If you’re a dedicated stoner, or a part-time dabbler, chances are, you’ve meditated with weed without even realizing it. Maybe you got way too high, so you spent 10 minutes focusing on your breath and repeating to yourself, “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay,” until you actually were. Or, while stoned to the bone and lost in a book, a particular phrase may have echoed in your mind until it lulled all of your chakras, which later shook you out of a stoned literary trance feeling light as air.
Cannabis and meditation go together like sugar and salt — each effective on its own, but under the right circumstances, the two absolutely bring out the best in each other. When the alchemy is just right, you can consciously blend the two and end up with the salted caramel of short-term metaphysical journeys.
Stoned meditation practice can be hella ceremonial — think lit candles, sage, moon phase consideration — or super informal. It all comes down to honoring yourself right where you are.
So whether you’re lounging hard in your underpants or in lotus position on your bedroom floor, these stoned meditation tips might help you get and stay centered, faded or otherwise.
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For those unfamiliar with the practice, meditation is the act of focusing your mind on a particular thing — breath, for example — to achieve a clear, calm, and present emotional and mental state. Simple enough, right? Truly, there’s not much to the practice; the only thing that stands between you and higher consciousness is, well, your own mind. This is precisely why cannabis can be so helpful.
It’s established that both cannabis and meditation can, separately, be potential treatments for pain, stress, anxiety, and depression — common issues many of us live with. Finding both a strain that helps quiet those issues and a style of meditation that puts you back into alignment is more than a way to chill out, it’s a low-key shortcut to Nirvana.
If you’ve never meditated before, consider downloading any number of meditation apps, like HeadSpace, Calm, or Insight Timer, to help you get started.
Best weed strains for meditation (our picks)
Contemporary cannabis cultivars are bred for an astonishingly wide range of therapeutic and recreational applications. If you’ve already found one that feels especially cashmere-cozy to you, take some time to dial in your perfect dose before building up your meditation momentum.
Here are a few relatively ubiquitous strains we’ve found especially relaxing:
For low-tolerance consumers: Harle-Tsu
This hybrid features a notably high CBD concentration and delivers a relatively low-stakes high that generally bends therapeutic. For users who are new to both meditation and cannabis, this could be an appropriately mellow introduction
For a proven attitude adjustment: Blue Dream
The particular genetics of Blue Dream deliver effects that are consistently reported to be efficient at treating stress, anxiety, and depression. It can often be found with milder cannabinoid profiles as well, so you can extinguish any anxiety without having to also manage an astronomical high. But take note, for some, this cultivar delivers an energetic high, so start slow and explore the effects.
For overworked overthinkers: 9lb Hammer
Those who find relaxation evasive might meet their match with a bowl of 9 lb Hammer, a heady indica-hybrid with a myrcene-heavy terpene profile. This cultivar is typically bred with higher (>25%) THC percentages, so it should be consumed with a fair share of caution, depending on your tolerance.
9 lb Hammer’s effects reportedly walk the line between relief and repose, and personally, we’ve found it to be an effective muffler of end-of-day stress-spirals.
Finding the right meditation style for you
Neither cannabis nor meditation is one size fits all. In fact, there are several styles of meditation to explore while you journey toward inner peace. Three of the most common styles of meditation are mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, and guided meditation. These are all super accessible forms of meditation that you can do from your bedroom floor, favorite chair, mobility device, and in some cases, while you shop for groceries or sit in traffic.
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Mindfulness meditation requires a person to be present with their thoughts without being reactionary. It can be done anywhere and as such is arguably the most accessible style of meditation. To practice mindful meditation, observe your thoughts and emotions as they arise, then let them evaporate, focusing on your breath as they pass.
Jumpstart your mindfulness meditation routine by box breathing: breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, then repeat.
When your minds start to wander, redirect your focus back to the rhythm of the breath. Newbies can start with 5 — 10 minute sessions and build their practice up from there.
Best strain pairing: 24k Gold — a cross of Tangie and Kush genetics produce a high that’s reportedly crystalline in the head and comforting in the body. A great combo for someone who’s focused on relaxing.
Transcendental meditation might be what the uninitiated are most likely to associate with the practice. Transcendental meditation describes meditation that relies on the repeating of a mantra or another specific sound to help clear the mind and achieve a specific state of rest and relaxation with minimum effort.
Whereas mindfulness can be practiced anywhere, anytime, transcendental sessions technically require at least 20 minutes of comfortably seated/reclined, closed-eye chanting, so plan for that accordingly.
Best strain pairing: GG4 (aka Gorilla Glue or Original Glue) — most often reported as a potent physical relaxer that may help you maintain a comfortable position during your transcendental meditation.
Guided meditation happens when an external entity, usually a guide or teacher, leads their subject through a series of visualizations, placing the student in imaginary situations they find the most authentically relaxing. If mindfulness feels intimidating and transcendence seems superfluous, guided meditation might be a good fit for you.
The key to guided meditation is finding the guide that best suits your personal needs, be they emotional, physical, mental, or otherwise. Consider what your meditation goals are and explore mentors accordingly.
Best strain pairing: LA Confidential — a potent indica that delivers a buzzy head high alongside a soothing body high, which may help you engage with your guide while remaining connected to your body.
With or without cannabis, meditation has a place in every person’s life. Self-reflection, reconnection, and introspection are all important aspects of self-care, and if plant medicine helps you better access the calm state achieved by meditation, then, by all means, smoke up.