It’s been more than centuries — it’s been millennia. Long before young people were congregating at festivals and concerts taking psychedelics, our ancestors were sitting around fires with psychedelics telling stories and playing music. The impulse to enrich the psychedelic experience with music is almost an intuitive one. The connection between music and psychedelics is something that all humans across all ages have recognised and embraced.

As science has it, the way that music is felt viscerally is actually a biological phenomenon. There’s such a thing as “music-evoked emotion”, and psychedelics might be able to amplify that phenomenon, making us more emotionally connected to the music.

Music and the use of psychedelics might actually be as old as each other, which means what we’re learning about how music affects the psychedelic experience isn’t news. It’s just news to us. 

From causing movement enough for a tear to fall to feeling the rhythm of music literally course through your veins as though it were coming from inside of you, music has a way of intensifying and giving meaning to the psychedelic experience.

In this article, we’re checking out the history of mixing music with psychedelics, a little bit about the science, and ways you can consider using music to guide your psychedelic experiences.

The history of music and psychedelic therapy.

A painting of a Shipibo woman surrounded by symbolic animals and patterns; a concept of the history of music and psychedelics.
@huna.samanik.ogretileri

It’s too hard to put a beginning to “music” in terms of human history. As far as we’re aware, it’s existed as long as humans have. The oldest musical instrument to be discovered was an old bone flute dating back around 35,000 years ago. Some scientists even believe that music evolved to support the emotional communication and development of human beings. Basically, our brains were hotwired with music long before we ever “came up with it”.

Psychedelic use is also a very old habit of human beings. Old cave paintings don’t just tell stories of Pharaohs and slaves and nomads — they also tell of the different psychedelic plants that humans were using. Cave art as old as 7000 to 9000 years old depicts mushrooms in Algeria and Spain. 

Almost every religion puts an enormous emphasis on music — in that it’s a way to connect with God. Humans treated music this way even before organised religion, where it was commonly used in spiritual practice and ceremony. Until now, many of these ancient tribes retain their ritual use of psychedelic plants such as the Shipibo in Peru and the Shuar in Ecuador who drink Ayahuasca as a means of healing and spiritual connection.

Before LSD was illegal, there was some research into its effectiveness to treat psychological issues. Music was identified early in the research as a contributing factor to better outcomes. It was clear that music could affect the subjective drug experience immensely, and it didn’t take long to realise that music was an important aspect of the set and setting to drive therapeutic responses.

Essentially, humans were performing “music therapy” long before we ever even had a term for it. Music was therapy in whichever form it came, and especially when it was experienced alongside psychedelics.

Modern neuroscience on how music and psychedelics come together.

A pen illustration of a brain with psychedelic colours and patterns.
@gwen.trip.placide

Music triggers complex neural activity in the brain, causing activity in parts of the brain that govern reward and emotional regulation. The regions of the brain recruited during a music listening experience partially overlap with the brain regions that are recruited during a psychedelic experience. This begins to show us why music might sound like it’s “on steroids” when we’re under the influence of psychedelic drugs.

Psychedelic drugs such as magic mushrooms, LSD, mescaline, and Ayahuasca have a strong affinity for the serotonergic system of the brain. Sleeping and mood are amongst the things that serotonin affects. Brain stem serotonergic neurons are implicated in the neuronal responses elicited during auditory processing. This is an example of the kind of overlap in brain activity between psychedelics and music. 

In one study, subjects were given LSD and while listening to music, their brains were inspected using MRI. LSD didn’t just alter the perception of music, it also altered the acoustic qualities of the music that were registered in the brain. The researchers observed spectral complexity across multiple different brain networks, exemplifying the complexity with which music affects our brains under the influence of LSD. 

Other researchers have demonstrated that LSD increased the “meaningfulness” of music, primarily shown through increased brain activity in areas previously linked to music listening, autobiographical memory, and emotional processing. This is a fancy way of saying that it seems LSD gives us better resources to use music as a tool for recovering memories, processing emotions, and recalling other feelings linked to music. 

It seems that psychedelics don’t just have a great impact on how we experience music, but that music has a great impact on how we experience psychedelics. It seems that they are synergistic in that both of them seem to potentiate the other. The combination of music and psychedelics increases the communication between different brain parts, creating a subjective experience all together very different from how we would normally experience reality.

The implications of music for psychedelic therapy.

A collage art of a harp in the sea and two people in a paper boat, a concept of music and psychedelics.
@setanua

Thus far, psychedelics have shown promising potential for the treatment of a range of different psychological concerns. Though it’s a significant deviation from conventional therapy (requires few sessions, is effective nearly immediately, relies on the subjective experience), the direction is extremely promising.

The reason this is funny for science is because when it comes to medication, we typically research how much is safe, how long it takes to be effective, and how it affects other organs. We don’t usually bother to spend much time understanding in which environment its best suited to work. This is because in modern medicine, the environment is the body, and the subjective experience is the outcome, not the means of therapy. I.e., not feeling depressed is the outcome of using antidepressants. Mushrooms and LSD work in a different way, where the subjective experience may be totally different from the outcome, but is a means to the outcome nonetheless.

So when it comes to understanding how to use psychedelics in therapy, it’s becoming increasingly important to understand which factors affect the experience and how those factors can be used to drive the experience. For all intents and purposes, this is what shamans do when they use herbs, aromas, and music during ritualistic ceremonies with psychedelics.

In one study that used psilocybin, researchers found that participants emphasized the importance of the music during their experiences. It often correlates with the mystical experience, which in and of itself is thought to contribute to the long-lasting therapeutic effects of psychedelics. 

The body of evidence that supports the use of music in psychedelics is very small, but it provides a body of evidence nonetheless that music is an important modulator of the psychedelic experience. The quality of the music is equally as important as its existence, suggesting that an individualized music program for the individual is the best way to optimize the psychedelic experience, especially when it comes to therapy. 

Tips for using music during your psychedelic experience.

A collage art of a guitarist and a vocalist, a depiction of music therapy.
@ckenny_art

You don’t have to worry about brain parts and all of that while you’re enjoying music on psychedelics — it’s all happening without your input. You get to just sit back and enjoy. So what’s the best way to do that?

Like we mentioned, a personalized, tailored music playlist is the best way to set yourself up with music for your psychedelic experience. Think of it as if you’re going to take yourself on a journey — music can be like the “path” that you walk. If you were creating a set-list for people to dance to, you would create a “movement” through different feelings and tempos, for example. You can and should do this with your playlist for psychedelics.

You might choose to start with music that is calming and relaxing so that when your journey is beginning, you feel calm and focused. The middle of your playlist might contain deeply contemplative music or classical music that moves into different keys quickly to facilitate abstract thought and emotional processing. You might choose to end your playlist with inspirational music so that when your journey is over, you leave feeling refreshed, renewed, and ready.

It’s important to choose music that makes you feel good and isn’t “abrasive” to the senses. After all, your senses will be extremely heightened after consuming psychedelics. You might listen to hardcore techno on your way to work or to screamo when you’re with your friends, but consider how that might sound when your hearing is amplified — and whether those feelings are conducive to psychedelics. 

Music is a personal choice — but a really important one when it comes to psychedelics. We all together recommend having good music going during your psychedelic journey to facilitate healing. And it will be all the better if you personally curated that music yourself.

What kind of music do you like to listen to while using psychedelics? Let us know your favourite tunes for tripping in the comments!

  • What’s the idea behind drinking coffee alternatives?

    Caffeine can deplete your nervous system, so by using nutritional superfoods you can give yourself an “honest” energy boost — not an artificial one. That way you don’t get the 3pm slump or that “wired and tired” feeling.

  • What are some coffee alternatives you can explore in the morning?

    Consider drinking superfood mushroom lattes or making a “coffee-like” beverage using cacao.

  • Can you put cannabis or magic mushrooms in your coffee alternative beverage?

    Yes – you absolutely can! Just be sure to choose cannabis or mushroom products that are appropriate for the morning. For example, sativa strains or CBD can be used in your breakfast beverage or a very small microdose of psilocybin. We’ve made some product recommendations in this article.

Most of us love coffee — really love coffee. You could say that for a lot of us, it’s an addiction. That energy boost in the morning is an important part of every day, but it doesn’t always have to come from coffee. If you’re looking for coffee alternatives as a means to reduce your coffee/caffeine intake, or if you simply just want to drop the coffee addiction, we have some coffee alternatives for you.

