Photo Credit:Herb

For me, marijuana has always been a means of mental stress relief. Before I became a cannabis athlete, I consumed marijuana regularly to help with anxiety and stress. Before moving to Colorado, from Missouri in 2015, my life consisted of 60-70 hour work weeks in corporate finance, and if I wasn’t in the actual office, I was at a dinner, or an auction, or some other event related to my work. The success was nice, but the stress was overwhelming. After long days and/or nights at the office, I would come home and calm my nervous system with the relaxing smoke of marijuana. Being in Missouri at the time, where not only is marijuana not legal, but the conservative atmosphere is so thick with negative stigma, I couldn’t be open about my use of marijuana as medicine. This added to the levels of stress I was under, since I had to keep my use a secret.

Now that I’m in Colorado and the secret is out, the stress of life and my anxiety can still be overwhelming. In being open about my cannabis use, I’ve been able to learn a lot more from other people about their routines and how they incorporate cannabis in their lifestyle. One activity I’ve recently been able to be a part of, and try in a class setting with cannabis, is mediation. The thought of meditation has been an ongoing challenge, and the act itself when attempted is usually cluttered with distracting thoughts of the day, or the week. The idea of stilling one’s own mind is a challenge, but I had never been to a class that combined meditating with medicating until taking Medication Meditation at Break the Stigma Fitness, right here in Colorado.

By combining the focused and calming effects of marijuana with the calming and relaxing effects of mediation and an awesome group of people that surrounded me with good vibes, it made it so much more enjoyable. Having smoked marijuana immediately before beginning the class, by the time it started, my nervous system was calm and my mind was at ease. I was able to focus on the moment, and focus on my breathing. This sense of being able to be still, even just for a few moments at a time, is extremely beneficial. What I realized is, marijuana doesn’t just help me focus when I train or calm my nervous system after, if given the chance, it also helps me be more mindful.   

Mindfulness is defined simply as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It is also more distinctively defined in regards to the topic of today’s discussion as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. One thing I’ve learned is, being aware of one’s self can be very therapeutic and it’s important we take the time to pay attention to ourselves, our feelings, and our emotions. Since marijuana helps me to meditate, and be more mindful, it’s safe for me to say that marijuana is therapeutic for me.

I’ve always known it served its purpose as therapy to deal with the stress of my former life. Come to think of it, running for me is a form of therapy and marijuana helps me tremendously when I run. In retrospect, I’ve been using marijuana as a direct therapy for years, and it’s also encouraged me to participate in other therapeutic activities. Knowing the relationship cannabis has with athletics and fitness, it comes as no surprise discovery it can also aide in less strenuous actives like meditation and mindfulness. I encourage you to find what works for you, and I find that a healthy combination of marijuana, mediation, and mindfulness is extremely beneficial for overall health and wellbeing.

Heather is the CEO and Co-Founder of Green House Healthy, a health and wellness company promoting cannabis as part of a healthy and active lifestyle. Her company creates healthy experiences through educational and athletic events, teaching cannabis positive fitness and nutrition classes, and providing promotion and media services. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, trail runner, writer, public speaker and epilepsy warrior. In 2017, she became the first female to complete an entire 420 Games National Tour, an athletic event series focused on raising awareness about cannabis and its consumers. Heather has placed in several races and plans to continue to trail race to raise awareness for epilepsy, healthy lifestyles and the benefits of cannabis. She has several years of experience with cannabis, including having worked on an all organic outdoor farm with 6000 plants, from seed to sale. It is her mission to share the many benefits of cannabis for people, animals and the planet!