10 Herbal Experiments for Your Wellness

This could be your year of personalized pleasures. We’ve got 10 science-backed experiments to shake up your winter blahs and help you feel more in-tune with your body. Play with these intentional approaches to cannabis and see which ones are worth incorporating into your self-care routine.

1. Discover your Lowest Effective Dose:


If you’re using more weed than you need, you could be putting an unnecessary burden on your brain and your bankbook. New cannabis consumers are urged to “start low”, in part because high doses of THC can actually worsen problems like pain1, mental health issues2 3 4, and sleeping problems5. But even experienced users who’ve built up a high tolerance to THC can turn back the clock. By taking a tolerance break and following a microdosing program, they can re-set their tolerance and find their ideal dose6 7 8. One doctor who has created a cannabinoid re-sensitization program says his patients report stronger relief with 60% less cannabis9. How would that change your life?


2. Dive into Flavour


A 2018 study found that over half of consumers used cannabis to meet a specific need, often to relieve stress, pain or sleeping problems. Although THC and CBD may help us meet those needs, experts like researcher Ethan Russo believe we can get more relief from smaller doses of cannabinoids combined with supportive terpenes10. Terpenes, like linalool, limonene and myrcene, give foods distinctive scents and flavours that you may crave or abhor. By noticing how you react to certain aromas in cannabis, foods and aromatherapy, you may find your best-fit tools to support your sleep11, mood12 13 or pain14.


3. Practice Powerful Pampering


Intentional self-care can turn a sweet moment into a source of strength. Getting intimately acquainted with your body and meeting its needs can help you to feel powerful, in control and less vulnerable to stress15. Psychologists describe this as meeting the world on your own terms, and the result makes you more resilient to life’s strains. To define your ideal relationship with cannabis, explore what dosage, format and complimentary acts of self-care make you feel the most restored. Whether you take your after-work vape in a candlelit bath, massage your post-workout aches with a CBD salve, or stir your bedtime THC drops into an aromatic chai, you'll know that it’s your body, your life and your chance to feel good.


4. Slip into Something Sensual


Sex is medicine. Studies show that intercourse and intimacy release powerful chemicals, like endorphins, oxytocin and prolactin. These can lower stress16, ease pain17 18 19, improve sleep20 and potentially strengthen your immune system21. If you find that cannabis gets you in the mood (like this reviewer), then maybe a satin robe, a silky massage oil, and a sinuous stream of smoke could become your heavenly health plan. Here's how it works for other couples.



5. Get Your Giggle On


Everybody knows how great it feels to have a good chuckle. But did you know that on top of spiking mood-boosting dopamine, your guffaws also drop your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, and improve your learning and memory? It’s unclear how many of these benefits of laughter are caused by social connection rather than your solitary enjoyment of the Knights Who Say Ni. We also don’t know exactly why cannabis gives many of us the super silly snorts. But if you’re ready for a laughfest, YYC’s darling Chef Elycia Ross has got you. Enlist a friend to help you make her recipe for Infused Pinenut Caramels. Make a therapeutically sweet and glorious mess. 


6. Try it Dry


For cannabis consumers who are worried about their lungs, dry herb vaporizing could be a gentler solution. Unlike smoking a joint, dry herb vaporizing heats up ground bud without burning it. The heat releases the good stuff—THC, CBD and terpenes. But the lower temperature of vaporizing produces fewer lung irritants than smoking22 23 24. Dry vaping also preserves more of the plant’s natural cannabinoids and terpenes, and gives some people stronger effects than smoking the same amount of bud25. If you’re all about flavourful strains, a good quality vaporizer like the Pax can let you fine-tune the heat to accentuate your favourite tastes.


7. Take Your Time Among the Trees


Ever taken your cannabis for a walk? If you’ve been too timid to try, you should consider an al fresco routine. Studies in Japan, China and Korea have documented therapeutic effects from a practice they call “Shirin Yoku” or Forest Bathing. They found that when people spend time in heavily treed or green areas, they get measurable improvements in depression, anxiety and pain, as well as an increase in blood flow to the calm, problem-solving areas of the brain26. A little buzz can blend beautifully with the rich, peaty smells of your hike. Compliment the pinene in your bud with the terpene-rich breath of actual pines.


8. Breathe Deeper, Move Freer


Dance and yoga are perfect partners for the relaxed, uninhibited flow that many of us experience with cannabis. Calgary yoga instructors CJ Zane and Johanna Steinfeld describe the special moments they’ve witnessed while guiding their students through elevated classes. The ganja yoga practice is grounded deeply in respect and wonder for the natural world, our physical bodies and the subtle connections among mind, body and community.


9. Master the Magic of AVB


Did you know that Already Vaped Bud (AVB) can be used to make your own infused oils and tinctures? This act of self-sufficient creation can be supremely satisfying. Just save the toasted goodness from your dry vaporizer. To make an infused oil, slow-cook the AVB into oil or butter and then strain out the solids. For a tincture that you can drop under your tongue, soak the vaped bud in high-proof alcohol like Everclear. You can add herbs or aromatics like rosemary, ginger or citrus peel. Giving your bud a second life can reduce your spending and help your good feels achieve their full potential.


10. Dream Bigger


On lazy afternoons, some people use low-dose THC to fuel soul-expanding daydreams. At night, others draw on long-lasting edibles to ease their weary bodies through an undisturbed sleep. We could probably all agree that better sleep and a clearer connection to our inner voice would do us a lot of good. What could you accomplish if you were more rested and restored?




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