Sat, Aug 8, 2020

August 06, 2017 | NORTHWEST LEAF

By Matthew Meyers. How Cannabis and float tanks offer a holistic approach to your mental health routine.


With the millions of stimuli we are bombarded by on a daily basis, it can be hard to find peace in the city.

Although Cannabis can help us find relief in stressful situations, it’s important to make sure you approach your stress relief and mental health holistically! This is where sensory deprivation tanks, better known as float tanks, can fit nicely into your existing routine.

soak-sesh-quote1.jpgThe Float Shoppe in Northwest Portland generously facilitated my first ever experiences with floating. Co-owners Sandra and Dylan Calm are industry leaders on a mission to advance and spread floating globally.

Dylan hosts a podcast called ‘Art of the Float’ where guests discuss the evolution of the floating technologies, theories and medicinal potential. Like Cannabis, although maybe to a lesser degree, floating is quickly gaining the attention of the masses.

For my first float I used The Float Shoppe’s most open style ‘infinity’ tank. It was comfortable because the tank didn’t have an enclosure so I was able to relax into the water and trust it to keep me afloat without worrying about claustrophobia.

I was able to experience three sessions in the tank all together. I spent most of the first session trying to get comfortable with the new sensation.

My second float I tried a more enclosed pod, which I enjoyed more than the infinity style because of how much better it isolated me from sound and light.

There’s also something significant about closing the pod door once you are ready to start your float. It can take a little bit to get comfortable, but every time I felt a huge amount of emotion right after closing the lid or turning off the light.

Once your suspended in that darkness with no reference point I found it’s easy to become aware of the sensation of subtle movement while being still, a feeling greatly enhanced in my later floats with Cannabis.

Just as with Cannabis, your individual experience in the tank will vary, so be sure to withhold any judgements until you have done a few floats.

I recommend trying it first without any Cannabis at all, and then again with increasing amounts of Cannabis.

If you’re a Cannabis lover, I encourage you to utilize a nice full body strain during your float experience, but you might appreciate and learn more from your first session if you go in completely sober.

I found that edibles were the nicest sensation while floating but you have to be careful consuming sugar or stimulants before your float. I skipped my coffee the day of my float to make sure I was ready to fully relax my body and mind.


Make sureto eat a small meal an hour or two before your float, when you are deprived of all other stimuli your stomach growls are all too distracting.

Avoid getting the water in your eyes. I recommend bringing swim goggles but also being conscious of where your head is. Your eyes won’t ever be below the surface but tilting your head the wrong direction or sitting up too quickly may cause water to run off your hair and onto your face.

Mind the learning curve. I never floated with goggles and didn’t have any problems with salty eyes on my second and third floats, but goggles can put your mind at ease so you can fully relax into the experience. Under the influence of Cannabis you might momentarily forget that the water around you contains a ton of salt.

Floatat least three times to fully understand and utilize the experience. If you’re looking to supplement your mental health routine, I highly recommend trying a float session or two each month. I plan to continue floating because there is so much more to learn and experience in the tank. Cannabis pairs well with the weightless and stimulation free environment but floating can be equally as effective without it, depending on your personal needs.