Do you ever take the time to do nothing but smoke? I mean, roll up a good blunt or joint and smoke it while doing literally nothing else but being present. At the most just enjoying the smoke while chatting with your friend or love, or sitting out on your patio in silence observing traffic as the outdoor climate awakens your skin. Because I'm so used to the act of smoking I tend to smoke while sending emails, while reading textbooks, or scrolling through my phone, and I've noticed dividing my attention like this takes away from the whole high I could be experiencing.
In our society multitasking is considered a positive, but when we spread our attention between several different things it's impossible to experience one thing fully or complete a task to the best of our ability. And when it comes to consuming cannabis, not being fully present for your high bares the questions Why smoke in the first place if you're not mentally there to experience it? Do you consume cannabis to remove yourself from the present moment or to help immerse yourself in it? Are your smoke sessions a passive and disconnected activity with no conscious intention besides getting high in that moment? Whatever the answers may be, it's okay to be aware of them without adding any extra narrative or judgments.
A few days ago I put aside my other tasks to smoke some Gorilla Gold (indica-dominant hybrid) my husband had rolled up for us to share. I set the intention to be present, ignore all distractions, and focus on being in the space at that very moment. We lit the blunt and raised it in dedication to enjoying time together after a full day of work. I noticed how the blunt smelled and tasted, how the cannabis was making me feel, how I was so comfortable being in my home with my husband smoking on our Friday night, all of which were effecting my experience. Being the most present I could created a much stronger connection with my high and gave me greater control of it.
Although I had smoked this same flower before I had never done so with mindfulness and intention setting, so this time I was much more engaged with the experience. The strain's true indica effects gave me a wonderful body-enveloping high as I lifted my limbs as if moving through water - slow and steady with each micro-movement feeling sweet. I moved slowly and consciously to feel these intricate sensations, gave myself a good morning stretch that made my body feel as if it had been contracted for most of the day and was just now opening up. The sofa hugged my body from all sides and sunk me into the cushions, giving me a strange sense of safety and comfort. I was caught in the flow of my body movement and it's sensations, euphoric, out of my thoughts, and still able to engage with my surroundings while enjoying how cannabis was enhancing the experience.
The strain's true indica effects gave me a wonderful body-enveloping high as I lifted my limbs as if moving through water - slow and steady with each micro-movement feeling sweet.
Disconnecting from or finishing other tasks before lighting up acts as a reminder to practice mindfulness while consuming cannabis and deeply engages you to the effects of your high. This awareness helps us maintain a healthy relationship with this powerful herb while bringing enjoyment to being present rather than falling into the stress building mindlessness of multi-tasking. And with all of your attention focused on actually experiencing your high, it is easier to feel the vast variety of effects a strain is having on your body, learn how certain strains show up in you/whether or not they work for you, and learn how you react to the high mentally, emotionally, and physically therefore making it easier to monitor and responsibly dose yourself. This awareness can ultimately make you so deeply connected to the full extent and experience of your high that you smoke less than you normally would do when your attention is preoccupied with other thoughts and tasks.
Outside of setting an intention of presence with your flower, some other ways you can practice mindfulness for a deeply connected high are to be aware of what kind of cannabis you're consuming. Is it an indica, sativa, or hybrid? Knowing the strain greatly influences how much you'll consume and what you'll experience.
Smell the nugs before consuming them - cannabis is a flower after all, and most strains smell delicious and pungent. Notice whether the scent reminds you of fruit, earth, cheese, pine, a memory, or anything else specific. Does it make your mouth water or is it off-putting? How does the smell make you feel?
Disconnecting from or finishing other tasks before lighting up acts as a reminder to practice mindfulness while consuming cannabis and deeply engages you to the effects of your high.
Taste the cannabis or whatever you've chosen to roll it in. Take slow, occasional hits so you can experience the different flavors that come up and gradually escalate your high. For the purest taste I recommend smoking out of a clean bowl and using a hemp wick to light the cannabis, this way there's no taste of butane from the lighter.
Take notes. What's the name of the strain? What shop did you get it from? What time did you smoke? How did you smoke and how much? What did you feeling while smoking? Take notes on this and whatever else comes to mind on a scrap of paper, a notebook, or your phone - just letting it flow and add to the deeper connection and understanding of your high.
Start with setting an intention to be present with your cannabis and these other mindful habits will follow. If you like to smoke in the morning (it's not for everyone, but I find certain strains like Pineapple Express are energizing, focusing, and induce productivity), smoke your first bowl and set an intention to be present with it. I find that doing this in the morning makes mindful choices occur naturally as the day goes on. Put down your phone, listen to a podcast, sit or lay comfortably, sip water, and smoke. Notice how the high creeps up and expresses itself over time. Notice how your body and mind reacts to this, without any extra narratives or judgments, just feel this deep connection with your high. A deeper connection with your high means a deeper connection with yourSelf.