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*Editor’s Note: Elephant is not your doctor or hospital. Our lawyers would say “this web site is not designed to, and should not be construed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment. Always consult a health professional before trying out new home therapies or changing your diet.” But we can’t afford lawyers, and you knew all that. ~ Ed.
Author’s Note: Before deciding to engage with cannabis, be sure to understand the laws relating to cannabis in your country or region, and to consult with your doctor about your intentions.
For many educators, the ongoing need for social distancing and lockdown presents the ideal time to explore cannabis therapy for health and well-being.
This has been, without a doubt, the most disrupted school year ever. Teachers, like other essential service providers, have played a key role in maintaining a feeling of normalcy for their students during this time, but the adjustment has been hard.
I know because I’m an elementary school teacher, and I’m living it.
To go from regular classroom days with just some extra handwashing and reminders about personal space, to complete closure in a period of a few days, it was a massive shock to the system. We had to move fast and adapt with grace and enthusiasm to a completely new way of teaching.
Working hard to learn to use technology to teach remotely, while struggling to maintain relationships from a distance, we have taken this pandemic on as champions, and it’s taken a toll on many.
Many school districts are aware of increased stress amongst teachers, and they’ve responded with informational resources and support channels.
What they haven’t included in these webinars and documents is any mention of cannabis as a tool for managing stress. This makes sense, considering the fact that recreational cannabis was only legalized in Canada in the fall of 2018, and a collective lack of knowledge and stigma persists.
I feel strongly that it’s important for cannabis to be included in the self-care conversation and not be overlooked. It’s a natural wellness option that, when used mindfully, offers relief and healing. As a cannabis coach, educator, parent, and public school teacher, I want to talk about it.
For many educators, this period of social distancing and lockdown has presented the ideal time to explore canna-therapy for health and well-being. Canna-therapy is the mindful and intentional consumption of cannabis to feel better. And teachers everywhere deserve to feel better.
While cannabis may not be for everyone, education—knowing and understanding enough about it to choose best for yourself—is key. To dismiss it out of fear based on the messaging of the past 80 years is to make decisions influenced by a frame of reference that is out-of-date and no longer supported.
My fellow teachers, if you’ve been canna-curious but haven’t had the time or confidence to take the next steps alone, keep reading.
I’ve put together a brief three-step guide for you that I call Cannabis 101: Setting the Stage for Mindful Microdosing.
These preliminary steps are based in mindset, environment, and intention.
1. You need to be in a particular mindset.
It’s important to know that feeling better is your goal.
You’ve identified your struggles and you can see how they’re impacting you and those around you. You are ready for things to change and you understand that it may take time to find the full relief you want and need. You’re open to learning. You’re coachable and will ask questions. You respect yourself enough to learn, and you respect the plant enough to learn.
This will help you understand more clearly the natural relationship that exists between the human body (the Endocannabinoid System) and the cannabis plant, and how to predict the interactions with different strains, consumption methods, and doses.
2. The environment and conditions need to be considered.
Most people can call up a memory of a negative cannabis experience.
Getting too high and becoming paranoid at a high school party are key reasons many have decided to dismiss cannabis as a possible wellness tool.
Keep in mind that back then you didn’t really know what you were doing, let alone consuming, and neither did the person who shared it with you. If this sounds familiar, it’s simply because the environment, the setting, the timing—none of it was right for your interaction with cannabis to be a positive one.
The type of experience you’re wanting now is a controlled, restorative, and healing one. You want to be adequately prepared with a plan to follow. This is mindfulness and intentionality.
3. You need to know what you’re doing and why.
Cannabis is complex. This is why it has the ability to be used by individuals with so many different conditions.
Research is constantly revealing more therapeutic applications, while developers are creating more products for the consumer experience.
Now, you don’t need to keep up with all the reports and findings, unless that’s your thing. But you do need to know some essentials:
>> Know what your body is telling you, so tune in to the messages that are being sent. Stress, anxiety, pain, and insomnia all send loud signals, not to be missed.
>> Decide how you want to consume. Inhalation, oils, edibles, topicals, or tinctures are your options.
>> Ensure you’re able to time your doses, depending on your consumption method and how quickly you want to feel the effects. And don’t forget to consider the desired duration of effect as well. Do you want to sleep through the night, or do you want to be able to focus on your novel (or report cards) without getting distracted by your own thoughts? Two distinct goals require different interactions with cannabis medicine.
The long summer days ahead will naturally provide some respite and relief for teachers, as well as time to care for themselves. And while restrictions have loosened, we need to remain cautious and at a safe distance. This provides more opportunity to begin increasing your understanding of cannabis medicine, and to embark on the experiential journey of finding your cannabis Goldilocks zone, or minimal effective dose.
As a teacher who also uses, educates, and coaches others to use cannabis, I understand the trepidation to say “yes” and to begin this journey. What will people think about me? Will I lose trust? I get it; like I said, the stigma remains. But I believe that one of the most important ways to normalize cannabis and change attitudes is through open dialogue and candid sharing.
Cannabis is one of the main tools in my wellness and self-care toolkit, and it supports me in maintaining my physical and mental health. It helps me to be the best version of myself.
Consider adding Cannabis 101 to your self-care education list and start learning! It’s the perfect time to start low and go slow because you’ve got the time, and you deserve to feel good.