Here at HI-FI Edibles we are always looking for new ways to set the bar hi! One that’s catching steam and even being prescribed by doctor’s is “green therapy”, which in this case is not referring to medical marijuana which we know and love, but, instead to time in nature. Science is starting to show that spending time in the great outdoors reduces stress, treats mood disorders and boosts creativity. That list of benefits may sound shockingly similar to those of cannabis, which is why combining these two green therapies might be just what the doctor ordered. In case you need more than the allure of stunning vistas and pristine air to answer the call of the wild here are some compelling reasons to lace up your boots and go hiking with HI-FI this summer.
Beginning in the 1980’s the Forest Agency of Japan proposed Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” as a practice for their citizens to integrate into their lives to promote wellness. Over the course of eight years, spanning from 2004 to 2012, the government of Japan spent around four million dollars researching the benefits of Shinrin-yoku and found that it impacted multiple biomarkers of stress.
One of the most important indicators of a healthy stress response is heart rate variability. Put simply, heart rate variability is a measure of your heart’s ability to change tempo. Constant stress can keep your heart rate constantly elevated which reduces its ability to slow down and relax. The most recent study out of Japan, published in 2014, took two groups(controlled for lifestyle variables like tobacco use), measured their heart rates and variability and had one group take a walk in the forest and another walk through an urban area. They found that the group that visited nature saw a significant decrease in heart rate and increase in heart rate variability, showing that the benefits came from the trees and not just exercise.
A similar study to the Japanese research above, this time conducted in Stanford, California, had sixty participants randomly assigned to walk for fifty minutes in either an urban or natural environment. The study tested the subjects on several measures of mood including anxiety and rumination before and after their respective walks. The psychological assessments that the Stanford researchers performed showed a marked decrease in anxiety in the group that walked through natural landscapes in comparison over those that strolled through the urban center. The test results also showed an increase in working memory for those that trekked through the woods.
Albert Einstein once said, “look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better,” and that is what Danish researchers found when studying a cross section of creative professionals. In this study researchers interviewed seventeen creatives of differing age, genders and professional fields to see if nature had any impact on their process. The Danes found that time in nature sparked curiosity across those that they interviewed and that this boost in interest to the outside world enhanced the first two stages of creativity where we prepare our minds and let new ideas blossom.
As you can see, nature is a powerful tool — much like cannabis, with the power to clear away stress and inspire creativity. Next time you’re feeling blocked or overwhelmed by the daily grind, grab a HI-FI bar and take a hike! We recommend our Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut, it has all of the things we love most about trail mix plus a measured dose THC and CBD to further enhance your experience. Here’s a list of some of California’s best hikes to inspire you!