Floating High; Incorporating Cannabis
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
Some people come right out and ask, others will pose their question as a hypothetical in the form of ‘asking for a friend’. I’m sure there are many others who think it, but don’t speak up. So let’s light it up!
Cannabis is associated with floating for a variety reasons. Cannabis is often used for relaxation, and it’s common to want to combine your relaxation practices. Floating pairs well with yoga, exercise, music and guided meditation, so why not weed? Some use cannabis for medical ailments like inflammation, arthritis, anxiety, sleep, and pain, which are also common reasons to seek out floating.
There's a big overlap in the demographics of cannabis users, and floaters.
On October 17th, 2018 cannabis became legal in Canada. The perception is changing about who a cannabis user 'is', but there’s plenty of deep seeded societal guilt and shame attached to the notion of “drugs”. Only a year and a half later, cannabis stores have been deemed 'essential' amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shopping for cannabis isn’t much different than tea. Each product has unique properties with witty names and visually appealing packaging. You tell the staff about your needs, or the occasion you’re celebrating, and they’ll help you find the product right for you. It’s commonly accepted that peppermint calms an upset stomach, and chamomile will help you sleep likewise, cannabis offers it's own benefits. Cannabis has been illegal for the last 100 years, but it was only 100 years before that that tea was the subject of political up rise.
There are countless supplements, over the counter and prescription pharmaceuticals that will affect your mind and body, and therefore your float. All of these are ‘drugs’. Other plant based enhancements include Kava Kava, 5HTP, CBD, and many more. Caffeine and alcohol, on the contrary, are stimulants and will prevent you from achieving deep relaxation in the float tank.
If you have a relationship with cannabis you probably already know how the various strains affect you. If you don’t have a relationship with cannabis, you should start there. Consult your local budtender and experiment to find a strain and consumption medium that works for you. If you are reading this locally, I refer to you Spiritleaf, with the disclaimer that Devon, one half of oGoFloat works there as a budtender.
Your first float(s) should be completely free of any and all intoxicants or stimulants. Go in completely clear and adapt to the weightless environment from a baseline state. When you come for your first float there’s a fair amount of information to absorb. We expect you to be in a state that allows you to retain that information. The great thing about floating is that you only need to learn how to do it once, and from there it’s all practice. Figure out how you feel in a float tank before adding elements to it, whether it’s tools, music, or cannabis.
After you’ve developed an independent relationship with both cannabis and with floating, you may want to combine the two. Here are my recommendations for that scenario.
1) Start Small. Depending on your transmission route of choice and tolerance level, have a puff, or a nibble prior to your float. Observe any changes to your mental or emotional state, or physical sensations. Use the heightened awareness to really dial into how you feel. Take notes afterwards; write a letter to future you with suggestions for next time.
2) Choose Mindfully. Avoid strains that cause dry mouth, anxiety, paranoia; aim for comfortable, creative, and curious.
3) Ask Questions. I recommend talking to your float host about your intentions. I assure you, the person hosting your float has heard it all. I can only speak to our float studio’s policies based on our values, experiences, and laws. Go ahead and ask everything you need to to feel safe in the space. This speaks to the ‘set and setting’ aspect of therapeutic substance use.
Above all, #PracticeSafeSalt. Consume responsibly and plan a safe way home. We will refuse service to anyone we suspect is overtly intoxicated. This is not a place for tripping balls for entertainment purposes, oGoFloat is a sanctuary for healing, mental clarity, and consciousness exploration. Respect for fellow floaters and the space is non-negotiable.
Risks include, dizziness, nausea, paranoia, panic, confusion. The same can be said for anything you put in your body, including the food you consume before your float. Choose it mindfully.
You don’t need substances to have truly amazing experiences in a float tank. In fact, the more nothing you can incorporate the better. The float tank is a beautiful environment that induces supreme relaxation, serenity, and euphoria. There are reports of people achieving very trippy states and lucid dreaming in the float tank without any added chemicals. Other ways you can play and experiment within your float practice are extended floats, guided meditations, binaural beats, or healing frequencies.
Some of you are thinking beyond cannabis - what about psilocybin, LSD, DMT, MDNA, ketamine? These substances have shown promising results in clinical studies with patients with anxiety, depression, addiction, cluster headaches – the list goes on. We look forward to a not so distant future where advancements in medicine and law change how we interact with plant medicines. However, we are not a medically supervised treatment facility and cannot provide any support with these substances and refer you to suggestion #3 above.