Meditation has proven to be beneficial for health in a myriad of ways, decreasing stress and anxiety, and in turn, mitigating illness by boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, and making pain easier to manage. Many integrative doctors encourage patients to practice meditation regularly, alongside any other necessary treatments, to optimize the healing process.
In the United States, meditation has entered the mainstream, bringing with it apps like Headspace and guided meditation series created by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. Formerly associated with new age hippie culture, meditation is now adopted as a legitimate practice for physical and mental health and spirituality.
Some purists argue that you should have no mind-altering substances in your body while meditating, but this is a personal choice. There are many different ways to assist meditation, especially for beginners, and we suggest finding what works best for you. The combination of cannabis and meditation goes back thousands of years, with references to the consumption of Bhang (a drinkable preparation of cannabis) for spiritual elevation in the ancient spiritual texts of the Rig Veda.
Cannabis can greatly assist with meditation as it increases mindfulness by enhancing the senses, increasing focus, elevating the mood, and relaxing the body. The mind may race with thoughts immediately after consumption, but with the use of breathing techniques and awareness, it is possible to focus that energy inward, enhancing meditation. As described by Swami of Swami Select Farms, “part of marijuana’s inspirational action comes about through the stimulus of the senses or the heightening of awareness. One simply hears, sees, smells, tastes and touches with greater focus and intensity. As a result, new thoughts and unexpected cross references come into consciousness.“
Aside from the strain you choose, it is also important to pay attention to how the flower is grown. This is always true, but especially if you are using cannabis for meditation. Look for organic flowers, grown sustainably, with no pesticides. Some even suggest the the grower’s intention and attitude can be carried into the plant itself. For that reason, outdoor sun grown flowers are preferred over indoor as both the plants and the people tending to them are more connected to earth and the environment around them.
Listed below are five of our favorite strains to facilitate meditation:
Lamb’s Bread is a Jamaican sativa strain can help cultivate positive introspection and high levels of creativity. Known to make patients feel happy and energetic without any body fatigue or heaviness. With 19-25% THC, this is more of a cerebral strain, better for daytime use, and used to treat anxiety, ADHD, depression, and stress.
Grandaddy Purple is a famous indica strain from California is a cross of Purple Urkle and Big Bud, bringing potent psychoactive effects (17-23% THC) for both the body and mind. Used as a mood elevator, patients describe a heady euphoria alongside physical relaxation. Effective for treating pain, insomnia, appetite loss and muscle spasms.
Given the name, Laughing Buddha, this strain obviously had to be included! An award-winning sativa dominant cross between Thai and Jamaican that tastes sweet, fruity, and spicy. The Laughing Buddha name reflects the experience, which is known to make patients feel happy, upbeat, giggly, and energetic. The increase in focus and concentration make it great for daytime use, also useful in treating depression, stress, fatigue, glaucoma, and nausea.
Mango Haze is a balanced hybrid is comparable to its sibling Super Silver Haze, but with a fruity mango flavor. The effects are described as blissful, uplifting, and energetic, while dissipating any negative thoughts or feelings. Expect to feel a cerebral high with creative energy at the beginning, which slowly turns into a relaxing body high. Energetic enough for day use but also pain relieving and useful for fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression, migraines.
Equinox is grown in Northern California by Emerald Spirit Botanicals, this strain has close to a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD (9.8% THC and 7.3% CBD). Bringing a balanced vibe, this CBD strain makes you feel both relaxed and uplifted, mellow and happy. The flavor tastes minty and piney with notes of berries, feeling both refreshing and delicious. Great for daytime use and treating anxiety, depression, and headaches.