Welcome to our library of conscious cannabis guides. Here you will find several self-guided scripts for curated cannabis experiences. Our intention with these guides is to provide the cannabis user with a roadmap for the conscious cannabis experience of your choice. Browse the topics below and enjoy conscious consumption.
Topic: Cultivating a Mindful Experience with Cannabis
In our busy lives, finding the time and headspace to slow down, reflect and be introspective is a challenge. But the benefits of mindfulness and reflection are scientifically proven, including reduced incidence of depression, stronger relationships, improved memory and cognitive function, and reduced anxiety and stress. Thankfully, cannabis can be a powerful tool for relaxation and stress reduction, a topic we’ve explored in various articles in Cannabis Academy (link to related articles). In this guide to cultivating a mindful experience with cannabis, you’ll follow a step-by-step process for optimizing the mindfulness-promoting impacts of cannabis.
Defining a Mindful Experience
For the purposes of this guide, our working definition of mindfulness is the utilization of present moment awareness through attention to bodily sensations, feelings, thoughts, and environments. This can result in a feeling of mental clarity, deep relaxation, and the ability to see things with a novel perspective. Whether your goal is deep relaxation, or thoughtful reflection, getting into a mindful state will support your efforts.
Cannabis and Mindfulness
The utilization of cannabis in mindfulness practices is ancient. Around 1500 BC, the Vedas historical texts named cannabis as a sacred plant, and cannabis is the focal point of an annual spiritual festival in Nepal to this day. To learn more about the mindfulness-promoting impacts of cannabis, check out our article on cannabis and burnout.
Expectation Setting for Your Cannabis Experience
Now that you’ve learned a little bit about cannabis and mindfulness, it’s time to set an intention for your mindful cannabis experience. Don’t skip this step! Setting an intention will prepare your mental landscape for what comes next, and the intentions you set will serve as a touchstone if your mind wanders in the midst of your cannabis experience.
Take out a journal or a piece of paper and write down your goal(s) for this mindful cannabis experience. Are you seeing bodily awareness? Relaxation? Reflection on a specific topic? All of the above? Write it all down as the thoughts come to you. Once you have this down on paper, read it to yourself aloud, then spend 5 minutes reflecting on your intentions before proceeding to the next step.
After completing this process, skip down to the “beginning your mindful cannabis experience” section and choose which meditations or mindfulness exercises you’d like to include in your mindful cannabis experience. Have these sites open and ready to go before proceeding to the next step.
Physical and Social Space Set Up
Your intention setting from the previous step prepared your mental headspace for an optimal cannabis experience. Next, you must prepare the physical and social space to support your mindful cannabis experience. Choose a physical space that will act as the primary setting for your experience. This should be somewhere that feels calming, familiar, comfortable, and void of major distractions. Think your favorite room in your home, or a quite space in nature. Consider enhancing this space with nice smelling aromas, plants, beautiful pieces of art, and calming music.
Social setting refers to the people with whom you will be sharing space during your cannabis experience. For an optimal mindful experience, you’ll want to be primarily alone, but if others will be sharing the space with you, communicate your intentions so they understand the need for a quiet, calm, and reflective atmosphere.
In the previous step, we recommended having certain sites pulled up on your computer for easy access during your mindfulness session. Be sure to close any other tabs or programs on your computer, and turn off notifications to avoid unnecessary distractions.
Suggested Strains and Forms of Cannabis for Mindfulness and Reflection
Our cannabis recommendations for your mindfulness experience will vary depending on your goals for the experience. Keep in mind that the form of cannabis consumption will also inform how quickly you feel your plant medicine kick in. Cannabis products that are smoked (flower, vapor) will have the most immediate effect, kicking in in about 10-15 minutes if not immediately, and lasting a few hours depending on the dosage smoked. Sublingual products like tinctures applied under the tongue will take effect the second most quickly, after about 15-30 minutes, and lasting 2-3 hours. Edible products like gummies will have the slowest onset of effects, needing 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect. Consume your cannabis accordingly with this information in mind. For example, if consuming an edible, it would be best to consume the cannabis product at the same time as the physical/social space set up, to give the cannabis time to take effect in your body.
When dosing your preferred form of cannabis, lean toward a lower-than-normal dose if consuming cannabis products with psychoactive components such as Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC. For individuals who are new to cannabis and unsure of where to begin with dosage, 3-5 mg of THC is ideal. If using cannabis products containing only CBD, 25mg is a good starting dose.
