Image Credit: Vanessa Mercier @fallforvee
By Jennifer Blakney
In a number of States across America there are already cannabis brands selling products ranging from top-shelf flower to skin care treatments, whose goals are firmly geared in integrating seamlessly, yet slyly, into your life.
Canadians have been able to take advantage of their non-infused items such as smell-proof purses in both sporty and glam styles, stash jars that could easily be mistaken for a very expensive candle, and gilded accessories that challenge the trite “heady” aesthetic of tie dye and exploited Rastafarian culture.
Cannabis rituals are becoming more openly discussed, and the growing acceptance is thrilling. Yet, disappointingly, there is still very little discussion about integrating cannabis into your workday. Most of the cannabis rituals we see promoted are restricted to leisure activities; unwinding after a stressful day, chasing a second wind before heading out with friends, and curing sleepless nights.
The stigma surrounding the “wake and bake” is still thick with hushed judgment. Rarely, if ever, do I hear a colleague sharing how cannabis was instrumental in the successful delivery of a presentation, or inspired creative flow that enabled them to meet their deadline. And yet, when speaking with friends that use cannabis regularly, these are the exact results they often report. While many people report using cannabis to imbibe on the weekend with friends, they also use cannabis to compliment a workout and aid in recovery, or to achieve new levels of creativity and innovation on a work project.
Optimizing productivity has become a popular wellness category in recent years. Books and potions geared towards ‘hacking’ your life for the experience of a purer, more efficient you, has become a goal amongst the professionally driven and borderline obnoxiously self-aware (I count myself amongst those).
Stimulants like caffeine and pharmaceuticals seem dull compared to what’s currently on offer. Nootropics, the Bulletproof Diet, whimsical, yet dubious sounding Brain Dust, and even micro-dosing psychedelics are just a few examples of modern alchemy packed with similar promises of mind-sharpening benefits, but without the aggressive side effects of increased irritability and insomnia. Most of these products are presented in minimalist packaging with convincing copy in sans serif fonts. Maybe there is a flash of colour or pop art accents to not make the product look too anti-septic.
I’m very public about my preference for cannabis. Yet despite my cannabis confidence, I’m not entirely immune to stares and underhanded comments. More than just the common worry of having unsuspecting peers and colleagues commenting on any smell, there is an unfair association of intoxication with the routine of daytime medicating.
Upon waking I usually enjoy a dab of sativa or hybrid concentrate, which is a thick resin extracted from the flower using either a solvent such as butane, also known as Butane Hash Oil and comes in a variety of consistencies, or pressed between two heated plates into rosin. I purchase the former from a trusted source, as the process making it requires considerable skill and knowledge of safety, whereas the latter can be made at home using only a hair straightener and Irwin grip.
This ritual always prefaces my morning coffee or work out. I’ll then follow up with a joint (and honestly, a few more dabs) in preparation for my workday.
I find I’m at my best when I stick to a regime heavy in hybrids and CBD-rich strains. Hybrids offer the best of both worlds, including mentally uplifting and energizing effects as well as body soothing properties.
After about 10 minutes of ingesting a pea-sized dab my body feels like it was hit with an espresso shot and physical warm up. It’s a very efficient system. This happy medium transports me to a mental space where I feel motivated, and inspires me to tackle my most challenging work first while I’m in the zone.
For the last few months CBD has been my constant – I take a sublingual oil from one of my Licensed Producers every day as if it were a vitamin, and its anti-anxiety effects have had a profound impact on my mental clarity. Normally my brain feels like a mess of puzzle pieces, and CBD encourages them to become more organized.
It’s easy to oversimplify the psychoactive effects of THC as a detriment. Of course mental adjustments occur while medicating – euphoria, reduction of anxiety, increase of creativity, and laser focus. These are all enjoyable and welcomed effects I’ve experienced from cannabis.
New and novice users need not be intimidated by in-demand high THC strains. We are seeing an increase in production of strains evenly balanced in THC and CBD content (also known as 1:1) that are gentle enough to subtly shift mental perception and awareness without making you feel “high”.
When it comes to which consumption method works best, dry herb vaporizers come in all aesthetics and styles, and offer a reduction in lingering cannabis scent without sacrificing medical benefits. Canadian Licensed Producers also offer sub-lingual oils, where the cannabis is diluted into a carrier oil like MCT or sunflower. The provided syringe allows you to take it directly into your mouth, or add it to food, and come with a detailed titration guide aimed at beginners.
A popular mantra of those that work in the cannabis industry is, start low and go slow. This is good advice no matter what your experience is with cannabis, especially if you’re going to start working it into your daily routines. If you’ve never medicated during the day before, it’s best to begin experimenting on a weekend when you’re not expected to perform at your job. This way, if you experience any unwanted effects it won’t put your livelihood in jeopardy or risk your reputation with your coworkers.
Explore different consumption methods and find out what works best for you. You may find that different strains and various methods work better for certain times of the day, or to pair with specific activities. Everyone is different, so don’t be discouraged if something that worked for your girlfriend doesn’t work the same for you.
After experimenting with more than a few of the aforementioned trendy neural-enhancers (all which left me wondering more about the power of the Placebo effect), I hope that cannabis is the next life hack tech bros, obsessive college students will excitedly share their analytics and discuss ad nauseum on Reddit.
Jennifer Blakney is a Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef and published writer, researching and discussing current cannabis issues and culture. Connect with her on social media @blakeknees