By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness
I’d like to introduce The Cannabis Writings, a new writing series for the Culture of Awareness.
Here, we’ll discuss all things cannabis. From the upsides and downsides to the spiritual uses, the medicinal benefits and the laws surrounding the plant, I’d like to explore it from every angle possible and share the knowledge with all of you.
We’re entering an era where this plant will no longer be demonized, but respected for what it has to offer society.
People are finally considering with an open mind the benefits this plant poses for humanity, and stereotypes are slowly being replaced with an understanding of why it’s used and, more importantly for society, how it can be used in different ways; medicinally, industrially, etc.
Cannabis doesn’t exist for the sole purpose of getting high, and it has an array of uses that, if utilized, could improve the quality of life for everyone. People are realizing that there’s more to this plant than meets the eye, and in this series, we’ll explore it all.
I think cannabis is an important plant for our society, and like other sacred plant teachers, it’s here to help us evolve. It can bring meditation to a whole new level if we use it for this purpose, or, it can enhance creativity and make the creative process more of a spiritual experience.
There are plenty of examples of people who use cannabis to enhance their creativity, and for some, it provides a gateway to a higher consciousness. Depending on how and why it’s used, it can also distance us from the Most High.
Intention is important when it comes to anything powerful like cannabis, and while it helps some people who were ‘asleep’ to break the barrier and awaken to their multidimensional Self, it strengthens the barrier if it’s only used to get intoxicated or numb the emotions.
It can hinder spirituality if it’s used to escape life, and it all comes down to the user’s intention.
The way we see the plant is also important. Some see it as a benign euphoric drug that can be used to relax or get away from life’s stresses, and while there’s nothing wrong with using it this way, it’s more powerful than most people think.
Some are in the middle when it comes to cannabis; they don’t think it’s dangerous, but they don’t think it’s a savior either. They see bias on both sides of the argument, and they prefer to explore the plant’s potential benefits without jumping to conclusions.
They’d rather learn a little about it than form an immediate opinion, and they could very well be the best source of accurate, unbiased information on it.
Not everyone supports cannabis or thinks it’s harmless, and that’s okay. I get mixed responses from the spiritual community when I post about it; many support it but a fair number of people believe it’s harmful and its use shouldn’t be encouraged.
They speak up as much as those who are for it, and I try to respect their opinion regardless of whether or not I share it.
The purpose of these kinds of posts is to encourage debate and let everyone express their perspective whether or not others agree, and the only way we can change the world together is to respect what we each have to offer.
We don’t have to agree with someone to work with them to make the world better, and people in the spiritual community are sometimes quick to condemn and become divisive over ideological differences.
There’s a tendency to condemn those who don’t think like us as ignorant or ‘asleep’, and it’s a pretty judgmental and close-minded way to treat a fellow human being.
It certainly isn’t enlightened, and true enlightenment entails, among other things, the ability to be at peace with others regardless of our differences.
As long as they aren’t hurting anyone, they’re as entitled to their opinion as us.
The problem with the cannabis discussion is that it’s heated and divisive.
Cannabis advocates are tired of the propaganda that’s been around for nearly a century and continues to take root in the minds of people who don’t know where the ‘facts’ they learned about marijuana in school really come from, and some proponents can be just as vicious as anti-marijuana crusaders.
It’s best to gather all sides before forming an opinion, and while cannabis can play a crucial role in spiritual evolution, it can also come with its share of downsides.
One downside is the potential for psychological dependence, which, again, has more to do with the user than the plant itself.
Another downside is that it can inhibit dreams. Alex Pietrowski at Waking Times explains.
“This is difficult to validate, but, many former users report that cannabis directly suppresses one’s ability to dream, to dream with clarity, and to remember dreams.
“The value of dreams is misunderstood in our material society, but ex-users who’ve returned to normal, regular dreaming are often astonished at just how differently the quality and content of their dreams is when not using.” (1)
The reports are mostly anecdotal, but plenty of cannabis users have said that their dreams enhanced significantly when they quit.
David Wilcock is one example; he started recording all of his dreams in a journal after becoming clean of all mind-altering substances, and he was able to decipher predictions that came true for him later in life.
Terence McKenna is another example; he spoke of how his dreams were vividly enhanced when he quit using the herb. (2)
He formed a theory that cannabis temporarily brings the content of our dreams into our conscious perception, thus inhibiting our dreams later. It’s an interesting theory, and while there are a lot of ideas about the herb’s purpose, we’ll never know unless we explore it more thoroughly.
Smoking anything isn’t good, and another downside to cannabis is that it’s commonly smoked. Fortunately, as Alex points out, this is no longer a big issue thanks to vaporizers and edibles.
“Smoking cannabis is the most common means of consumption, and is even a common form of medically prescribed usage. There is no doubt that smoking anything causes damage to the lungs, heart, cardiovascular system, and immune system.
“Compared to smoking tobacco, however, the effects of cannabis are much less damaging to health, and some scientific studies claim that in-taking cannabinoids into the lungs can actually prevent certain diseases like lung cancer from developing.
“Nowadays with the production of edible cannabis products and vaporizers which allow one to inhale steamed vapor rather than combusted plant material, these side effect can be easily mitigated if desired.” (3)
To name one more downside, long term use or dependency can dull down life. Quitting after using for a long time can, in contrast, make life a lot more vibrant.
“Many long term users who are driven to quit and have become clean will admit that life is much more brilliant and impressive when not regularly using cannabis. This aspect of the drug is difficult for most people to understand as it is somewhat subtle and also very subjective to personal experience.
“The common thread here is the post-addiction revelation, that time has been lost in one’s life to being in an undefinable haze or fog, and that afterward kicking the habit, experiences seem more clear and memories more bright and lasting.” (4)
These downsides don’t necessarily mean we should condemn the cannabis plant, but the issue isn’t as black and white as either side wants to think (and this comes from someone on the ‘pro’ side). There are positive and negative aspects of cannabis use, but we can’t deny the plant’s many medicinal and industrial benefits.
Since our society is finally opening up to this revolutionary plant, we have an opportunity to talk about it and hopefully avoid the propaganda and outrageousness that’s clouded our minds this whole time.
We’ve had enough outrageousness, so let’s approach cannabis in a sensible way and allow it to help our species and the planet we live on in any way it can. In doing so, let’s be aware of any potential downsides without being too quick to draw conclusions.
Other people will share our views no matter what we side we’re on, but instead of dividing ourselves over this issue or any other, let’s find common ground so we can work together in the best interest of the planet and the health of the people.
(1) “12 Negative Aspects of Cannabis Use” by Alex Pietrowski, Waking Times, July 9, 2014 – http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/07/09/12-negative-aspects-consuming-cannabis/
(2) Video: “Terence McKenna Talks About Marijuana” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhoXtVP2koo
(3) “12 Negative Aspects of Cannabis Use” Ibid.
(4) Loc. Cit.