Self-care is an ongoing process that can feel overwhelming and is often the first thing we ignore when we’re trying to get through our days. But if we took better care of ourselves, we’d be able to better cope more with life’s stressors – not to mention feel better overall.
Believe it or not, cannabis can be a welcome addition to any self-care practice. If the most common areas of our lives that need attention are sleep, nutrition, and fitness, cannabis are known to have positive effects on all of those areas.
If you get enough sleep, eat well to nourish your body and brain, and put some movement into your day, you’ll be off to a good start with self-care. Cannabis can help.
“We’re often so busy caring for everyone else, we forget to take care of ourselves. Cannabis helps me slow down my thoughts, tune into my body, and inspires me to remember the importance of self-love.” –Jessie Gill, RN of MarijuanaMommy.com.
Here are some specific ways women are using cannabis for self-care:
1. Getting More (and Better) Sleep
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep – or even sleeping through the night – cannabis can be taken – even in relatively small doses – as a sleep aide. Look for an indica strain to start, and seek out strains that are higher in the terpenes Linalool or Mercene, both of which can aid in relaxation and a deeper sleep.
“Cannabis can really help with sleep that is so precious and can be a big issue for aging women,” says Jill Trinchero of SDK Snacks, the maker of healthful (gluten-free, vegan) cannabis infused cookies and crackers. “Many women approach me to say that SDK’s products help them sleep.”
Jill explains that a micro-dose of 2.5mg to 5mg THC relaxes your mind and body so you get to sleep and sleep through the night.
A few puffs off a cannabis vaporizer, a low-sugar infused edible, or a few drops of a cannabis tincture under your tongue could ease you into a more relaxed state and promote a better quality sleep. Most women who do this wake up refreshed and headache free – something that doesn’t usually happen with alcohol.
2. Getting a Move On It
The myth of the lazy stoner is being dispelled time and time again as women discover cannabis as an enhancement to physical activities such as running, weight lifting, and yoga.
Joy Victoria Clarke, owner of Mahogany Mary, a cannabis events company, admits she began neglecting her health and ignoring self-care when she relocated to a new city.
Says Joy, “I used my long work hours as an excuse not to make myself a priority. My health declined, insomnia overtook rest, and I began to feel depressed. Yoga and marijuana helped me unplug and reconnect with the God above and the God within me.”
Joy adds, “When I smoke weed, it calms my mind and my body. The daily anxiety eases away, and my mind becomes clearer.”
Jennessa Lea of Break the Stigma Fitness had a major personal breakthrough with her health and fitness, partly because of cannabis. She suffered from severe chronic pain associated with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a connective tissue disease affecting the elasticity in a person’s collagen. Her condition caused instability, dislocations, arthritis, and other painful ailments.
In the beginning stages of her illness, she was prescribed narcotics and other pharmaceuticals putting her in “a doped-up haze.” She was obese and soon developed a high tolerance to the narcotics.
Everything changed when she incorporated cannabis into her daily wellness routine. Today, Jennessa is a cannabis fitness activist known as “Fit Cannabis Girl.” She coaches other women about integrating cannabis into a positive healthy routine and lifestyle.
Says Jennessa, “With cannabis, fitness and nutrition I was able to lose 110 pounds, end a 10-year span of 20 pharmaceuticals a day, and work myself out of a wheelchair that Ehlers Danlos Syndrome brought into my life. Cannabis is truly medicinal, and when combined with fitness, nutrition and a little determination, has the power to completely change your quality of life!”
“Many women are finding great success when they bring cannabis into their fitness regimen because it truly enhances their experiences,” Jennessa explains.
“Cannabis helps calm pre-workout anxiety to help get you in the mood, can decrease pain and inflammation allowing you to push longer, and gives a muscle. mind and body connection unlike anything else allowing you to really focus on your form.”
Jennessa adds that cannabis is a bronchodilator, a vasodilator, and aids in muscle recovery. She suggests that it can also be used as an appetite suppressant when the strains are high in THC-V. [Read the Leafly explanation of THC-V].
3. Relaxation and Creativity
Tuning in to what stresses you out and then figuring out what helps you let go can be an ongoing personal project but can reap great wellness rewards.
