Self-Care and Cannabis: A Natural Combination with Powerful Results
With its all-natural, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, muscle relaxant, and stress relief properties (just to name a few), it’s no wonder so many self-help and wellness enthusiasts are finally coming around to cannabis. Here are just a few of the unique ways you can use cannabis for self-care.
Use Cannabis to Enhance Your Exercise Routine (Or Recover From It)
Ancient yoga enthusiasts had the right idea; the anti-inflammatory and euphoric properties of cannabis make it a natural pairing with yoga and other types of mindful, low-impact workouts. Cannabis taken before your workout can help you retain a focused and positive mindset as you push through your exercises.
In addition, cannabis may help to keep your body loose. Note that using cannabis with THC before a workout is not recommended if you’re lifting extremely heavy weights, using other dangerous equipment, or participating in full-contact sports. THC is a safe substance, but it’s still a powerful psychoactive drug; you must be careful never to use it in a way that puts your own safety or the safety of others at risk.
When you’re doing a more extreme workout, consider CBD instead, or simply save the cannabis for afterward. Using cannabis after strenuous physical activity can be just as rewarding as using it for pre-workout. It may gently calm your endorphin-stimulated mind and allows your body to recover from your workout without feeling its effects so sharply.
Use Cannabis Before Bed for Better Sleep
“Self-care” doesn’t have to mean attending daily workout classes or powering through all the latest self-help books. Sometimes, self-care just means taking a nap or getting to bed at a decent time. Cannabis’ ability to help users fall into a deep and restful slumber is likely a product of several of its most desired effects: stress relief, muscle relaxation, and gentle sedation. Good sleep patterns are key to your overall health and ability to function. Cannabis can help you get locked into a more restful and effective sleep schedule.
Use Cannabis as a Meditation Aid
The psychoactive effects of cannabis use can make it an extremely powerful aid for attuning your mental state to a peaceful, meditative wavelength. Meanwhile, its physical relaxation properties can help you to feel fully present in your physical form without being so sharply aware of bodily discomforts, aches and pains, or chronic ailments.
This clear-but-present mindset can be a crucial component of a successful yoga workout, mindfulness class, or a less structured, self-guided meditation session. Some people find that even the most basic meditation exercises, such as repeating a positive affirmation in the mirror each day, can feel deeper and more meaningful after they have used a therapeutic dose of cannabis to lessen their inhibitions and self-doubts.
Treat Yourself to Cannabis Topicals
The pain relieving, muscle relaxing, and anti-inflammatory properties of THC and CBD can give a major boost to just about anyone’s self-care routine - especially for those who work physically demanding jobs. From a tweaked back due to warehouse work to a repetitive stress injury from typing all day, you can easily benefit from cannabis-infused ointments, salves, lotions, and even convenient stick-on patches.3
These options offer pain relief that is long-lasting, fast-acting, and uniquely comforting. Because you are not absorbing the cannabis in a way that will give you a psychoactive high, you can safely experiment with both CBD and THC topicals. You could benefit from both if you have a medical card or live in a state where THC has been legalized for general adult use.
Bring Cannabis into the Bedroom
If you’re confused because we already covered cannabis and sleep, prepare for the unexpected—this use is all about how cannabis can spice up your love life. There are even some products emerging on the market today that are specifically designed and marketed as such. Some users report a heightened sensory experience when using topicals in this manner. Others paradoxically use it as a numbing agent to reduce sexual discomfort.
As always, experiment slowly with various products and doses to find the effects that are right for you. Cannabis can make for a more enjoyable experience overall.
Add Cannabis to Your Self-Care Routine for Relaxation
You don’t have to overthink cannabis. In fact, you don’t even need to have a specific self-care goal in mind. While cannabis has become increasingly used as a serious medicine, its use can (and should) still be a fun and joyful experience, as well. The two do not need to be mutually exclusive. While pursuing better self-care, we can celebrate the therapeutic benefits of cannabis while also embracing its euphoric effects, vibrant culture, and signature chill vibes.
One of the simplest and most effective ways you can employ cannabis for self-care is the same way people have been using it for thousands of years: by simply consuming cannabis to help you relax. Many people have turned to cannabis for a little relief during times of serious stress or pain. Others have used it to enhance religious or meditative practices. But countless more have lit up a bowl or popped in an edible simply to unwind after a long day, or maybe to enhance a hike in the woods or a day on the beach. These uses are valid, too, and undoubtedly fall under the realm of self-care.
You don’t have to be sick or suffering to seek the positive benefits of cannabis. The deep-rooted stigmas and prohibitionist-era media narratives that persisted throughout the twentieth century still vex us well into this one. Unfortunately, some people still believe that using cannabis “just” to feel good is somehow unacceptable, but, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a safe, natural substance that helps you feel better. This is true regardless of whether you’re going through a difficult situation or merely looking to turn a good time into a better one.
Caring for Yourself with Cannabis: Where to Start
To get the desired meditative, physical, or relaxation effects from your cannabis use, you will need to experiment with different doses, different strains, and different routes of administration (e.g., smoking vs. edibles). It’s important to be mindful and pace yourself when trying to find the right dose and cannabis products to best fit your individual self-care needs. Start small, especially if you’re new to cannabis use. Then, experiment with increasing your dose slowly.
How Often Can You Use Cannabis for Self-Care?
There are few, if any, long-term negative side effects of cannabis use for the average adult, although research is ongoing. Most of the potential negative effects from using marijuana regularly over time seem to be related to exacerbating underlying mood disorders or emotional conditions. If you’re turning to cannabis as a self-care aid mostly for mental health reasons, just start small and be patient as you work on dialing in your preferred dose and dosing schedule.
Once you’ve figured out a dose that works, it is fairly safe to use it on whatever schedule best meets your needs. Plenty of people successfully integrate cannabis into their daily routines and live productive lives. There are people across all walks of life who use cannabis on a daily basis, or even multiple times per day, and still achieve a high level of success. Others keep a little cannabis on hand just to use as needed before bed or even to get the most out of their weekends. All of these uses constitute self-care depending on your unique goals and perspectives.
Customize Your Self-Care Routine with Cannabis Products
The benefits of self-care are endless. It allows us to recharge and maintain a clear head so we can make better decisions throughout our day and at work. Compared to traditional medications and over the counter drugs, cannabis products are relatively inexpensive, accessible, and non-addictive. While it’s ultimately up to you how you want to approach self-care, incorporating cannabis into your “look after yourself” routine could be helpful for those who aren’t sure where to start.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether cannabis is right for you. Have a question for one of our pros? Find and connect with a Zen Leaf dispensary near you!
- Worley S. L. (2018). The Extraordinary Importance of Sleep: The Detrimental Effects of Inadequate Sleep on Health and Public Safety Drive an Explosion of Sleep Research. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 43(12), 758–763.
- Hill, K. P., Palastro, M. D., Johnson, B., & Ditre, J. W. (2017). Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 96–104.
- Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal, 23, 18–041.
- Lucatch, A. M., Coles, A. S., Hill, K. P., & George, T. P. (2018). Cannabis and Mood Disorders. Current addiction reports, 5(3), 336–345.
- Burr, J.F., Cheung, C.P., Kasper, A.M. et al. (2021). Cannabis and Athletic Performance. Sports Med 51, 75–87.
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.
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