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It has been a wild news week – here’s how CBD and weed can help you relax



Rough weather, indictments and calls for riots, bank failures have dominated the news – all that is missing are murder hornets and an interview from Prince Harry and Meagan.  Maybe it is time to unplug, unwind and chill in a healthy way. Relaxation is “a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly everyone can benefit from learning relaxation techniques. Breathwork and meditation are common relaxation techniques, as is drinking herbal tea or using aromatherapy.  Consider a long walk, yoga or just turning off the news and turning on some calm music.

In the first set of relaxation techniques, you are interacting with your autonomic nervous system to lower your state of arousal. In the second set of relaxation techniques, you are using natural compounds to promote feelings of relaxation. These natural compounds could be anything from lavender or chamomile, to cannabis or CBD.

Interestingly, the compound in lavender that relaxes you is called linalool, which is a terpene that you can find in various cannabis strains.

What does it look like to use cannabis or CBD to help you relax?

It could be a weekend warrior who uses a 1:1 THC:CBD tincture most nights to relax after working at a high-stress job, taking care of the kids, and maintaining a rigorous training schedule. Or a yoga practitioner staying healthy at 70 by using CBD oil to amplify the relaxation brought on by her yoga nidra meditations. Or a young couple who shares a joint before bowling night to relax and be more present in the moment.

Smoking Marijuana
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Does Weed Help You Relax?

What is the difference between using weed to relax and using weed to relieve stress? While stress relief and relaxation are interrelated concepts, we are drawing a distinction between these two goals.

When you use weed to relieve stress, you are bringing yourself from a state of mild physical or emotional discomfort, anxiety, or unpleasantness to a normal state. When you use weed to relax, you are in a normal state, and you are using cannabis to banish any remaining tension and sink into a state of deep calm and relaxation. Of course, many Jointly users want to relieve stress and relax at the same time, so these experiences are often chosen together.

So, does weed help you relax? Weed is well-known to produce feelings of calm and relaxation at low doses. According to a joint study from University of Chicago and University of Illinois in Chicago, a low dose of cannabis significantly reduced feelings of stress and promoted feelings of relaxation in healthy subjects. But a slightly higher dose increased feelings of stress.

Higher doses of cannabis may not relax you, as THC has a biphasic response in which low doses relieve stress and promote feelings of relaxation, while high doses may increase stress or even make you paranoid. In general, side effects from cannabis can be mitigated by taking the minimum effective dose you need to get the results you want.

Does Weed Relax Muscles?

Muscle tightness and cramps can be caused by some common medications, by dehydration, or by overexerting yourself. Tight muscles and cramps can be painful and unpleasant, but there is some evidence that weed helps relax tight muscles. Most of the research on how weed affects tight or spasming muscles has been done on multiple sclerosis. While medical marijuana may be part of the treatment plan for multiple sclerosis, we are discussing using weed relax tight muscles from the wear and tear of daily life.

RELATED: Can You Freeze Weed?

Muscle spasms are thought to originate in areas of the brain that control movement, and several of these sites contain high concentrations of endocannabinoid receptors. While the exact mechanisms by which cannabis alters movement haven’t been teased out, the way cannabis affects these brain areas likely plays a role in why so many people find that weed relaxes tight muscles.

Smoking Marijuana
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Why Does Weed Help You Relax?

We have determined that a low dose of cannabis may promote feelings of relaxation and that weed does relax muscles, but why does weed help you relax? Weed is great for relaxing because of the wide variety of psychoactive effects produced by cannabis. Remember that the definition of relaxation is a state in which you are free from negative emotion, which allows you to have greater resilience when you are experiencing stress.

Cannabis promotes feelings of relaxation by decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety, elevating your mood, uplifting and energizing your mind, and keeping you occupied in the present moment. Together, this combination makes cannabis a highly effective relaxation tool. To learn all about the different ways cannabis helps relieve mild daily stress or how weed uplifts and energizes your mind, click those links!

But here is a quick overview of why cannabis helps you relax:

Cannabis produces its effects when molecules called cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a “ubiquitous system that provides homeostatic balance to the nervous and immune systems, as well as many other organ systems.” The ECS plays a role in modulating everything from sleep, to mood, to appetite, which is why cannabis can produce such a wide range of effects.

