As the new year starts, I believe we should take some time to gain perspective on how we’re using this plant and be aware of our intentions. For instance, it’s helpful to understand the history of how the plant was used and how we can apply similar principles today. In the past, cannabis would be transformed into a beverage or hashish. It would then be used to soothe symptoms of illness or pain, or for priests/ spiritual leaders to meditate and connect with a higher power. Just as people of the past had intentions with their cannabis use, I believe we can have similar intentions with our usage by setting goals and taking note of effects from this plant.
Journaling your use
The benefit of journaling is getting a clearer picture of what kinds of cannabis meet the right needs for you. By tracking how much and what kind of cannabis product(s) you’re using daily/ weekly. It can clearly show you how you’re using cannabis regularly. Once enough data is collected, you can talk even more confidently to your budtender about what has worked for you!
Let’s start with flower consumers. Before the next time you partake, crack open your container, take note of the brand, % 's from the COA (Certificate of Analysis aka cannabinoid & terpene breakdown), and jot down how much you plan on using. Then dive into your cannabis and take note of how it expresses itself to you.
What aroma is it giving off, the tackiness of the bud, how loose or tight it is, or how complex the aroma is? This is a good start in practicing how to observe your cannabis bud. I would even note what method of consumption you used whether it’s a bong, pipe, paper, blunt (tobacco or hemp), vaporizer, or even a bubbler. (If you want to take it easy on your lungs, I recommend using a vaporizer). Lastly, note the amount that you used, what the experience was like for you, and if you got what you wanted from the cannabis cultivar. (You can apply these general aspects to concentrate as well but note if you’re using a dab rig, nectar collector, or electric rig)
Next, here are some ideas to note if you’re an edible partaker. Take note of the brand, cannabinoids, and whether it’s solventless infused. I would also note the time of consumption and amount of your dose. If the taste was off, I would also make a note of that so you can try a different brand next time. Either during or after your experience, note how it’s making you feel, whether good or bad and if it’s fulfilling what you wanted to accomplish with it. (eg. sleeping, productiveness, pain relief, etc.)
As far as notes go, I would even write any highlights or what you were doing either socially, at work, at home, or an event and what came of it. Set and setting are important to note as time of day and surroundings can affect your experience. I have had way better experiences when I’m out in nature vs. being at home.
Goals for how you want to use cannabis
As an example of a goal, I realized at the beginning of last year that I needed to take a break from dabs after observing that I was taking them too frequently. I recognized that I leaned toward having an addiction to it and wanted to be more mindful of my usage. For reference, I do own a Puffco Peak which makes for ease of use as I don’t smoke flower in my apartment. For the first few months of the year, I stayed away from dabs completely and stuck to consuming flower and edibles. It helped to alter my habits with using dabs and I’m glad I took the initiative to step back from consuming dabs every day to doing it a couple of times a week after my break. It was a bit strange at first, but it got me back to where I needed to be and helped me to have a healthier relationship with this form of cannabis.
Here are some questions to consider when creating goals for yourself:
What am I using this plant for? What is it that I want to accomplish? Is this positively impacting my relationships or harming them? It’s important to take time and reevaluate habits to consider the intentions of your usage. There has been evidence that cannabis was used medicinally and spiritually in India, China, and Persia. As much as I am an advocate for cannabis use, I see how it can negatively affect certain people if they have too much and need to be more aware of how they’re using cannabis. Of course, some rely on it for their everyday needs and that’s ok! I’m delighted that cannabis can be there for them when other medications haven’t been able to help them. However, I would still like to strongly encourage each of you to self-evaluate when you use this plant as having intentions sets you up for success.
Importance of taking a Tolerance break to refocus and calibrate the relationship with cannabis
Why take a Tolerance break?
Although there may be some physical downsides during your tolerance break, your overall tolerance of the plant will change and you can get high with less. It can also recalibrate your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and can bring you some perspective as well. The amount of time depends on your usage as well and I would recommend listening to your body and adjusting to what it needs. If you need a week or a month-long break that’s ok, and make sure to take the break when it works best for you. Once you begin your tolerance break, set a date to finish your herb or gift it to friends to use. I’m not going to say it’ll be easy, but it’ll be worth it in the end. During the break, put your focus on other things like either an art craft, cooking, learning a new skill, or even reading a book.
Having a better relationship with cannabis, journaling, setting goals, and taking the initiative for a tolerance break will help you get set on that path. If you want to take a step further, I recommend looking into how cannabis is used in other cultures around the world as this plant has a history of medicinal and spiritual use.
Jointly app- tracks effects of products and shows you stats as you keep adding “reflections”
Budist app- newer app for California-only branded products similar to Rotten Tomatoes style
Goldleaf’s cannabis journal- They have medical or taster options with templates if you need that already made structure for your tracking journey.
DIY journal- Design your own journal by listing and jotting down aspects of your consumption that are important to you! Here’s my rendition with inspo that I got from Pinterest. If you’re a creative like myself, go for this option.
Hopefully, this helps and gives you guidance on having an even better relationship with this special plant that we call cannabis.
News: California is now allowing those who consume outside of work to not be discriminated against under the new AB2188 bill. It’s a step in the right direction as we continue to normalize this plant. Those who do consume outside of work, shouldn’t be discriminated against, especially as it is less harmful compared to alcohol.
Events: Healing Happy Hour January 24: https://www.eventhi.io/events/healing-happy-hour-presents-elevated-qi-gong-awakening-9040
2nd annual Neurodivergent Psychedelic Conference February 3 All-day online event! : https://www.ndpsychedelic.com/