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Why Does Cannabis Allow us to be in the present moment?”

Mindful

A client recently asked me- after using cannabis to mitigate chronic pain- why cannabis seemed to allow him to feel as though he was in the present moment. He asked, “How does this medicine do that, help with being present?” Here is my response:

 

Yes that question does make sense and HOW it does that is a great question. It is perhaps the greatest human question because it addresses the nature of consciousness, which currently we know little about scientifically. Thus, every answer I give will be more of an analogy of thought than a biochemical fact, as my answers come from my consciousness. Consciousness is subjective.

So, one simple way of thinking of the need for the cannabis plant to have  endocannabinoids is to allow the plant to respond to environmental stress, pests, and disease. When we ingest a plant that locks on to receptors of our own endocannabinoid system, it’s possible we are experiencing what or how the plant also “feels.” Now, plants have a different consciousness from moving organisms. They have to sit in one place regardless of their circumstances or stresses, so evolutionarily speaking, it behooves the plant to adapt a method of being present and accepting where they are in the moment. I can extrapolate this to say that perhaps all plants have this “presence” consciousness; perhaps plants are just OK with who and where they are in their lives, without regret, opinion or comparison. Remember, this is not objective fact, this is a subjective perspective on consciousness.

If cannabinoids from the plant can enter in to our body and utilize one of our cell feedback systems, then perhaps we are accessing (dipping our toe in to) their plant consciousness. This creates a consciousness bifurcation of sorts. Part of us is human and we observe this feeling of being “high,” and part of us is accessing plant consciousness. So we can objectively observe ourselves “being in the present” because the plant consciousness is providing a slightly difference angle or pattern of consciousness from our own. If we are in chronic pain, we may feel the opposite of presence. It’s nearly impossible to be comfortable in (let alone happy with) the present moment when that moment is filled with excruciating pain. We want to leave the present moment. We get anxious the pain will persist, and we become depressed that it’s altering our lives- our consciousness- for the worst. Cannabis helps override this nasty feedback loop.

It’s also an argument for accepting the short term memory loss that cannabis can cause. Memories and opinions and thoughts are all constructs in our brain patterns. A plant has no central nervous system, so doesn’t require a memory or an opinion. They are in the moment, and cannabis reminds us to be in the moment too. There is no past and future in time, technically. Only now. Cannabis is a stepping stone our mind can use to take this consciousness leap from “why me?” to “I am me.”

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  1. […] Let’s make it literal. Imagine yourself sitting on the front porch, in a rocking chair. How pleasant. Now imagine that you could have two slightly different versions of that moment. What makes these “versions” of reality so incredible as a pair? It’s the slightness in their distinction. Sometimes we sit on the porch, reflecting on the past and pondering the future. Other times we live in that moment, right there on the porch. For those who often dwell on the past and future, cannabis can be a useful tool to access the present moment. It’s still unclear exactly how cannabis causes this effect, but a sensible educated guess can be found here. […]

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