wWhy are millions of Americans turning to medical cannabis? Research shows that cannabis helps relieve the symptoms of dozens of illnesses, such as Crohn’s disease, seizures, migranes, and cancer. Cannabis can also help with stress, anxiety, and severe pain. A recent study of patients using cannabidiol shows that nearly 50% stopped taking pharmaceutical medications altogether.
The main reason? Medicating with cannabis improves overall quality of life.
It’s helpful to set an intention for your cannabis treatment program. An intention is a goal that you set for yourself. It can help you guide your treatment plan and bring a sense of focus to your cannabis use.
Consider the role of cannabis in your life and in your self-care plan. Are you currently inhibited from living your life to the fullest because of an illness or symptoms? Then you may want to set an intention that aligns with how your illness disrupts your life. For example, “I want to reduce my pain.” “I want to sleep better.” “I want to regain the will to eat.” Cannabis has been shown to help reduce symptoms that decrease quality of life. By eating better, sleeping better, and feeling relaxed, uplifted, and free of pain, the world is your oyster!
In addition to symptom-specific goals, you may have lifestyle goals that medicating with cannabis helps you achieve. For example, “I want to keep my job,” if your pain is getting in the way of work, or “I want to begin working again,” after years of suffering from chronic illness. Perhaps the goal is to get along better with family or your partner, and cannabis can help you be more present by providing relief.
This is where creating a treatment intention can help. That means understanding how cannabis affects you and how to mitigate side effects, choosing the right strain, ensuring your day and night care treatment program is optimal, and setting the correct dosage and ingestion method.
6 Simple Steps to Create a Treatment Intention
1. Consider where in your life you are looking for improvement.
Think about the one thing that would make a difference to your day. Is it sleeping better? Eating without vomiting? Being able to wind down after a hard day? Or simply living without pain for even an hour?
You can choose one intention or many. Start with one activity that seems reachable for now, like taking a walk before going to work; participating in a weekly or monthly community event; or taking ten minutes to meditate before you go to bed at night. Intentions can also include non-tangible goals, like remembering to thank your relatives or friends for their help or practicing gratitude.
2. Start small.
Find one way you can incorporate this goal into your life, and build it into your schedule. It helps to attach your activity to a time of day – morning, evening, or night – so that you build it into your routine. Take some time for yourself away from your family after dinner, or if you have been at home all day go outside and strike up a conversation at the grocery store.
3. Come up with a plan that incorporates your medication.
It’s important to make this part of your life and integrate it with cannabis use so that your medicating process is being done in order to achieve the goal in mind. If you’d like to go to work without being bothered by PTSD, consider how you can micro-dose with cannabis in the morning, or use a mild strain like Midnight to help you focus during the day.
4. Ask for help.
You are not alone. Create a support system by sharing your intention with friends and family who can help keep you accountable to following through.
5. Keep a journal.
Record your goals, your cannabis use, and how your life is changing day by day with cannabis use. Do you feel more refreshed during the day with a proper night’s sleep? Are your relationships improving now that you are less tired during the day? Have you been able to maintain a healthy weight and eat more regularly?
Write down the ways you find cannabis helps, and what else you can do to complement your cannabis use, like other forms of therapy such as massage or acupuncture, changes in your diet or daily exercise. In consultation with your health practitioner, adjust your cannabis dosage based on these results.
6. Celebrate your successes!
No one is perfect. You may not practice your intention every day but Rome was not built in a day. Every day that you are able to notice a change in yourself is an improvement.
Want to share your treatment plan tips? Tweet us at @TikunOlamUSA and we’ll share our favorites!