Five Minutes a Day: How journaling your cannabis experiences can help you find the strains that are right for you
When I first moved to California from New Jersey I was enamored by the cannabis industry.
I was immediately intrigued and later became passionate about the varieties of cannabis products, the differing methods of ingestion and the different experiences you might have while enjoying cannabis.
Of course cannabis is not like other consumables. It is complex and mind-altering, and it has a direct and sometimes immediate effect on your life. When you’re shopping at a dispensary or growing your own at home, it can be difficult to keep track of all the types of cannabis. And it can be especially difficult to remember how a certain strain or edible or extract made you feel after consuming it, too.
I encountered this issue within my first year in California, and I immediately learned that I needed a better way to track my experiences — while also making the information easy to read and more efficient. When I realized I couldn’t find any available materials that met my needs, I honed in on my educator skills and created a rubric.
The beauty of cannabis is that so many people use it to aid them in more ways than one. For me, cannabis helps monitor my anxiety and mood swings and it helps relieve pain when I am menstruating. It also allows me to be more social when I’m experiencing periods of high stress. After a few months of keeping track of the different varieties of cannabis I was trying, and then later experimenting with different methods like vaporizing or edibles, I was able to see my journey in a clearer light and better understand how my body and mind was reacting to this exquisite plant.
Here is a sample rubric that I encourage any cannabis aficionado to use. Feel free to subtract or add specific columns that fit your need or wants. The more this rubric is your own, the more helpful it will be.
Some things to note…
Intent: What is your objective, your why? How do you want to feel? Having an intention will give you more certainty or direction before journaling.
Strain or product name: The most important part of your five-minute journal entry! Without the documentation of the strain or product name, how will you remember what you consumed?
Consumption medium: Do you prefer vaping over smoking flowers? Dabbing or edibles? How we digest cannabis is just as important as the strain, so documenting how you consumed it is important as well.
Date purchased: This might not feel important, but in fact this is a great way to keep track of important life events. For example, I experience cannabis differently when I’m menstruating, so noting the date will give me better context for the future.
Flavor Notes: This section is for pure pleasure. Sometimes I just don’t like a strain because it tastes too bitter or metallic. Or perhaps you sensed some citrus that resonates with your taste buds. Unleash your inner sommelier.
Life Happenings: Did something huge happen in your life? Was your day extra-stressful at work? Did you just adopt a kitty? These are all important life happenings that will contribute to how you might react to any specific strain of cannabis.
Sensations: Describe in as much detail as you can muster how this strain makes you feel. What did you notice first? What was the overall feeling this strain gave you in your body? Was it more stimulating or relaxing? Did your thoughts speed up or slow down? This will help make better informed decisions in the future, depending on how you want to feel.
If you’ve never documented your experiences with cannabis then I highly recommend taking some time to describe your journey. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself at first. Start small maybe once or twice a week, then continue to make it a part of your cannabis adventure.