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While some individuals find their lifelong partner early on, most adults go through multiple romantic relationships in life. In my view, exploring different partners before settling down is the right approach, as it adds variety and helps identify what truly suits you.
However, love carries emotional risks, and with multiple relationships comes the likelihood of experiencing numerous breakups. Breaking up is a challenging milestone, unique to each couple and complicated by personal baggage.
Dealing with a breakup in a healthy way is essential, as relying on alcohol and casual encounters only offers temporary relief. Alternatively, cannabis can provide natural benefits to physical and mental health during the aftermath of a breakup.
Consider these insights for your own future breakups or share them with friends struggling with their newfound single status.
Firstly, it's important to note that cannabis affects individuals uniquely due to genetic variations in their endocannabinoid system. This system controls how cannabinoids are processed in our bodies and plays a role in regulating mood and happiness. However, cannabis can also have a significant correlation with depression, which is relevant for those dealing with post-breakup feelings.
For more information on how the endocannabinoid system can impact one’s brain and mood, see this article that walks through how cannabis can be used to alter mood and actually combat depression.
As everyone's endocannabinoid system is different, individuals will react differently to various cannabis strains.
Related article: Newsflash: Weed Affects Different People, Differently
In my opinion, despite the potential confusion among users, there is something beautiful about it - each person's cannabis experience is unique to them in that moment.
Whether it's the specific strain or terpene profile, the impact will be specific to the individual and may not match someone else's experience. This understanding is important when considering my recommendations or reading weed strain reviews in general.
It's crucial to take others' experiences with a grain of salt and rely on your own experiences as your guide. Especially after a breakup, it's important to attentively listen to your body and mind. Instead of solely seeking immediate gratification, focus on what will uplift you in the long run.
I mention the term “terpene profile” above, which refers to the unique flavors and aromas of a particular cannabis strain. For more information on terpenes, check out my introduction to this topic here.
Cannabis can help to replace the pleasure signals that you normally would receive through close physical touch.
Ok, so this point relies on some scientific backing, but hear me out - this is worth knowing!
As we go about our lives and interact with other people, our brains create specific molecules to match the situation. For example, when we are falling in love or even just cuddling with someone we feel close to, our brains produce a molecule called oxytocin, also known as “the love molecule”. Recently, scientists have done research on the way that oxytocin functions within the human body and have discovered that when oxytocin is released, another molecule is produced called anandamide (the bliss molecule). Scientists are actually relating this molecule to feelings that are commonly experienced when people smoke marijuana; in fact, it is the same receptors in the brain that consume oxytocin, anandamide, and exogenous cannabinoids. The sheer act of consuming cannabis has also been linked to a release of oxytocin in the brain.
For this reason, it is scientifically sound that someone who recently has gone through a social transition that would impact the amount of oxytocin they are receiving due to a sudden reduction in cuddling, sex, and other intimate touch, then that person could supplement these chemicals with the cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant.
Recently, as of 2019, CBD has taken the country by storm. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, essentially providing a healing quality without the risk of getting a user “high” like THC does. Even many people who were formerly anti-cannabis are coming to terms with the fact that CBD can aid people suffering from a number of ailments, including anxiety. There are also a number of scientific reports linking CBD to a reduction of anxiety.
Let's face it, a breakup can trigger anxiety. Society often promotes the idea that being in a relationship is better than being single, so when a relationship ends, uncertainty and self-doubt can arise. It's common to obsess over questions like what went wrong and whether you're to blame. This can also impact your self-worth temporarily.
During this time, it's important to be kind to yourself and find ways to reduce anxiety. For some people, cannabis can provide a sense of calm and help them accept their current situation without fear or the desire to escape.
From experience, I know that one of the most difficult moments to get through post-breakup is sleeping without your partner, particularly if you had been living or frequently sleeping over with your former partner. It can be particularly jarring to look into the space where you expect your partner to be and just see a laptop and a pile of unfolded clothes (not exactly reassuring!). The last time I ended a serious relationship, before meeting my husband, I couldn’t bear to fall asleep without my former partner and my sleep suffered as a result, leading to increased levels of fatigue that impacted my ability to study and go to class as well as work. Sleep is one of the most important ways to take care of yourself, so any loss of sleep is not anything to scoff at.
Cannabis, particularly indica strains, have been shown to help people with sleep issues or even insomnia fall asleep. All you need to do is smoke or ingest an indica cannabis product within an hour before your intended sleep time and you will be counting Serta lambs in no time.
Cannabis allows you to look at a situation and see it for what it is, without feeling as prickly or crippled by the pain.
When any relationship ends, romantic or not, our own personal identity shifts. With the end of a relationship, we lose the part of ourselves who had been invested in that prior relationship.
The end of a romantic relationship can bring a grief similar to losing someone close to us. It involves mourning not only the person but also the version of ourselves that existed with them. Taking time for introspection and self-discovery is important for moving forward. Cannabis use can aid in this process by revealing aspects of ourselves. While the idea of finding oneself may seem abstract, it is gaining attention in discussions about enlightenment, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence.
Personally, cannabis has helped me uncover my true self and overcome negative self-talk. Rediscovering oneself is relevant after a breakup and can provide clarity for future relationships. Remember, self-exploration takes time, so be patient and don't expect immediate answers.
