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Should I Meditate? | Health

I’m a pretty consistent cannabis user, especially of edibles, so there aren’t a lot of things I haven’t done slightly stoned. During my first couple of years of teaching Puff, Pass & Paint, I was constantly smoking, so I developed a pretty high tolerance for flower. My tolerance for edibles, on the other hand, has never caught up, which is something I’m grateful for in many ways, especially when going into a dispensary and purchasing them (cheap date!). If I accidentally take more than my usual dosage though, it can be a totally different story. This happened to me recently, and it reminded me that although I’ve been using cannabis for 20 years, that doesn’t make the experience any less unbearable for the following 2-4 hours. As someone who has also consistently used many other hallucinogens, and had both a mind-blowing experience with them and at least two times that I honestly believed I was descending into hell, it’s good to have a talk-down technique in your back pocket.

We’ve all been there… being way too high, or being with a friend who is, and thinking it’s NEVER going to end, right? I started meditating a few years ago, often while using cannabis, and the two together have totally changed the way I approach situations and my reactivity when something is hard or uncomfortable to deal with. Now, when I take a little too much of an edible and I’m starting to feel weird (or I find myself at a friend’s bachelorette party on acid and end up spending the entire night in the bathtub), I use meditation to come out the other side. I think this is slowly making me a bit of a better person, and at the very least, makes the entire experience a bit less scary.

Maybe you’re reading this because you’ve saved it for a time JUST LIKE THIS, or maybe you’re just planning ahead, but here’s what I do to meditate when I feel like I’m taking off on a cannabis-or-otherwise-induced alien spaceship.

  1. Maybe you’re with people, and maybe you’re alone, and if you can’t get away that’s fine, but it’s best if you can sneak away to another room to sit (I like to lay) by yourself for a few minutes. Personally, I like to be in the dark, but that freaks some people out because they like to keep their eyes on something to focus. Either is totally fine, just get comfortable (and definitely get a glass of water for your dry mouth!).

  2. The most important thing to remember, before we start, is to keep things simple… anything else might feel too hard, which is exactly what you DON’T need right now! You’re awesome, you’re fun, you’re just a little too high and that’s ok!

  3. You can use silence, or you can pop a meditation onto your phone… I like to just go to YouTube and type in something like “anxiety meditation” or “relax meditation”. If you’re going to do this, find one that’s 10-15 minutes long so you have enough time to chill and get in a good headspace, but aren’t feeling overwhelmed that you have to finish it. You can get up and walk away whenever you want! Headphones are great if possible, but not a necessity.

  4. Uncomfortable feelings are a part of life, and unfortunately they are often a part of feeling way too high, like your hands sweating, your heart beating like crazy, your skin crawling, just not being able to relax, and if you’re me, literally thinking you’re crawling through the seven layers of hell in a stranger’s bathtub. Remind yourself that you’re going to be FINE, it’s not possible to overdose on cannabis (or any other hallucinogenic!), and it’s all just feelings and sensations (yeah, easier said than done, right? I feel you.) In meditation, you’re supposed to recognize those feelings and let them pass like clouds… don’t beat yourself up about them. Try to experience the feeling, accept it, and try not to dwell if you can. But if you can’t, that’s ok too! Not chastising yourself about ANYTHING is the most important thing right now.

  5. Just sink into being too high and take deep, long breaths. You can do what is called “square breathing”. This is my favorite, and always helps me get out of my head and really feel my body instead. It will also help your heart rate slow down if it feels like it’s going crazy. First, slowly exhale all of your breath out, then inhale through your nose to a slow count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4, then gently exhale for a count of 4. Keep doing it until it feels natural. This should help calm your heart and mind a bit. Remind yourself that it’s not going to last forever (even if it feels like you’re in a time warp).

  6. Hopefully you’re feeling a bit better now! Drink some water, rejoin the party, or my personal favorite, crawl under a blanket and pop on an underwater nature documentary (preferably one without a shark attack), or something familiar and funny. Don’t berate yourself for getting too stoned or stress that you were totally weird, because it happens to ALL of us! I’m the queen of getting way too high and laughing really loud and obnoxious, or absentmindedly stroking the foot of the person next to me like a creep, so trust me… I’ve been there.

  7. It’s gonna be over eventually. After you’ve come back to reality, remind yourself of what you took so you can adjust your dosage for next time!


Heidi Keyes

Heidi Keyes is the Founder of Puff, Pass & Paint, and Co-Founder & President of Cannabis Tours. Heidi writes about her experiences, sharing her advice, travel tips, and wisdom in Puff, Pass Ponder.



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