Riding the Winds

April is an exciting time of year. The snow is melting (and often still falling), seeds are sprouting, the days are longer (but often still overcast), mud season is in full swing up here in Vermont one day, then the next day the tire ruts are frozen over and crusted with ice. The earth is in the midst of an identity crisis, stricken with mood swings. Is it 30 degrees and winter, or 70 degrees and early summer? If you don’t like the answer, as they say, just wait a minute.

I find it fitting that the Cannabis community’s favorite holiday — 4/20 — falls during this windy season of ebbs and flows. Author and founder of Project CBD, Martin Lee, is fond of talking about cannabis as a plant of dualities. It can be both uplifting and sedating, corresponding to sativa and indica varieties. It can be single-sex or hermaphroditic, autoflowering or photosensitive, grown both indoors and out. It is both menace and medicine (depending on who you ask, and at what point in history you find yourself). It is biphasic in its effect; what that means is that in small doses it can have the opposite effect of a larger dose.

Though the view is limited, its pharmacology is often split into discussions of THC or CBD, CB1 receptors or CB2. Traditional Chinese Medicine understood its nature as both yin and yang. It is simultaneously legal (often prescribed) and illegal (proscribed). It is a shapeshifter, a boundary crosser, and its spirit often encourages these behaviors in us.

April 20th sits at the cusp of the first two astrological signs Aries and Taurus. Aries is associated with Mars, the god of war, and is a cardinal fire sign, the first spark of light and warmth at the end of a long winter. Aries is the cannabis user who cleans the whole house and writes their novel after consuming. As we enter the sign of Taurus, we settle into Venus, goddess of love and sensuality, a fixed earth sign content to cozy down on the couch to Netflix and chill.

Cannabis as a species moves between these signs with ease, channeling Mercury (the god associated with the following sign, Gemini) in its ability to transcend worlds and be both masculine and feminine.


In my practice I try to remember not only the Western pharmacology of the plants I work with, but also their energetic spirit. What messages do the have for us and what mythologies do they invoke?

Springtime in Traditional Chinese Medicine is a time of Wind, a force that exists both externally and internally and drives change. It can quickly become pathogenic, however, and TCM considers conditions such as muscle spasms, epilepsy, and other nervous system imbalances to be symptoms of the pathogenic variety. Perhaps we subconsciously celebrate Cannabis at this time of year because of its ability to calm these Winds. Even if we are not living with these conditions, windy periods of rapid change can induce anxiety in the best of us, and Cannabis is here to remind us not to get our undies in a bunch and try to enjoy the ride.

Here’s hoping all of you have a lovely 4/20, if and however you choose to celebrate, and that your transition into the spring is a smooth one. Time to plant the seeds and clean the house, and get ready for all the exciting possibilities that lie ahead. As for me, I’m attempting to harness this energy by officially launching CannaBotanicals, a clinical herbal practice with big dreams and a tiny budget that hopes to restore Cannabis to its rightful place in the modern herbal apothecary. My focus for now will be on offering herbal consultations and health coaching with an emphasis on holistic cannabis use. But there will be much more to come, including monthly musings, so stay tuned. Until next time,


By Mary Oliver


a black bear

has just risen from sleep

and is staring

down the mountain.

All night

in the brisk and shallow restlessness

of early spring

I think of her,

her four black fists

flicking the gravel,

her tongue

like a red fire

touching the grass,

the cold water.

There is only one question:

how to love this world.

I think of her


like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against

the silence

of the trees.

Whatever else

my life is

with its poems

and its music

and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness


down the mountain,

breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her—

her white teeth,

her wordlessness,

her perfect love.

#cannabis #spring #wind #pathogenicwind #zodiac #mercury #hermes #420 #herbalconsultations

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