The strain of cannabis consumed will play a role in your cannabis experience. See cannabis strain recommendations based on cannabis experience goals below:
The goal of relaxation without a psychoactive experience
Cannabis products containing a high dosage of CBD will support a non-psychoactive, relaxing state. If deep relaxation sounds optimal to you, try products containing a high dose of both CBD and CBN, or Delta-10 THC. We suggest:
The goal of relaxation and bodily awareness WITH a psychoactive experience
Cannabis products containing Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC in combination with close to equal amounts of CBD will result in a relaxed, slightly euphoric state. Awareness of bodily sensations will also be enhanced. If this is the outcome you’re looking for, we suggest the Granddaddy Purple strain. This powerful indica body relaxer will melt tension without being sedative https://www.avldispensary.com/p/delta-8-flower-granddaddy-purp/
For those seeking a longer relaxation experience, try cannabis products containing HHC. These products offer similar effects to that of Delta 8 THC, but because the compound contains an additional hydrogen bond, it takes longer to break down in the body, so effects can last much longer than that of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC.
The goal of reflection without a psychoactive experience
Cannabis products containing THCv and CBD can promote a relaxed and introspective state with only a very slight psychoactive feeling. We suggest trying our THCv gummies (can we link to the CBD gummies that Jimmy recommended for me? Can’t find them on our website)
The goal of reflection WITH a psychoactive experience
Cannabis products containing Delta-8 THC or Delta-9 THC, and CBD can set the stage for a relaxed and expansive state of mind. We suggest the cannabis strain Blue Dream, which promotes a peaceful yet alert mental state: https://www.avldispensary.com/p/asheville-dispensary-delta-8-blue-dream/.
You can also browse a full selection of our Delta-9 THC products here: https://www.avldispensary.com/product-category/delta-9/
Beginning Your Mindful Cannabis Experience
Once you’ve consumed your cannabis and allowed it to take effect in your body, it’s time to begin your mindfulness experience. Begin with a body scan. This is a mindfulness exercise that involves sitting with your eyes closed and bringing attention to the sensations in different parts of your body.
We recommend trying the body scan linked here:
https://www.mindful.org/a-3-minute-body-scan-meditation-to-cultivate-mindfulness/ and utilizing the accompanying audio so you can fully focus on the meditation.
After completing the body scan, take note of how you feel and write down anything of significance that is coming up. If relaxation is the goal of your experience, proceed with your preselected meditation script from the ones linked here: https://positivepsychology.com/guided-meditation-scripts/#scripts.
If the reflection is the goal of your experience, proceed with your preselected journal prompts linked here: https://mindfulnessexercises.com/10-mindfulness-journal-prompts-to-boost-self-awareness/
As you write and reflect, don’t be afraid of introspection; you might uncover helpful insights about yourself, both critical and favorable. Embrace it all; that’s why you’re doing this.
Move through these exercises at your own pace, and allow yourself to take breaks as needed. When taking a break, stretching, gentle walking, and yoga can all support your experience.
Transitioning Out of Your Mindful Cannabis Experience
Over a period of time, the effects of cannabis on your body will begin to wear off. When you notice this change, it’s time to start transitioning out of your mindfulness session. Start by sitting comfortably with your eyes closed. Release any tension in your neck and shoulders, and bring awareness to your breath, observing it with each inhalation and exhalation. Slowly, start to shift your focus from inward to outward. Open your eyes, observe your space and express gratitude for the comfort it has provided you. Gentle begin moving your upper body, first with your head and neck, moving down, and finishing with a seated twist. Then move your lower body, starting by wiggling your toes, rotating your ankles, flexing your feet, and eventually windshield wiping your legs. Finish by standing up slowly and taking 3 big inhalations and exhalations, each time lifting your arms above your head as you inhale, and lowering them with each exhale.
Reflection on the Experience
Once your mindful cannabis experience is complete, take some time to reflect on the experience itself. This can be done while still mildly feeling the effects of cannabis, or after the effects of cannabis have completely worn off. The things uncovered during your mindful cannabis experience can offer great insight into life’s challenges. Writing down what you uncovered will help you utilize these insights and turn them into conscious action if that is what you desire.
Quick Reflection Prompt
- Write down three sentences summarizing how you feel at the moment. These can be bodily sensations or reflections of your mental state.
- Write down 2-4 takeaways from this session that you found helpful.
- Keep this summary along with other written reflections from your experience in a place you will be able to easily locate later.
We hope you found this conscious cannabis guide to cultivating a mindful experience helpful. This guide can be used over and over, with new outcomes and insights surfacing each time. If you enjoyed this guide, share it with a friend. Keep being good to yourself and others and we’ll see you in the next conscious cannabis guide!