Caffeine isn’t everything. Superfoods that are loaded with antioxidants and nutrition can give our bodies and minds that rush of energy too — and without lots of the weird side effects like stinky breath. And in fact, this is a “truer” kind of energy than what caffeine gives you.

Coffee can give you a quick rush of energy, but it also depletes the body’s nervous system. That’s because it’s an artificial kind of energy like what amphetamine drugs would give you. But if you give your body the right start to the day with lots of nutrition, the energy you experience is cleaner, lasts longer, and doesn’t deplete your nervous system.

If you’re wanting to get rid of that “wired and tired” feeling then be sure to try our superfood coffee alternatives to boost your morning instead. Once you try them, coffee addiction will be a thing of the past!

1. Cannabis + Cacao + Goji + Maca

A collage art depicting cannabis, goji, maca, and cacao; a depiction of the coffee alternatives in this recipe.

This plant-based cocktail is a superfood powerhouse for those who want to give up coffee but still want that physical rush that comes with coffee. Cacao contains theobromine which has simulating effects a lot like caffeine. It stimulates the cardiac centre, a lot like coffee, but without a lot of the negative effects. 

The combination of cacao, goji, and maca makes for a dream beverage for pretty much every system of the body. Goji berries provide support to the immune system, digestive system, and circulatory system while maca provides antidepressant qualities and is loaded with antioxidants. 

On top of this, the cannabis product we’ve included in this recipe is a Sativa tincture, ideal for getting the energy boost you need in the mornings. Cannabis can help to focus the mind and give much-needed motivation to your day — especially when it’s combined with all of these other superfoods.

You’ll need:

  • 1-2ml 500mg 1:1 Halley’s Comet Tincture
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 2 tsp raw cacao powder
  • ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste or concentrated vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp honey or more to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp virgin coconut oil
  • A few goji berries to garnish

The method:

  1. Put the cannabis tincture, cacao, maca, vanilla bean paste, honey, and coconut oil in a mug.
  2. Warm the almond or coconut milk in a small saucepan but do not bring it to a complete boil. Warm it to nearly boiling point then turn off the heat.
  3. Add the milk to the mug and stir until all the honey, coconut oil, and cannabis tincture have been completely mixed in.
  4. Add the goji berries as a garnish.
  5. Enjoy lovingly.

2. Super-super-food Mushroom Latte

A collage art depicting magic mushrooms and reishi mushrooms as an example of coffee alternatives in this recipe.

Mushroom lattes have become a very “in” thing to consume, and not without good reason. The more we learn about medicinal mushrooms, the more everybody wants to consume them. From their benefits to the immune system to their benefits for cognitive function, medicinal mushrooms have become an important part of the wellness trend.

What we’re proposing with this recipe is a little bit different. This mushroom latte is for microdosing days as it also includes a small dose of psilocybin. Combining a psilocybin microdose with the mushroom Lion’s Mane is a microdosing technique created by Paul Stamets. The idea is that combining psilocybin with other cognitive brain mushrooms potentiates the neurocognitive benefits of psilocybin.

Whether you’re using the Paul Stamets or James Fadiman methods of microdosing, you shouldn’t be using this latte everyday. For microdosing to be the most effective, you have to nominate a few days a week where you don’t take a dose. This latte is the perfect way to get a psilocybin microdose on dosing days.

You will need:

  • 1 square Golden Teachers Magic Mushroom Chocolate
  • 1 heaped tsp mushroom superfood (Lions Mane, Chaga, Reishi, or blend)
  • 1 cup nut milk of your choice (almond, cashew, coconut etc)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey or sweetener of your choice
  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil

The method:

  1. Heat all the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat it very slowly so that the chocolate has a chance to melt and doesn’t burn.
  2. When you reach a gentle simmer, turn the heat off and allow it to cool for 1 minute or until it’s safe to put in a blender.
  3. Put the mixture in a blender and blend for 30 sec to 1 minute or until the mixture is foamy and looks delicious.
  4. Transfer to a mug and sprinkle some cinnamon on top if you fancy.
  5. Drink and watch your cerebrals light up.

3. CBD Dandy Chai

A collage art depicting dandelion flowers, cardamom pods and 600mg nano-emulsified CBD tincture as an example of coffee alternatives in this recipe.

If you don’t really want to get away from the bitter, roasted taste of coffee, but don’t need the stimulant effects, then CBD Dandy Chai is a perfect morning recipe. The addition of roasted dandelion root instead of black tea makes this chai uncaffeinated, so there’s no real stimulant effect. However, the spicy chai herbs stimulate the digestive system and get the blood flowing throughout the body. This stimulates the cardiac centre into gear and gets blood to the brain to get it into gear. Dandelion gets your kidneys working, supports healthy skin, and supports detoxification through the liver. 

This beverage also doubles up as a lovely digestive tea and evening remedy for those who also like a hot drink at night.

What makes CBD Dandy Chai a good morning beverage is CBD! At lower doses, CBD is actually a stimulant, while at higher doses, CBD is a sedative. So add lower doses of CBD to this beverage to make it a morning drink and higher doses to make it an evening drink.

You’ll need:

  • 1-4ml 600mg Nano-emulsified CBD tincture, depending on when you’re drinking it
  • 2tsp roasted dandelion root
  • A couple of slices of fresh ginger or ¼ tsp dry ground ginger
  • A few cardamom pods, crushed
  • A few cloves, ground
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk of your choice
  • Sweetener of your choice

The method:

  1. Add all the ingredients except for the nano-emulsified CBD tincture to a small saucepan and turn on low heat.
  2. Continue to heat the mixture until it gets to a light simmer, stirring constantly.
  3. When it arrives at the boil, turn off the heat and strain the brew into a mug.
  4. Add your desired dose of Nano-emulsified CBD Tincture. Stir.
  5. Drink morning or night and feel all the feels.

Good morning in a different way.

There’s nothing wrong with change, right? Humans are habitual creatures and that’s why most of us walk over to the coffee pot before we even know what day it is. It’s just a habit — and we can always afford to have some healthier habits. Starting your day with superfoods that nourish every aspect of your body is certainly one of those healthy habits!

You don’t have to add cannabis or magic mushrooms to your morning coffee alternative if you don’t want to or aren’t comfortable with that either. Nonetheless, these coffee alternatives are a delicious way to start the day that your body will thank you for.

Have you tried any of these superfood coffee alternatives? Do you have another recipe you love as a morning boost? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

  • What are the most common ways to include cannabis in your skincare routine?

    You can use cannabis in the form of bath bombs, body creams and lotions, and hemp face masks. All of these forms of topical cannabis can be incorporated into your skincare routine.

  • Do cannabis skincare products contain CBD or THC?

    You’ll find both available in the cannabis skincare market but it is much more common to find CBD as it has great skin benefits and is easily extracted from industrial hemp.

  • What should you look out for when shopping for cannabis skincare products?

    Look out for the concentration of CBD or THC — the higher the concentration, the better the product will be for problem areas. Lower concentrations are better for everyday use.

More than a therapeutic compound… more than a recreational substance… cannabis is also a beauty enhancer. Human skin shows its love for cannabinoids by having a strong distribution of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Essentially, the moment that cannabinoids make contact with your skin, they create a cascade of effects in skin cells through activation of cannabinoid receptors. And that’s one good reason to use cannabis in your skincare routine.

If you’d like to do some reading on the science behind cannabis and dermatology, you can check out our article on Cannabis & Dermatology. In this article, we talk about how cannabis is used to treat certain skin diseases. But in this article, we’re going through the different kinds of products that are available to incorporate into your skincare routine.

Some people will use cannabis skincare to manage certain skin conditions such as acne or eczema while others will use it simply as part of a beauty routine to smooth out and brighten the skin. From bath bombs to lotions to hemp face masks, there are myriad ways to invite cannabis into your skincare routine. 

Let’s check them out.

1. CBD bath bombs.

A collage art of a woman sitting on a chair surrounded by CBD bath products.

If CBD is your chosen cannabinoid, bath bombs are an indulgent and luxurious way to add it to your skincare routine. Plus, using cannabinoids bath bomb style allows the skin over your entire body to soak up all the benefits.

