If you’ve ever tried psychedelics, you might have heard the term “set and setting” at some point.
Short for “mindset and setting,” “set and setting” refers to the physical, social, and psychological settings in which you have your experience.
The idea is that your frame of mind and your immediate environment can have a major effect on how you experience the drug, and the same can be said for cannabis consumption.
Depending on the person, strain, potency, and situation, cannabis can have widely varying effects on consumers, and learning to adjust your set and setting based on your needs is a vital component to curating your highs to match your desired intent.
7 Set and Settings for Your Next Cannabis High
Whether you utilize cannabis for medicinal purposes, productivity, relaxation, or anything in between, there are several ways to incorporate the plant into your life.
Your body, tolerance level, and of course set and setting, may cause cannabis to affect you very differently from one consumption session to the next, but here are a few ideas to get you thinking how you might plan out your high ahead of time and tailor it exactly to your liking:
1. How to Have an Energizing High
People are usually quick to associate cannabis with couchlock and excessive snacking, but cannabis can actually have an incredibly energizing and stimulating effect on you, if you know how to utilize it right.
First, you’ll want to pay close attention to the strain you’re selecting – particularly its terpene contents. Limonene and pinene are both recognized for their energizing effects, so strains like Durban Poison, Sour Diesel, or Green Crack are good options to check for.
To fully engage yourself in an energized mindset, consider your settings and make sure the vibes are right – surround yourself with the right friends, plan a fun activity, or eliminate distractions if you need to focus. Just make sure you won’t be driving under the influence at any point.
If you’re someone who likes to consume before working out, you’ll reap a ton of benefits from this energizing high. Sign up for that CrossFit, dance, or boxing class ahead of time so you’re ready to go.
Also, if you want to keep energies levels up, consider eating a healthy meal before getting high – not after. And don't forget to stay hydrated!
2. Using Cannabis for Depression Relief
If you’ve ever suffered from depression, you’re well aware how difficult the simplest task may feel in the moment, but if you can optimize your set and setting before your smoke session even in the slightest, it could make a difference in your results.
Opt for energizing and uplifting strains, like Jack Herer, Harlequin, or Blackberry Kush. Set yourself up in a comfortable environment – preferably at home, or surrounded by people who make you feel like you’re at home.
Pick your favorite method of consuming, grab some healthy snacks (junk food or added sugars could make your depression worse!), a queue of your favorite TV shows and films, and some nice candles – whatever helps you feel more like you when you need it most.
Conversely, you might like to have a puff and go outside for a reflective walk, fresh air, and sunshine.
If you’re experiencing chronic depression, please seek the guidance of a trained professional.
3. Using Cannabis for Anxiety Relief
Anxiety is one of the most common disorders among people today, and many people use cannabis to treat their symptoms. However, using cannabis to treat anxiety is walking a pretty fine line, as some strains may actually intensify your symptoms.
But don’t worry – as long as you know what to look out for, you can curate your experience to target your anxiety and really work with you rather than against you. Limonene, caryophyllene, and linalool are all recognized for their anxiolytic properties, so do your research and figure out which strains are highest in these terpenes, like Berry White, Lavender Kush, or Blue Dream (a personal favorite).
Fix your environment to reflect your desired mood: set up some painting/drawing supplies, pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea, put on some relaxing music, or do a yoga/meditation routine. Breathing exercises might also help. Maybe even take a day off work if you can.
4. Using Cannabis for a Creative High
One of the most common ways weed has been used historically is to fuel creativity. Much of our world’s art was inspired by the plant, including great works of literature and music.
There are quite a few strains recognized for their creativity boost abilities, but some of the most popular are: Super Silver Haze, Stardawg, and the iconic Purple Haze.
How you set yourself up for this high depends on your intention. If your art is your career, you’ll probably have a much more strategic approach for what you want to create.
However, if you’re using your day off to explore a new hobby and just want to let your creative juices flow, why not throw a little cannabis into the mix for added inspiration?
Whatever your plans are, make sure to set out the supplies you need, some water, snacks, background music maybe. The key is to eliminate distractions, and prep whatever else you need to keep you in the zone and fully committed to your creation.
5. Using Cannabis to Fight Insomnia
This one’s pretty straightforward: you’ve been tossing and turning for weeks, the bags under your eyes are starting to form bags of their own, and you just want to go to bed, damn it! Many consumers turn to cannabis to help ease insomnia and get a good night’s sleep.
You’ll need to be somewhat meticulous when selecting your products, as certain strains will give you an energy boost rather than calm you down. Linalool, caryophyllene, and terpinolene all seem to have sedative properties, so look out for strains like Ghost Train Haze, Northern Lights #5, Timewreck, or Master Kush.
If that sounds confusing, definitely acquaint yourself with the world of cannabis terpenes!
Cannabis itself will only get you so far, but there are ways to adjust your set and setting to encourage deep sleep. Turn off your screens (including your phone) at least 30 minutes before you lay down for bed. Make sure you’re in a dark, cool environment, wear your most comfortable pajamas (or sleep nude), and spray some lavender on your pillow.
6. How to Use Cannabis to Manifest
Maybe you’re at a point in your life where you want to manifest something, set a new goal, or move in a new direction. Utilizing cannabis to set your goals and map out a plan for yourself is a great way to move your plan forward.
While some more relaxing strains are associated with strong body effects and deep relaxation, others are noted for energizing, uplifting, mind-expanding effects. If you’re planning a motivational self-care day, turn to high-energy strains that promote focus like Lucid Blue, Red Congolese, or Super Lemon Haze.
For this high, you’ll likely want to be alone, or with your partner, friend, or business associate you’re building something with. Either way, pair your session with a fresh notebook, pens, and whatever else you need to brainstorm your plans.
Planning for the future can feel intimidating, but cannabis may help ease some of the pressure and allow you to look at things with a fresh, forgiving perspective.
You'll want to come back and review your cannabis-inspired notes and ideas the next day.
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