The marijuana plant is a historic and spiritual creature. It’s lived before us and will probably live long after us; it’s a part of nature. Yet since cannabis has become of value to human beings, it has been controlled, sold, banned, criminalized, and in some countries, legalized once again. But the truth is, there has always been something intrinsically special about marijuana, both in what it can do, and the places it has found itself in history. Weed is spiritual. But how can you have a spiritual experience with it? There are many drugs out there – Ioaska, acid – that are commonly used to alter consciousness to reach some other ‘land’. Is weed one of them? Well, today we’re going to be delving into the spiritual nature of dry herb, and help you to have a more spiritual experience with it. As always, strap yourself in. This one’s gonna be spiritual. Let’s go.
What is Weed?
Before we can begin to try and have a more spiritual experience with weed, first we need to fully understand what it is. What is this ominous plant that lots of 15 year old kids are wearing on their t-shirts next to the phrase: ‘420 blaze it’?
Well, as previously stated, marijuana is from a plant. Cannabis is made from the shredded and dried parts of this plant, called cannabis sativa. Within cannabis sativa there are over 400 cannabinoids. However, the most commonly known and referred to are: THC and CBD. The ratio of these two substances are what gives the weed its individual identity, and causes a different experience for the user. This will be more important later when we discuss how to have a spiritual experience.
THC is probably the one you’ll have heard of most if you’ve ever had a weekend away in Amsterdam. THC is that thing within weed that gives you the well-known high experience. It is a psychoactive substance, as it has effects on the brain. The percentage level of THC in cannabis can vary, but a common amount is around 10-15%. It might be also worth knowing that products that contain more than 0.2% THC are currently illegal in the UK. If you want to know more about THC, click here.
CBD is slowly becoming more and more accepted by governments around the world. In fact, CBD based products – like edibles, creams and oils – are available for purchase in your local highstreet shops (try our hemp pain relief cream if you wanna see what all the fuss is about). Although CBD is also a psychoactive substance, it doesn’t have the same effect as THC. It’s much less potent – and usually brings with it a much more relaxed sensation; sometimes it’s hard to even feel it. CBD is also now commonly used for medicinal purposes, as there are many ways in which its properties can help people’s mental and physical issues. CBD has been used to treat: anxiety, sleep deprivation, chronic pain, PTSD and many more. It’s likely that spiritual experiences won’t come solely from CBD-based marijuana.
How is Weed Taken?
Marijuana is taken in a variety of ways – all of which will lead to a slightly different experience.
Edibles go through the stomach and need to be digested, which leads to a slower effect. However, often edibles can be a more intense high when they do kick in. Weed brownies, cannabutter, gummies, honey, these are just some of the variants of weed edibles.
Buds are the marijuana dry herb. They can be used in a joint, pipe, or dry herb vape to be heated and eventually inhaled. This tends to lead to a quicker high as it goes straight into the bloodstream directly from the lungs.
Cannabis concentrates are essentially other ways of extracting from the marijuana plant. Usually these are quite unorthodox methods and will lead to a very potent substance, which can then be inhaled or ingested. Hash is the most common cannabis concentrate, but others include: shatter, wax and rosin.
Creams are also ways of utilising the marijuana plant. Usually this is more common with health CBD products, as rubbing the cream into the skin can help with pain relief.
A Brief History of Weed
If you were to summarise the entire history of weed in a short, digestible paragraph it would probably go a little something like this…
Weed grew like any other plant. It lived its life untampered by human beings. It’s most prevalent locations were central Asia and Africa. And then, eventually, humans started to use it for hemp fibre. This helped especially with making clothes and materials. Not only that, but smoking weed was used in many religious and communal ceremonies. Could it be said that the concept of sitting in a circle was born out of sharing a joint? Who knows. Then came European and American forces as they invaded practically every inch of the planet. They then began to follow suit and brought the plant back to their countries. Before the 20th century, weed was legal and decriminalized basically everywhere. No one really had an issue with it; it was like tobacco. But then, the governments began to make unfair links between weed and gangs, anti-establishment protests and minority groups. It was then that weed slowly became illegal basically everywhere. It’s taken until the 2000s for that to gradually change, but even still, there is a long way to go; especially in the UK.
What is Weed Spirituality?
So, now you understand more clearly the history of marijuana and what it is, maybe we can begin to delve into this idea of weed spirituality.
Spirituality, in general, is the idea of transcending the physical world. Leaving the physical, consumerist, capitalist societies we live in, and finding a different plane. This all probably sounds like the sort of stuff you’ve heard your mates spout before they threw a whitey. However, spirituality has a lot of truth to it. Some of the finest thinkers of all time have found spirituality in many ways. These include: meditation, yoga, religion, ceremonies, marijuana or other drugs such as acid or iowaska.
