Trouble waking up in the morning? Smoke.
Body aches? Smoke.
Long day at work? Smoke.
For some, any little bit of “nag” in life can be a trigger to smoke or vape. Many people can relate to the feeling. As early as 2002 nearly 4 million Americans reported daily cannabis use to in the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health. By 2014 this number had doubled to 8.4 million.
It’s a wonderful thing that cannabis is more accessible than ever. But this accessibility is a responsibility. Many of us use cannabis to escape our daily problems, searching for the highest THC content in order to disconnect from a world of trouble and chaos. But what if that daily disconnect, or that high-THC high, is part of our problem?
Intentional cannabis use can be defined as smoking with a purpose to achieve a goal. Knowing what strain you’re smoking, and understanding that strain’s known effects, is a good first step. Leafly is a great resource, although strain experiences will vary from person-to-person.
The amount which you smoke or vape is another key component to intentional use. Microdosing cannabis is an effective way to get medical benefits from the plant without significant psychoactive effects. Keeping a log of when you consume, just like a dieter tracking meals, is another way to be intentional. If you notice a trend of higher use you can use it as an opportunity to understand what acts as a trigger for your use.
The benefits of intentional use are more than personal – they are helping to shape a movement. When we start to use cannabis with intention we can change the way cannabis is viewed by the world. Defining a practice for consuming cannabis intentionally also allows room for education. You start to question - is this strain conducive to my goals today, tomorrow or this month? Will vaping right now really bring me closer to the outcomes I seek? The answer may be yes – but if we don’t ask, we are puffing in the dark.
Cannabis can bring joy, after completing the first two items on my checklist alleviated issues of overconsumption and paralysis.
I decided to create the “Three W’s of intentional cannabis use” to help navigate my daily smoking into a more mindful practice.
All things in moderation. This rule encourages balance in life. It allows me to get out of my head and focus on actionable steps to improve my life. So the next time you pick up a “J”, vape a cartridge, smoke a bowl, or do a “dab,” think about first setting an intention, keeping a log or journal of your feelings throughout. Only then can you happily watch yourself slay dragons (or goals, whichever you prefer.)