Connecting to nature with cannabis and forest bathing

Published May 23, 2023 01:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / Lukasz Szmigiel

As health and wellness move to the forefront of our minds ancient practices and traditions like forest bathing have quickly become a popular all-natural therapeutic tool for many all around the world. With a combination of fresh air, lush growth, and cannabis, you’ve got a potent immersive experience that’s sure to enhance the highs while delivering a vast range of unique health benefits.

In recent years, the Japanese practice of "forest bathing" has gained popularity for its many health benefits. The practice, which is also known as Shinrin-yoku, involves spending time in a forest or natural environment, immersing oneself in the surroundings, and breathing in the fresh air. Combining cannabis with forest bathing can enhance the experience and provide additional health benefits.

What is forest bathing?

The Japanese wellness practice of forest bathing also known as Shinrin-yoku evolved in the 1980s as a way to reconnect, unwind, and simply be in a natural environment without a specific plan, activity, or destination in mind. This experience stimulates all of the senses in a way that’s calming, stress relieving, and overall good for both physical and mental health.

There’s science behind why this method works so well, with recent studies confirming its potential to improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and balance cortisol levels, putting consumers in an overall better mood, and the benefits of the practice are even greater when you add cannabis to the mix.

The benefits of combining cannabis with forest bathing

Using cannabis while forest bathing is sure to enhance the experience and amplify the benefits to create a whole new kind of therapeutic adventure. Here are five amazing benefits of this powerful combination.

1. Less stress

One of the biggest benefits of forest bathing is that it helps to melt away stress and lower anxiety levels some that cannabis is also known to do. Cannabinoids deliver anxiolytic effects amplifying the soothing experience of forest bathing by calming the mind and body.

2. Enhance the senses

Forest bathing is a great way to get in touch with your inner thoughts and feelings while soaking in the sights, sounds, and feel of fresh greenery, wildlife, and sunshine. Enhance this sensory experience with cannabis as it heightens all of the senses, making colors, smells, and sounds seem much more vibrant and vivid.

3. Mood boost

Many enjoy the way forest bathing helps to put us in a much better mood mainly because it’s relaxing and fresh air and sunlight deliver a boost that increases feelings of happiness by making us better both mentally and physically. Cannabis compounds like THC are known to offer similar effects with a touch of euphoric bliss.

4. Inspire creativity

Getting in touch with nature is a great way to clear the mind and boost creativity, something that cannabis is also notorious for offering. Combining the two enhances the effects and experience in a way that may lead to even an even greater chance of finding inspiration.

5. Relieve pain


Forest bathing has been shown to offer some pain relieving properties but for many in particular those with physical health issues, getting moving and out in nature may actually cause inflammation, aches, and discomfort. Luckily, adding cannabis to the experience can help to alleviate pain, and make recovering from the adventure faster.

Important safety tips

Combining these two incredible things can be a great way to enhance the experience, but it’s important for safety to remain a top priority. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Choose the right strain for the experience

Not all strains of cannabis are created equal when it comes to combining with forest bathing. Choose a strain that is known for its calming and relaxing effects, rather than one that is known for its energizing effects.

Start low and go slow

If you’re still relatively new to cannabis then it’s essential to start with a low dose and then you can slowly work your way up from there. Doing this will help you to avoid any potentially uncomfortable or unwanted side effects that could get in the way of you enjoying this time spent in nature.

Stay hydrated

Even when the temperatures outside are mild it doesn’t take long to dehydrate especially if you’re being physically active as most are when they partake in forest bathing. Cannabis is also known to make you feel thirsty, so it’s important to pack plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Nutritious food choices

It’s a good idea to eat a light healthy meal before forest bathing, so you’re not hit with hunger pains that are so often associated with both exercise and cannabis. You may also want to pack some healthy snacks like veggies or nuts to munch on just in case the munchies kick in while you’re out in the forest, as it’ll help to keep those energy levels high.

Be safe

Forest bathing with cannabis is an exciting experience but it’s crucial to remember basic outdoor safety trips if you want to have the best time possible. So stay on designated and clearly marked trail systems, follow all other local guidelines for the area you’re visiting, and when you can, bring a friend along for the journey.

Whether you're looking to reduce stress and anxiety, boost your mood, or tap into your creative side, layering the potent effects of cannabis with the soothing practice of forest is sure to enhance the experience making it one you won't soon forget.

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