Cannabis and Psychedelics: The Perfect Match? - Hoo Raa

The Perfect Match

Cannabis and Psychedelics: The Perfect Match?

The Perfect Match

Both cannabis and psychedelics alike have been buzzing around the wellness space over the last couple of years. With growing attention around their potential medical, social, and spiritual benefits – be that recreationally or beyond – the conversation has developed around taking them together. Would combining the individual effects heighten the experience to new levels?


But, what are they? 

First off, both cannabis and some psychedelic substances are naturally occurring. Depending on the particular strain or type of psychedelic, and their form factor, they have been known to affect the body differently. When consumed, they offer wildly different experiences. Cannabis interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to bring a ‘high’ that typically makes you more sociable, creative, open-minded, and relaxed; in short, it usually ‘amplifies’ your natural senses, emotions, and perceptions of things around you. Psychedelics, on the other hand, usually affect key hormones, and chemical neurotransmitters – such as serotonin, dopamine, and cortisol, (source) – that interact with neural pathways, making parts of your brain connect that typically don’t. This is also why, at higher doses, people tend to have audio/visual hallucinations.


Is it safe? 

Though both cannabis and some psychedelic substances are safe physically – largely depending on how they’re consumed (e.g. smoking cannabis is still harmful to the lungs) – the impact they have psychologically depends on many other variables. These include – though are not limited to – potency, frequency of use, the setting and environment in which they are taken, and the possibility of any underlying mental health issues that a user may have, making experiences vary massively from user to user. Therefore, the safety of these substances is subjective to the individual, and comes down largely to a user’s level of experience. 

There is no reason to believe that combining cannabis and psychedelics isn’t physiologically safe either. However, combining them can augment the entire experience depending on – for instance – the dose of psilocybin, and the strain of cannabis. High-THC cannabis generally makes the experience more intense, whilst simultaneously prolonging the duration of psychedelic effects. Whereas high-CBD cannabis typically takes the edge off the anxiety associated with psychedelics, and has much less impact on the psychedelic experience itself. (source) The effects of the psilocybin could also potentially increase the intensity, anxiety, and duration of the whole experience.

If you’re thinking of combining these substances yourself, first consider how much experience you have with both. We recommend having a number of positive and safe experiences with both substances first before considering combining them, and – perhaps more importantly – consider whether cannabis will add to or detract from your intention when taking psilocybin. 

How do you safely combine them? 

1: Try them separately first 

Before jumping headlong into an unpredictable psychedelic experience, we insist you ensure you have tried both cannabis and the psychedelic substance of your choice several times separately beforehand.


2: Choose the right strain 

When it comes to what strain of cannabis you use, this largely comes down to what experience you want to have, and how you want to alter your psychedelic experience. High Sativa strains can often induce feelings of raciness and anxiety, whereas high Indica strains are typically more sedative, producing a more distinct ‘body-high’. Both are usually high in THC, and as such are going to have an amplifying effect on the whole journey; CBD-rich products are much more likely to mellow you out, and take the edge off without ramping up the experience. 


3: Know where you are

After taking your preferred psychedelic substance, wait through the onset period until you reach a point of stability before adding cannabis. It is crucial to mention: if you consume high-THC cannabis, even towards the end of your trip, you are likely to be sent back into a full-blown trip, often increasing the intensity and the duration of the whole experience. Keep this in mind as you may just want the experience to end rather than loop back to the beginning. 


4: Practise harm reduction 

Due to the impact these substances have on a person’s perception and motor function, it’s very important that you follow some simple harm reduction techniques to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.

  • Avoid operating machinery or driving any vehicles.
  • Consider being somewhere open, quiet, and tranquil (like a park or the countryside).
  • Make sure you and any other would-be ‘trippers’ are likely to be in the best headspace possible. 
  • Have easy access to a handful of things that can change your focus if any anxious feelings creep in. These can include cameras, drawing pads, instruments, or any other personal or creative items.
  • Be amongst good company that you know you can trust. It makes you feel safe and comfortable. 
  • And most importantly, have a trip-sitter present. They will act as your sober, and therefore, rational, calm, and comforting support should you dip into having a bad trip.


Final thoughts

To finish up, we cannot iterate enough how important that you carry out your own research. When it comes to dosing, setting, company, and everything in between, it all comes down to the individual, and the experience you’re setting out to achieve. You don’t need to take a hero dose of psilocybin, and high-THC cannabis because someone in your company has. This experience is highly personable, and needs to be fit to individual limits and levels of experience. So what if you’re only doing a microdose? If that’s what you feel is right for you, then go for it! As long as you take it one step at a time and make sure to follow our safety guide above, you can make sure your own personal journey is as enjoyable and safe as possible. 

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