THC: The Hiking Companion
“The Earth has music for those who listen” - William Shakespeare
Author: Samantha M., Pe Marketing Lead
As a born-and-bred Texan who has only lived in Oregon for about 18 months, I am still constantly taken aback by the raw power and beauty of the natural environment of this state. It is abundantly clear that the forests and parks are the pride of Oregon, and residents have been thoughtful stewards of their preservation. I personally believe that this reverence and sense of duty to nature is partially driven by the state’s concurrent love of, and advocacy for, medicinal and recreational Cannabis.
Exploring the natural beauty of the outdoors and responsible cannabis use go hand-in-hand, and if you’ve never taken a hike with cannabis as your companion, you are truly missing out on a fantastic experience. I’d like to share my personal experiences using cannabis on outdoor excursions with you.
How Cannabis Maximizes Outdoor Experiences
While stereotypes would have us believe that cannabis users are unmotivated couch-potatoes, the reality is that cannabis products can produce a myriad of different effects, many of which are energizing and uplifting. The right cannabis product can help you feel motivated to conquer demanding physical activity like hiking or action sports. The euphoria associated with a cannabis high can feel very similar to the “runner’s high” produced by distance running, putting you in the perfect mindset to power through a long trail or tough elevation changes. Even if you don’t want to consume enough of a cannabis product to feel “high” on the trail, a 5-10mg THC dose can be enough to induce flow state in many people, elevating your experience without heavy psychoactivity.
The terpenes found in cannabis also play a key role in helping us to connect with nature - in fact, the reason we feel refreshed after a walk in the forest is due in part to the terpene Pinene. This terpene is given off by pine trees in abundance, and also happens to be one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. Pinene typically produces psychological effects that perfectly align with outdoor activity, including enhanced focus, a sense of alertness, and a reduction in the memory impairment associated with THC. In addition to these mindset-impacting effects, the reported medicinal benefits of Pinene include improved airflow to the lungs and anti-inflammatory action to reduce swelling - both of which help your body stay in top condition for physically-demanding activities. Other common cannabis terpenes like Limonene and Eucalyptol also improve focus, elevate mood, and support healthy respiratory function, so cannabis products with these terpenes can be great choices for use before and during hiking. Take note of how different terpenes affect you personally so that you can tailor your ideal terpene profile for enhancing outdoor activities.
The improvements in mental and physical state that cannabis provides help you to really appreciate the experience of hiking in more depth; where you might have rushed through a less visually-striking part of a trail before using cannabis during your hike just to get it over with, you may find yourself slowing down to appreciate your surroundings in more detail under the influence of cannabis. Taking a smoke or edible break on a hike allows you a moment to re-center yourself and recharge for the miles ahead while taking in the scenery - and a celebratory smoke at the end of a hike adds a layer of reward to an already enriching experience.
The Best Cannabis Product Types for Outdoor Consumption
While the benefits of using cannabis during a hike are plentiful, it’s important to carefully consider and choose the correct type of cannabis product to get the most out of your experience while avoiding any potentially dangerous situations. Since Oregon is prone to damage from forest fires, it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid open flames as much as possible on the trail - save any pre-rolls or other lighter-ignited consumption sources for later enjoyment, and if you must light up in the forest, be extremely careful with your fire sources and ashes to avoid starting any accidental fires. Flameless smoking options like vaporizer pens are perfect for use on the trail - they are safe for the environment, compact enough to slip into a pocket or backpack, and discreet enough in appearance and scent to be considerate of your fellow hikers.
I’ll admit that I might be a little biased on my favorite consumption method for hiking, but even before I started working at Pe, I always saw edibles as an ideal choice for using cannabis in active situations. I personally have a slow metabolism for edibles, so a strong dose (40-50mg THC) of a canna-butter edible provides me with a sustained cannabis high experience that will last for most, if not all, of a long hike excursion. Edibles are great for hiking because you can consume them before you ever get on the trail due to the delayed activation time, it’s easy to consume secondary doses during your activity if needed, and they are one of the most discreet consumption methods available. I personally love our Active cannabis caramel for hiking - the blend of Limonene and Pinene terpenes with the uplifting strain-specific canna-butter naturally lend themselves to demanding physical activity, and the resealable pop-top keeps leftover doses safe and water-tight in my backpack. I also love to pack a container full of caramel corn with our Active caramel melted over top for a great energy-providing snack with a terpene boost and light THC dose.
I hope these thoughts on cannabis and hiking have inspired you to get outdoors and elevate your life experiences through the power of cannabis!
*DISCLAIMER: These opinion pieces are personal experiences of the individual authors, and are not medical recommendations, medical claims, or usage recommendations from the company. Our products are not approved by the FDA to treat, cure or prevent any diseases. Periodic edibles supports responsible cannabis use in accordance with all local laws.