It’s no surprise that cannabis has been a cornerstone of self-care going back for millennia. In second century China, doctors mixed ground cannabis with wine to make a potent anesthetic, and cannabis was one of the main ingredients in over 2,000 different medicines up to the middle of the twentieth century. It works to reduce pain by interacting with natural cannabinoid receptors that exist naturally throughout the central nervous system.
Cannabis has also been reported to relieve stress and reduce the symptoms of some debilitating mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While we aren’t doctors, we can certainly agree with the anecdotal evidence that weed helps us chill out and unwind, however science may choose to explain the phenomenon. There is some research into the “entourage effect,” which hypothesizes that different cannabinoids work better together than alone, and this combination of cannabinoids is what leads to such a variety of experiences.
While you can certainly practice healthy self-care habits without the benefit of any intoxicating compounds, there are a number of ways cannabis can make them that much better. There are a couple of important things you should know first, then we’ll share nine of our favorite ways to enhance your self-care routine with cannabis.
Take lower doses.
Cannabis is “biphasic” which means we may have a vastly different experience at different doses and tolerance levels. When it comes to enhancing your self-care routine with cannabis, it’s a good idea to stick with lower doses of THC to avoid some of the less-desirable side effects. High THC strains and edibles can become overwhelming, leading to noticeable short-term memory loss, heightened anxiety, and sometimes paranoia. None of that sounds calm and relaxing, the way weed should be when supplementing self-care.
Select your strain based on your goals.
Thanks to the “entourage effect” and the biphasic nature of cannabis, it produces a wide range of experiences. Some are more conducive to self-care, and some are better left for bursts of activity and socialization. When it comes to self-care, you want to choose the right strain, and we’ve tried to make it easy for you by assigning a specific mood to each of our products.
The three moods most conducive to self-care Relieve, Calm, and Dream. They have a comfortable balance of cannabinoids and terpenes that can contribute to deep-seated feelings of rest and relaxation, helping you to wind down, find your center, and maybe even take a nap.
See our guide on How to Choose a Strain for a more detailed exploration of what to look for.
Nine Pathways to Enhance Your Self-Care Routine with Cannabis
1. Elevate Your Exercise Routine
The best way to elevate your exercise routine is with a little nibble of a low-dose edible. Cannabis can act as a bronchodilator, opening up your lungs to better take in oxygen, and you don’t want to muck that up with a bunch of smoke or vapor.
If you like to exercise outside, cannabis can put you more in tune with the natural beauty that surrounds you. Whether you’re just taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood or going for longer, more strenuous exercise (like a hike or a run, ) cannabis will open up your senses to appreciate your environment and invigorate your senses. (Check out our article on the best places to be high in Portland for some destination inspiration.)
On the flip side, if your exercise routine includes yoga or Tai Chi, cannabis can reduce inflammation and relax your muscles, making it that much easier to adopt the right pose and limber up. Slow down, take your time, and really delve deep into every sensation.
2. Catch Up on Sleep
Nothing is more restorative than getting regular, deeply restful sleep. While the right amount may vary from person to person, the easiest way to take care of yourself is to just take a nap or get to bed early. There are plenty of strains in our catalog that are conducive to restful sleep, and this is another time to be judicious in your selection. Look for something with low THC and high CBD, so your thoughts aren’t racing as you try to drift off.
3. Meditate With Medication
Cannabis is notorious for disrupting your sense of time, and that can work to your advantage if your self-care routing includes mediation. Often, the first ten or fifteen minutes of meditation are all about letting go of temporal concerns, allowing your thoughts to flow freely without regard to how much time you’ve been sitting there. With the right amount of assistance from cannabis, you can forget how long you’ve been sitting within the first couple of minutes and easily clear the first meditative hurdle.
You can also try a guided meditation if you want to let someone else steer your introspection for a while.
4. Apply Topically
We live in a wonderful time for exploring the full spectrum of benefits the cannabis plant has to offer, right down to soothing balms and ointments. There are CB1 and CB2 receptors distributed throughout your body, which means you can experience relief right at the site of your discomfort. Rick Simpson Oil is a popular choice for this form of self-care, but you can also find infused moisturizers, lifted lip balms, and sugar scrubs.
5. Luxuriate in a Bath
Hempseed oil is a natural moisturizer, due in part to its high concentration of gamma-linolenic acid, and that makes it a key ingredient for a CBD-infused bath bomb that’s sure to take you to new levels of comfort. Alternatively, you could light some candles or incense and lie back with an aromatic preroll to let the smoke and smells carry you away. A good bath will help you lose your sense of self as the boundary line between your body and the warm, soothing water simply melts away.
6. Medicate Your Love-Making
This probably goes without saying, but orgasms are good for you! Whether your self-care routine includes having sex with someone you care about or some self-love in the form of masturbation, cannabis can accentuate stimulation, boost motivation, and deepen emotional connection. A 2019 survey found that most of the women who reported using marijuana before sexual activity said that it resulted in increased sex drive and improved orgasms. Another survey found that almost 74% of respondents reported increased sexual satisfaction as a result of incorporating cannabis.
One word of caution though, for our male readers: some men report that they experience issues with decreased motivation for sex, some erectile disfunction, and trouble reaching orgasm or, conversely, premature ejaculation after they’ve consumed cannabis. Every person is unique, so take some time to experiment and get to know yourself—if you know what we mean.
7. Get Inspired
Self-expression is a vital avenue toward self-care, and cannabis is always helpful for a motivational boost of inspiration. The free association of thought combined with the aforementioned time dilation can lead anyone to create something meaningful, and sometimes, it’s just fun to make something! Get out the sketchpad or throw some clay on the wheel and lose yourself in a personal creation of your very own.
8. Eat and Be Merry
We don’t have to tell you that cannabis goes great with food, and eating well is one of the best ways to practice effective self-care. Cannabis seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are conducive to healthy heart and skin, and are high in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.
You can also elevate your dining experience by making cannabis-infused edibles, which can be just as rewarding to make as they are enjoyable to eat. Just make sure to start small, go slow, and remember to have lots of non-infused snacks on hand for afterward.
9. Talk With Someone Who Cares About You
Sometimes the best way to enhance your self-care routine is by knowing you’re cared for by someone else. Whether it’s your mom, your best friend, your partner, or a coworker, having a long conversation about your feelings is a great way to find validation in our shared human experience. Cannabis can lower inhibitions and increase feelings of connection, which are both crucial to reaching the levels of vulnerability needed to really feel seen and heard.
Passing a joint or a bong in front of the sunset with no time limit can lead to soul-baring conversations, deep and meaningful insights, and a profound sense of belonging.
Bonus number ten!
Just Relax and Supplement Your Own Routine
This list couldn’t be exhaustive, but we don’t want it to be restrictive either. You can use cannabis to supplement anything you already enjoy doing to take care of yourself, whether that’s watching your favorite movie or cleaning up around the house. As long as you don’t rely solely on weed to make you feel better, it can be a great enhancement to your existing self-care routine. We hope you’ll share your go-to methods of self-care with us in the comments section below.