Welcome to Cancer Season, when flesh is free and your heart feels like it got run over by a 16-wheeler (Only me?). We’re in the deep end baby, swimming through the oceans of our soul, trying to keep our heads above water. Do things feel intense for you, perhaps more emotional than usual? Have you also found yourself crying as you take a hit from your joint or CBD vape, wondering what the hell’s wrong? I know I have! Yet as I try to navigate this emotional realm with honesty, my usual THC doesn’t seem to do the trick. I can’t help but wonder… is CBD the secret to surviving Cancer Season?
To figure this out, I talked to weed witch, cannabis queen, and LA-based writer and editor Marie Lodi Andreakos. With her reporting on cannabis around the web, and her own experiences as a beauty witch, Marie offers a valuable perspective and expertise on tackling the big questions. Like, what even is CBD?
“CBD is THC’s non-psychoactive cousin that will help you feel better without that stoney effect.” Marie explains. “It can help with pain, decrease stress and anxiety, and if you get too high from THC, it can bring you back down to earth. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory effects, which helps with not only pain and soreness, but has been known to help improve skin issues, too.”
CBD interacts with our bodies endocannabinoid system, resulting in these restorative results. From a witch’s perspective, doesn’t it make sense that the cannabis plant can not only get us consciously into other realms, but that it can help heal us on this one as well?
And this is a time when healing, self-care and self-compassion should be a priority. On Tuesday July 2nd, we were greeted with a New Moon in Cancer and a Total Solar Eclipse. This potent astrology is bringing to the surface all of the things that we are being called to release, guided by the compassionate and nurturing energy of the Crab. This New Moon Eclipse wants us to let go of old habits, patterns, lovers and ideas that are keeping ourselves and our hearts from their fullest expansion. We’re being asked to molt our shell, to reveal our vulnerabilities. This is why CBD can be such a powerful companion, regardless if you’re using it sublingually, smoking it or using it in a cream or lotion.
“ If you’re curious about it at [CBD] all, I would go for it. Because it’s non-psychoactive, you don’t have to worry about getting high—if that’s something that you’re not into, of course,” Marie encourages. Whether you deal with anxiety or are processing major intuitive downloads right now, this plant medicine can help bring you and your nervous system back to equilibrium.
“I can say that since I’ve incorporated CBD and microdosing [THC] in my life, my anxiety has greatly decreased. It’s amazing. I can’t even remember the last time I had a panic attack. I feel more connected to myself and more balanced, which, as a Libra, is important!”
While brainstorming for this column, I had my own experience with anxiety and CBD that really affected me. I found myself awake in bed late at night, on the verge of an anxiety attack. My mind was racing, my chest felt like I had a black hole in it—the world felt like too much! Although I eventually fell asleep, the next morning after working through what was going on in meditation, I found myself reaching for my CBD tincture and CBD vape for some relief. Alongside some breath work, baby bong hits, and chanting, and the anxiety from the night before went from “horrid” to “barely there.” I later had a black jaguar appear to me as one of my spirit guides, a manifestation of my anxiety that I can now form a relationship with. I’m not saying CBD caused this to happen, but I can’t deny that it was one of the tools that helped me to get there.
Whether you’ve just been listening to too much Lana Del Rey (who is actually a Cancer, not a Gemini, by the way), want some help finding center before a spell, or just want to be your most glowing self this summer, CBD has got your back. Likewise if you’re an anxious, chaotic, and fabulous mess. There’s no judgment here or from the plant. Below, the High Priestess’s non-definitive guide to enjoying CBD.
For immediate relief from emotional turmoil
If you are submerged in the murky waters of your heart and want some relief, an easy and potent way to start experimenting with CBD is through a tincture, which you take sublingually or add to a drink. You can try a tincture like Papa & Barkley’s “Releaf Tincture”, which has a 30:1 ratio of CBD to THC, and Mary’s Medicinals “The Remedy 1:1”, which has a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC, for effects you feel in 15 to 45 minutes depending.
Tinctures that are “full spectrum” and include CBD and THC like that of Mary’s Medicinals also offer something special, utilizing the holistic power of cannabis’s magick.
“I am also a big proponent of full-spectrum CBD, which means that it uses the entire cannabis plant, including the cannabinoids and terpenes (the essential oils in all plant life).” Marie explains. “There’s a concept called the Entourage Effect which means that all of the components in the plant come together and produce synergistic effects that are greater than if the ingredient was isolated. Power in numbers!”
I take my CBD tincture in the morning before I begin my meditation practice, and I’ll often take it at lunchtime or at night, or whenever I’m feeling extra anxious. You may wish to set an intention and thank the Cannabis plant for its magick as you wait for the CBD to absorb under your tongue. You can also leave your tincture on your altar, inviting the universe to infuse it with its healing vibrations.
