With the rise of photoshopped ads in beauty advertising and filtered social media posts, checking yourself out in the mirror #nofilter can sometimes induce a negative effect on self-esteem and confidence.  In a time where many of us measure our self worth by “how many likes we get” (or don’t get) on a post, instant access to external appreciation has robbed many of us of our innate ability to find love for ourselves from within; triggering loneliness and depression.

In a recent study of 5000 people at the University of Kentucky showed that those who smoked cannabis regularly were able to separate their loneliness from both their mental health and feelings of social acceptance. Regular cannabis use can also help diminish the dooming effects of depression, anxiety and stress which are major contributors to the lack of confidence that leads to being hard on ourselves. Cannabis can be an amazing tool used to find a healthy way to cultivate self love, casting out our judgmental minds and replacing them with acceptance.

It doesn’t matter if we’re smoking, ingesting edibles or even just taking a dropper of tincture daily, cannabis can be a valuable tool in the difficult process of learning to accept ourselves for who we are and teach us to love the skin we’re in. Meghan Waltstatter, a founder of dispensary Pure Green in Portland, OR, has spoken out about her ability to use cannabis to accept her beautiful curvy body and love herself despite the very abrasive societal pressures to look like a Victoria’s Secret model. She cites that depression, anxiety and stress are leading contributors to body issues and the use of cannabis to relieve these concepts and learn to accept ourselves which will eventually lead to a regular practice of truthful self love.

Now, when we talk about using this herbal tool for healing our harsh negativities that we apply to ourselves, it isn’t as easy as just hitting a bowl and watching a movie.

In order to become an avid lover of oneself using cannabis it is imperative to send an intention before medicating.

It is most wise to take a moment of quiet thought or for those more inclined, participate in a meditation designed to focus in the mind on the task at hand. It is absolutely crucial to set an intention with the plant when using it to see the beautiful nature within ourselves and then after a deep breath or so take a rip, eat your edible or dab your wax. Have a bath prepared, or light candle around the bedroom and bring your favorite guilty pleasure book into bed for some comfortable alone time. Or perhaps turn on your most favorite song and just dance your heart out all alone in your underwear During this time of intentional elevated bliss it is crucial that we create a space for ourselves that is comfortable while also setting the stage for personal growth and then just enjoy the heck out of that space.

I use cannabis both for my anxiety and depression and I find that it comes in handy when I’m having a monumental panic attack from stress coupled with those problems. In times of serious anxiety cannabis can help me to buffer my mind from going too deep into negative, self loathing trains of thought that are so common to these ailments. Depending on the day those are totally the examples that I use (ie: dancing in my underwear or reading a book) but I think that yoga and cannabis paired together can be extremely valuable in practicing self love. What do you like to do when it’s time to appreciate yourself? Share in the comments. <3