On Oct. 17, cannabis became legal in Canada. Public consumption laws vary from province to province and municipality to municipality, so it’s advisable to do your research before purchasing and using cannabis. For example, Edmonton allows for public consumption in designated areas, such as parks without playgrounds or sports fields. Calgary, however, restricts the use of cannabis in all public spaces, only allowing for its use at home or on private property. In Alberta you must be 18 years of age to purchase cannabis, and giving or selling cannabis to anyone under the legal age is illegal. Alberta Health Services advises abstaining from cannabis use until over the age of 25, as brains are continuing to develop until then. Use before 25 can result in difficulties with memory, cognition, attention, judgment, and decision-making.
Remember, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while impaired by cannabis.
The provincial government is approaching the legalization of cannabis from a harm reduction standpoint, meaning they are designing public health policies to provide education and information with the intent of lessening the negative consequences associated with drug use. As with every pharmaceutical, cannabis must be used with care and attention. It is advisable to consult with your doctor or a medical professional before trying cannabis, as it can negatively interact with certain medications. Alberta Health Services also advises refraining from mixing cannabis with alcohol or tobacco.
Weighted Blankets and Cannabis
As the legal cannabis industry is so new, there are no studies available on how cannabis may work in concert with the use of a weighted blanket. However, each has been shown to assist with the symptoms of anxiety as well as pain reduction. Both weighted blankets and cannabis can produce a feeling of calm and well-being, and contribute to facilitating a good night’s sleep.
Weighted blankets work by applying what is known as deep pressure touch stimulation. The firm, but gentle, even weight on the body provides both physical and psychological benefits. Like a massage or a big hug, deep pressure touch stimulation results in a comforting and reassuring feeling. Being held feels good, which can put you in the right frame of mind to welcome relaxation and rest.
Deep pressure touch stimulation causes your mind to switch from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system takes over when you are in a stressful situation, such as while dealing with difficulties at work or when in a conflict situation with another person. When the parasympathetic nervous system takes over heart rates go down, muscles begin to relax, and circulation improves. The parasympathetic nervous system triggers the production of endorphins, which are “feel good” hormones, and at the same time comes the release of dopamine and serotonin, which assist with calming, attention, memory, sleep, and digestion.
Cannabis works by supporting the endocannabinoid system found in every human body. Endocannabinoid systems produce chemicals very similar to those found in cannabis, and exists in all parts of the body — the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. The chemicals produced by the endocannabinoid system act as a bridge between the brain and the different parts of your body through neurons and receptors. Cannabis introduces cannabinoids to the body, which then supports the function of the endocannabinoid system.
Those who find the use of cannabis to be helpful in relaxing and calming the mind and body may also find a weighted blanket will do the same thing. Used together, weighted blankets and cannabis can support each other’s effects, making the experience that much more beneficial. There should be no contraindications to using the two together.
Tips for Using Weighted Blankets and Cannabis
- Make sure you are in the right frame of mind to unwind and fully immerse yourself in the experience.
- Clear your schedule and reduce distractions.
- Take a few moments to prepare your environment. Find a comfortable spot, use low light, play soothing music, and set yourself up with something (stress-free) that you enjoy doing.
- Take the time to meditate, focus on yourself, and think positive thoughts.
- Remain centered and in a state of calm awareness.
Types of Cannabis and Their Effects
Cannabis can be used for medical purposes or for recreation only. It is important to know the difference between the different types of cannabis available and their effects.
In stores selling cannabis you will normally find two different forms of the drug available: the dry flower (or bud) and cannabis oil extracts.
- The main active ingredient in the dry flower is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which causes relaxation, reduced aggression, and an altered state of being. THC has been shown to be useful in treating for the side effects of chemotherapy, nausea, chronic pain, inflammation, and digestion difficulties.
- The main active ingredient in cannabis oil extracts is CBD (cannabidiol). It does not create a psychoactive effect, which means when you use it you will notice relief of symptoms without any difference in your cognitive abilities. It is useful for many of the same types of ailments as THC.
What is the Right Size and Weight of Blanket for You?
Choosing the right weight and size for your weighted blanket is very important. At Hippo Hug, we can fully customize your blanket to meet your exact needs. Research indicates that from 5 to 15% of body weight is the ideal range for a weighted blanket, however we find that most prefer towards the higher end of the scale. We are happy to lend you a blanket to try out purchase so you can make sure you will absolutely love your purchase. Contact us to start the conversation about how your blanket will change your life.