By Joe Martino, Collective Evolution
- The Facts: There are large bodies of research that show the ups and downs of cannabis. Yes, much of it contradicts itself in many ways, but science is never all that cut and dry. Simply, cannabis does have negative side effects, but do they outweigh the pros?
- Reflect On: Do you have an extreme pro or anti stance on cannabis? If so, why? Are we able to recognize the pros and the cons of cannabis and truly be open to them without getting triggered? Are we open to exploring spirituality without substances?
Here in Canada, Cannabis was recently legalized, essentially making it so that getting your hands on Cannabis and recreationally using it is now much easier and accepted. Let me be the first to say I feel this is a good thing, as I do not think the plant should have ever been illegal to begin with.
However, I do feel that this is quite a bit of a bait and switch by the government. We could go on for days about how this is simply a huge government control/profit tactic, huge tax opportunity and ultimately they will control the medical side even more etc. But we’ll leave this for another discussion. In fact, in just a few weeks I’m interviewing an incredibly knowledgeable figure in this space on the subject and much more on The Collective Evolution Podcast. So stay tuned.
Today, I simply want to explore some of the health effects of cannabis as I have found that anytime you have such extreme polarity around something, you get extreme beliefs, misinformation and falsehoods on either side. For example, someone reached out to us via email the other day simply because in one of our articles we stated that it was a good idea to not simply medicate ourselves with cannabis all the time when you are feeling down, but instead to also seek other forms of help. The person emailing was quite angry as they felt we were saying cannabis was bad. Meanwhile, all we were saying was, ‘medicine’ isn’t supposed to be taken every day.
The point is, some will have you think it’s the devil, while others think there is not a single negative side effect. Both are false. As the video below will summarize, “it’s totally wrong to say there are no negative health effects.” But are these health effects as bad as other common substances? No. So let’s ground this conversation and look at both sides objectively as that’s important.
One Quick Note On The Spiritual Aspects of Cannabis
Before we get into the health effects a bit more in the video below, I want to mention two quick things that come up a lot.
Often times people will assume my spiritual knowledge, calm way of being or state of consciousness must have come from either smoking weed or doing some other psychedelics. This is fair, as this is the CULTURE being aggressively pushed. Insight comes from psychedelics. If that were the case on a large scale, we’d see a massively spiritual world, but we don’t because it’s not that simple. This is, unfortunately, a ‘cure all’ culture that has gotten a bit out of control and makes it so that those new to the use of psychedelics can get lost or confused about them. If we remain grounded, in ANY subject, we can help many more people.
For my journey, I did not grow up trying cannabis or using psychedelics. Cannabis experimentation came a bit later. All of what I currently know, in a spiritual sense, came from simply reflecting and practicing meditation and inner work. I have achieved ‘highs’ from meditation that you learn to bring into daily life in an incredible way. It’s not complicated, it just takes some practice.
Often times people claim that smoking cannabis connects them to god or their higherself. This is a fair thing to feel as I do know, from experience, that cannabis can help quiet the mind to some extent. If you are someone with a very active mind, smoking cannabis can show you what it’s like to have a less active mind. This can certainly be a good thing, but there’s more to this picture.
For me, I’ve experimented on multiple occasions with different strains, and have also ventured into edibles (which I knew wasn’t going to produce that result lol) and all I can say is, for me, this is not connecting to self or higherself. Nor was this the same type of ‘quiet mind’ that comes from meditation. Again, does it quiet your mind in a way? Yes. But something.. is missing.. so to speak, when we’re talking about truly connecting. It was not the same connection as in my normal waking state or my meditation states.
This led me to want to explore more about why people felt this way. Sure, in my direct experience, and I’m truly not meaning to offend here or anything as I feel this is an important conversation to have, but most of the people that were claiming they felt this ‘deep connection’ were not meditators nor practiced things of that nature. Intuitively I felt it was simply coming from the lack of knowledge and experience of what connecting to your true self or higherself actually is. Again, what I feel, and know from experience, is that what we feel when smoking cannabis is a quieter mind. To note, I can’t say that no one can connect to self on cannabis, as I imagine some may.
But I’ve been around people when they smoked, and their overall energy was not resonating in a place that was all that ‘high’, but more so sedated and relaxed. This did not remind me of the energy of being around a group of meditators for example. And this is what I mean by ‘something is missing.’ The energy, the state of being, is simply not the same.
So why do I say this? Why bring this up? Simply because I want to encourage those who are looking to go deeper, and find true inner peace in their waking life, to develop the necessary practices that will truly help them get there.
It feels as though, now, in this moment, and moving into 2019, the ‘trend,’ if you will, is going to evolve towards inner work. Less will we be pacifying and medicating (with things like food, sex, cannabis, alcohol etc.) in a sense, and more will we be truly looking to solve our challenges and turmoil from within. The substances we use may still be consumed for periods as we continue to explore this inner work, it’s not about having anything against them, for some of us, this helps us get through more difficult experience at the moment, but we also must look to do the true inner work that helps us evolve past these challenges, or else we will be pacifying our entire lives.
What can help us explore ourselves? I truly recommend committing to a 10-day meditation practice of just 10 minutes a day can provide enough insight into what this can look like that it can fuel a greater practice and understanding of what it is. For those wanting a bit more food for thought, check this out.
OK, enough about that, let’s jump into the research side of things.
Is Cannabis Healthy?
All of the research Mic refers to and links to support his work are in the video description on YouTube.
As you probably noted in the video. Yes cannabis smoke, like other smoke, is harmful. It appears cannabis is mildly addictive or that people can make it habitually addictive, but it’s significantly less addictive than other substances like smoking or alcohol. Is it a gateway drug? Maybe slightly, but why do we ignoring alcohol as a gateway drug?
On a spiritual end, let’s truly attempt to develop that practice all the research and time-tested wisdom has always shown is the way to inner peace. Meditation! Start small and simple if you are intimidated. The point is, start!