2024 New Year’s Resolutions: How Cannabis Can Help
The start of a new year is always exciting. It brings hope and uncertainty, progress…and the fear of lack of said progress. New Year’s Resolutions feed into these feelings.
Resolutions undoubtedly encourage healthy habits, but they can add a layer of stress when they don’t quite come to fruition. Thankfully, cannabis can help with a few of the top resolutions. From Dry January to working out, a dash of green may be just what you need to take your resolution success to the next level.
And, because there are more ways to find wellness with cannabis than you’d think and far more ways to explore the plant than ever before, we’ve included a list of cannabis resolutions for 2024.
But first, let’s dive into…
How Cannabis Can Help You Achieve 5 New Year’s Resolutions
With the New Year comes the opportunity for change and a fresh start. For many of us, this often involves setting resolutions to improve our health and well-being. While cannabis may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about achieving these goals, it can be a helpful aid in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. From reducing stress and anxiety to aiding in workout recovery, cannabis can help promote an overall sense of well-being.
Resolution 1: Dry January
Dry January can be a tough challenge for anyone looking to give up alcohol. But alcohol isn’t the only way to be social and have fun. Cannabis is a burgeoning natural option that can be used in the same ways booze can; to take the edge off, to relax, and to socialize.
In a poll of 1,000 Americans conducted in January 2023 by NC Solutions, 34% reported that they were trying to drink less in the new year. 10% of respondents had tried cannabis beverages, while 38% wanted to try them. And 17% actively didn’t drink but used marijuana instead. A poll by CivicScience had similar findings: of 938 responses, 21% participating in Dry January were using cannabis or CBD instead.
Research shows these poll respondents may be onto something. Marijuana has been shown to help curb cravings in those with alcohol use disorder, CBD in particular. In a meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, researchers looked at 26 studies whose topics included CBD and alcohol (or ethanol). Three categories stood out as a potential for alcohol use disorder: CBD for reducing drinking; CBD for “reducing alcohol-related liver inflammation;” and CBD for “reducing alcohol-related brain damage.”
While significantly more research is needed, with the legalization of medical and/or adult-use cannabis in 37 states and the vast number of consumption options available, it's never been easier to give this alternative a try.
Resolution 2: Stress Less and Reduce Anxiety
We all know that stress and anxiety are common problems that many of us face in today's fast-paced world. Some of us try to manage these mental struggles with yoga, meditation, and bubble baths, while others might turn to prescription medication. In addition to these options, there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests cannabis may be a natural and effective solution for stress and anxiety management.
In a study published in 2023, data collected by the Strainprint® was analyzed for efficacies in anxiety, from 184 respondents for 1,028 sessions. Three cultivar categories were analyzed, indica, sativa, and CBD. Researchers found that the average efficacy (calculated by measuring symptom level before and after medicating) for each cultivar was similar and significant, at approximately 50%. Strainprint® data was leveraged in an earlier study for stress, finding that stress was reduced by 58% in 3,717 tracked sessions.
With the new year upon us, it’s the perfect time to start exploring new ways to care for ourselves, and if you haven't considered cannabis for stress or anxiety relief before, it's worth giving it a shot. Enjoy a calmer, happier 2024.
Resolution 3: Increased Focus and Productivity
As we creep toward the new year, many of us are setting resolutions. A popular one? To increase our productivity. While there are plenty of strategies and tools out there to help us achieve our goals, one unexpected ally may be cannabis.
While clinical research has not yet supported productivity, anecdotal evidence is abundant. Perusing product reviews for a variety of edibles and inhalables shows a host of users find boosts in energy, motivation, and creativity with cannabis.
For those looking to try a new approach to productivity in 2024, cannabis could be just the thing to help you get that extra edge.
Resolution 4: Get In Shape (and Recover Easier)
Is working out on your New Year’s Resolution list this year? If you haven’t been a frequent-goer – and even if you have – the post-workout aches and pains can make it hard to justify hopping back on the treadmill. Thankfully, cannabis can help.
When you work out, you create small tears within your muscles. While this sounds like a bad thing, it’s not; these tears are what help your muscles to grow and create gains. And the pain that follows them? It’s an inflammatory response.
Cannabis has been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits, including pain relief. The results of a survey conducted was published in the Journal of Cannabis Research this year. The survey sought to explore if cannabis users who exercise were using the plant for recovery. Researchers found that 93% felt that CBD assisted with their exercise recovery, and 87% felt the same for THC. In another study published this year, researchers enlisted 49 participants to run over 3 miles without cannabis on one date, and with another. They found that participants experienced fewer negative effects, had an increase in positive effects, experienced more tranquility and enjoyment, more of a runner’s high, and lower pain levels when running after using cannabis.
If you’re hoping to kick your 2024 workouts and recovery into a new gear, consider incorporating cannabis.
Resolution 5: Get Better Sleep
As the New Year rolls in with resolutions to improve health and happiness, consider the potential of cannabis as a cornerstone for achieving restorative sleep. Embarking on a journey towards better rest, cannabis can be a gentle ally, possibly easing the mind and ushering in a state of relaxation conducive to deep, restful slumber.
In a study published in 1998, researchers found that the endocannabinoid anandamide decreases wakefulness and instead promotes slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye-movement sleep, a key finding as cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, with THC and CBN being agonists of the same receptor as anandamide. In 2004, researchers explored THC (dose-dependent based on experience level) for sleep and found it did, indeed, promote sleep and helped participants fall asleep faster, though may cause drowsiness in the morning. CBD, too, was found to support sleep quality at high doses, though at low doses, may increase wakefulness.