Weed spirituality then is the same thing but specifically through the use of marijuana. Cannabis has long been described as an entheogen, which means a plant that can expand one’s consciousness and help in spiritual growth. Some religions, such as Rastafarianism and Hinduism, all use marijuana as a sacred tool. The combination of human togetherness and the effects of marijuana can genuinely take you on an existential journey.
Not only does this occur in religious practices, but also in historic events. In Ancient Egypt in 5BC, the Egyptians would lay hemp seeds on hot rocks to be heated and inhaled. Imagine: simply laying a seed on a hot rock, inhaling it, and feeling an entirely new experience. The science then wouldn’t have explained what was happening. However, even if now we do understand far better the effects of marijuana, there are still parts of the human brain that cannot be explained. For instance, that feeling of unity and oneness that can come from awe-giving events is very similar and integral to weed spirituality. If you imagine being at Woodstock in 69, a joint in hand, watching Hendrix shred the guitar and knowing that everyone there was against the Vietnam war, you probably will have felt a somewhat spiritual experience. The combination of togetherness and weed is key to having a spiritual experience. That feeling of togetherness can come from people, nature, or even yourself.
Similar to Iohaska and acid, marijuana can unlock parts of your brain that you don’t get to experience everyday. For example, in India, it’s possible to visit a Sadhu who is a holy man who has given up physical possessions for a life of enlightenment. They will sit, enjoy hashish, and have conversations with travellers. There are many versions of this around the world – in all corners of the globe – but how can you aim to have one yourself?
How Can I Experience Weed Spirituality?
It’s impossible to tell someone how to have a spiritual moment with weed. However, it is possible to assist them. Whilst cannabis will always slightly alter one’s reality, there are definitely things one can do to enhance this experience. So, if you’d like to try these things out, then give them a go. Don’t forget to check out our other article on: top 10 fun things to do when using a dry herb vaporizer.
In the words of the the best Channel 4 reality TV show ever: ‘location, location, location’. A beautiful view is like an eye orgasm. A new place, and a new sight is a chance to fill your body up with new experiences. This mixed with a joint or a dry herb vape hit could definitely bring you closer to a spiritual experience. So which places? Well, it’s obviously down to you. Some locations hit harder than others. Get it? Hit harder. Whether it be epping forest, the Athenian acropolis, the roof of your flat or Machu Picchu, the only thing that really matters is how you feel. When a human being feels a sense of awe by their surroundings, they feel small and insiginificant. And it is this exact feeling that brings you closer to leaving the physical world and entering the spiritual. If you’re looking for ideas of where to travel then why not check out our other article: best weed in the world.
Meditation is also another way of bringing you closer to a spiritual experience with marijuana. It’s probably a disclaimer that meditation is not an easy practice, and many people spend their whole lives practicing it. However, even if you are new to it, there’s still lots you can gain. Find somewhere quiet and peaceful, sit, enjoy some marijuana, close your eyes, and simply listen and follow your breath. In and out. This can last anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. It’s up to you. If you’d rather try a guided meditation then download the Headspace or Waking Up app. Sometimes it’s more comfortable being spoken through the practice. Meditation, on the whole, allows you to sit with yourself and watch your thoughts from an untampered perspective; some would call it an attempt at an ego death. Again, as we’ve said, leaving the physical and social restrictions of every day life will bring you closer to a spiritual experience.
Yoga is very similar, in a way, to meditation. You follow your breath into movements that stretch and tap in to your entire body. Again, you don’t need to be an expert at yoga to feel its benefits. The combination of mind-altering cannabis with body-opening yoga, could really bring you into a state of body and mind oneness. This will be a different type of spiritual experience.
There are many religions on the planet. Whether you would describe yourself as a religious person, an agnostic or a strict atheist, we can all appreciate the wonders of the world and universe. And we can all appreciate a feeling of unity with each other and nature. Whilst our hardworking lives may take us away from these appreciations, spiritual experiences can bring us closer. If you’re lucky enough to visit a religious holy place abroad or at home, or even to read some scripture, this will be a good way for you to connect with the idea of religion. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with any of it, but there’s something spiritual about allowing yourself to feel small in the face of ideas. Maybe try enjoying some cannabis and heading over to somewhere religious. See how it feels.
Just like with a normal high, people are everything. You wouldn’t wanna sit with your worst enemy when you get baked. Spiritual experiences can be very communal, and it’s often this sense of community that enhances the experience. Why not get a group of people together, or join some strangers, and either do an activity together or just sit and chat. Your brain is unlocked by inspiring conversation and improving relationships.
What’s the Point?
You might be sat there wondering: what’s the point? Or, what’s the difference between any of these things and a really good high? Well, the question to ask yourself is: what’s the point in anything? Spiritual experiences remind us that life is short, and we all live and we all die. It reminds us that the only thing that really matters is feeling happy with ourselves, other people and the world around us. If we can feel at one and content with all of those things, then that makes our short time on this planet that little bit better. So why not?