The ECS is composed of the endogenous ligands (AEA and 2-AG) also known as endocannabinoids, their receptors (CB1 and CB2), and the enzymes that degrade and recycle the ligands. Ligands and receptors are like keys and locks. When the ligand binds to the receptor, it produces a signal in the cell. To understand why cannabis has such a relaxing effect, we need to zoom in a little bit on how THC affects the brain.

A Deep Dive On Why Weed Relaxes You

Most psychoactive effects from cannabis come from THC interacting with CB1 receptors in your brain. Within the brain, CB1 receptors are expressed on GABAergic, glutamatergic, serotonergic, noradrenergic, and dopaminergic axon terminals. An axon terminal is the end of a nerve fiber that holds neurotransmitters and releases them across the synapse to the target cell. GABA, glutamate, serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine are neurotransmitters.

RELATED: Can Marijuana Lower Blood Pressure?

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that are released from the axon terminal of a neuron and trigger changes in the target cell.

When you ingest THC, “activation of these [CB1] receptors results in a robust  suppression of neurotransmitter release into the synapse.” In other words, THC interacts with CB1 receptors on axon terminals, which suppresses the release of neurotransmitters. Glutamate is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter and GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, and “the equilibrium between GABAergic and glutamatergic transmission provides an appropriate emotional reactivity.” Basically, GABA helps you feel calm, and glutamate stimulates your brain.

CB1 receptors are widely expressed on GABAergic neurons and, to a lesser extent, on glutamatergic neurons. Scientists have proposed that “low THC doses…act preferentially on glutamatergic neurons, whereas high THC doses have been proposed to act also at GABAergic neurons.”

Essentially, a low dose of THC may suppress the release of glutamate in your brain, relaxing you. A higher dose of THC may suppress the release of GABA, leading to anxiety. This reality may explain why cannabis has biphasic effects, promoting relaxation in low doses, but sometimes increasing anxiety in high doses.

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Meditating While High

One of the best ways to relax is to combine your favorite relaxation technique with cannabis. For example, you could try meditating while high. You might wonder, does weed help with meditation? Can you meditate while high?

As you might expect, the best way to enhance your meditation practice with marijuana is to microdose. High doses of cannabis are more likely to cause anxiety or disorientation, which may make it difficult to meditate while high.

RELATED: 5 Tips To Ensure The Perfect High Meditation

Some people find that weed helps them meditate because it helps them stay present in the moment. When mindfulness practitioners are tuning into their environment, they listen to the sounds around them, they feel the breeze on their skin, they smell the air—they tune in to their sensory perceptions and the world around them.

Cannabis is well-known to increase your sensory perception, possibly amplifying your connection to the present moment. If you want to supercharge your relaxation, try meditating while high.

Does CBD Relax You?

Many people find CBD to be more relaxing than THC. While CBD is a cannabinoid like THC, it exerts its effects through different mechanisms of action.

Research has shown that CBD can affect the serotonin system and the ECS in ways that may promote relaxation. For example, levels of the endocannabinoid AEA are correlated with feelings of relaxation, and CBD has been shown to elevate levels of the AEA by inhibiting the enzymes that break it down.

You can incorporate CBD into your relaxation practice in lots of creative ways. For example, you could massage a CBD balm into your feet before taking a relaxing walk. Or you could take a CBD oil capsule before your meditation session. Or you could take a few puffs of a high CBD strain before taking a bath. Both full-spectrum CBD and isolate CBD bolster your endocannabinoid system and can promote feelings of relaxation. Please note that CBD is not an FDA approved treatment for stress and anxiety disorders and we are discussing using CBD to improve your general well-being.

How Much CBD to Relax?

How much CBD do you need to take to relax? CBD has a good safety profile and is well-tolerated in most people from doses of 5mg to 500mg. Of course, everyone is different. The way CBD affects you might not be the same as another person. The best way to find out how much CBD you need to relax is to experiment with different dosages and CBD products and record your experiences on the Jointly app.

