One of the things I hear on the reg in conversations around cannabis is, "I get anxiety when I use cannabis." Or "I'm too much in my head and it's intense when I consume it."
And my gentle and loving answer is that it's not the cannabis making you anxious. The cannabis just makes you aware of your anxiety.
In this overly-stimulating world we live in, I would bet that most people suffer with anxiety in some way.
However, as the adaptable and intelligent creatures we are, our brains are smart enough to hide our anxiety from ourselves.
The way I understand this is to imagine you have a black and white film of "anxiety" always running in the background of your mind. (Think: fast and pacing thoughts, insomnia, feelings of being rushed or late all the time, worry, tension, stress, etc.) That film is constantly playing, but because of all the available external stimuli readily available to us, we don't notice this anxiety film playing behind the scenes.
But it's there. And it's actually affecting every aspect of your life, whether you are consciously aware of it or not.
It feels like cannabis increases the intensity of whats going on internally, but really it just makes you aware of whats going on internally.
So, take the anxiety that you have been stuffing/ignoring/hiding from/ or just oblivious to for years, and then add a consciousness-altering plant energy to the mix.
Shit's gonna get crazy.
(Before I go any farther, I think its important to note that even as an experienced cannabis user, there are still times in my experience when cannabis does not serve me. And that is part of a conscious relationship to plant medicine. I have such immense respect for the power of the plant, that I am very intentional on choosing the time, place and environment that I consume. AND even then, the plant will always reveal what is under the surface. Teaching people how to maintain their awareness and hold the power of the plant energy is the reason I am doing all of this.)
So what's the solution?
How do you use it to help with anxiety when it feel like it makes the anxiety worse?
First of all, consume wayyyyy less. Seriously. One breath of cannabis. Less than 2mg of an edible. Slow the F down. You don't need that much.
Secondly, meet the plant with intention. Set an environment that is not overly stimulating. Set an intentions for your session and ask for clarity on what's playing behind the scenes of your subconscious. Go into nature. Keep a journal close by.
Try that for a little while and see what that does to your experience.
Overtime, you begin to build your tolerance for emotional intensity when you're sober. You turn down, and eventually turn off, the anxiety film that is running in your mind because you have created and maintained the mental agility to hold strong emotions.
If you find yourself "freaking out" or overwhelmed with the intensity of the plant energy, here are a few things you can do to turn down the dial a bit.
Get in nature or anywhere more expansive than your current surroundings.
Turn down or off anything stimulating. TV's, music, annoying people that talk too much, whatever.
Take a long, hot shower and imagine the anxiety washing down the drain.
Put some relaxing spa-like music on in your headphones and focus on your slow, deep breathing.
Do some yoga or gentle stretching. Move your body in any way that feels good to you.
Consume some CBD (Which negates the psychoactive affects of THC)
Constantly remind yourself that you are in control of your experience. You are not your thoughts and you are not your anxiety. You have the mental strength to override the anxiety film. (A mantra that has been absolutely pivotal for me in dealing with anxiety with or without the influence of cannabis.)
Cannabis is a consciousness-altering herb. Using it with intention gives tremendous clarity and insight and healing. However, it is altering your consciousness. You must develop a mindfulness practice in order to hold the intensity it can sometimes bring.
Cannabis + Mindfulness Practice = Emotional Wellness
Without mindfulness, you're just getting high. (Which sometimes is cool, too.)
Thanks for being here!
Sending you love and encouragement as you navigate your path to wellness!
Email me back and let me know where this lands with you. Does it make sense? Did I explain this complex topic in a way that makes sense to you? Do you need more clarity on something?