What Is “Set and Setting” and Why Is It Important When Consuming Cannabis?

The kind of experience you have with cannabis has a lot to do with the cannabis strain, the amount you have, and your method of consumption… but where and with whom you consume might be most important of all!

Recent research and studies have found that set and setting can make all the difference when it comes to having a memorable and positive cannabis experience.

When you’re with the wrong people in the wrong setting and environment, even the most incredible cannabis flower can ruin your whole experience.

Moreover, set and setting not only determine how enjoyable your cannabis experience ends up being but majorly impact a user’s potential for abuse.

If you’re wondering what set and setting mean and how they impact your experience, read on to learn all about it.

What Does Set and Setting Mean?

Introduced by Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary, set and setting are terms that define the social, cultural, and psychological factors that strongly influence cannabis effects and your response to it. 

Set is short for mindset while setting refers to your social and physical surroundings. Let’s take a closer look at these two aspects.


Cannabis magnifies your current mindset. When you’re in a calm and pleasant state of mind, cannabis can magnify those feelings and make them more pleasant and joyful.

However, if you’re anxious, stressed, or have a pressing matter running through your mind, it can negatively affect your experience. This is because cannabis tends to amplify unpleasant feelings as they do positive ones. 

A negative experience can also be a consequence of your physical health. Consuming cannabis when you’re feeling ill and exhausted can trigger a series of biochemical reactions in your body that leads to jitters, an increased heart rate, and feelings of uneasiness.

Since a negative frame of mind can override the inherent benefits of cannabis, it’s essential to know your mental state before consuming cannabis. Strive to have a positive mindset beforehand to experience a beneficial and enjoyable high.


Setting refers to the social and physical environments that impact your cannabis experience. These can either enhance your experience or turn an otherwise enjoyable experience into a negative one.

Consuming cannabis during a relaxing walk along a wooded path, when you’re on your own, or with someone you feel close to creates a significantly different experience than consuming it while in a chaotic crowded bus.

While the first few scenarios can help you experience euphoric highs, the last scenario can cause feelings of dissociation and paranoia. 

Similarly, if you’re with people who make you feel unsafe or whose tolerance levels are different from yours, it can contribute towards a negative social setting, preventing you from fully relaxing and enjoying the experience. 

On the other hand, if you have the right setting with the right people, the right vibe, and relaxing surroundings, it can create a positive high and pave the way for a memorable cannabis experience.

Setting can also influence your method of consumption and the amount of cannabis you ingest. In comfortable, safe surroundings, you may consume more of it than in uncomfortable, less safe spaces like public places. Similarly, in public spaces, you may favor edibles over smoking and vaping.

How To Create the Right Setting for a Positive Experience

Now that you know how important set and setting are, here are four tips to help you have more positive experiences when consuming cannabis.

1. Choose an Appropriate Environment

An appropriate physical environment can enhance your cannabis experience.

If you prefer consuming cannabis outside your home, pick quiet, natural environments over urban areas. If you enjoy indoor places, make sure it’s an uncluttered space with a comfortable place to lie down.

2. Choose the Right People

When you feel comfortable and relaxed around the people you’re with, it can contribute towards a more pleasing experience, allowing you to foster deeper connections and relationships.

On the other hand, enjoying cannabis alone in a stress-free and peaceful environment can create favorable contemplative moments and pave way for occasional epiphanic flashes. 

3. Play Calming Music

Playing ambient, relaxing music without lyrics can help you be at ease and set a soothing mood. Moreover, listening to a familiar beat or music can provide guidance and grounding.

4. Set an Intention

Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced cannabis consumer, it’s essential to set your intentions and take charge of your settings to have a positive experience. You may be doing it to relax, be inspired, enhance your focus, solve a problem, or to treat a medical condition. Whatever your intention, be clear about it to have a better chance of experiencing a positive high.


Set and setting have a significant impact on your cannabis experience. Picking the right environment, choosing the right people to share your experience with, listening to calming music, and deciding on your intentions are a few ways to make set and setting work for you.

Remember that how you consume cannabis also affects your experience. Although smoking and vaping are popular methods of consumption, edibles offer the safest and most stress-free form of consumption.

If you’re looking for homemade, tasty, and safe edibles, try Easy Dose It DIY Cannabis Gummy Kit. Enjoy the health benefits of medical marijuana with convenient customizable doses from Aunty Em’s.

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