Cannabis stimulates the release of natural serotonin in the brain, which can enhance your enjoyment of activities and help distract you from lingering sadness. It allows you to fully appreciate each moment, making it a valuable tool to add some positivity to the days following your breakup. In addition to cannabis, spending time with friends and family or engaging in laughter also triggers the release of natural serotonin.
So, I recommend inviting your buddies or close friends over for a fun activity like a Family Guy marathon (or anything that brings laughter). Don't feel guilty about it; it's part of your progress and establishing a fulfilling life separate from your former partner.
With increasing speed, cannabis users and performance experts are coming out to share evidence that cannabis can help to improve overall performance. For example, Ben Greenfield, a self-identified performance expert, has recently written an extensive article about how CBD can be used to improve performance throughout one’s life.
I have personally experienced the performance-enhancing effects of cannabis. In my case, I used cannabis as a substitute for alcohol, which not only improved my overall quality of life but also had a positive impact on my work performance. After making the switch, I was promoted and managed to lose 60 pounds.
If you were able to achieve your professional or personal goals, I know this would help you get on the right track, post-breakup.
Related article: How to Smoke Weed and Be Productive? 5 Top Tips
Really. This is one of my favorite externalities associated with consuming cannabis.
In college, I struggled with my weight and a toxic relationship. Instead of confronting my issues, I turned to alcohol as an escape, but it only offered temporary relief. However, when I used cannabis, I felt compelled to go to the gym and take care of myself. Cannabis had a positive impact on my mindset and motivated me to make healthier choices.
After a breakup, it is crucial to prioritize your overall health. The mind and body are interconnected, so taking care of your physical well-being can positively impact your mental health.
After considering the information above, you might be intrigued about using cannabis as a support during your breakup. If you're new to cannabis, you may wonder about the next steps. The first thing to consider is your preferred method of cannabis consumption and finding the right strain for the desired effect you seek.
To begin, identify your preferred method of consuming cannabis. If you're an experienced user, this may be straightforward, as you have your favorite glass pieces ready to go. However, for those new to cannabis, the multitude of options can be overwhelming (it's called the choice paradox!).
Luckily, MonroeBlvd has a great article that can walk you through the 7 most common ways that people typically smoke cannabis. Check it out here.
If you prefer non-smoking options, you can explore packaged cannabis pills, edibles (store-bought or homemade), or topical oils for application on your skin. The main difference between smoking and consuming edibles is the onset of effects. Smoking provides almost instantaneous results, while it may take 30-60 minutes to feel the full effects of edibles. Additionally, your tolerance may vary between smoking and eating cannabis. It's advisable to start with a small 5mg dose when trying edibles for the first time (standard cannabis edibles usually contain 10mg) and observe how your body reacts before adjusting the dosage.
Related article: 7 Differences Between Smoking Weed and Eating Edibles
After selecting your preferred consumption method, the next step is to find the best strain to suit your specific needs. If you're struggling with sleep issues, an indica strain would be recommended. On the other hand, if you're looking to alleviate anxiety, you might consider a high-CBD strain or a hybrid.
If you're unsure about which strain would be most suitable for you, I suggest being ready to openly discuss your desired outcome with the budtender at your local dispensary. They can provide valuable guidance and help you make an informed choice.
Here are my quick recommendations on how to find the best cannabis strain for you.
Cook your favorite meal, consume cannabis, and treat yourself to your favorite movie or show. Gnoochi and Game of Thrones, anyone?
Smoke and then take a walk in your local park. As my husband says, “look at green things - it makes you feel better”. Take pictures of your favorite spaces that bring you peace.
Smoke and then journal. Write for fun. Since you have just gone through a tough, potentially traumatic experience, challenge yourself to write about positive topics rather than dwelling on the negative.
Meditate. Yeah, yeah, yeah… everyone’s talking about meditation and it just seems like another thing we have to “fit” into our schedules along with healthy eating and exercise. However, meditation has proven scientific benefits to being beneficial for our brain chemistry. From personal experience, it can calm an ever-racing brain.
Regardless of how you decide to design your day around consuming cannabis, there are a few ground rules to keep in mind.
While cannabis is a mild intoxicant and not as intense as psychedelics, I like to coach others to follow some of the same rules that are encouraged with psychedelic use. Your set and setting are important prior to ingestion, meaning that for the best experience possible,
Do not put yourself in a situation where you will be tempted to break any laws.
It's crucial to identify a safe and legal place to smoke or ingest cannabis. While the idea of enjoying cannabis at the beach or in a serene natural setting might be tempting, be cautious as public consumption of cannabis is generally illegal, even in states where it is legalized.
Remember - you need wins right now! Don’t do something that will put your health and happiness (or wallet) at risk.
Despite focusing on your self-care, if you are still not feeling amazing, know that this is OK. Take the time to fully grieve, knowing that tomorrow will be a new day and a new opportunity to move forward. Don’t bury what you feel, rather; experience it and have faith that you will find peace and a new sense of normal in time.
Also, you need wins right now. This is not the time to fall in a rut; no, you need to build up from here. Yes, while we all want to look successful and competent in front of our exes, keeping yourself on the straight and narrow has nothing to do with your ex, but has everything to do with you. If you let yourself fall into bad habits a dark place, it’s possible that you will internalize this failure.
Try to remember that while you might be feeling pain now, the end of a relationship is also the beginning of your next adventure. Focus on the good things that are going to come your way and be grateful for what you are learning during this moment.
I hope that this article can provide some relief in a moment of pain. Hang in there, we’re all rooting for you.
Stay toasty my friends...