For before your ritual or spell
So the eclipse has passed, the portal is open and now you’re back to your practice, wondering how CBD could effect, or enhance, this at all. While THC can be useful in getting into an altered state of consciousness, CBD can help us return to a true neutral, our most vital selves.
“When I’m doing spellwork, I will sometimes vape CBD prior to ritual,” Marie shares. “Sometimes I microdose THC to meditate and do spellwork, but I found that CBD helps me to focus better on manifesting!”
The near instant effect of a vape, it takes minutes to feel, make it a good choice for rituals and magick, especially since CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. Whether you’re performing a ritual of healing, taking a salt bath, meditating, or banishing, a few hits of your CBD vape can help you feel present and centered in a snap. There are plenty of brands to choose from, including Dosist’s “Calm” Pen, Beboe’s Luxury CBD Pen, and TribeTokes CBD Vape Starter Kit.
Keep in mind that the effects of smoking a vape won’t last as long as taking something like a tincture. But this means you can incorporate smoking your vape into your ritual. You may wish to cleanse your vape with sacred smoke, like that from lavender or mugwort for healing and intuitive guidance, placing it on your altar alongside any crystals to charge. You can even practice breathwork as you hit the vape, working with a technique like a threefold breath for a calming effect, by inhaling, exhaling, holding and then repeating. You can also set an intention as you vape, asking the spirit of the cannabis plant for its compassion and alliance during your magical working.
For when you’ve been crying/ in your feelings
As the most emotional of all the water signs, Cancer season means we’re extra tapped into whatever we’re experiencing, our feelings turned up 200%. We may be receiving messages from the universe in new ways, or clearing and processing old wounds, or just crying more than usual.
If you’re like me and cry everyday as it is, your eyes and face may be extra puffy and damp right now. CBD can help with this inflammation, though there are a few things to watch out for.
“If you’re interested in CBD beauty, please know that cannabis sativa oil is NOT CBD. It’s just hemp oil, which is moisturizing and nice, but does not have those same medicinal effects that actual cannabidiol has. Don’t let them trick you!” Marie reminds us.
Thankfully, there are plenty of options for the beauty witch among us. TriBEAUTY CBD Infused Eye Cream and Herbivore’s “Emerald CBD Oil” can help you look pretty when you cry, even if you don’t feel it. To add some extra power to these products, say loving affirmations to yourself as you massage the cream or oil onto your face. You may also create a beauty altar, placing these products on there.
When your whole body needs some TLC
Whether you’ve been having rough sex, working out, or are sore from binging Netflix on the couch, CBD can help your aching muscles and heart. Many brands feature CBD alongside other healing herbs like wintergreen, peppermint, juniper, and fan favorite arnica, including Elixinol Extra Strength CBD Hemp Balm, TribeRevive CBD Infused Pain Cream, and Apothecanna’s Extra Strength Body Cream.
A simple and tender ritual to practice during Cancer season is self-massage with CBD (or any) lotion. Set up your space, light incense and candles, dim the lights, put your phone on silent. And try this in front of the mirror naked, with the intention of fostering self-love and witnessing yourself fully.
Visualize white light from the universe above you moving through the crown of your head and through your body as you massage the lotion into your skin. Inhale this healing energy anywhere you’re carrying pain and tension, and as you exhale, feel this stress and anxiety leaving your body. Continue touching and caressing yourself, breathing in replenishing and pure white light. When you’re done with this ritual, thank the plant medicine and yourself.
When you want to unleash your beauty witch and turn it into a ritual
If you’re looking to honor CBD in its fullest incarnation, you may wish to spend a ritual enjoying its effects. Since Cancer’s domain is water, soaking in the tub with Kush Queens “Relax” CBD Bath Bomb with CBD, Lavender, Chamomile and Frankincense may just be your thing. Light some candles, call on whatever Goddess of love you want to work with (like Venus, or yourself) and enjoy the soak.
If you’re like me, and love the ritual of smoking flower and want to work with sacred smoke intentionally, try working with a high CBD strain of cannabis. You may smoke using TribeTokes “The Pheonix” Quartz Crystal Pipe for a blunt without the Tabaco, or use literally any hand carved crystal pipe from Natural Magics to add a grounded element of earth magick to your next smoke session.
No matter how you choose to enjoy your CBD this Cancer Season, may it be a ritual of renewal and resilience. May this be medicine you can turn to in times of stress and shedding. May this plant medicine help you handle all the waves and laps of the ocean, and may it help you enjoy the moments of pure summer serenity and bliss. And so it is!