Editor’s Note: “Cannabis is a Psychedelic” is the first of what I hope will blossom into numerous personal accounts of spiritual experiences and learnings with cannabis. This one indicates the power of the plant and the need for understanding how to channel that power and how to bring the experiences back into the daily walk. I met the author of the piece at a talk I was giving on Cannabis and Spirituality. He approached me after the talk and said that he’d had some deep spiritual openings with the help of cannabis. I invited him to send me a written description. As follows . . .
A Youthful Epiphany
Cannabis was the first psychoactive substance I ever tried, even before alcohol. My first experience with the plant was one of the most psychedelic experiences I’ve ever had. Cannabis showed me potentials within me that no adult in my life at the time could have ever touched upon. It awakened me to the angles of consciousness that schools and many religious institutions fail to articulate. This was a very significant and symbolic moment in my life as I was coming of age. I was 14 at the time and I’m less than a month away from my 30th birthday as I write this.
Only in hindsight have I figured out some more angles of what transpired for the couple months that followed my first try with cannabis as the experience opened up and hit a level of mysticism that none of my peers, nor anyone else I’ve ever met or heard from has talked about. I would go in to the furnace room of my mother’s house with my pipe and in complete darkness and silence I would smoke a small leaf from the plant, effectively microdosing as I experimented with cannabis, not knowing at the time that this synced up perfectly for my experience.
When I did this I would experience vivid visions, always in the very centre of my visual frame, that would blossom toward my peripheries in all directions, in a three dimensional, metallic green with multicoloured hints and tetrahedron-like fractal patterns. It was extremely euphoric at the time though it subsequently slowly lost it’s effectiveness as my usage became heavier over the months. The visuals would only come on for several seconds before subsiding, in which case I could take another hit and repeat this experience. I didn’t think too much of these experiences at the time, having only mentioned it to a couple friends to be met with confused looks and not much interest.
As the years went by and I went on to experiment with other substances, I lost sight of these experiences, as it didn’t seem to play in to any other part of my life. I ended up being turned on to Kabbahlism alongside my mother and brother as my first taste of spirituality since my parents didn’t adhere to any religious background despite both coming from Christian parents. I had always known myself to be more perceptively and physically sensitive and imaginative than the average person, which is likely why I never quite succeeded in school and ultimately grew in to being a much more spiritually inclined individual as my gifted nature began to reveal itself to me as I evolved. I’ve since come to realize and understand my own intuitive capacities to some extent as I’ve had countless intuitive insights and revelations of sorts.
As I worked on transcending my ego and grew out of Kabbahlistic philosophies, I happened to be introduced to the Tao and many mind body practices that have been historically linked to it’s ways. This is where things became truly fascinating. I was turned on to kung fu, tai chi, dietary wisdom, meditation, deeper philosophy and Eastern logic, stretching and yoga. But what ultimately resonated with me was the breathing practices. Having worked to unfreeze my diaphragm, loosen it up and free more blockages and inflammation within the lower gut, my relationship to both my breath and to cannabis started to shift and sync. Slowly I began to notice how it was catching my attention in a new and subtle way, distracting me from the external by seducing me to look more internally as new sensations precipitated out of my experience.
The Power of Breath
One day I was vapourizing cannabis and had instinctually started playing with my breath. I held a particular breath and felt something I had never felt before: an unmistakable power that came on slowly and built in intensity. I liken this to feeling like a freight train was barreling towards me from another dimension. As I would release my breath, a massive wave of energy soared to my head and there were the vivid fractal patterns again, although this time it came with a much stronger sensory overload combined with a wave of brief numbing disassociation from my body. I’ve subsequently learned how to do this without cannabis in my system, although the experience has since evolved. It’s something that I try not to play around with too much as I’m aware that I’m not entirely sure what I could be playing with here.
This is the basis of my experiences and there are other anecdotal mystical offshoot experiences I’ve had with cannabis that I could write about. I can’t help but feel this is related to some of the things talked about in your book, Cannabis and Spirituality. Let me know what you think of my writing/experience. I’ve had a fair amount of insights that go along with this but I hesitate to spell it all out on account of how deep and intense this all appears to be to me.
Thanks for your time Stephen,