In terms of skin benefits, CBD bath bombs can soothe any itchy or red skin as well as moisturize dry or flakey skin. It’s best enjoyed for overall skin health rather than for problem areas — for obvious reasons! Eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, or minor skin complaints can benefit from a CBD bath bomb.

From the pantry.

100mg CBD Heart to Heart Bath Bomb by Calyx Wellness

The ylang ylang and bergamot scented Heart to Heart bath bomb is a colourful, CBD-rich way to relax in the bath while nourishing your skin with CBD. 100mg is a generous dose of CBD for a bath bomb, so you can also use the Heart to Heart bath bomb for minor skin complaints such as mild eczema or psoriasis. It smells deliciously romantic!

300mg Eucalyptus Relieve bath salt by Sunnyside Botanicals

Though the Eucalypts Relieve bath salt is not a bath bomb per se, it’s used in the exact same way. The bath salt allows you to choose how much you put in the bath, and with 300mg in each jar, it can also be used to treat skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Otherwise, use a smaller dose, give your skin some CBD loving, and having a relaxing bath experience with eucalyptus. 

2. Cannabis body lotion.

A collage art of a woman sitting behind cannabis body lotions wrapped in a bath towel.

Another way to enjoy cannabis in your skincare routine is to indulge in cannabis body lotions and body creams. There are more CBD-infused cannabis lotions than there are THC-infused cannabis lotions. This isn’t because THC isn’t great for skin — it’s because THC is typically used as an intoxicant and therapeutic substance internally rather than on the skin. 

CBD, on the other hand, can be extracted from hemp and is therefore a more economical skincare cannabinoid. It’s therefore a more common choice when it comes to the manufacture of cannabis-based skincare.

That means that most of the cannabis body lotions and creams you find in the retail market will contain CBD rather than THC. CBD has many benefits for skin, possibly even more so than THC, and many of the benefits of these two cannabinoids overlap. So don’t be disappointed if you can’t find a THC body lotion — CBD is a great skin cannabinoid!

Cannabis creams and body lotions are a little more versatile than bath bombs. They can be used all over for general skin health or they can be used on problem areas such as bruises, scars, or areas where the skin isn’t too healthy. 

For a really luxurious experience, use a cannabis body lotion straight after using a CBD bath bomb. Your skin and soul will love you for it.

From the pantry.

1200mg CBD Smooth+ Cream by Calyx Wellness

The CBD Smooth+ Cream is a potent way to use CBD on your skin. With 1200mg in the jar, a small amount goes a long way to help you manage problem areas of acne, rosacea, flakey dry skin, or uneven skin tone. Use it over the whole body for a deeply hydrating experience. And for next-level indulgence, start off with a CBD bath bomb  and finish with the CBD Smooth+ Cream. 

300mg CBD Orange Dreamsicle Body Butter by Delush

Sweet, candy-like aromas dominate the 300mg CBD Orange Dreamsicle Body Butter, making it an extremely sensual way to enjoy topical CBD skincare. This product is more for the ones who like to use CBD in their every-day skincare routine to nourish and hydrate the skin on a regular basis. It’s an indulgent kind of body butter for the kind of person who absolutely loves self care — especially if CBD is involved.

3. Hemp & CBD face masks.

Hemp and CBD face masks are growing in popularity around Canada as another way to incorporate cannabis into skincare. They are often available as cream masks or as hemp clay masks. And they are used in very much the same way as any other face mask.

Hemp face masks are often made with hemp seed oil which doesn’t contain cannabinoids. Rather, it’s full of amino acids that are hugely beneficial to skin, restoring its balance of oils and fats, and keeping skin cells performing at their best. 

Hemp face masks can be used by anybody who wants to keep their facial skin healthy and vibrant. As we just mentioned, the amino acids in hemp seed oil can be used to restore skin vitality and beauty. A face mask is a potent way to deliver the benefits of hemp and cannabis to the skin but shouldn’t be used everyday.

Add a hemp face mask as a weekly addition to your skincare routine for more vibrant, better balanced skin.

A world of cannabis and skin.

A collage art of a woman lying down in the clouds surrounded by cannabis leaves, smoking a joint.
@_callmefelicia_

If you step out into a cannabis dispensary — or even to your nearest beauty retailer — you’ll find a lot of different cannabis skincare products. CBD and cannabis in skincare have become almost mainstream and it’s not hard to find a variety of different CBD skincare products.

When shopping for cannabis skincare, keep your eyes open for whether it’s made with cannabinoids or with hemp. You also want to check the concentration of cannabinoids in the product. The higher it is, the more cannabinoids your skin can enjoy in each application. Higher concentrations are also better for skin complaints and diseases, while lower concentrations can be enjoyed as everyday skincare.

It’s completely safe to use cannabis on your skin everyday — but it might not be safe to use other ingredients on your skin every day. Make sure you read the ingredients of your cannabis skincare products to understand what’s in it and whether or not you want to put that on your skin every single day!

Have you used cannabis in your skincare routine? What kind of products did you use and what did it make your skin feel like? Drop your cannabis-skincare story in the comments!

Key takeaways.

  • Cannabis destinations for city lovers?

    Check out the coffeeshops of Amsterdam or Christiania in Copenhagen, Denmark for an urban cannabis holiday.

  • Cannabis destinations for nature lovers?

    Check out Colorado, USA for some weed and mountains!

OK, so 2020 wasn’t exactly the best year for travel. We mostly saw other countries on the news, and too long in lockdown has caused most of us to associate countries with COVID statistics. But we’re optimistic 2021 is going to be better. This might even be the year that we can pack our backpacks and head overseas. And if it’s not, there’s always 2022, right?

In any case, cheers to dreaming up the next holiday destination. We’re all going to need it. We’ve put together a list of cannabis-friendly holiday destinations that you can look forward to post-COVID. You might be surprised what you find in this list!

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands; Coffeeshops for days.

A collage art of a woman on a bicycle in amsterdam carrying cannabis plants.
@frutalinaaa

What Amsterdam does really well that Canada and the USA don’t do is the coffeeshop thing. Whereas it’s commonplace in Canada to walk into a dispensary, get your weed, and head home, it’s less of a thing in Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, the normal thing to do is walk into a coffeeshop, have a joint, and get on with your day.

Coffeeshop culture makes Amsterdam a very chill, cannabis-friendly destination. Not all coffeeshops are created equal though. Some of them still retain the dingy feel of the days they just opened, while others have embraced modern culture and technology. 

Amsterdam is also a really beautiful city, lined with canals and some of the most striking architecture in Europe. So after a joint in the coffeeshop, there’s nothing better to do than walk around with a coffee, enjoying the view and meeting the locals.

Cannabis isn’t legal in Amsterdam. It’s tolerated under the Dutch Tolerance Policy. The Dutch government tolerates the use of soft drugs, and so coffeeshops can legally sell cannabis in small amounts. You can’t go in and get a month’s supply, but you can buy up to 5 grams. It should be consumed on the premises, and can’t be taken home or used in public, although this isn’t strictly enforced. It’s also meant for locals only, but this isn’t strictly enforced either.

2. Colorado, USA; Weed and mountains.

Artwork: Pam Leland. Source: @spokeandblossom

Colorado, USA is one of the freest places in the world when it comes to cannabis. With a fully legalised, recreational model, anybody over the age of 21 can acquire all matter of cannabis goods. Flowers, edibles, vapables and topicals are on the table. Cannabis spas. Cannabis farms. You can pretty much enjoy an entirely cannabis themed holiday in Colorado.

If you’re more of a weed-n-chill kind of person, Colorado boasts some of the most beautiful, epic mountains in the USA. The views are breathtaking, pretty much anywhere you are. It’s the perfect place to consume cannabis and go hiking, or forest bathing

It’s legal to buy and use cannabis in Colorado, although it’s prohibited from use in a public place. It’s also prohibited to use cannabis and drive, so plan your road trip accordingly if that’s on the agenda.

3. Phnom Penh, Cambodia; for happy pizzas.

@adventures_of_rico_2.0

OK — this is a somewhat cannabis-friendly holiday destination. It’s not actually legal to buy or consume cannabis in Cambodia, but the law is enforced… opportunistically, you could say. Cannabis grows a lot in Cambodia and can be purchased pretty cheap. In the world of Cambodian tourism, said cannabis is used to make happy pizzas, which can be readily bought from many happy pizza restaurants in Phnom Penh.