Best Weed Strains to Relax

If you have been inspired to add cannabis to your relaxation toolkit, you might be wondering what is the best marijuana strain to relax and mellow out? If you search online, you will find recommendations about Blue Dream, OG Kush—potent, high-THC strains that have a significant psychoactive effect. But before you choose your relaxing weed strain, we encourage you to look at our article Why Jointly is Better than a Strain Finder. In that article, you will learn what strain names really mean and how to use Jointly to discover the most effective products in your area.

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How to Use Weed and CBD to Relax

For many people, cannabis and CBD are the perfect tools to enhance their relaxation. If you want to see if cannabis or CBD can help you relax, use the Jointly app to track and optimize the 15 factors that can impact your weed experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabiswho you are with when you ingesthow hydrated you arethe quality of your diethow much sleep you got last night, and more.

Jointly is a cannabis wellness platform that helps you achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. Perhaps you will discover that you feel the most relaxed when you eat a 1:1 weed gummy in the afternoon, after a hard workout.

Our data indicates that Jointly works best when you report at least 10 cannabis sessions. If you only fill out a few reports and then stop, you won’t have enough data to start to see trends and improve how you consume cannabis.

When you use Jointly, you are rating how well a product helped you achieve your wellness goals. Over time, your average ratings should go up as you optimize how you consume cannabis and CBD. Use the Results Tracker feature to make sure your results are improving over time.

How to Find Cannabis and CBD Products for Relaxation

Looking for products that can help relax? Brands and manufacturers have designed a vast range of legal cannabis and CBD products for this exact purpose: lemon balm-infused CBD gummies, vape pens with relaxing blends of terpenes, CBD-rich bath bombs and more. But how do you know if these products actually work? Jointly’s Product Finder feature allows you to look up legal, licensed cannabis and CBD products in your state based on your wellness goals. Select Relaxation and see how other users like you rated a product on a scale from 1-10, based on how well it helped them relax. By reporting your cannabis and CBD consumption, you are contributing important data to the Jointly community and helping Jointly make better product and routine recommendations for you.

Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.

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Can Marijuana Give A Break From All The Drama




It is a summer of political news, students protests, family gathering and just every day drama – can marijuana help with a temporary break?

This summer will be filled with ongoing political news as the presidential election is in the fall. Add oversees wars and campus protests and conversations with some people could be fraught with drama. And summer is the time of family gatherings, birthdays, weddings or a 4th of July picnic, it can be stressful. Can marijuana give a break from all the drama. The answer is heck yes! And you will feel better than overindulging in booze.

RELATED: Beer Sales Flatten Thanks To Marijuana

While taking a break, breathing, or going for a walk can help, sometimes you get overwhelmed. Avoiding putting yourself in these situations by reducing your news and social media input, putting boundaries around certain people and other healthy habits are import, a quick, easy solution is needed in some situations. Cannabis can provide a temporary relief as it is a proven help against anxiety. To use this tool, there are a few things to know and also not to be over reliant on it as a solution.

Photo by Anton Petrus/Getty Images

Part of the way marijuana chills you out with the active cannabinoid THC. It acts through cannabinoid receptors which activates the brain’s reward system. These includes regions that govern the response to healthy pleasurable behaviors.  It also adjusts perception of time, which is what makes movies and music sound better as it allows you to stop and really absorb the moment.

The younger generation has taken advantage of consumption methods to have marijuana on-the-go.  Vaping is the second, and trends show soon to be first, most popular method of use.  Like gummies (the third most popular way to consume), it is easy, discreet and portable for those with an active lifestyle. You can also manage dosing so you are not too high or suddenly have couch lock.

Done right, a high, even a moderate one, can last 2-10 hours.  Smoking a joint provides the quickest and most powerful, while a gummy takes 30-45 minutes to kick it, but it is much easier to manage the dosage. Vaping is a way to maintain a steady chill.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Enjoy Marijuana Without Smoking It

One good thing about taking a “time out” and breathing from the drama, it is a better on our mental and physical health.

One recent survey discovered

  • 1 in 5 had lost sleep over politics
  • 20 percent reported feeling fatigued because of political news
  • 29 percent reported losing their temper over politics
  • One quarter said they felt hateful toward those with opposing political views
  • More than 20 percent have had political disagreements damage their friendships

However you do it, be mindful of where you are and make sure you don’t let outside forces squash you happiness and enjoyment of each day.

