Marijuana Side Effects and Indigenous Medicine

Changing Our Point of View

If we really want to understand the effects and side effects of marijuana from the point of view of indigenous medicine systems, we have to take on another worldview.

Psychoactive Sacrament

From inside of this worldview, psychoactive substances are parts of the bodies of divine beings. When a person ingests the substance, s/he takes that being’s energy into her/his own and unifies with the consciousness of that being for a time.

Marijuana is one of these substances. If a person can maintain the proper relationship with marijuana, the experience sometimes can give her/him wisdom and insight for a time. But it doesn’t come for free.

Keeping it Positive

Traditional societies understand that if a person takes a psychoactive substance, s/he needs to make a payment for her/his experience.

This payment cements the person into the culture in positive ways so the energy of her/his experience will remain positive for the person, the people around her/him and the environment.

In the absence of this kind of payment, it’s understood that even the best energy can turn sour and go bad.

Side Effects Come From Unbalanced Relationships

From the perspective of indigenous medicine, when people begin to go sideways with the side effects of marijuana, it’s usually because of three things:

1) They’re taking it without the guidance of a wise elder.

2) They’re not balancing it with a proper diet or with complementary herbs.

3) They lack an energetic, ceremonial and cultural framework where anything positive could happen from the experience.

The original article this was taken from was some of the original material that went on to become

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine

Marijuana Shamanism Index


More Resources

One thing that native shamans who use sacred substances describe is how they ‘become the medicine.’ Here's an article that can shed some light on this subject and how people who use cannabis develop abnormalities of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

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For extensive details on how to balance and optimize the effects of cannabis using Traditional Chinese Medicine, please refer to

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine