Herbalism is an art based on the understanding that plants have power. At the end of the day, cannabis is an herb and its energetic properties aren’t just about the buzz ingesting it can bring on. As more and more of us are starting to consume cannabis-based products, it’s important to learn how we can be affected on all levels. We asked NYC-based herbalist Adriana Ayales of Anima Mundi Apothecary to break down the emotional, spiritual and energetic qualities of cannabis.
Cannabis is one of the most resilient plants known to humans. It is said that cannabis may have been mankind’s first cultivated plant. This highly revered plant has been cultivated for at least ten thousand years. There is no way to know what it was used for: food, fiber or as a visionary plant. Every component of this plant has been praised across ancient texts for its medicinal values — the seeds of the masculine plant are a highly nutritious food source, as well as commonly processed for its rich oil. The herb has been used as a medicament for a variety of ills since antiquity. And even the roots (along with the leaves) have been applied as a poultice to improve articulations, joints and arthritic-like imbalances.
The energetics of plants, and anything within our reality for that matter, are highly dependent on its treatment and life cycle. Plants that are grown in highly toxic ways and treated poorly will emanate this frequency to whomever is consuming it. This goes for everything — the food we eat, water we drink, herbs we consume, soil in which they grow and beyond. Not onlyshaping our inner energetic constructs, but also directly affecting our emotional, physical and mental realities. For example, our limbic system, also known as our emotional center, is directly impacted by the mere stress caused by digesting toxic residue within foods (such as heavy metals). Not only will the energy body be afflicted due to the poor energy source, but the HPA axis (stress management center) and limbic system suffer just from the digestive stress itself. We are what we eat is nothing short from a proverbial reality.
What Are The Emotional Effects Of Cannabis?People feel that cannabis separates you from your feelings, as it can dissociate the thinking mind to the feeling mind, which may be very beneficial to those who know how to do this by meditating. For others it might be the opposite, the mind becomes flooded with paranoia, creating discomfort in the emotional body.
For those that resonate with the feelings that cannabis is positive, it can be a helpful tool for treating physical pain, a temporary bandaid for emotional trauma and trauma in general, and is shown to be beneficial to those with PTSD (depending on the level of severity). It is vital to know that it exalts the current emotional mind, so much so, that it can bring up a lot of unwanted darkness (but, again, depending on the state of life that you’re in).
What Are The Psycho-Spiritual Effects Of Cannabis?The medicinal powers of cannabis were recorded around 2800 BC by the great plant-doctor Shen-Nung. Shen-Nun was a great master Daoist medicine. He recognized the cannabis medicine as superior for those seeking immortality. At the same time, he warned against overindulgence, stating that taking cannabis in excess caused one to see devils, within and without. Overuse was also known to increase the engagement of the user to his or her own darkness, enabling, as stated by Shen-Nung, “a loss of power to one’s darkness.”
Before the recreational use of cannabis flooded today’s world, it was often used as a tool for spiritual awakening, ceremony and meditation amongst many traditions around the world. Cannabis was, and is, considered an amplifier: intensifying things internally and externally, from the mindful intention it’s paired with, to a negative state of mind. Many consider cannabis to be an advanced spiritual medicine, that raises the vibration, helping one to channel one’s own authentic energy unburdened from the attachment to the mind and mental constructs.
What About The Overuse Of Cannabis?On the other hand, many traditions speak on the darkness caused by the overuse of cannabis. Like Shen-Nung, the great alchemist, refers to those so lost in their lunar medicines that the sun no longer shines from their eyes. Respected shamans and energy healers have said that it can be a detriment to the aura, create issues of fluidity in the emotional-spirit body and over-engage negative and downward spiraling realities. Amongst many curanderos, like ayahuasqueros, cannabis is strictly prohibited in the dieta, the days (or weeks) before plant ceremonies, to cleanse the spirit body from distraction. Shamans and other healers believe that cannabis can be much like a conduit, opening channels of energy within the body that might not be so helpful — except again, unless you know how you’re conducting your psyche within the experience.
How Do I Determine Cannabis Dosage?This is where many believe that its experience is often broadcasting the current weather, yet, this concept in itself can be a slippery slope, as a number of factors can influence the experience of cannabis. The high of cannabis heavily relies on frequency of use, dosage, strain, the current state of mind and specific setting and intention. There is no on-size-fits-all answer to this as it varies from person to person, and it all boils down to intention, connection, respect and reverence. If you want to use it as a spiritual ally, the less frequent use the better because of the tolerance effect that happens when you’re using it all the time. The frequency and dosage of use is key to reaping the spiritual benefits of medicinal plants.
The optimal dosage is one where you can handle it in calm presence. If you find your mind getting out of control, or physical symptoms like dizziness or nausea, then you’ve exceeded your optimal dose. With the high THC products around these days, shatters and dabs included, one moderate toke for someone who does not do it all the time can be very powerful. Oftentimes when someone has trouble with cannabis, it’s because they’ve done more than they can handle.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Cannabis Overuse?
WHITE-OUT | Overdoing cannabis can cause an effect on blood sugar levels. Regular drops in blood sugar levels may lead to weakness or sickness. This sensation is typically known as a white-out, due to the dramatic paleness that can be seen. Many inexperienced users might feel this a bit more dramatic, while more seasoned users tend to cope with this ongoing feeling, sometimes leading to hypoglycemia.
CONCENTRATION | One of the most common side effects is the inability to concentrate for long periods of time. Research shows that overtime it might lead to brain fog and loss of short term memory.
MOOD SWINGS | The emotional roller coaster is another common side effect experienced by regular users. It can cause serious mood swings especially after use wares off. Also for chronic smokers, mood swings might worsen after a day or so of use or a few hours after the peak experience. The rise and fall of blood sugar levels can also trigger mood swings naturally, contributing to mood imbalances.
PARANOIA | Anxiety, nervousness and paranoia can be a common side effect to some users. Although the severity definitely decreases as tolerance increases, some people might find these symptoms to become chronic and increasingly problematic. Research indeed suggests that cannabis can indeed help those with serious anxiety or depression, or those suffering with excessively low self-esteem, however THC dose have a part to play in heightening those emotions.
PSYCHOSIS | Heavy use of cannabis can lead to extreme social anxiety, panic attacks, a state of confusion, indecisiveness and even delusions. These symptoms disappear after not consuming cannabis for some time. People predisposed to psychosis or psychotic breakouts or panic attacks should handle with care as its not always a medicine to those in need of a solution.
What About Toxic Manufacturing + Sourcing?
The unfortunate side effects of highly toxic cannabis farming, large and small, is a major downfall of how we experience the plant. The excessive use of toxic agents to yield a stronger, better and more efficient crop has made it dangerous, causing users to experience a plethora of side effects that don’t necessary come from the plant. AP News recently reported that nine out of ten farms raided in California in 2018 contained traces of powerful and potentially lethal pesticides that are poisoning wildlife and could even endanger water supplies. Know your farmer and only support the cleanest, most organic and least genetically modified plant — it’ll certainly be a more medicinal source with the least side effects.
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The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.