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Consumer Spending Validates Marijuana Rescheduling




It is a historic move for a country which had prohibition, but consumers are using their wallets to show they support it,

Culture wars have been an American tradition – from the battle over TicTok to the alcohol prohibition in the 1920s. It was said the only thing to come out of the anti-liquor period was it taught good citizens how to break the law.  But in general, if the public wants it, the public will have it, legal or not. The perfect is example is the Pornhub ban in Utah and Texas, which has sent VPN sign ups sky high. And consumer spending validates marijuana rescheduling in a major way.

RELATED: Beer Sales Flatten Thanks To Marijuana

Some politicians and leaders believe in the nanny state option.  Those include a few governors lead by Ron DeSantis, Mitch McConnell, and a few other special interest groups.  But the Biden’s administration’s decision to reschedule cannabis lines up with public opinion. Over 85% believe it should legal in some form, and more importantly, they are putting their money toward what they want.  Leading analyst firm, BDSA, shared the public’s spending habit’s match their thoughts on rescheduling.

Photo by Anton Petrus/Getty Images

Following the tradition, cannabis sales moved higher again this year. Sales on 20 April 2024 sales were $167M, a 33% increase over the previous year.  Trends like California sober are going strong and Gen Z continues to move away from alcohol and move toward marijuana vapes and gummies. Lifestyle habits are starting to adjust slightly away from alcohol and more low alcohol drinks, mocktails, and cannabis eat away at the traditional market.  Alcohol is much rougher on the body, so many are opting for a semi-healthier option.

It is a benefit for fully recreational states as even Missouri makes significant tax income on cannabis. Most governors are on board with rescheduling at it is not only the public’s will, but it helps the state’s coffers and actually helps in other areas. Even New York State, with over 1,500 non tax paying illicit stores making money, made some income.  They have less than 100 licensed dispensaries generating over $175 million.

RELATED: How To Microdose Marijuana

On an interesting sidebar, like holidays, there are some holidays where cannabis use is up. Here are the largest for 2023

  1. 420
  2. Green Wednesday
  3. Black Friday
  4. St Patrick’s Day
  5. Veteran’s Day

In comparison, alcohol’s largest days are:

  1. New Year’s Eve
  2. St. Patrick’s Day
  3. July 4th
  4. Day Before Thanksgiving/ Blackout Wednesday/ Drinksgiving
  5. Black Friday

Let’s see how the next 12 months works for the industry, the government and the public.


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Cannabis Rescheduling Takes The Next Steps




The Biden administration’s marijuana rescheduling takes the next step

The Department of Justice is moving marijuana rescheduling to the next step. The administration has proposed moving the drug from Schedule I, a strict classification including drugs like heroin, to Schedule III, which is more on the level of Tylenol. It also marks the federal government acknowledgement the plants medical benefits. The industry will watch over the next few months as the process of moving it forward grinds ahead.

RELATED: Americans Want It, Some Politicians Prefer a Nanny State

President Joe Biden announced move on his official account on X (formerly known as Twitter.  In a video Biden shared “This is monumental, It’s an important move towards reversing long-standing inequities. … Far too many lives have been upended because of a failed approach to marijuana, and I’m committed to righting those wrongs. You have my word on it.”

Vice President Kamala Harris also released a video Thursday, hailing the progress. It seems she has progressed in her position over the last 5 years.

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

A key part of the next step is a 60-day comment period. This will allow any and all parties to provide information, opinion, support or random thoughts. Already a group of GOP Senators want to either slow or stop the process. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) has started leading an effort to stall the plan if not outright stop it. They are going against the general public opinion with 85%+ believe it should be legal in some form.

The Drug Enforcement Agency is not 100% on board and there are still hurdles to rescheduling. After the comment person, there could be a review from an administrative judge, which could be a drawn-out process.  The total process can take from 3 months to a year, although it is unlikely the issue will not be resolved before the election.

RELATED: California or New York, Which Has The Biggest Marijuana Mess

Considering the stance of the federal government, Senator Mitch McConnell, and certain other opponents, the road is still going to be a bit bumpy.  The industry, in an awkward growth mood, is in need of the government not to be a hindrance.  But only time will tell.

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