So it’s a grey area, but these restaurants legally operate and tourists and locals alike enjoy the cannabis-topped pizzas. Be mindful — these pizzas can pack a punch, so before you order a second, give it at least an hour to kick in.

Don’t wander around the Cambodian capital searching for cannabis though. It is illegal, and if you engage with it outside of legal places, you might find yourself in a lot of trouble!

4. Copenhagen, Denmark; Freetown Christiania.

@giovafoletti

If you’ve never heard of Freetown Christiania, it’s a free territory right in the middle of Copenhagen, Denmark. The town was formed as an anarchic enclave in the 70s with squatters declaring it the freetown of Christiania, not subject to Danish laws. This was respected for a long time, although there’s intolerance from the Danish police in recent years.

Cannabis is sold freely in Christiania on Pusher St. Dealers are lined up with all of their offerings out in the open. There’s cannabis buds, hash, and sometimes edibles. 

Christiania isn’t just a cannabis hub. It’s its own town. There’s a cafe and a bar, there are shops and crafts to enjoy, and people live in Christiania. It’s aesthetically beautiful, lined with trees and decorated with art. And it’s a great place in Denmark to chill out, have a joint, and enjoy a beverage. 

Copenhagen itself is also a very cool city and worth adding to the list of post-COVID holiday destinations.

5. Las Vegas, USA; Party on… and on and on.

@morty.ty

Because how could we not? Some of us are going to want one thing when holidays become possible: a party. And nobody can deny you that. Yes, Nevada is one of the states where cannabis is legal for all adults over 21. It’s also one of the entertainment capitals of the USA. It’s not just casinos, it’s shows upon shows. 

Cannabis dispensaries and even cannabis bars are all over Las Vegas. When you’re finished tasting the local delicacies, you can wander out to a Cirque de Soleil show, a broadway musical, or even a magic show. Some of the world’s most eccentric performers and entertainers make their way to Las Vegas — so it’s nothing short of a party.

If this list doesn’t get your travelling self salivating, we don’t know what will. Even though life is on the quiet side right now, it won’t stay that way forever. We hope this list gets you excited for travel in the future. There’s no better time to start planning than a cold winter spent in lockdown!

What destinations are on your post-COVID holiday bucket list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Key takeaways.

  • How do you form healthy habits?

    Researchers have found that on average, it takes 66 days for a habit to be formed. When habits are tied to long term goals, they’re also more achievable. And finally, we can use cues to solidify healthy habits such as rewarding when that behaviour is carried out, or promising to carry it out every time you do something (such as have breakfast).

  • What are some healthy habits to form in the new year?

    Develop healthier food habits like eating breakfast, healthier exercise habits and healthier sleep habits.

  • What’s a motto for 2021?

    Eat. Move. Sleep. Repeat.

Take a deep breath and welcome yourself into 2021. Hey — there’s no guarantees that 2021 isn’t going to be full of challenges just like 2020. In fact, it’s almost a given. Every year has its trials and tribulations. It’s time to grow out of the “next year will be better” by some stroke of chance. It won’t be. Next year (i.e. this year) is only better when you get better.

If the new year reminds us of anything, it’s that we can start afresh whenever we want. The new year always feels like a perfect opportunity to start forming healthy habits. And it is. Healthy habits make our lives better, not because challenging things stop happening to us, but because we’re well equipped to deal with those challenges. When our bodies and minds are healthy and clear, the challenges that come with life are easier to navigate and we can come out of them in one piece.

In this article, we’re talking all about some of the healthy habits worth starting off this year with and the best ways to integrate those habits into your daily life and routine.

Happy new year, happy new you!

How do we form healthy habits?

They say that humans are creatures of habit. We can use those to our favour or detriment, depending on who we are and what our habit is. For example, if you’re in the habit of waking up every morning and smoking a cigarette, you’re not doing yourself any favours. But if you wake up with the habit of putting your running shoes on and exercising, that’s a very healthy habit.

In one UK study, researchers found that it took, on average, 66 days for a behaviour to become a habit. It varied anywhere from 18 to 254 days, depending on the complexity of the behaviour. Naturally, the more complex the behaviour, the longer it typically took for a person to feel automatic doing it.

In another study, researchers concluded that those who were able to link their habits with their long-term goals were more likely to choose effortless strategies, i.e., good habits. This is imperative when it comes to forming good habits — tie them in with your long term goals. At the end of the day, habits take time to form, and so it’s more conducive to align them with what you want for your future. Interestingly, in this study just mentioned, researchers found that self-control capacity didn’t necessarily have any impact on habit formation. So it’s not necessarily about discipline, but about repetition.

Finally, in a consulting psychology review, the author, Berkman, points out that habit formation works best when it is preceded by very specific cues and repeatedly rewarded. For example, doing something every time that you finish eating (something that happens multiple times a day and is a specific cue), and then rewarding yourself for completing that task. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding how you’re going to incorporate those new habits into your life.

Healthy food habits.

A collage image of apples, fruits, and female faces.
@afterlifeprepcollage

Food is typically the biggest thing standing between people and their health. And forming healthy food habits is arguably the hardest because food hits us where it hurts the most — culture. But again, it’s all about habit formation, and you can do it with food too. Here are three healthy food habits worth creating in 2021.

1. Eat breakfast.

It’s one of those things you’ve been told since a child but still don’t do (or at least, a lot of us don’t do it). If you’re not in the habit of eating breakfast, 2021 is a good year to start. According to a study in Nutrients, those who consume breakfast are less likely to consume large amounts of sugars, while those who skip breakfast are more likely to consume higher saturated fat and less fibre. 

With a lot of us working from home at the moment, there’s also more time that can be used for preparing breakfast. If you’re still short of time cooking breakfast, get in the habit of cooking a little more at dinner (such as extra rice or extra quinoa) and using that food for breakfast. Otherwise, put some oats on to soak overnight or boil your eggs at night. It’s safe to eat left over foods if they are refrigerated overnight.

2. Less red meat, more vegetables.

Did you know that excessive red meat consumption is associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease? This is because animal fat sources are typically saturated fat sources, while vegetarian fat sources contain unsaturated fat. And saturated fat is also the one most associated with cardiovascular disease. Animal sources of food also contain more cholesterol. 

Eating meat is important for health and wellbeing. But even the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends consuming no more than 3 servings of red meat per week. Good alternatives during meal time to promote satiety are mushrooms, legumes, and textured soy protein.

3. Eat colourful food.

A good habit to get into is incorporating colours into your food. Aim for at least three colours when you’re preparing food. Colours actually represent different pharmacologically active compounds in food. For example, darker vegetables (purple sweet potatoes, beetroots) are full of antioxidants. Orange vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato) are full of carotenoids. By making your plate colourful, you’re diversifying the compounds that get into your body.

You can easily turn a green salad into a rainbow salad by adding yellow capsicum, red onions, tomatoes, carrots, squash, or beetroots. The same goes for your veggie fry-ups and your breakfasts. The more colours the better, but if you can get three colours in, you’re already covering a wide range of different nutrients.

Healthy exercise habits.

A collage image of a woman dancing against a blue watercolour background.
@sj_abraham7

The human body was built for… wait for it… moving! There are actually fluids in your body that don’t move if you don’t, so if you want to support the healthy movement of lymph (and blood), you have to get your body moving. 

Exercise can be hard because people are time poor. Remember earlier in this article when we talked about specific cues and reward? Exercise is a great place to implement those habit-forming tools. For example, you can tell yourself that everyday, when you come home from work, you’ll spend 45 minutes walking outdoors. When you complete your exercise, you can reward yourself with a delicious dinner, a bath, or anything else that you enjoy that is also conducive to your health.

You can also use the habit forming techniques we mentioned to incorporate exercise into your life in more incidental ways. For example, you can start riding your bike to work and reward yourself with a hot coffee on arrival. You can also walk from your house to the train station instead of driving there, and again you can reward yourself with something that is still aligned with your goals. 

