How to combine cannabis with meditation

How to combine cannabis with meditation
Luke Sumpter

Take a hit of some good weed, especially some indica, and you'll find yourself falling into a deep state of contemplation, to the point where it feels like you're meditating. What if you wanted to actually meditate, though? As many have discovered, cannabis pairs excellently with the practice of meditation, so long as you also practise moderation.

If you’re like most of us, you’ll be deep in contemplation after a few puffs of your favourite indica. Even if it’s not indica, cannabis can help us venture into our minds and take a step back from everything. You want to know what else helps us do that? Meditation! While you might think they’d get in the way of each other, they can go hand-in-hand when combined correctly.


Now, we could kick right off by explaining the combo, but some need convincing on the meditation aspect. After all, free time is difficult to find, and some can’t see what’s so special about sitting in silence.

Well, if you ask people who meditate, they’ll tell you a lot of good can come from still, silent moments. If you’ve got a lot of pent-up stress, for example, meditating on what’s bothering you can help you calm down. Getting into the practice can also help you fall asleep faster and spend less time awake during the night. Overeaters are encouraged to try it as well, as the introspection allows them to focus on why they feel hungry.


As simple and universal as the concept seems, we can pinpoint a fairly specific origin. The practice as we know it began in India, depicted in art as far back as 5,000 BCE. These artworks showed people sitting in the classic cross-legged meditation position, eyes half-closed in a serene state. The practice developed constantly through the years, with strong connections to medicine and spirituality in certain cultures and belief systems, especially Hinduism.

Buddhists also developed a variety of meditation, and the practice was even described in the Torah, the Jewish holy book. Throughout all these developments, though, the goal has stayed the same: finding peace, health, and happiness.


That, then, leaves the question of how it helps us obtain those things. In other words, what specific issues does meditation tackle?


Depression is one of the most common mental ailments amongst young people today, and meditation has long been suggested as a potential treatment. It shouldn’t be your only treatment, of course, but research has shown it helps a good deal in the fight.

In a 2004 study that analysed people with mood disorders, researchers observed a significant decrease in their ruminative thinking after consistent mindfulness-focused meditation. While that’s only one of the cognitive symptoms of depression, the impact is still present.


Anxiety often comes hand-in-hand with depression, and we could possibly combat both with meditation! Back in 1995, the General Hospital Psychiatry journal published research that followed anxiety-diagnosed people after an 8-week mindfulness meditation treatment.

Over the course of three years, the researchers regularly followed up with them and noticed long-term improvements in their symptoms. Those improvements were especially notable in those who kept up the practice over the years.


Being stressed these days is more standard than ever. That, however, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to calm ourselves. As almost anyone who meditates will tell you, there’s no better stress silencer than those periods of self-reflection.

Science has confirmed the idea as well; in a study on cancer patients with mood troubles, researchers observed meditation significantly reducing their stress. Even as they dealt with a potentially fatal illness, meditation allowed them to keep stress further at bay. The results might not prove anything outright, but they’re a very promising sign.



There is one thing that stays constant across the issues we’ve discussed: they’re all eased, to one degree or another, by the promotion of mindfulness. As you cease to move, speak, or do anything else, you can focus on the current moment you’re residing in.

You can avoid contemplating the past or future, and merely focus on what’s happening right then and there. In that moment, you can tear away from intrusive and overly self-critical thinking. As you step back, you can put things into perspective and figure out what’s truly worth your attention and time.


Now, when we think of meditation, we mostly think about strengthening the mind. However, while nothing’s proven yet, there are signs meditation might help strengthen our immune system as well! In a study on patients who underwent 8-week meditation programmes, researchers observed subjects displaying increased antibody titers to flu vaccines.

These findings are fairly limited, yes, and much more research needs to be done. However, these discoveries are positive enough to warrant the continuation of said research.


