I’ve started stretching while high. And it feels gooooood. Like, orgasmic good. Turns out, the benefits of stretching while riding the wave of a good high are well documented, and far from new. “Cannabis helps to relax the body and anxieties in the mind, both of which prevent us from truly connecting to and appreciating the sensations in our bodies,” writes Dee Dussault, cannabis-enhanced yoga instructor and author of Ganja Yoga: A Practical Guide to Conscious Relaxation, Soothing Pain Relief, and Enlightened Self-Discovery. “Once tensions are lifted,” she explains, “it’s easier to tune in and enjoy the sensitivities of stretching.”
When I get high, it’s because I want that floating-on-a-cloud happy feeling, I want those creative bursts of inspiration, sure. A great high for me is like being at an Odesza concert with the love of my life on one side and my best friend on the other, eating a really good snack. But my highs provide much more than giddy fun. They return me to what feels like a more authentic version of myself––a me aware of my trauma and the oppressive world in which I live, but unweighted by it. I’m not anxious or over analyzing. The stress and discomfort that manifests in my body from its daily encounter with misogynoir and cis-heteronormative culture melts away.
So stretching, practicing mindfulness, and getting high? I’m into that. In the name of research, I decided to keep a diary on the Wednesday that I experimented, to track what exactly makes this union between loosening the body and weed so satisfying.
12:30 p.m. – The cannabis
I’m starting off with two pieces of candy from a pack of 2020 Future cannabis-infused edibles. Reminiscent of the sour belt candies of my childhood, the sugary, rainbow strips are 50 mg each and made with THC distillate oil. This particular edible is an indica/sativa hybrid you can get from dispensaries in California and, in my own experience, takes 30 to 50 minutes to kick in.
1:17 p.m. – Settling in
So far it’s stretching as usual: [Enjoys stretching]…[Looks at phone]…[Goes down anxiety hole] What if that post I saw about Amazon workers getting random recordings of people who didn’t know they were being recorded and being tasked with transcribing them happens to me?! I talk out loud to myself hella often…what if my cell phone company gets those recordings?! They’d probably be like, “This isn’t even helpful, it’s just sad. Get this woman some therapy.”.….[Returns to stretching]…Hmm, yeah, this is nice.
1:27 p.m. – Lifting off
Finally that familiar euphoria has set in: I feel smiley, pensive, and connected to my body. Wow, more people should watch the Moonlight trailer while high, so beautiful! Ugh, imagine if we could hit rewind and experience the bliss of seeing it for the first time any time we wanted…
1:45 p.m. – Flowing
I’m taking deep, concentrated breaths innnn and outttt, standing tall, and stretching my leg across the top of my dresser in a ballerina pose. I do this because it helps with my posture (for a few seconds at least). Now the stretches are deeper than usual, and so is the breathing. It’s like my body is on a soothing version of autopilot and I’m along for the ride.
I stretch my arms downward, to my toes, but notice how I don’t push it the way I usually do. I let my body do the talking, and it says, you don’t have to endure as much pain as you can tolerate for this to be a valuable experience.