optimal cannabis dosage, martin w. ball

The Secret to Optimal Cannabis Dosage

The secret to optimal cannabis dosage for spiritual work is (cue the drumroll) . . .  there is no secret. Okay, that’s not quite true or I wouldn’t have bothered writing this post. There are some factors worth thinking about and some useable, flexible guidelines.

For starters, the rather obvious truth is that everyone is different. Then there are the variety of uses. If you’re reading this you probably know that the focus of the Cannabis and Spirituality project is the effective use of cannabis as a spiritual ally. With that general intention in mind, the closest thing to a secret when it comes to dosage is this. For seekers of wisdom, for uncovering reality, the appropriate dosage is the amount you can stay present with (more or less) and not lose yourself in the obscuring, obsessive chatter of the monkey mind and/or fear and intense discomfort.

A Shifting Allegiance

The herb enables one to see one’s true self. – Leonard E. Barrett Sr. (1)

Whether it’s with silent bare-attention type meditation or more form-based practices like visualization, chant, or yoga, for the purpose of generating the divine within, the most effective general guideline is to relax into a “thoughts free” state as much as possible. You can’t get ambitious and aggressive with yourself about that though. It’s a process of softening, letting things be what they are, gradually (for most of us) learning to slow down the speed of the mind body and relax the struggle that Buddhist teachings say is the hallmark of the illusionary ego. Wisdom teachings like these tell us that over time we can shift our allegiance from the limiting narratives of that self-protective ego to the unconditioned awakened state.

Less is More, More is More

Cannabis is a “non-specific amplifier”. She can take you farther down whatever road your intention and attention are pointing you toward. As she enhances sensory perception, helps relieve pain, stimulates creative ideation and so on, so can she enter us deeply into the now if we give her our full, non-thought attention.

What does this have to do with dosage you may ask? Well, again, it’s different for each person and at different times in different conditions. Here are some thoughts for food.

A light dosage can gently relax the mind and body and make it a little easier to meditate and do other spiritual practices. Some wisdom elders of spiritual use of cannabis say that sometimes less is more. But some of those same guides have said that at other times more is more. In other words, if you can stay present and relax into the amplified energy, a strong dosage can take you into deep, heart and mind opening presence.

Some people can smoke a boatload of the sacred herb and still remain present. For many of us lesser mortals however, working up to larger doses is the likely way to go. My suggestion is to take your time and make it a long term project. You are the scientist and you are the subject. If possible, find a strain you like and stick with it so you have some reliable point of comparison. With the high potency bud around now, and especially if you’re less experienced or particularly sensitive, it may be best to start with one toke and see how that goes for meditative work. If that’s easy, you might then gradually work your way up to larger doses and keep expanding that frontier.

Drinking the Nectar of Wisdom

Look past your thoughts so you may drink the pure nectar of this moment. – Rumi (2)

For the most powerful and effective experience, the guides say that stillness is essential. The noise of the thinking mind obscures the divine within. By stillness I mean inner stillness. People can find stillness in movement too. But the purest kind of stillness is, I think, to be found when the body is also still. The more you have to call on the thinking mind to do something, the more likely you’ll create some noise interference. That’s a general guideline and as always, each of us is the researcher and we have to find out for ourselves.



1. Leonard E. Barrett Sr., The Rastafarians, Beacon Press, Boston, 1997

2. Jelaluddin Rumi, quoted at http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/875661.Rumi

* Fractal art image by Martin W. Ball

3 replies
  1. Becca
    Becca says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post Stephen! And as a reminder … through the thick-and-thin of a cannabis ‘journey’ in my experience it’s vital to anchor it with breath work always-all-the-time!



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