomnia
- 32% of menopausal women use cannabis to address their symptoms
- 27% of women use cannabis to enhance their sex life
Cannabis for Wellness: Start Low, Go Slow
No matter if you’re trying high-THC or low-THC strains, if you’re considering incorporating cannabis for wellness into your life, we recommend you start with the lowest dose possible. By starting slow you’ll be better able to monitor the effect of the cannabis on your body and mind. And as you know: Being aware of your body in the present moment is perhaps the perfect definition of mindfulness.
Whichever ways you choose to incorporate cannabis into your life, we encourage you to do so with clear intentions. In our view, that’s the best way to access the many benefits cannabis offers our bodies and our minds—and perhaps our souls as well!