“Self-care for me always seems to change based on where I am living or (what I’m) going through,” explains Loretta Hord, founder of Cannatunes, a company creating multimedia and musical experiences with cannabis. “This has prompted me to be flexible about how I achieve wellness in my life,” Loretta adds, “What hasn’t changed is taking the time to check in with myself frequently to review what is and isn’t serving me and my goals. Cannabis helps me to be introspective about my life and goals.”
“Cannabis, along with meditation and exercise, is one of the best ways to relieve stress and maximize creativity while reducing overwhelm and stress.” —Alexa Divett, business coach and marketer in the cannabis industry.
For Amy Andrle, Co-Owner, L’Eagle Services, cannabis is helpful in a number of ways.
“Occasionally, there are days when I am stressed and unable to let go of nagging pressures and anxieties, using cannabis helps me to soften the edges, quiet my mind, and enjoy the present moment,” Amy explains adding that she prefers microdosing and often select strains that increase her energy.
“Sitting down and actually engaging in pretend or art projects, turning on music for a dance party, or one on one quiet time reading books are all made easier when the hounding stress of work and life’s “to do” lists are muffled,” says Amy.
Doreen Sullivan of My Bud Vase, the creator of uniquely beautiful glass vases that double as water pipes, makes her living as a creative.
“I have to come up with creative ideas everyday which means I need to have my head in the right place to come up with breakthrough ideas that my agency gets paid to produce. Sometimes life gets in the way, and I find myself over extended and emotionally drained,” Doreen says.
Doreen admits she used to “beat herself up” about getting to that place of exhaustion and making it worse by getting anxious about it.
“Now I just take a Cannabis break,” Doreen admits.
“I find a creative strain and microdose and then put on my headsets and walk until I can think again. It works every time. Some of my best ideas have been the result of taking my much needed Cannabis breaks.”
Kristen Williams of Hempsley, a business offering wellness guidance, admits she was “a tortured perfectionist” who frequently found herself stressed out, overwhelmed, and unhappy.
“But with cannabis, I was eating better. I moved my body more. Through lots of trial and error and hours research, I taught myself how to use cannabis as a tool to help me be more productive, creative, and relaxed when I needed it most,” says Kristen.
Today, cannabis provides her with a way to rejuvenate while relaxing her mind and body.
Adds Kristen, “It allows me to enjoy the moment that I am lucky enough to be a part of without worrying about the list of things I have to do or what people think of me — something I still struggle with. It makes daily self-care tasks like exercise and cooking myself healthy food not only bearable but enjoyable, helping me do them more frequently. During my darkest of days, my attitude and outlook on life have been more positive because of cannabis.”
4. Attending to One’s Health
As we age, it seems inevitable that health issues crop up. Or we may already be living with chronic conditions such as pain or dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Cannabis has been used for everything from relief from chronic pain to support during cancer treatments including chemotherapy.
“Cannabis has managed my seizure disorder for almost five years,” says Laurie Wolf of Laurie and Maryjane, small-batch, cannabis-infused edibles. ” I no longer use prescription medicine that left me exhausted and weak. In addition, cannabis is my go-to for aches and pains, depression and anxiety. Miracle plant, and I am serious!”
After a health crisis and surgery, Adelia Carrillo of Direct Cannabis Network, was given a slew of prescriptions that didn’t help with her recovery. Her fiancé suggested she turn to cannabis.
“As I began my trial and error of testing out medical cannabis, I noticed that cannabis helped me physically and emotionally.”
Adelia found cannabis use not only helped her with pain after surgery, but it also helped with the anxiety and depression that followed her pregnancy loss.
Liz Rudner of MoonMan’s Mistress, an edibles company in the Bay Area, was diagnosed with Celiac and Hashimoto’s and found that cannabis was helpful in dealing with serious health issues.
“After many years of struggling with my health, I became my own advocate for my wellness,” say Liz, who began using cannabis for relief from pain and depression. “I turned to food and healed my body. It’s now been over 10 years, and I have never been healthier. I have cannabis to thank for that.”
Attending to your health, paying attention to how your body feels, and acknowledging what is going through your mind can help you pinpoint what you personally need for self-care. Self-care consists of many different activities and lifestyle changes to work well. There is no “one size fits all,” and that applies to cannabis use as well. One woman’s remedy or dose will not necessarily work for another.
Before integrating cannabis into your self-care, do your research, ask questions of experts, and learn from other women who are finding success with thoughtful and responsible cannabis wellness routines.