by Dean Frankmore

Having established the basics of cannabis fitness, we now move on to cannabis psychotherapeutics; that is, using cannabis as a catalyst to modulate one’s mind, mood, and attitude. The term catalyst is especially important here, as it indicates the medicine is not a cure by itself, but rather an agent that hastens or facilitates whatever process the consumer intends, be it for purposes of medicine, recreation, enhancement, or some combination thereof.

To begin, we must first imagine the double helix structure of DNA, or better yet, Google Image the term “DNA” and take a good look at the array of cool blue images revealing this most instrumental particle of life and basic substance of our existence. For purposes herein, this elegant structure of nature will serve as a concrete visual model or symbol that represents the actual psychological process that occurs when we ingest cannabis.

Very simply, it works like this:

First, in looking at the twisted ladder structure of the double helix, we will think of one side or strand of the ladder as representing ordinary consciousness, and the other side or strand as representing cannabis consciousness. Second, we will think of the steps connecting the two strands of the double helix as bridges that link the two states of consciousness. Then, in our moving from one state of consciousness to the other, we can think of ourselves as crossing, or even making, one of these bridges.

Double-Helix-DNA_webFinally, with this double helix model in mind, we can see that in our traveling back and forth between ordinary consciousness and cannabis consciousness, that these two states of mind—which are different but complementary ways of perceiving, being, and acting in the world—inform and guide each other.

Again, the basic idea is that in moving back and forth from ordinary consciousness to cannabis consciousness, there is an exchange of perspective and knowledge between the two states of mind, an ongoing negotiation of experience and information, if you will. Thus in this process, the two states of consciousness grow and evolve together and ultimately integrate their understanding of each other, so as to foster a more whole and consistent sense of self.

In practice, this double helix model of cannabis psychotherapeutics is not unlike Schiffer’s clinical approach based on dual-brain psychology (see Marquee Vol. 2, Issue 5). Basically it involves getting the two sides—whether those two sides are seen as right and left minds or, as in this case, ordinary and cannabis consciousness—to see, understand, and help each other. The point is to establish a dialogue and mutually supportive atmosphere between these two unique and complementary states of mind. Also, as in Schiffer’s approach, neither state of mind is considered better than the other, as each may have its strengths and weaknesses, areas in need of perceptual modification and maturation.

Built upon the foundations of cannabis fitness, the double helix model of cannabis psychotherapy may be applied and practiced with varying degrees of formality, depending on individual tastes and needs. Adding some sort of outside counseling/assistance to this therapeutic process may be warranted and can only further the psychological health of both self and society. 

A philosopher/explorer at heart, Dean enjoys traveling the world in both directions from his permanent base camp in Manitou. For more, go to
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