How to unlock the 10 cognitive benefits of cannabis
This is one of the most common complaints against medical cannabis: “I don’t want to feel high!”
It can indeed be an uncomfortable experience if you’re not sure how to handle it.
Meanwhile there are others who abuse the cannabis high or simply don’t know how to get the most out of it.
And yet another group of people have learned how to navigate the psychoactive state in a way that adds immense value to their lives.
Artists, entrepreneurs, straight-A college students, parents, spiritual explorers, athletes, researchers, writers, editors.
What’s the difference? How is it that these people are using the psychoactive experience, often times on a daily basis, to thrive?
It’s all about the approach.
It’s about having somebody guide you, a person who can give you the right knowledge and help you cultivate the necessary skills to turn your psychoactive state into a personal voyage that will enrich your life long after the high has worn off.
(It also helps if you have access to QUALITY cannabis.)
Consider the surfboard metaphor
One of the things I love about the work of cannabis philosopher Dr. Sebastian Marincolo is how he has truly defined the spectrum of cognitive benefits with cannabis – while offering tips on how to actually unlock these benefits.
“You have to learn how to ride your high, like you have to learn how to ride waves on a surfboard,” Marincolo says.
The first few times you surf might be uncomfortable. If you don’t know what you’re doing and have no guidance, you could have an unpleasant experience. You might not ever want to surf again!
But with a certain amount of knowledge and a few skills, you could become a complete master of the surfboard.
What you need to know with cannabis
With cannabis you need to know a lot of basic things about the strains and the plant itself. Some types of cannabis will leave you asleep on the couch, others will fill you full of creative inspiration and energy, and some strains might make you paranoid or anxious.
And then there is the challenge with dosage, making sure you get it just right for an optimal experience.
It really is a journey that requires mindful experimentation, reflection, and intent.
With practice, you can become more aware of the cognitive benefits and learn how to hone in on the benefits you want.
10 cognitive benefits of cannabis
Marincolo refers to these benefits as a “bouquet of cognitive effects”, and I assure you that they are very real because I know other people – including myself – who experience them quite regularly.
However, Marincolo has worked to better articulate and define each benefit:
- Hyperfocus of attention
- Enhanced episodic memory retrieval
- Intensified imagination
- Mind racing and time perception prolongation
- Enhanced pattern recognition
- Enhanced body perception
- Enhanced introspection
- Enhanced empathic understanding
- Enhanced creativity
- Insights and the “aha” experience
These are effects that you have to unlock, Marincolo says, they don’t come about automatically.
A lot of cannabis consumers can go for years without ever realizing several if not all of these benefits.
Maybe they are stuck with bad black market pot that just helps them unwind and go to sleep at the end of the day, or maybe they simply never gave it much thought – how to get the most out of cannabis.
It’s not like these are lessons you learn in school (although Green Flower does have a new online course from Marincolo).
And even if you live in an area where you don’t yet have access to a variety of quality strains (rock the vote!), there is another important part of the experience you can control…
The importance of ‘set and setting’
‘Set and setting’ literally refers to your mindset and immediate environment going into the cannabis experience.
“For example, if you want to use cannabis for enhanced introspection, you might not get that if you go to a party. It would be better to go for a quiet walk, write in a journal, or meditate,” Marincolo says.
And if you want to explore empathic understanding, you don’t have to necessarily be with other people, you might just want to sit there and think about them or write in a journal about them.
“Creative people, artists, might use cannabis to enhance their imagination when shaping the direction and motives behind their work,” he says.
And others might be looking for a different experience, using a completely different dosage and strain to focus on their writing or on a routine business task, or even cleaning the kitchen.
Which cognitive benefit do you want to achieve?
You always have to think about what you want from the plant. Because we all want different things, somebody wants more focus of attention, another wants to work creatively, or have great sex – we all have different characters and reactions to cannabis, Marincolo says. “You need to experiment for yourself with the plant, playing with both strains and set and setting.”
And you can set goals for yourself, Marincolo adds. “Maybe you’ve already used it for your work a lot, so how about now using it for enhancing your sex life, or for greater appreciation of art or nature or sports.”
Once you become more familiar with the ins and outs of cannabis, you can choose which benefits you want to hone in on, and you can also experiment with other benefits over time – especially if you have the proper guidance.
Minimizing potential disadvantages
Cannabis is not going to give you a total enhancement of the mind, Marincolo explains. “There is no drug or technique that can do that.”
While it can do amazing things, you also want to bear in mind some of the cognitive downsides – impairments like short-term memory disruptions, fatigue, time perception distortion, disorientation, or too much introspection and anxiety.
“It’s a voyage, and we all keep on learning as we go along with our use of cannabis; it takes you a long way if you see it in the experimental design, measuring the results empirically from your own point of view,” Marincolo says.
If you want tools to fully harness the vast cognitive benefits of cannabis, you will love Sebastian Marincolo’s new online course with Green Flower…
>>> How To Use Cannabis To Enhance Your Mind, Creativity & Learn New Things About Yourself