Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Connection Between Ayurveda, Cannabis, And Psychedelics

Ayurveda incorporates natural tools, such as seed oils, herbs, teas, and nourishing foods, into detoxifying and rejuvenating routines.

As Nathan Howard, co-founder of East Fork Cultivars, reflects, “We’re seeing across the United States and beyond a resurgence of plant-based medicine. Whether the plant is cannabis or psilocybin-producing mushrooms, people are finding genuine relief from a variety of ailments from these plants.” As part of this conversation, people are tapping into the practices of Ayurvedic medicine.  What is the connection between Ayurvedic, cannabis and psychedelics?

Joanna Matson-Tandberg, Ayurveda practitioner, cannabis consultant, yoga healer, and founder of ZVEDA Botanicals, offers a succinct description of Ayurveda, a medical science that dates back over 5,000 years, and originated in the southern region of India. 

This broad spectrum system focuses on healing the physiological, mental, emotional, and spiritual body. Ayurveda translates to the wisdom (ayur) of living (veda), and offers common sense approaches to aligning one’s life-style with that of their own individual constitution, or dominant energy, that regulates and sustains every living organism. Ayurvedic medicine teaches that everything in the universe is formed through endless variations of the five elements: ether, air, fire water, and earth. 

When someone has too much of, or not enough of, any of these energies, which regulate and maintain all functions of life, Ayurveda offers daily routines, foods, and herbs to gently and effectively draw the energies, and therefore, the person, back to a place of homeostasis. Here, illness is viewed as an expression of disharmony from within, therefore, treatment must be determined by diving deeply into one’s understanding of their own tendencies, behaviors and norms. 

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Ayurveda incorporates natural tools such as seed oils, herbs, teas, and nourishing foods into detoxifying and rejuvenating routines based on the individual, the time of year, and location of residence. Included in these tools are cannabis and psychedelics, two natural medicines that have historically been used alone and/or in combination with other herbs, often in ceremony, for healing the many complex levels of the human body, beginning with the mind. 

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Each person has a system of receptors, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates most, if not all, other systems in the human body. If the ECS is out of balance, all other bodily systems may fall out of balance. This means that by including cannabis in an integrative approach of healing using Ayurveda, one can focus on healing the main power switch, the ECS, first and then focusing on balancing and healing the underlying energies in the body with other beneficial herbs and oils.

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Also, Matson-Tandberg observes the ways that cannabis, along with psychedelics, has the power to open one’s mind and view one’s actions and thoughts from an entirely different — and often quite broader — angle. “It can help bring forward the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is our physiological and chemical version of Rest and Relax, while allowing the Sympathetic Nervous System, our Fight or Flight response, to retire and release stress.”

In her estimation, “Incorporating mind-opening agents of change into our healing protocol allows us to have a bird’s eye view of our own limitations that we often inflict upon ourselves, and to clearly see a new path to self healing and self love.”


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