As little as 30 minutes of daily high-intensity exercise puts you in better health status than those who do no exercise. Remember, it doesn’t have to be at the gym. It can be on your way to or from work. It can be in the quietude of your home in the mornings before breakfast. It can be in the evenings with your headphones on in the woods. It can be wherever you feel most comfortable exerting yourself. If you like exercising by dancing to loud music, do that too!

Healthy sleep habits.

@nepo_collage

Getting a solid, 7-8 hours sleep per night puts you in a lower risk for developing diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and depression. On top of this, inadequate sleep is associated with lower immune function, increased physical pain, and impaired performance. Getting a good night’s sleep every night is the single best habit you can form in your short time on earth.

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is what people say when they don’t know how to take care of themselves. The reality is that you’ll be dead a lot sooner if you don’t give your body a chance to rest. Rest is when your immunity gets to work and when your body gets healed. Rest is when we get the REM experience which is fundamental to the feeling of wakefulness and alertness. Rest is just as integral to performance as activity.

Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Humans are not nocturnal. That’s to say — their physical processes are much less active at night, so sleeping at night is conducive to health. Ideally, we would rise when the sun does, but that can get pretty late in Canada. So scrap that rule. Aim to sleep between 10pm and 12am, and aim to rise between 6am and 8am. From 7-9 also happens to be the prime time of the digestive system, which is a perfect time for breakfast (and also why healthy people poop first thing in the morning).

Eat. Move. Sleep. Repeat.

This really sums it up. Health isn’t complicated. It’s a lifestyle. Health is made up of lots of small, healthy habits. And it really all comes down to food, movement, and sleep. Forming healthy habits in these areas of your life are the foundation for whatever other health quirks you want to implement. The point is — you’ll never really feel healthy until you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping well. So if it’s healthy habits you’re going to form this year, let it be getting a good diet into your body, getting a good exercise routine and enjoying the restful part of the day.

What habits do you plan to implement in your new year’s resolution? Let us know in the comments.

Key takeaways.

  • Why is it important to take extra care in winter and during isolation?

    The pandemic has forced many into some form of lockdown, and to protect mental and emotional health, it’s really important to take care and be kind to oneself.

  • What are the easiest ways to be kind to yourself?

    Eat well – but eat a lot! Lots of vegetables and fruits are recommended for good nutrition. Drink lots of herbal tea to keep your soul chill, and exercise outside for at least 15 minutes a day.

  • What’s our number 1 tip for self care?

    Take lots of baths — and cannabis helps!

How many times in 2020 have you heard the cliché, it’s been a year like no other? 

As cheesy as it is, it’s been exactly like that. Every person has had their trials and tribulations, every country has had its wars and natural disasters over the last few decades, but there has been nothing like this. Nothing so global, nothing that hit home on so many levels. Do you ever remember, in your lifetime, being so affected by something that people on the other side of the world are also so affected by? Everybody in the whole world’s day to day existence has changed because of COVID, so yeah, it’s been a year like no other.

Now, dear Canadians, we’re heading into a cold winter. Lots of us are in some form of lockdown. Things are a little bit cold, gloomy, and isolating. The festive season will soon be over and it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself during these isolating times.

We have some tips for you to take care during winter and lockdown. It’s really important to maintain your physical and mental health as best you can, as it’s increasingly difficult to emerge from a crisis if you let yourself go with bad habits.

Here are habits worth keeping that are easy to keep, and that keep you in touch with the importance of self care.

Eat lots. But eat well.

A collage of a salmon and a cake to represent healthy eating.
@mollusk_collage

Humans are a lot like their surroundings. In cold, freezing winters, bears hibernate. Lots of creatures go into hibernation. They eat copious amounts of food before they hibernate so they don’t have to come out to eat. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating lots of food during the winter. But make sure you eat well.

It’s tempting to reach for alcohol and sweets when it gets colder, but excessive consumption of these foods creates a weak, dull, atonic digestion. That leads to poor assimilation of foods and nutrients and leads to energy depletion and boredom.

Eat lots of vegetables, beans and eat lean meats at least once a week. Excessive consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, is also associated with health risks. Keeping red meat to a minimum of once a week and enjoying fish and chicken in between minimises the development of lots of chronic health problems.

Enjoy warming, spicy herbs such as turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and cumin. Winter is a great time to get creative with Mexican, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. These herbs don’t just help our bodies stay warm and our blood circulating, but they help keep our digestion functioning well.

Whole grains such as oats, wheat, brown or black rice, and quinoa promote good digestion and provide a low GI source of energy. They’re perfect breakfast foods in the winter! Plus, whole grains contain a whole host of nutrition in the outer parts of the grain.

Drink tea.

A collage art of a woman with a teapot on her head.
@lis_tale_collage

Tea is man’s most comforting beverage and his best way to take medicine. Herbal tea is all together a source of nutrition, a comfort factor, a medicine, and a ritual. In the winter, things move slower. You perhaps don’t need as much coffee as you drink during the spring and summer. Enjoy a black tea in the morning or a chai instead of coffee.

Make a batch of chai tea you can use throughout winter. Include in it black tea (or a non-caffeinated alternative like roasted dandelion), and warming spices like cloves, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom. These herbs keep your blood moving throughout the winter, help you digest your food well in times when you’re not as physically active, and they taste delicious. Black tea is rich with antioxidants that the body needs for stress adaptation and damage control.

Drink with milk or a non-dairy alternative. Milk is one of the most complete food sources on this planet. If you digest it well, add it to your tea for added nutrition, taste, and texture. Otherwise, any nut milk tastes great too!

Keep your body moving.

Did you know there are fluids in your body (like lymph) that don’t actually have a pump. Blood has a heart to pump it around. You can lie flat on your body and blood will keep moving. But serous fluids like lymph don’t have the luxury of the pump, so what moves it around? You do — by exercising your body.

Lymph is one of the fluids that carries toxins away to the places they can be excreted, it moves infected fluids to nodes so that the immune system can deal with it, and helps the body absorb fats through the digestive system. As you breathe and move your body, lymph is transported around. And moving lymph is healthy lymph!

Getting motivated for exercise isn’t easy when it’s really cold outside. So make a space for yourself inside that you can do exercise. Use your body to do weight training such as push ups, sit ups, and yoga poses. You can train in flexibility in your living room, too. You don’t need any equipment other than a yoga mat to do these exercises.

If you leave near a swimming pool or a gym, that’s an added bonus. Swimming in a heated pool is a great form of cardiovascular training that is appropriate in the winter. If it’s available, a spa and a sauna are a perfect addition to a self-care gym and swimming session.

Walk outside for at least 15 minutes per day.

A collage art of a moth sitting on the earth in the middle of a forest. There are butterflies around too.
@rachelhopeartist

Ain’t no cholesterol getting transformed into vitamin D while you’re sitting in the office or on the couch. You have to get outside for at least 15 minutes a day. Biology aside, outdoor activity is a known antidepressant. The closer you are to a forest, an ocean, or a greenspace, the better.

Walking in nature is proven to better oxygenate your body and brain and encourage feelings of wellness, joy and peace. If all you do is walk to the local park and smoke a joint or walk around the block, it’s better than not getting any sunlight or outdoor activity. If you can make it out to the woods at least once a week, all the better for your physical and mental health.

Take baths… and cannabis helps.

All of these simple tips for maintaining yourself can be wrapped up in a simple term: self-care. Within that, there’s indulgent self-care like taking baths with your favourite cannabis vape or CBD hot chocolate

Remember, once a week, you should indulge in what you love the most. If it’s hanging out with your animals in front of a movie, do it. If it’s reading a book all day long, do it. If it’s putting on Alan Watts, grabbing your vape, and chilling in the bath for 2 hours, do that too. 

Don’t get too caught up in the stressors of the current state of the world. You can always make time to pause and breathe and dedicate time to staying sane and happy. Your best chance at emerging from the COVID crisis and an isolating winter as your best version is through TLC, self-care and cannabis helps.

Let us know how you’re taking care of yourself this silly season. Drop your advice in the comments below.

Key takeaways.

  • What are some games you can play to get romantic with your partner?

    Try a cannabis cooking class, Jenga with a twist, a cannabis-fuelled nature hike, bath time with Alan Watts, or puff-puff paint!

  • Our best strains to match?

    From the pantry; Do-Si-Do’s, Love Dawg, Jet Fuel, and Lindsay Lohan Hybrid Hash are all recommended for sex and arousal.

