It has been about ten years now that I have been using cannabis as a medicine. I got my first medical cannabis recommendation in San Francisco to treat anxiety and depression while in college. At that doctor’s appointment I was also taught that yoga and meditation could be valuable for my condition. All three -cannabis, yoga, and meditation- remain valuable to me as I enter my third decade on the planet.
Medicating using cannabis in four counties across three different states has been a challenge. The federal illegality combined with the lack of consistent product made true treatment feel just out of reach. This has been a prominent running thought while I helped countless patients while budtending during that same decade. Because of these experiences I’ve found myself taking personal calls, emails, Instagram messages and more from dear friends and family to absolute strangers helping people find the right cannabis products for their individual needs. I just know how badly people need a little help. The reality is that with the current lack of federally approved research I’m basing these tips completely off of tried and true experience. Trial and error led me, and now I’m going to write it all down here, in the dearest of diaries.
The first epiphany that is worth sharing is that cannabis must be respected as a medication. If we are medicating, then we must find the right dosage and apply it scientifically until we’ve dialed in. As fun as it is, taking bong rips just isn’t a medical application. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be packing brimmers with your friends on a Friday afternoon, though. It just means that the latter is recreational use, while the former is a medical application. For me, it has been necessary to identify to two as to not abuse my medicine into a place of addiction.
I’m going to be posting these weekly, if you have questions about how to use cannabis or specific products pose them in the comments or shoot me an email. I’ll make sure to address it here.
There is a longstanding tradition of assuming that stoners are lazy, fat, and have a bag of Cheetos permanently attached to their hand. But this isn’t the case… all the time. There was actually a study done at the University of Nebraska that showed pot smokers to have a smaller waist circumference than those who have never smoked marijuana. With this in mind and due to the fact that I always rip a huge bowl before I go outside to practice yoga I thought that the world should know, cannabis paired with yoga practice can heal ailments.
When I was about 19 I had first started binge drinking and fell into a serious depression. I cried all the time and drank a fifth of vodka every 2 days. My skin was sallow and broken out in acne and most of all my heart was absolutely empty. I had always smoked cannabis but mostly as a party tool, something used to have fun or make me want to eat a ton of pizza. At this age I went to the doctor and got my first cannabis card, a piece of paper with a little metal seal that granted me access to all of the medical cannabis dispensaries in California, which was like Disneyland for a 19 year old in San Francisco.
Going into dispensaries, seeing & smelling different strains, actually knowing what I was smoking; these things all helped me to realize that cannabis is a powerful medicine for the body and mind. Amidst this period in time I also started practicing yoga from Kate Potter’s Namaste series for FitTV as a mode of exercise since I had just quit the college soccer team and was starting to flab up. I noticed that together, yoga and cannabis were helping to brighten my life and dissipate my chronic depression. When all the psychologist wanted to do was prescribe me a pill that would strip the vivacious spirit within me along with my sadness, I could use this plant that grew from Earth and a sequential movement of my body instead. My practice slowly became less about being fit and more about finding a space of nothingness in my mind with which to heal it. Combining these two metaphysical tools built a foundation of health in my mind, body and spirit that was unmatchable at the time in my life to any personal realization.
This post has evolved, I had meant to make a case for medicating before practicing yoga. But instead I have remembered a goal that I set for myself back at 20 when I grew and started on my path to spiritual awakening. People need to know that combining yoga and cannabis can quiet, calm and relax the depression, anxiety, anger ridden mind when used correctly. I call out to everyone who has trouble being happy or who suffers from irrational mood swings. Talk to your doctor about cannabis, go take a yin yoga class. These things will help, you don’t have to be alone. You’re not weird. Brains are intense and it’s often those who think and feel deeper than the average bear that end up battling mental disease. I love you, if you read all the way down thanks. Apparently I needed to let that one out. ❤