What Does Marijuana Do To Our Body-mind?

Psychopharmacology of Marijuana: Summary of readings.  

Names: Arouser, Guide, Intensifier, Comforter, 

  • Accelerator —Yoga: into realization (Jeff Brown in S Grey))
  • Humiliator —exposing your self-delusions; triggers fear and paranoia; consequently feared by those afraid to face reality
  • Plant of Peace —defusing aggression and competition; consequently feared by those worried about losing power i.e. Military and business interests
  • Amplifier (Steven Gray)—Mind manifesting entheogen; amplifies “deep nowness”

Warning: It’s not for everyone; some may be too sensitive or fragile for the amplifying effects; rather than hallucinations, thoughts can become distorted; it’s not a major entheogen like mushrooms or LSD but it still requires surrender; the set and setting very important

A kindly, wily plant —when you open to it and relax into it, meet the energy where it is, it has a gentle quality (but can be quirky)

How it’s used:   Some use it as a buffer from experience and relationships and become remote and ‘married’ to weed instead of partners (a virtual absence), others use it as a big eraser of stress and attachments; but when used appropriately, it is most valuable for body mind health and spiritual growth

How does it work / impact our minds and bodies:  Two Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) functions impacted at the same time (i.e. stimulation AND relaxation at the same time–evidently the Sativa strains emphasize the stimulation effect and the Indica strains impact the relaxation effect); the molecules spark both sides of our bi-furcated brains at once, so time slows down and we become more aware; it integrates the dualities above the bifurcation of the brain through the pineal gland and 3rd eye; there is increased time span between neuronal messaging —spaces of ‘no thought’ but with increased awareness and depth, enhanced cognition and decreased mental noise (slowing attentional shifts.) It amplifies the senses (visual, auditory, taste, tender emotions, sex), and releases us from the striving and grasping, rushing experience of modern life. (Gray 64) These effects are very subtle and have eluded science (Joan Bello)

It works as an antidote to extreme swings; it stimulates and depresses at the same time which leads to being misunderstood by science.  It causes our ANS to manifest ‘charged equilibrium’ which is experienced as psychological contentment and integration.

It slows breathing, increases oxygen intake, relaxes muscles, brain gets more O2, heart rate increases, being relaxed AND alert or being ‘stoned.’  Because it is integrative and  doesn’t cause extremes of one or the other, it is actually anti-addictive (scientific studies  report no addiction with marijuana.)

It impacts and integrates the ANS at the point of origin, above the bi-furcation of the relaxation response and the flight or fight response causing a subjective experience of unity, wholeness or oneness—the resolution of opposites; energized serenity.

Therapeutic value:  Tranquility can aid self-observation and witnessing; loosens defense mechanisms; awareness of repressed fears and forgotten needs; can be painful but frees up energy.  The experience of NOW is intensified without muscle armor or mental tension and with gentler outlook than usual.  But is only temporary and reverses as the high wears off.  It doesn’t cure anything but gives a respite from our natural imbalance.  It’s a gentle medicine for relieving chronic anxiety and experiencing a mystical state of extreme wellness.  The Marijuana experience is a whole-person realization when used as it is meant to be.

** People who try marijuana and reject it do so usually because they feel uncomfortable and confused in the altered, fuller consciousness.  Instead of life being safely framed by the rigidity of societal dogma, the world becomes unfamiliarly bigger, brighter, more full et less manageable, more unpredictable and full of mystery.  With this expansiveness, the light can be blinding and disorienting.  With use over time emphasizing integration and spiritual growth it has the power of consciousness raising if your growth toward spirit is intentional.  (This is the opposite of the major entheogens like mushrooms, ayahuasca, LSD, etc.—with them, “when you get the message you hang up the phone—even animals don’t want to use it more than once.)


Gray, Stephen editor, “Cannabis and Spirituality: An Explorer’s Guide to an  Ancient Plant Spirit Ally”, Park Street Press 2017.

Bello, Joan, “The Yoga of Marijuana,” Lifeservices Press, 2015.


Dede Osborn, 2/8/2019

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