There is no time like the present to pause and take a minute to appreciate what’s important. After a year like 2020, we’re realizing that togetherness is literally the most important thing in our lives. We learned that if we can’t be together with our friends, families, and lovers, then everything else seems to lose its value.

So we think the weekends are a perfect opportunity to pair romantic activities with your lover with good quality cannabis. Some of us are separated from our loved ones because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so if you’re lucky enough to be right next to them, there’s never been a better time to remind them how much you love them.

And really — is there a better way to express that than to share some weed and do something romantic?

Here are our best 5 romantic activities to do with your partner this holiday season and the best strains to match them.

1. Cannabis cooking classes.

@theqwinkitchen

OK — so maybe coronavirus has gotten in the way of all those fun cannabis cooking classes around BC (yes, they exist). But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do some cannabis cooking education with YouTube. There are plenty of online cannabis cooking classes you can take with your lover that don’t require you to leave the house at all. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the Cannabis Training University’s 14-lesson cannabis cooking class. It covers cannabis for different dietary requirements, how to make tincture and cannabutter, and how to use all of the different forms of cannabis in cooking (tincture, hash, kief, and buds).

Of course we recommend getting a little high with your partner before attending a cannabis cooking class because that makes it all the more fun. If you can’t attend a cannabis cooking class, you can simply do some romantic cooking with your partner. 

Pair Do-Si-Do’s with a cannabis cooking adventure. This strain starts off as a cognitive and physical delight, getting you geared up for some adventurous kitchen time. It tapers down into full blown munchies and the need to be horizontal. The perfect way to spend an evening with the lover! 

2. Romantic Jenga with a twist.

@martha2.0

Game night is always a fun activity to do with your partner while high. But how can you make it a little more romantic — a little more of a segway into a beautiful experience to share? Well, Jenga with a twist is a great way. 

Start by giving your partner half the Jenga blocks while you keep the other half. You both need a marker. On each of the blocks, write down an instruction for whoever pulls out that block. Let the instructions be romantic and something that will help you learn something about your lover. If you need some inspiration, here are a few to try:

  • Tell me about your most embarrassing moment
  • Write a 15 word poem about why you love me
  • Step away from the Jenga. Spend 5 minutes hugging.
  • Roll another joint
  • Keep this block as a coupon for 3 minutes of eye gazing

Let your imagination take you away. It’s all about using the blocks to draw more romanticism and excitement out of your partner. Now simply stack the Jenga blocks as per usual and play as normal, except that when you pull out a block you’re obliged to follow the instructions on that block.

Pair Love Dawg with a romantic Jenga night. This hybrid is the perfect social strain to get you in the mood for talking, getting deep and meaningful, getting the giggles, and feeling romantically connected to your partner. Use it as a way to get to know your partner consciously and to explore all the reasons you love being with them.

3. A cannabis-fuelled nature hike.

@sarharbooth

The coronavirus restrictions make it hard to get out there and socialise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy a good old nature hike. The most amazing conversations often happen during a long walk. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous hike (or it can be if that’s what you’re into doing together). What’s more important is being outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, and engaging in some deep and meaningful conversations with your partner.

It’s amazing how the conversation can flow when the body is moving — often much better than when the body is stationary. Plus, the smells and feels of nature inspire the best things in us like compassion, joy, and love.

It’s also really important for everybody’s mental health right now to get outdoors. Yes, Canada is cold this time of year, but getting outdoors is a great way to stay sane and grounded during these confusing times.

Pair with a Jet Fuel vape cartridge. This strain gives you all the energy you need to get your body moving and helps to keep the body warm during the colder months. Using this strain can get you both motivated to do some exercise together, and the cerebral effects can stimulate some pretty amazing conversation.

4. Bath time with Alan Watts.

@lovebyinspired

Even though this would be a perfectly appropriate thing to do alone, it’s even better in a couple. Self-care is even more effective when you do it with someone you love and when you’re always encouraging each other to engage in self-care activities. This cannabis activity that you can do with your partner is exactly how it sounds — it’s taking a bath while listening to Alan Watts.

For those who don’t know, Alan Watts has one of the most soothing voices in the world. He’s also full of philosophical wisdom. For all intents and purposes, listening to Alan Watts is an experience in expansion. And why not share that with your partner?

Bath time with Alan Watts can inspire some profound conversation about the meaning of life and relationships or it can simply serve as a perfect relaxation tool for a stressful period. We often think of sharing activities with our partners and lovers, but sharing relaxation is something special

Enjoy your bath with a Winter Bliss Bath Bloom and a CBD Marshmallow Hot Chocolate. This is all about profound relaxation. While the aromas of the Bath Bloom warm your insides, the CBD Hot Chocolate warms your soul. Add Alan Watts to the mix and the experience is pure heaven.

5. Puff, puff, paint — but naked.

@marrysalimi

Puff, puff, paint is an increasingly popular activity around the Americas. There might not be any puff, puff, paint activities going on in your area right now (maybe one day, when COVID is over), but you can still play puff, puff, paint at home. 

You just need some crafting materials, whether it’s paint, pencils, or charcoal, a piece of paper and some good cannabis. To make this a little more intimate, you and your lover can paint or draw each other naked. Remember — it’s not about making a masterpiece. It’s about really seeing your partner and getting a chance to see yourself through your lover’s eyes.

Puff, puff and pass the joint between each other while someone paints. Then swap and let the other one paint. Cannabis can help you settle into being seen and to feel a little more comfortable with that. This exercise can really build confidence in the relationship and in each other, and gives each person in the relationship a chance to be vulnerable in a safe space.

Pair with Lindsay Lohan Hybrid Hash. This stimulating strain comes on strong, so start with small doses. The physical and cerebral relaxation that accompanies the Lindsay Lohan strain is perfect for settling in, feeling a little more comfortable, and feeling a lot more open to the experience of puff, puff, paint! And who knows what painting each other naked could lead to…

We hope you’re finding ways to stay engaged, connected, and social during these bizarre times. Remember to take care of yourselves and your partners, and remember to dedicate some loving time to your partner. 

What are some of your favourite activities to do high with your partner (especially during social-distancing times)? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Key takeaways.

  • Our top picks for nature documentaries to watch stoned?

    Human Planet, My Octopus Teacher and Africa.

  • And the best strains to pair with them?

    Check out our Indica Raspberry ZZZ Bombs, Grape God Indica, and Strawberry Diesel Hybrid.

Did you love watching our list of conspiracy theory documentaries to watch stoned? Well, if that got your brain jazzed, we’re going to get your eyes and your heart jazzed with this list. Nature documentaries take your mind and heart to that soft, inspirational place — and they’re visually exciting, too.

For the lovers of colour, animals, climate, and plants — this list of nature documentaries is for you. The days are getting colder so get your vape and your remote control ready. This is going to be a fun week!

1. Human Planet.

If you love learning about the different ways that humans connect with their environments and their animal neighbours, this 8-part docuseries will melt your heart. Human Planet highlights how resourceful and adaptable the human species is, and how lives differ so very much from one geographical location to the next.

Throughout the series, you see people develop complex and mutually beneficial relationships with animals and the environment. Human Planet is a celebration of man’s relationship with nature and his adaptability to the many different environments that nature provides.

Pairs with Indica Blue Raspberry ZZZ Bomb from the pantry.

The Indica Blue Raspberry ZZZ Bombs are a delicious way to feel zen. There’s not much to do but relax and let your heart follow the journey through Human Planet. A jelly bomb or two, a mug of hot chocolate, and binge watching this documentary series is an evening well spent.

Get Indica Blue Raspberry ZZZ Bombs at the pantry here.

2. My Octopus Teacher.

My Octopus Teacher follows the bizarre and inspiring journey of a filmmaker, and his relationship with the ocean and a special ocean creature he encounters. The film starts with the maker’s backstory — a man who as a child had a deep relationship with the South African kelp forest. When his life turns upside down, his only option is to get back in the water. There he meets his octopus.

Visually, the documentary is a sight for stoned eyes. Moving underwater images of kelp forests and marine life are breathtaking. The story is just as inspirational as the visuals are — it’s a good one to get into those feel good vibes.

Pairs with Grape God Indica from the pantry.

