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Is Weed the New Wellness Trend?

Long gone are the days when pot smoking was reserved to delinquent teens in their parents’ garage or basement.

These days, everyone from teachers and lawyers to grandparents are frequenting the growing number of cannabis dispensaries. As the cannabis movement gains in traction, the health and wellness industry continues to boom like never before. Meditation and yoga have become daily staples for a growing number of people, many of whom live in a constant pursuit of mindfulness. Undoubtedly, some of these people also likely smoke weed – and may even incorporate it into their wellness regime. In fact, it seems weed has gone from taboo to trendy.

Can marijuana help your wellness cause? A growing number of individuals and organizations think so.

In a recent poll conducted by Miner & Co. Studio, 90 per cent of 800 cannabis consumers reported that they consider marijuana part of their wellness program as opposed to a vice like cigarettes or alcohol. A far fry from the Cheetos-eating couch potatoes typically associated with weed, 84 per cent of respondents have full-time jobs that contribute to their average household income of around $75K.

Cannabis is known to help with things like pain, anxiety and stress management and insomnia, to name a few. The healing powers of cannabis have started to attract some serious interest from a variety of wellness brands – in everything from beauty companies to those that offer healthy CBD-infused beverages. Cannabis-infused skincare, for example, has been shown to reduce inflammation, heal muscle pain and treat skin conditions like eczema. The marijuana wellness market remains a rapidly growing one as an increasing number of people jump on board.

Marijuana and meditation are known to have similar effects; the two together, however, are believed to make for a more intense practice. Recently, an Italian court ruled that it was okay for Rastafarians to smoke weed while meditating after a lawyer successfully argued that marijuana was sacred to his client’s religion. But weed and meditation isn’t just reserved to Rastafarians. Several religious groups in South Asia – including Buddhists, Naths and Shaivites – have incorporated marijuana into their meditation practices.

Of course, weed hasn’t left the yoga world untouched. Back in 2012, a New York Times article highlighted that some yoga teachers – especially those in states that have legalized pot – were recommending the use of marijuana with yoga. Many believe the two go hand-in-hand, enabling practicers to push boundaries mentally and physically and to fully relax into both the poses the moment. It also helps people focus more on their breath and movement.

In addition to weed-friendly yoga studios, we’ve recently seen the emergence of full-on weed-friendly wellness retreats and fitness facilities. In 2016, Dierdra Bagdasarian founded Ganja Goddess Getaways (GGG), an overnight retreat series dedicated to women who are looking to use cannabis as a creative and spiritual tool. Earlier this year in California, Power Plant Fitness – the world’s first cannabis gym – opened up shop. Here, you can consume cannabis before you workout and find trainers who will help your cause when it comes to incorporating cannabis into your wellness routine.

While there have been concerns regarding the harmful effects of smoking weed on your health, recent years have seen the emergence of healthier ways to get stoned, thanks to the introduction to the mass market of vaporizing. Vaping is not only more discreet than puffing a joint in public, it is also easier on the lungs. In any case, with next year’s legalization of marijuana in Canada, it could be only a matter of time before we see more weed-focused wellness centres, yoga studios and fitness facilities pop up in our home and native land.

Alex Richmond

Alex Richmond is a social media and contributing writer at Notable Life.