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From the Community: Cannabis Experiences

January 31, 2024

There’s a lot of talk in the community about cannabis, its effects on our health and wellness, and how it’s impacted folk’s lives. As a cannabis noob myself, I’m always looking to hear more about different people’s experiences. Whenever I ask, it tends to lead to some pretty interesting discussions.  

After having conversations with a bunch of people in the industry about the impact cannabis has on their lives, I found a few main categories that kept being brought up: art and creativity, health, relationships, and mindfulness. While there’s obviously a lot more to the discussion than just this, I thought it might be a good place to start. After all, it’s kind of fun hearing about other people’s experiences and comparing them to your own.  

As a note, we’re not discussing any science or research in this post. All I’m doing is highlighting different experiences people have had with cannabis. Cannabis science is still fairly underdeveloped, and often we find that having conversations like this can help promote research that matters to the community. Of course, everyone’s also different and will have their own unique experiences with cannabis. So this isn’t meant to be advice, science, or an indication of how cannabis will impact you. Just something fun and interesting.  

Meet the Interviewees

Shannon:  

Shannon is a cannabis business advisor and former CEO of Antidote Processing, a legacy-owned processing facility. She’s also been a keynote speaker at O'Cannabiz, CannaPortugal, LIFT, The Unicorn Cup, CertiCraft and the Future Cannabis Project.  

Andrea:

Andrea is a cannabis enthusiast and founder of Vancouver’s Village Bloomery cannabis shop.  

Weed Mama:

Shannon is a mom of 2 who started Weed Mama in order to educate about how cannabis can benefit tired moms, and for other moms to find a place where they feel accepted in their choice to use cannabis.  

Hana:  

Hana is a food and hemp farmer from Cowichan Valley and one of the founding members of CommuniTea Farms. Cannabis has been a huge part of her healing, recovery, and overall maintenance of health. She’s grateful for the plant and the opportunity to work alongside her.  

We also have a bit of input from Walker, our Chief Commercial Officer, some of my friends (which I’ve named Gale after a certain wizard), and myself (Bre).  

Art and Creativity

Since I’m such an artsy person myself, I was curious to see what folks would have to say about cannabis and the creative process. Personally, I find CBD helps more than THC, but I’ve heard good things from other people I’ve spoken to. So I thought it would be worth an ask:

Andrea: “I like crafting and cannabis because it allows me to filter out my inner critic so that I can just play.”

Gale: “It helps you focus into a particular creative thing; remind you that there are no limits and helps you get out of your own way when it comes to art. You’re more in the zone - less resistance.”

Bre: “I’m more of a CBD person, to be honest. I’m a pretty big lightweight, and when I get too high, it’s hard for me to do anything at all. That said, I’ve been enjoying micro-dosing edibles lately. And by micro-dosing I mean under 5mgs. It’s not enough to get me high, but it’s enough to help me relax a little. My mind moves pretty quickly and I have trouble calming down – I’m kind of an anxious and depressive person. Both things in which can negatively impact art and creativity. So a little bit of cannabis can actually help me focus and sit still a little better. I don’t know if it necessarily makes me more artistic and inspired, but it helps to manage the effects of anxiety that get in the way of my creative process.”

Health

Cannabis and health is a big topic – certainly one larger than this post. That said, it came up a bit during the different conversations I had, so I wanted to make sure I included it:

Shannon: “I use cannabis for medical purposes. I’m completely deaf in my right ear and susceptible to tumours, but I’ve felt a lot of success using high THC suppositories. A combination of THC and Chinese medicine has both helped me and lead me into advocacy.”

Gale: “After a bad car accident and horrible concussion symptoms, cannabis helped me manage the pain of migraines and get through my days in a more balanced, functional way.”  

Hana: “I was quite sick last year and had to get a bunch of tests done. Turns out I had something that less than 1% of the population had, and after a lot of complications, I almost died. When I got out of the ICU, getting out and going back to the farm, I lost a lot of weight not being able to eat. I started smoking this CBD we were growing, and it allowed me to eat a whole meal, helped stimulate my appetite, sleep, and feel a bit of happiness instead of despair.  Now, I make tinctures and use CBD regularly to help curb pain.”

Socializing and Relationships

Since I’ve done a lot of work on the CBD, Lofi side of things, I’ve heard a lot of talk about how cannabis can potentially lower anxiety, especially around social encounters or relationships. It’s something I’ve written about before, and thought I’d be missing something if I didn’t include it here:  

Walker: “Cannabis has opened up a lot of opportunities of connection for me, whether that’s dinner parties, just sitting and vibing with friends, or having an excuse to laugh.”  

Andrea: “I like to smoke Cannabis at social events. There are a few cultivars I can always count on to make my evening a success. Usually, my social cannabis will be a cultivar that makes me feel physically active, chatty and creative.”

Weed Mama: “It also helps with pain, especially with sex. A big part of why I started my platform Weed Mama was to help moms find help with the plant; sex is something moms can struggle with the most.”

Bre: “It’s the same as I mentioned earlier – a little bit of cannabis really helps me calm down, center my energy a little, and tone the anxiety down a bit. This is particularly helpful in situations when I’m in a new space or meeting new people. I might still have a bit of the same awkward jitters, but I find that I’m a lot more relaxed and less hypercritical of myself.”

Mindfulness

Maybe it’s just because I’m in the Kootenays, but it’s hard to separate talks of cannabis and things like wellness, mindfulness, and meditation. There’s a big yoga culture here. It’s also the thing most people spent the longest talking about:  

Andrea: “I love yoga and Cannabis, I find that I can really tap into my breath and take time to feel my body. I really enjoy being by the ocean with Cannabis because it enhances an already beautiful experience for me. I smoke a joint when I walk my dog because it adds to the whole experience for me. I find myself more patient and more open to letting my dog take the lead. I figure he’s on my time for most of the day and I like letting go so he can just explore. I use oil drops for sleep at night and I often smoke cannabis before I do yoga and or meditate.”

Weed Mama: “Cannabis helps me as a mother to unwind at the end of a long day. It helps me to meditate and find stillness.”

Shannon: “It helps connect to a deeper part of self that helps shift perspective. This can be uncomfortable sometimes but brings insights and epiphanies that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Cannabis changes thought processes and makes us more open. It gives us insight into deeper questions and experiences. It gives us a deeper sense of empathy for self and other people. Cannabis has made me who I am. I’m a very compassionate and empathetic person, and I contribute a lot of this to cannabis.”

Gale: “It can help amplify some of the things you’re already doing for yourself. While it can be good for mental health, it can also just amplify feelings – happy gets happier. But on the flip side, I can get more anxious as well. Depends on the time and where you’re currently at.”

Hana: “I teach yoga, which is a very intentional practice. I often smoke joints during practice. It gives me the ability to take myself out of whatever’s happening and be more centered in my body. I often ask: why are you using, how are you using, and what’s your mindset? You can get as high as you want, but why? To cover emotions up? Recreationally? What’s the point? Why are you using the plant? I’m always asking intentions and being very intentional with things. Be thankful, be grateful. It’s giving us so much back and all we need to do is water and let it grow.”

Bre: “I wish I was a more mindful and intentional person. I’m really trying to be, but again, it can be hard for me to get my body to relax. I’m not always very aware of myself. I find that a bit of cannabis can help me zone into myself a bit better. It’s grounding – it helps me slow down and be a little more intentional and aware of myself.”

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