How can you get the most out of your cannabis experiences? The effects of a given cannabis strain, as well as the amount and method by which you consume, are only part of the total equation. Less commonly known, but equally powerful contributors to achieving a desired outcome are your “Set & Setting”. “Set” refers to your mindset. “Setting” refers to your physical and social environment. Being conscious of Set & Setting is part of a mindful approach to cannabis consumption. Setting an intention and staging the right environment before you consume cannabis are keys to achieving desired outcomes and fulfilling experiences aided by this wonderful plant.
Cannabis can be like a magnifying glass on your current mindset, so a positive mental framework can help set you on the right path as you invite cannabis into your body. If your mental state is calm and positive, consuming cannabis may greatly increase those feelings and magnify your sense of wellness (great!). Alternatively, if you are feeling anxious, hurried, or negative, sometimes cannabis can exaggerate those feelings (probably not the desired outcome). Knowing your mental state prior to consuming cannabis, and perhaps even preparing for a positive mental state, can help position you for an enjoyable and beneficial high.
Part of mindset can also include setting an intention relative to a specific or general goal. When paired with conscious intention setting, cannabis can serve many great outcomes. Intentions might include creativity, meditation, focus, relaxation, pain relief, escaping the mundane, social engagement, or just plain fun. Being clear with yourself about what you are seeking before you consume can put you firmly on the path towards that desired destination.
Your physical and social environments also have an important impact on your cannabis experience. Right place, right time, right people. Lining up these elements can carry you to great experiences. However, if any of these variables are off, you can limit or even degrade your cannabis experience.
Walking along a wooded path on a beautiful morning with a close friend sets up a very different experience than being stuck on a crowded city bus on a rainy evening commute. Introducing the same energetic cannabis strain into those two scenarios will likely feel – and fit the circumstance - very differently. You might well wish you waited until after that bus ride to consume a lively strain.
Similarly, your social environment can be very important to establishing the right setting for a positive cannabis experience. We often resonate with the vibe of those with whom we share space. Enjoying cannabis with a trusted friend, or a group of like-minded individuals with similar intentions, can help create deep feelings of communion. Alternatively, enjoying some cannabis solo, by yourself and free from interaction with others, can be conducive to contemplative moments and even the occasional epiphany. However, being the only one in a group consuming cannabis, especially in the company of those you don't relate to, trust, or otherwise feel good about, may be dissociative and create bad feelings, including paranoia. Again, probably not what you are going for.
Setting in a given environment may also influence your method of consumption, as well as the amount you choose to ingest. If quick onset of cannabis effects is needed, you may choose to vape. In public spaces where smoking and vaping are not permitted or discretion is otherwise needed, you may well favor edibles.
Setting may also determine how much you consume. If you are less confident in certain environments, you may decide to lower your consumption amount compared with how much you might otherwise consume in more comfortable environments.
Engaging the Power of Set and Setting
You are the architect of your world, and how you prepare for your cannabis experience can greatly enhance the benefits. Beyond strain and consumption method selection, managing Set & Setting helps you create and enhance desired outcomes. This can be as simple as minding your space and taking a few deep breaths to check in with yourself before consuming. It could also entail your choice to set an intention, stage a conducive environment, and invite those with whom you wish to share a cannabis experience.
There are so many great possibilities! At times you may choose Set & Setting with cannabis to provide some quiet space for self-reflection. Other times you may want to stage a lively celebration with music and friends, or to spur creativity for artistic or problem-solving endeavors. Perhaps at another moment you want to focus on how the plant’s medicinal properties eases pain and increases wellness. Cannabis can deliver so many beneficial experiences. The power of Set & Setting principles can take your experiences to new heights. Surround yourself with positivity, and enjoy your flight.