Written by John Selby
Cannabis is a powerful psychological force that can evoke transformation for couples who choose to get high together. So, how does grass alter the ways in which we relate with our intimate friends? Is this alteration a plus or a minus in terms of intimacy and relationship sustainability? And specifically, how can two people safely and enjoyably tap the benefits of sharing cannabis together so that they boost both pleasure and intimacy while high?
Two generations ago, only the far fringe of our culture was using cannabis. Now studies show that more than 12 million American couples use cannabis together, with 10 million more expected to join in by 2021. Hundreds of new texts teach us how to raise, sell, cook and ingest this powerful herbal additive—but very few books offer couples professional insight, information or advice for successfully using cannabis for intimate relating.
Studies have documented that enthusiasts use cannabis to relax, relieve pain, enjoy life and explore new realms of relating—it often acts as a social lubricant, a creative enhancer, a meditative aid and a sexual stimulant. But there can also be downsides to the cannabis high. Cannabis, especially strong strains, needs to be approached as a mild psychedelic that carries significant power to impact a relationship. Couples will want to engage the muse of cannabis wisely and mindfully in order to reap its multidimensional benefits.
The early psychedelic pioneer Dr. Humphry Osmond, with whom this writer had the privilege of working in research settings, often pointed out that everyone who gets high is asking for the invisible muse of cannabis to come and tap them with its magic wand … and stimulate a transcendent inner experience. Osmond was also the first to point out that our current “set and setting” will strongly determine the level of heartfelt sharing that can develop when high.
Mundane life can be repetitive and uneventful, so most of us seek periodic moments of transcendence. When high, either alone or with a friend, the thinking and scheming and worrying mind drops away temporarily, and we’re set free to expand our consciousness into new ethereal realms. We experience a sudden shift in consciousness that can lead us into either solitary inner realms or expansive interactions where we include another person in our intimate grass bubble.
Here are several things you can remember to do when high together, to steadily enhance your intimate experience.
First of all, just before you get high with your lover, take just ten breaths where both of you simply “do nothing” but exist together, sharing the same space, the same air and the same intention to get high and explore your relationship. You also might find it valuable to talk with each other about how you’re feeling just before you get high, and what you might do when high. Pause and tune in to each other’s presence.
And then as you partake of your preferred cannabis concoction, repeat this step consciously, relaxing and enjoying the act of sharing the ritual herb. Rather than rushing through a habitual intake phase, stay aware of each moment so that you’re in an optimum mindset to enter into the universe of cannabis delights together.
Much has been said about the value of being mindful in life, and nowhere is this more important than when you’re actually altering your mindstate. You’re taking grass to induce a desired shift in consciousness together, so do your best to remain fully aware of the changes that begin to impact your inner experience.
There seem to be seven different types of experience that are usually induced when we get high together. For instance, after the first wild rush of THC hits the brain, couples tend to spend ten or fifteen minutes in a high chatty buzz. Great insights and sharing, and also considerable emotional release and healing, can occur during this initial “talking phase” of a shared high. But it’s vital to stay aware and notice when you’re talking too much and failing to give your partner an equal amount of time to express their own feelings and ideas.
At some point, most couples then experience an inner “pop”’ as they snap out of the chat phase happening in their heads and into a perceptual mindset where sensations become dominant. Many people say they actually experience an inner snap and that thoughts then drop away as sensations rise to the fore. When both you and your partner experience this shift at around the same time, you can both go deeply into all the sights and sounds around you. Mundane objects become beautiful and significant, your ears come alive with the sound of crickets, music, a breeze rustling the green leaves in a backyard tree…
You can either get lost in your own sensory experience or mindfully remember to stay tuned in to the experience of your friend so that you’re sharing heartfelt communion not only with nature, but also with the physical presence of your lover. Your awareness when high can either expand or contract in this regard. If you observe the meandering of your focus of attention, moment to moment, you can actively choose where you want to flow when high.
And, of course, once you tune in to your senses and the pure pleasure of being immersed in feeling and sensation, you’re probably going to drop deeply into your own body at some point—and this will often lead to one of the most important effects of grass … sexual engagement and intimate relating. Again, you can either get caught up in old intimacy habits and intercourse patterns or remember to pause together … just be together, and let the muse of cannabis spontaneously guide you into a totally new erogenous experience with your lover.
Afterward, you’ll find that taking time to talk openly about this shared process will add considerably to the experience you’re having. Every couple develops their own personal habits of relating as the cannabis muse begins to take effect. And after the first hour or so of intensity, cannabis can also help you and your friend quietly explore deep topics that don’t otherwise rise up to the surface of your discourse—you can openly share feelings and memories, imaginations and visions that will help nurture a lasting involvement.
In working with couples in therapy, I’ve found that when approached mindfully, the sharing of the cannabis high on a fairly regular basis can help to open up a seemingly endless adventure into all the subtle realms of intimacy. You might find yourselves ending a grass session quietly meditating together, listening to music, taking a walk, cooking a great meal—what’s important is learning, step by step, to maintain a part of your awareness as a witness that lovingly reminds you, over and over, to aim your “high attention” in directions that both of you deeply value and enjoy. It’s always new—always new!
Toward the higher good!