As beneficial as it is, the idea of sitting still and doing nothing can sound boring and difficult at first. “I’d rather just smoke a joint”, you may be thinking. Well, why not do both? Some people say smoking gets in the way of meditation, and that may be true in some cases. In moderation, however, it can actually enhance the experience!


Most stoners can think of a time smoking calmed them down in a stressful situation.

Everyone’s experience is different, of course, but stress relief is one of the most common sensations people report when smoking weed. Life can go way too fast nowadays, and sometimes a little slowdown is all we need to calm our nerves.

In turn, wouldn’t it make sense to try and slow down before you meditate? You won’t have to spend as much time trying to shut out racing thoughts, and you can make a point of focusing on the present.


Tying in with that, most of the effects cannabis has on the brain can augment meditation. The euphoria it offers is perfect when contemplating what you should be thankful for. Relaxed sensations pair nicely with total stillness, and slowed mental processing is exactly what you need to avoid overthinking. Add to that the need for deep breathing when smoking/vaping, and it seems like a perfect match!


Knowing cannabis and meditation pair well together is one thing, but knowing how to pair them is a whole other.

For instance, it’s key to know your limits with whatever you’re smoking. If you’ve got a new, potent strain, try it a couple times before you meditate with it. In general, avoid smoking too much before sitting for your daily session.

These two precautions serve the same purpose: keeping your high under control. After all, if you get too high, you’ll end up too faded to focus, or just end up falling asleep. To get the most out of stoned meditation, we’d recommend smoking about half or ¾ of what you’d usually burn.

We’d also emphasise smoking before meditation, rather than puffing mid-contemplation. This, simply, is because you shouldn’t do anything else as you meditate, as it’ll divert your focus from the present. Get into the right state of mind beforehand so you can lock in and immerse yourself in the moment.



Those who aren’t big fans of THC might question using cannabis in their meditation practice. For those people, however, CBD could serve as an effective option without getting them high. While that high can enhance meditation, it’s the many other potential benefits of cannabis that really make the difference. As it so happens, CBD boasts many of those effects too!

You can take a few puffs of your favourite high-CBD strain, and let the stress melt away. If you have regular nausea, some CBD could even potentially ease your symptoms long enough to meditate for hours! Nothing’s been proven outright yet, but the results are intriguing regardless.


Now, let’s figure out which sort of strain you’ll be pairing with meditation! Each sort of cannabis has its own pros and cons, so your choice will come down to personal preference.


If you need your mind to slow down a good deal before meditation, you may need an indica. Famous for their ability to glue you to the couch, these strains will make sure you stay calm and mindful. Just don’t smoke too much, though, as one too many puffs will have you falling asleep in place! That’ll especially be the case if you happen to be smoking one of the more potent indicas on this list.


Rather than calming down, some of you may be trying to find the spark of life again. After all, just because meditation should be serene doesn’t mean it should make you sleepy! Now, it may defeat the purpose if you get too high and subsequently excited. However, if you practise moderation, you can achieve that joyous sensation without overexcitement. If you don’t where to start, we have a lovely list of sativas showcasing the cream of the crop.


Lastly, if THC isn’t really your speed, finding a high-CBD strain could be the move. They contain a little THC, so you can still enjoy the entourage effect, but they won’t get you stoned. They’re especially great if you’re meditating during a break at work, or if you just want to keep your mind clear in general. Don’t know which one to pick? We’ve actually taken the time to assemble the best high-CBD strains available on the market!


As we conclude this discussion, we think it’d be best to put things back in perspective. No matter how you do it, or what you supplement it with, proper meditation is vital. It helps us maintain our attention to the present and consider the important things. In turn, it helps us rein in anxiety and depression, and supports other aspects of our health in turn. Even if you decide to forgo cannabis during meditation, we’ll be happy you're meditating at all!

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter

Luke has worked as a cannabis journalist and health science researcher for the past seven years. Over this time, he’s developed an advanced understanding of endocannabinoid system science, cannabis phytochemistry, and cultivation techniques.