For those resolving to leave restless nights behind in 2023, certain cannabis strains and products could serve as a natural supplement, helping to realign sleep patterns. With mindful use, it might just transform your night into a haven of serene sleep, setting the stage for days lived with more energy and focus.
6 Cannabis New Year’s Resolutions
It’s easy to stick with what you know, especially when it comes to relief. If you find a strain or cannabis product that provides the effects or relief you’re looking for, it’s almost a no-brainer to stock up on it or snag it whenever it’s on the menu. The problem with that, though? You could be missing out on something that could enhance those effects or a better option at large.
This new year, why not get adventurous with these 6 cannabis New Year’s Resolutions?
Resolution 1: Incorporate Topicals into Your Routine
One of the most underrated products, in our opinion? Topicals.
Cannabis topicals provide the pain-relieving benefits of THC, CBD, or both, in a non-psychoactive format, making them an effective option for many, and at any time of day. These lotions and balms are infused with cannabinoids, which when applied topically, dissipate in the upper layers of your skin. This provides localized pain relief, ideal for achy joints, sore, post-workout muscles, and more.
Often created with soothing ingredients like menthol and eucalyptus, relief often comes if not immediately, within 15-30 minutes. And the cannabinoids? Provide long-lasting relief, for up to 8 hours.
Resolution 2: Practice Microdosing
Microdosing cannabis could be the secret ingredient to a finely tuned daily rhythm, offering a whisper of wellness that amplifies your natural vitality without the fog of a full dose.
It's a delicate dance with the plant, a gentle mood lift and soft focus, all while sidestepping the heavier psychoactive effects. This subtle approach can illuminate your day with creativity and calm, bolster resilience to stress, and even smooth out the ebbs and flows of discomfort. Whether it's a drop of tincture or a low-dose edible, a puff of a vape or a tablet, microdosing invites you to savor the nuanced symphony of cannabis's therapeutic notes, empowering you to harness its holistic benefits as a silent partner in your pursuit of balance and bliss.
Resolution 3: Incorporate Product Stacking
If you’re wondering what product stacking is, you’re not alone. Stacking is layering cannabis products to find your optimal effects and relief.
Our favorite ways to stack are pairing oral options with inhalation, allowing you to benefit from immediate effects when inhaling, as you await the benefits of the oral option to kick in. Edibles, troches, and tinctures are a great example of this; their effects last 6-8 hours, but may take up to an hour to be felt. By adding a dose or two of a vape or flower, you’ll get the immediate benefits as you await the long-lasting effects.
Topicals, too, are a great stacking product. Pairing the localized relief with the systemic benefits of an oral or inhalation option can make an effective 1-2 punch.
Resolution 4: Try Cured Resin and RSO Edibles
Edibles are favored by many, for many reasons: smoke-free, long-lasting effects, and above all else, they’re pretty tasty. For the new year, level up your edibles with cured resin and RSO.
Cured resin and RSO boast a host of plant compounds to ensure maximum benefits. Cured resin and RSO are crafted with dried and cured flower, though cured resin is extracted with hydrocarbons, while RSO is extracted with room temperature ethanol. Both result in a robust cannabis oil, rich in terpenes and cannabinoids, while RSO also includes flavonoids as a full-spectrum extract.
When infused in oral options, cured resin and RSO lend potent effects; stronger than that of distillate. Too, they’re often strain-specific, allowing you to tailor your dosing even further – a great reason to add them to your routine in 2024.
Pennsylvania patients, while edibles are not available, RSO Troches are, and boast the same perks!
Resolution 5: Go Solventless
For the purest expression of the plant – besides flower, of course – go solventless in 2024. Solventless products, hash or rosin, leverage dry sift or ice water extraction to isolate trichomes, then heat and pressure to express the plant's potent oils. This full-spectrum oil is incredibly rich in cannabinoids, terpenes, and even flavonoids, bringing robust effects and flavor.
Thanks to innovation in the cannabis space, there are more ways than ever to dose rosin. Live rosin cartridges and edibles are the most accessible, making exploring this solventless option as simple as a puff or a chew. Concentrates like full melt hash, live rosin coins, and live rosin badder are more potent macrodoses, robust in flavor and effects.
Resolution 6: Explore More
With all of the options from marijuana product formats to strain varieties, make one of your cannabis resolutions to explore more. Whether that's trying one of the above ways to dose (and knocking out two resolutions with one puff), incorporating new strains, or diving into terpenes in lieu of THC percentage, trust us – there's still much to discover about your routine and the plant!
Let Zen Leaf Help with Your Resolutions
Whether you’re looking for aid with your resolutions, wellness- or cannabis-related, we’re here to help. Our Cannabis Advisors at your local Zen Leaf Dispensary are incredibly knowledgeable in cannabis benefits in addition to product details, making them your ideal guide to the product for your needs.
Make 2024 an incredible year – but try not to put too much pressure on yourself and your resolutions! Remember, even small changes are progress worth celebrating.
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Digital Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.
Looking for a cannabis gift to give your friends or family? Let Zen Leaf help – shop online or stop by a dispensary near you today!
Is working out on your resolution list for 2024? Cannabis for workout and recovery may be just what your routine is missing. Learn more.