Throughout the COVID pandemic, rates of cannabis sales and consumption skyrocketed. For many states and local communities, this trend provided a much-needed infusion of tax money to help fund increased demand on government services, like unemployment. For individuals, weed was something to do, a diversion from the day-in, day-out monotony as well as a psychoactive substance to improve mood and outlook. Unfortunately, relying on any substance, especially cannabis, can be a dangerous practice masquerading as “self care.” Cannabis is an addictive drug that has short- and long-term effects on mind and body.
Though cannabis poses fewer risks than other narcotics, users need to be careful regarding how, when and why they partake to prevent damaging their health and wellbeing. If you do want to use cannabis as a self care tool, here are a few tips for doing so safely and successfully.
Couple Cannabis With Other Forms of Self Care
The key to successful self care with cannabis is to ensure that getting high isn’t the only way you are cherishing your body and mind. By coupling cannabis with another activity, you can relax your body while invigorating your spirit. Some ideas for high-friendly self-care activities include:
If you pick up a sativa or sativa-dominant hybrid from an Ann Arbor dispensary, you should be able to channel the energy from the strain into a productive meditative practice. The key to meditation is finding a quiet, comfortable space where you can explore your thoughts, emotions and sensations without judgement. Being high can help you stay in the moment, but you can also practice breathing meditations or body scan meditations to improve focus.
There are a few forms of exercise that are much easier and more enjoyable when completed stoned. Though technical or potentially risky workouts are best done sober, you might prefer to endure repetitive or boring exercises after indulging in a stoner session. For example, long-distance runners attest that THC can boost focus and bring on the runner’s high sooner, and yoga practitioners also find that weed can open up creativity and pleasure during their flow.
It can be surprising how much cleaning your body can transform your mental outlook. However, if you are struggling to work up the energy to take a shower or a bath, you might try practicing personal hygiene while high. Cannabis can heighten your senses, making every aspect of getting clean more intriguing — from the hot water and steam to the fragrance of your soap. You might also find that getting high helps you maintain a more hygienic household, as doing cleaning chores while high is a bit more fun.
For some, eating is absolutely a form of self care that requires conscious effort to complete. Fortunately, one of the most well-known effects of cannabis use is “the munchies,” or the intense hunger that accompanies getting high. You can prepare for a healthy munchie session with fruits and veggies as snacks, or you can cook yourself a cannabis-infused meal — anything to reduce your reliance on unhealthy fast food and junk food.
Keep an Eye on Your Dosing
You won’t die from too much weed, but you can make yourself exceedingly uncomfortable with a THC overdose. Often, users don’t realize that they are overindulging in cannabis because the symptoms of an overdose can be subtle — to include feelings of anxiety or paranoia, poor coordination, confusion and other effects that are often rolled into the regular experience of being high. By carefully monitoring your dosage, you can successfully avoid these negative experiences while gaining all the benefits of cannabis, like muscle relaxation, pain relief and euphoria.
Know the Signs of Abuse
When you are down, you might turn to a substance like weed to help you feel happy again. Unfortunately, this can rapidly devolve into a substance use disorder, which is unhealthy for body and mind. Contrary to popular belief, it is absolutely possible to become addicted to cannabis, and knowing the signs of addiction can help you get help as soon as you need it. In particular, you should watch yourself for behaviors like:
- Difficulty controlling when and how much cannabis you consume
- Developing problems at work or within social relationships as a result of cannabis use
- Choosing to use cannabis instead of participating in other activities
- Using cannabis in high-risk situations, like while driving or in public
- Feeling withdrawal symptoms upon stopping cannabis use
The COVID pandemic has been hard on everyone, and you deserve the opportunity to get high and relax. However, you should try to make your high a productive one by participating in activities that nourish the mind, body and spirit through self care.