Cannabis, Spirituality and Science

Cannabis, Spirituality and Science

Part 1: This crazy world

Many would consider the idea outright blasphemous, however, the association of weed and spirituality has been inevitable and frequent throughout the ages. Rastafarians, shamans, psychedelic activists, and scholars alike have also touted its potential to conduct one towards the divine. Is the idea far-fetched? How can science help us understand why this cultural phenomenon has emerged? Let’s take a look

In Jack Trout’s bestselling book, “Positioning – The Battle For Your Mind” he declares that we are the first “over-communicated society” due to the endless barrage of content available to us from internet, publications and television. In fact, he mentions that “more information has been produced in the past 30 years than in the previous 5,000 years.” With all this info vying for our attention it becomes ever harder to clear our head and make proper sense of our world. To further complicate the scenario, some university studies show that we can have up to 70,000 thoughts in a given day, this frantic cocktail of mental activity and multimedia overexposure impairs our decision-making abilities and complicates our ability to focus.

Our brain chatter unwittingly keeps us from effectively tackling necessary but uncomfortable tasks, giving us idle worries to entertain as we risk missing opportunities and crucial deadlines. Concentration becomes exponentially harder to achieve when more we are bombarded with unnecessary concerns. Mark Twain described the phenomenon as follows, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

Fret not, however, we are not alone in this battle for clarity, enter: weed. In the 1970s neuroscientists discovered that delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana’s active ingredient,) or THC had a dampening effect on brain cell activity making them less likely to fire by reducing their charge. This becomes very interesting when one begins see the need for a refuge from the constant onslaught of brain stimulation in our modern era. One would argue that I am making the claim that having too many thoughts and information can be bad for your mental health, and they’d be right. Saturation=frustration. Meditation also offers a more long-term solution for this problem, Tibetan monks have demonstrated that its regular practice can effectively silence the mind. Cannabis and meditation, however, need not be exclusive.

In part two of this topic we will go into why weed’s chemical properties translate well into spiritual practices such as meditation.

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