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Stoner’s Guide to Hiking High

In addition to the benefits of being in a state with legal marijuana, Colorado also boasts some of the best hiking around. Combining the two can make for an increasingly incredible experience, taking you a ‘mile higher’ than the rest.

Before you head to the hills, take a moment to consider what might need to come along for the trip.

Pack a small backpack with the necessities:


-plenty of water

-potentially a map or compass

Depending on your level of commitment to this adventure and length of your trip, you should consider bringing along extra layers, bear spray, a whistle, a knife, some rope or string and a first aid kit. However, for simplicity, think about what happens when the high hits – the munchies kick in, your mouth may go dry in the Colorado mountain air, and you may forget where you were going.

Since cannabis is still illegal federally, don’t bring any paraphernalia with you when hiking through state or national parks. The best method I’ve found is to take an appropriate dose of an edible (which will vary for everyone) at home and reach the trailhead by the time it’s kicking in. When hiking, consider taking a balanced ratio of CBD:THC for maximized benefit.

Hiking high proves to have several benefits, including ​anti-inflammatory​ properties of CBD, inducing bronchodilation (increases air flow to the lungs), and the additional endorphins released with cannabinoids that mimic a ‘runner’s high’. Psychologically, for some, cannabis can promote a mindfulness presence that helps one to really be in the moment. CBD has undergone multiple scientific studies to figure out how it activates the CB2 receptors to encourage anti-inflammatory response in the body and is becoming more and more accepted in athletic circles as a therapeutic option for recovery, so if hiking may irritate some old injuries, it might be a method of prevention as well as relief.

In addition, the heightened effects of bronchodilation can move cannabinoids throughout the body more effectively, therefore promoting the functioning of the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or a parasympathetic response in the nervous system, in the body. Even better yet, the serotonin​ and dopamine production that THC activates is a great way to ‘stop and smell the flowers’ on the way towards that mountain peak.

Remember: consumption of marijuana on public property is still a legal offense. You can and likely will get written a ticket if a State Park or National Forest employee catches you toking up on the trail. It is not worth the headache and wasted high. Enjoy your cannabis products at home, or at least private property, and assign someone as designated driver, just as you would going out to the bars. Driving to or from the trailhead impaired is grounds for a DUI, finable up to $10,000. If you are unsure of the stipulations surrounding cannabis laws, visit Colorado’s state web page on ​responsible use​ or ask your budtender at your local Denver medical marijuana dispensary.

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