What could be better than filling your lungs with fresh air and watching the sunset while you enjoy a (fill in your favorite form of cannabis treat here)?
If your answer is “not much,” pull up a camp chair! You're in good company — and we want to take some time appreciating what the combo of THC (aka tetrahydrocannabinol) and mama nature can do for us, plus how to harness it responsibly.
Wanna hear something amazing? As mammals, we have an internal system that works with THC and other cannabinoids, letting us tap into the power of cannabis.
In a sense, it helps us become one with the plant. How cool is that?!
It's called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). And it has some pretty mind-blowing effects on the body and mind. But we don't need to get too technical to appreciate it.
Essentially, experts believe the overarching purpose of the ECS is to help the body self-regulate. When you do things that keep you happy and healthy — like spending time in nature for at least two hours per week — it makes it a whole lot easier for the ECS to do its job.(1)
And when THC and the ECS meet…*cue the fireworks.*
A whole chain of reactions starts going down on a cellular level, bringing about:
Beyond these immediate effects, there's evidence THC has therapeutic benefits and properties that can protect against certain health challenges.(2)
You don't need a compass to navigate to the conclusion that using THC when you're outside can be a whole lotta fun, and may even be good for you.
But you don't have to go full-on Cheech and Chong if you don't want to. And there are some situations in which having your wits about you.
Then there's the legal sitch to consider. Marijuana, or cannabis with more than 0.3% THC, is illegal per federal law. So green as some national parks may be, none are THC-friendly.
You can expect the same in state parks because they're considered public spaces and no state allows you to light up (or vape, chow down on edibles, or otherwise consume marijuana) outside of a private residence — even if you use medical marijuana.
But don't worry — from reaching new heights in cannabis-friendly states to laying low in cannabinoid-restricted zones, there's a THC option for every leg of your trail.
Unless you're well-versed in the wide world of cannabinoids, delta-9-THC (aka delta-9) is probably the only cannabinoid that comes to mind when you think of THC. So we'll call it THC here.
The bullet list above contains hallmarks of a classic THC-induced high. As you may know (or might imagine), it's a pretty groovy feeling to be on that level while taking in majestic views and breathing fresh air.
Now, not every al fresco experience is compatico with THC for safety and/or legal reasons. But that doesn't mean you can't, say, dance with Mary Jane at a backyard BBQ, or hit the trail after a session of puff, puff, pass.
The key is to consume it and keep it tucked away on private property in a state where marijuana is legal.
Although delta-9 is the most popular form of THC, it certainly isn't your only option. If the traditional cannabis route tends to trigger anxiety or gives you the uncontrollable urge to eat all your GORP in one sitting, it may be time to reach for something lighter.
Meet delta-8-THC, trail name D8. You can expect similar results to delta-9, but many people say it's less intense in terms of paranoia and the munchies while still being highly enjoyable. And it carries similar benefits.
This makes it the perfect form of THC for when you want to make your adventure memorable and connect with nature without becoming too far gone to enjoy it.
Keep in mind that while on the lighter side, D8 does still have a noticeable effect — so use your responsible adult noggin when weighing your options for outdoor activities. Yoga in the park? Great. BASE jumping? Not so much.
D8 can be easy to find in some areas, but tricky to find locally in states where it's restricted. Thankfully, the 2018 Farm Bill made ordering D8 online legal, so you can pack it into your cart and we'll pack it out to your door.
Dipping into your D8 stash in the great outdoors? We have a guide to help you make it fantastic called Making the “Good” Outdoors “Great” With Delta-8. Detour in that direction after this article.
Maybe you wanna get some of THC's benefits without the high. Or maybe you're trekking through a very anti-cannabis area.
Either way, there's still hope! Hemp-derived CBD products with up to 0.3% THC are federally legal in all 50 states. (However, some states are more restrictive in the amount of allowable THC your CBD is allowed to contain. Be sure to check local laws!) So not only can you get CBD products anywhere, but you can enjoy them wherever the wind takes you.
While they don't trigger the psychoactive effects of marijuana, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum hemp products contain compounds that synergize, causing what's known as the entourage effect. Some also contain trace amounts of THC, which may heighten the effect.
Some folks swear the entourage effect makes them feel euphoric, which could be just what your wild spirit needs to embrace everything nature has to offer.
Whether you're considering cannabis in the form of marijuana, D8 products, or full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD, choose products with high standards for purity. That means products that are:
Humans are hardwired to benefit from nature. And thanks to the ECS, we're also hardwired to benefit from cannabis.
Whether you're a bowl-packer, D8 gummy chewer, or through-and-through CBD tincture taker, you can take your herbal retreat into the open air to do your body and mind doubly good.
The only question is, where will your THC-infused adventure take you?
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