Grape God — starts in your head and moves down into your body, before leaving you ready for bed. Sounds like the perfect strain to enjoy before watching something and falling asleep, right? That’s because it is. The gentle euphoria that starts in the head is the perfect place to start My Octopus Teacher with. Thank us later.

Get Grape God Indica at the My Supply Co. pantry here.

3. Africa.

If you only ever watch one David Attenborough documentary in your life, let it be Africa. It might be getting a bit old (2013), but it’s still probably one of the most awe-inspiring nature documentary series ever made. This seven part series really does let you connect with just how wild the African continent is.

Each episode is a journey through another place, its deserts or savannahs, its volcanoes and its rainforests. As you move through the series, you start to get an idea of the diversity of natural environments in Africa.

Pairs with Strawberry Diesel Hybrid from the pantry.

It’s hard to tell whether Strawberry Diesel is going to get you super focused and energized or super lazy — but either way, the euphoric high that comes with it is perfect for a nature documentary. Africa really keeps you on the edge of your seat, and so does Strawberry Diesel. Perfect for an afternoon spent in with the lover or the furry companion.

Get Strawberry Diesel Hybrid at the My Supply Co. pantry here.

4. The Coconut Revolution.

Okay — this documentary is one part nature and one part history, but we just couldn’t leave it off the list. If you want to feel inspired about the potential of the human race, you must watch this documentary.

This documentary was made in 2001, and is about the plight of the indigenous people of Bougainville to protect their native land during the civil war. Throughout the film, you see how the indigenous people used coconuts to fight back against the Papuan army.

A feat of both human and nature, especially when they’re working together, this is the kind of documentary that makes your heart jump out of your chest. If it’s one of those grey days outside where the whether looks sad and you need a natural mood booster, it’s definitely time for some cannabis and The Coconut Revolution.

Pairs with Banana Kush Hybrid Vape Cart from the pantry. 

The Coconut Revolution is all about catching feel good vibes, and Banana Kush helps along the way. Plus, it’s on the same tropical, fruity theme! Banana Kush is perfect for an inspirational documentary before bed. It comes down into a super relaxed, euphoric state that makes sleep come easy.

Get the Banana Kush Hybrid Vape Cart at the My Supply Co. Pantry here.

5. Dynasties.

To top off our list, we have a documentary dedicated to animals. Dynasties follows the stories of some of the world’s most endangered species and how they got there. Like a good animal documentary, it follows the animals’ personal stories as you watch families and groups fight to save the future of their species.

Dynasties is beautiful to watch but also touches a soft spot. It shows how delicate the world really is and how some of its most beautiful inhabitants are at risk of disappearing forever. Dynasties might leave you a little teary eyed, but your heart will be full of nothing but love for the world’s amazing animal species.

Pairs with OG Kush Vape Cart from the pantry.

OG Kush seems to melt the mind into the kind of trance that’s perfect for getting stuck into a good flick. It’s relaxing and lazy, and is perfectly accompanied by a warm beverage and a nature documentary like Dynasties. Enjoy as an evening vape-and-watch or a lazy afternoon.

We hope you enjoyed this list of nature documentaries to enjoy next to some of Canada’s finest cannabis products. Which ones did you watch? Are any of your favourites on the list? Any we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Key takeaways.

  • What risks do consumers face in the wellness industry?

    Because lots of health and wellness products are unregulated, consumers face misleading health claims by certain manufacturers. The essential oils industry is a great example, where incorrect use can actually be very dangerous.

  • How can consumers safely navigate the cannabis industry?

    Ask the dispensary or the store you’re buying from some questions about the origins of the product — where they were made, how the plants were grown, and whether products have been independently tested.

  • How else can customers of the wellness industry support themselves?

    Don’t be afraid to consult the appropriate professionals. For example, if you’re unsure how to use essential oils you can consult a professional aromatherapist, or you can meet with a cannabis friendly doctor to discuss cannabis treatment options and receive product recommendations.

You’re at your friend Gina’s house. It quickly turned from a nice, afternoon brunch into a full-blown Tupperware party only it’s not Tupperware — it’s essential oils. And she’s not just telling you how nice they smell in lotions, but she’s telling you they cure cancer and rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and stuff. And she’s not just trying to sell them to you, but she’s trying to get you onboard to sell them, too. So you politely break the news to Gina that she’s been wooed by some kind of essential oil pyramid scheme.

Everyone has one friend who went there. Into the strange world of multi-level marketing that also taps into the human being’s most sensitive spot — their health. Netflix’s new series, Unwell, touches on this dark side of the wellness industry. Netflix’s Goop, released earlier in the year (with Gwenyth Paltrow) explored the same kind of topic but from more of a curious perspective. Unwell, on the other hand, is more about what happens when things don’t go as the wellness company told you they would.

The first episode of Unwell is all about essential oils. Without going into too much detail, Netflix covers it from a lot of different angles. In one story, a woman has great success getting her autistic daughter to sleep better after seeing an aromatherapist and choosing some essential oils for smelling and inhalation. In another story, a young family becomes very wealthy selling courses on essential oils and incorporating them into everyday life. And in another story, a woman uses essential oils as they were advertised to her, develops a horrible rash all over her body, and actually ends up becoming allergic to them from excessive use.

If anything, in Unwell, Netflix errs on the side of caution. We’re not going to blabber on too much about essential oils, but on the underlying message of the show. What in the wellness industry keeps us well, and what makes us unwell? We all know there’s good research on the therapeutic uses of essential oils, but how can there be people out there advocating their use in a way that would be harmful? As consumers, who do we trust and how do we keep ourselves from getting swept up in the world of wellness marketing?

The wellness industry is an industry.

An aromatherapist drops essential oils onto her wrist.

Before we throw our hands up in the air and beg to know, how could they do this to us, we have to remember something. Industry is industry. We can talk about the difference between life saving drugs and the pharmaceutical industry. We can talk about the difference between oil and the oil industry. And just the same, we can talk about the difference between wellness products and the wellness industry.

For example, essential oils have been used therapeutically for millennia, long before DoTerra and Young Living were around. The aromatic properties of plants have been captured and used as sleep inducers, to calm anxiety, to manage pain, and even to deal with psychological disorders or bad juju.

As Netflix points out in Unwell, there’s a lot of discrepancies between what Young Living and their representatives tell you to do with essential oils and what an aromatherapist might tell you to do with the exact same product. The aromatherapist who appears on the first episode of Unwell says she never recommends the internal consumption of essential oils. 

Those who represent Young Living and other essential oil brands are not typically qualified to give medical advice about how to use essential oils. And because of the structure of a multilevel marketing company like Young Living, it’s not really in their best interest to disclose some of the potential safety concerns of using essential oils. On the other hand, medical professionals like aromatherapists don’t represent the essential oil companies themselves, but represent their own medical practise. It’s almost always in their best interest to disclose safety information to their patients. 

In unregulated industries, the onus is on the consumer.

Like we just pointed out, there’s nothing wrong with essential oils. When used correctly, they are safe and can improve and enhance health. But if you use essential oils the wrong way, you confront toxicity issues. Every single therapeutic in the world has side effects, even plant therapy. So it’s important to know those before you use any wellness product. It’s equally as important to know what you’re using it for.

Essential oils are not regulated by any specific world or national authority. Health Canada doesn’t regulate the sale of essential oils, and this is typically because they’re not considered to be therapeutic. Essential oils are usually only regulated when used in food or pharmaceutical products. But outside of that, anybody can buy essential oils off the shelf.

Without this kind of oversight, the onus is entirely on the consumer to make safe decisions about what they consume. This is a good thing too, because the government shouldn’t regulate every single aspect of our lives. But where does that leave consumers? How should consumers know how and when to consume a wellness product?

Cannabis and CBD — knowing how to navigate the cannabis industry

Two hands pass each other a cannabis joint.

Surprise surprise, it happens in cannabis too. It’s because wherever there’s an inch and a human, the human will magically transform that inch into a mile. If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely that you advocate CBD and cannabis use. We obviously advocate it, too. But the way some individuals or companies leverage off the spread of misinformation about cannabis actually undermines the breakthrough scientific research going in about cannabis in the world.

Does cannabis have the potential to dramatically alter someone’s quality of life or treat a range of medical conditions? Absolutely! At the same time, touting cannabis as a way to cure everything is just another way to capitalise on a portion of the population that is insecure about their health.

