Setting Intentions with Cannabis
We often talk about the importance of setting intentions when it comes to psychedelics. But it seems to be a less common topic discussed with cannabis. When it comes to cannabis, many people get into a routine of daily consumption. With this it’s easy to lose sight of the intentions behind our use. So, let’s take a moment to take a step back and think about setting intentions with cannabis.
Why Set Intentions?
Setting intentions with our cannabis use can help us to stay connected to the experience and magnify the outcomes. It gives us more control over the experience as well as more opportunity to self-regulate by listening to our bodies. Setting intentions also gives us the space to think about our cannabis use in terms of goals, so we are less likely to develop a problematic relationship with cannabis.
Read Grey’s story of cannabis use in relationship to their diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. They mention that initially they did not use cannabis intentionally with did lead to problematic use. But with time, and reflection, they were able to find a cannabis routine that worked to manage their symptoms.
Many people believe if you don’t set your intentions consciously, your subconscious will choose for you. This may be the reason why we experience anxiety, or paranoia after consuming cannabis sometimes while other times we consume the same amount and don’t have that experience.
It’s important to note that intentions aren’t goals – although they can work in tandem with one another. While goals focus on a particular outcome you’d like to achieve, intentions focus more on the mood or energy. For example; if your goal for using cannabis is to reduce pain, your intention may be to relax or be more mindful of your body.
How to Set Intentions? Setting Intentions with Cannabis
Starting with your goals for consuming cannabis can be a good place to start because those are often easier to think of than our intentions. Write down all the reasons for using cannabis, such as managing stress, being social, managing pain, creativity, focus, managing migraines, etc. Then pick which you’re focusing on today and determine the intention is associated with that goal.
Think about that intention while you’re consuming cannabis today. And, for today, don’t multitask – focus solely on consumption. This would be called consuming cannabis mindfully.
Mindful Cannabis Experience with Clear Intentions
A good place to start when it comes to setting intentions with cannabis is to set the intention to simply be more mindful about your cannabis use. This means to take the time to let go of the things around you and simply focus on the use of cannabis. Of course, this doesn’t have to be something you do all the time – cannabis helps many of us focus on work, be creative, engage in social activity, etc. – but using mindfully can help connect us to our intentions.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment – not worrying about the future or ruminating on the past. It’s not, as many people may think, an attempt to be completely void of thought. It’s simply about bringing our attention and focus to the present, noticing when our thoughts wander and gently bringing them back.
Mindfulness is often specifically referred to as a practice because it’s something we consciously choose to engage in and can improve over time – with practice.
Why practice mindfulness? Research identifies numerous benefits to being mindful, some of which include; reducing stress, increased focus, being less emotionally reactive, more flexible cognitively, better at emotion regulation, as well as reducing symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
How to Practice Mindfulness
There are a number of ways to practice mindfulness but one of the most common ways is through breathing exercises. Many people choose breathing exercises because they’re simple, don’t take a lot of time, and can be done almost anywhere.
Once you feel you’ve improved your ability to be mindful during these breathing exercises you can try different activities to continue to develop your mindfulness skills. Registered Psychologist Dr. Joti Samra talks about mindfulness on her blog, offers tips on how to practice mindful breathing as well as other mindfulness activities.
If you’re new to mindfulness, give these exercises a try a few times and when you feel more comfortable try them after consuming cannabis.
Mindful Cannabis Use
Since mindfulness is about being present in the moment, there are some ways we can be mindful in our cannabis use regardless of our method of consumption.
One of the best ways to consume cannabis mindfully is to focus on our senses. This helps to connect us to the moment. So, how can we focus on our senses when consuming cannabis?
- Before consuming take a minute to observe it with your senses. If you’re consuming cannabis flower look at how beautiful the bud is, notice the shape, and colour, take the time to smell it, and feel what it feels like in your hands. This may be harder with some other methods of consumption but if you’re using a tincture or other similar product, notice the way it’s packaged, think about the processes that went into extracting it from the cannabis plant. Edibles are another great way to consume mindfully as there is so much our senses can experience.
- Consume slowly and pay attention to your senses. What does it smell like? Taste like? How does your body feel as it’s absorbed into your body.
- As it begins to take effect focus on your body and how it makes you feel. If you feel like it, write it down.
Another method for using cannabis mindfully is to track our consumption. It can be helpful to not only write down our intentions, but also include what we are consuming as well as the dose. We also encourage folks to write about their experience and their feelings during or after consumption.
There are numerous benefits to setting clear intentions with cannabis as well as using cannabis mindfully. We encourage you to take a minute to slow down and be conscious about your cannabis use to reconnect with it’s healing nature.
We spoke with Liv at CannaCentric about her experience with mindful use of cannabis through her yoga practice. Read about her experience here. We want to hear about your experience with mindful use of cannabis too! Let us know your experience in the comments below or tag us in your story on social media.