In taking it to the next level, there are even cannabis product manufacturers that manufacture a sub-par or contaminated product and sell it as the real deal. These low-quality products are sold with the same premise of therapy that other high-quality products are sold.

You absolutely should be skeptical when shopping for cannabis products. There are a lot of questions you should ask a product manufacturer or stockist to know the quality of your product. This includes asking about ingredients, the source of the cannabis, and any analytical documents that show cannabinoid content and the presence of contaminants.

Discrediting alternative wellness practices is part of the problem

Part of the problem of ongoing misinformation in the wellness industry is that many wellness practices are discredited entirely as being ineffective. Take essential oils, for example, which by the medical industry in general, are discredited as not having much therapeutic potential. This attitude also leans people into the idea that they are also not powerful. Which couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to essential oils.

The same is also true of herbal medicine. There are many stories of botched self-medicating with herbs. They come as a result of some general consensus that because they are herbs, they are all safe and have minimal impact on the body. It’s simply not true.

If alternative wellness practices were treated with the same integrity and respect as modern medicine, we likely wouldn’t be in this dilemma with the wellness industry. We often don’t recognise simple herbal extracts like essential oils as having extremely powerful pharmacological actions because they are never presented to us that way. They are presented as gentle gifts from nature — take as much as you want! In fact, they are potently antimicrobial, and can even disrupt the microbial balance of skin if used excessively or undiluted.

But pharmaceutical drugs are treated just the opposite. They are considered so powerful, you have to qualify with certain pathophysiology to take it. That’s not to say essential oils should be regulated the same way, but some credit given to their power, and therefore, their potential to do harm if not used correctly. This can be extended to any product that can be used with the intention of producing a therapeutic or pharmacological effect in the body.

Learn about what you’re taking and consult the appropriate professional

A bottle of cannabis oil with a dropper and cannabis leaf

Maybe you’re sitting on the couch scrolling through channels and you see an ad for a multivitamin. The way they’re talking about, it looks like something you should take. Before pouring your trust into a television commercial, you can do a little research yourself about the active ingredients and whether they are useful for you. You can also easily find safety information about many wellness products and how to use them without danger.

You might even consider seeing a nutritionist to see if you really need to take any vitamins. You can consult an aromatherapist before consuming essential oils, or ask for more guidance on how you can use them in your life. Go see a cannabis-friendly doctor if you want a professional opinion on how cannabis might be able to help you with your affliction.

Yes, the onus is on you, which is not something humans are used to when it comes to their health. Humans are accustomed to being told what to do about their health by a doctor, which in most circumstances, is okay, because the medical industry is heavily regulated. But in the world of herbal medicine and aromatherapy, there is no such regulation. Which means doing your own research and consulting a professional you trust are imperative to you getting the best experience out of your wellness products — and without getting ripped off. 

The moral of the story is: treat herbs and essential oils and other wellness products like they are powerful medical agents. Treat them as if they will have a dramatic impact on your body. Wouldn’t you do a bit of research and enquiry about anything that would have a dramatic impact on your body?

Key takeaways.

  • Does cannabis help or hinder body building?

    There is a consensus that cannabis use is associated with transient increases in testosterone levels, which might help body builders. However, depending on the person, it might not help with mental agility and concentration.

  • How can cannabis be used for relaxation and recovery?

    Cannabis has anti-inflammatory effects that might be helpful post-workout to speed up recovery and reduce pain and inflammation.

  • What else should you keep in mind?

    Know yourself and your personal reactions to cannabis. If cannabis gets you excited to be active and focus your mind, you can use it before workout. If it makes you lazy and relaxed, maybe it’s better to use after workouts.

Everybody knows and remembers the infamous video of Arnold Schwarznegger smoking a joint with a bucket of fried chicken to celebrate his 1975 Mr. Olympia title. A lot of things came out of that video — like the knowledge that the particular fried chicken Schwarznegger ate during that video was some of the best he ever had in his life. Oh, and of course, the big kerfuffle about whether or not cannabis was conducive to bodybuilding or muscle sports in general. 

A lot of different rumours have made their way around since then. First, there’s the whole cannabis and sperm count thing, which a lot of people thought also meant that cannabis also lowers testosterone (myth). Then CBD birthed itself into the cannabis industry and things changed again in the relationship between cannabis and muscle sports.

It’s probably not as simple as “cannabis is bad for your beef” or “cannabis is good for your guns”. It’s never that simple — especially when cannabis is the subject at hand. In the absence of good (or any) scientific research about cannabis and muscles, how do we go about this? 

Well, there are a few ways. Let’s have a look at them.

Cannabis maybe increases serum testosterone levels?

Contrary to the belief that cannabis lowers sperm count because of lowered testosterone (it seems to have some other mechanism), there’s some evidence that testosterone levels might be higher in regular cannabis users (both men and women).

There were a handful of studies conducted in the 80s and 90s on this topic but then was abandoned until the last few years. The overall consensus is that higher testosterone levels are associated with recent cannabis use. But there’s no understanding of how long this effect lasts.  There’s no evidence that the increase in testosterone has a cumulative effect.

So far in the scientific understanding, testosterone doesn’t seem to be a very big player in the conversation about body-building and cannabis.

Mental focus and agility.

Focused woman lifting heavy weights at the gym

This is where things get… a little more complex. Cannabis affects different people differently. For some, the effect of a rich sativa strain gets the mind focused and agile. For others, cannabis turns the mind into an imaginative playground which has all the stability of soup. 

Some people might not feel comfortable with their ability to lift extremely heavy, and therefore dangerous, weights while they’re high. That impaired motor control effect. Others might feel that cannabis gives them the focus and stamina they need to do the job perfectly.

With all this subjectivity in the cannabis experience, body-builders should be thinking about their own minds, bodies, and their own typical reactions to cannabinoids. It’s probably important to think about dosage too (for an in-depth guide on dosage, check out our dosage chart). A 10 mg hit of THC might put you in the zone, but any more than that could push you over the edge into the who-needs-training zone. For safety, as well as your own physical performance, it’s really important to consider these things on a personal level. 

If you’re the kind of person who melts into a ball of jelly after using cannabis, that doesn’t mean cannabis can’t help your workout. You would just be introducing it at different parts of your day.

Relaxation and recovery.

An exhausted man rests after lifting heavy weights

This is where cannabis really seems to shine when it comes to bodybuilding — or any kind of professional athleticism in general. Athletes are understanding more than ever that rest is equally as important as training. And without rest, good training just doesn’t happen.

If training has been particularly difficult or caused pain or inflammation, cannabis can help. Topical and orally consumed cannabis can both help to reduce pain and inflammation, and essentially assist the body in its winding down process.

Those who like to use cannabis recreationally might find a lot of joy in smoking cannabis before doing some night time stretching to rejuvenate the body and the muscles. And for others, cannabis might be the ticket to a good sleep, opening up the door for good training tomorrow.

When it comes to bodybuilding, CBD is different to THC.

CBD doesn’t come with any of the cognitive effects of THC, which for bodybuilders, means it’s very different. For example, unless you take a very big dose of CBD, it’s not likely to impair your motor control or your memory. 

Most importantly, in 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances. It’s therefore recognized that it doesn’t have an effect on your physical performance, but it might have a positive effect on your mental performance.

At lower doses, CBD is somewhat stimulating, may improve mental focus, and is unlikely to hinder your physical performance at all. Some athletes use CBD before training as a way to prime the muscles and avoid inflammatory responses to training. It also provides pain relief in the event of injuries or sore muscles.

Some professional athletes use CBD before game day as a way to level out the mind, reduce any anxiety or fear, and get on with the competition. There’s no reason why bodybuilders and muscle junkies shouldn’t take advantage of what CBD has to offer in terms of attitude, mental performance, and overall wellbeing.

Never one size fits all.

The moral of the story is that there’s unlikely to be a rule book on how to use cannabis successfully in bodybuilding in the near future. But as we mentioned, there are at least some things you should very clearly think about. Like whether or not cannabis makes your mind wander or brings it back into focus, or whether you typically get lazy or excited after using cannabis.

When you find your sweet spot and it’s working, roll with it! And then share with us in the comments how you use cannabis for bodybuilding! We’d love to hear from you.