We live in a an amazing world for cannabis! There are over 10,000 different strains to choose from; ask anyone what their favourite strain is and you’ll be flooded with different answers. Some consumers are looking for mellow effects, others want it buzzy, some want to feel it in their body or head.
There are a lot of factors that go into the effects one might feel from cannabis, some of these are environmental and can affect your high.
You can empower yourself to have better experiences with cannabis by understanding the circumstances that can affect your high.
1. Set & Setting
Have you ever smoked the same strain on different days and experienced different effects from it? What was your mood and environment like before you smoked? Were you relaxed, stressed, comfortable?
You might notice that getting high before you have to enter a stuffy room will induce anxiety, or maybe your best experiences are consuming just before sleeping.
By being aware of your surroundings, you can tailor your surroundings and mood, and prepare for the best possible cannabis high.
2. Delivery Method
There are so many different ways to consume cannabis; smoking, vaping, and eating edibles. Each of these delivery methods come with their own variables. Eating an edible will hit your body differently than smoking a joint. Edibles are well known for lasting longer and hitting harder than other delivery methods.
Some methods are better suited for controlling a dose. Vaping is a fast delivery method and easy to micro dose. Edibles take a long time to set in and it’s often difficult to take smaller doses without overdoing it.
Dabbing oil, such as CBD wax or CBD shatter, can offer a more potent hit than puffing on a joint. It’s also easier to visualize how much you’re consuming with a joint than with a vape.
It’s important to know your limits when deciding on a delivery method. You may have the tolerance to smoke a blunt a day, but that doesn’t mean you will have a good time on half a potent brownie!
The trick when determining a dose is to start low and go slow.
Dosing is most likely the most important factor to consider when curating your cannabis high. Too little and you might not feel anything, too much and you might find yourself sunk into a couch waiting for the high to be finished. Experiment and learn, it’s worth understanding what works best for you for your long term relationship with cannabis.
4. Cannabinoid Profile
This is one of the most important things you can look at to get an understanding of how to use your cannabis. If you are fortunate enough to be using legal cannabis, there is a very strong chance that you can ask your vendor for a cannabinoid profile certificate of analysis. This will show how much THC, CBD, CBG etc. can be found in your cannabis.
Cannabinoid profiles can be diverse and vary widely from strain to strain. CBD is known for being a good choice for users prone to anxiety, while THC is particularly popular with users experiencing pain.
Ratios of CBD:THC are also worth noting - certain studies show that THC can enhance CBD. You might smoke a strain that causes extreme anxiety for you, then try that same strain another day with some CBD wax crumbled into your joint, this time having a great experience with no anxiety.
These are the smell and flavour of the cannabis strain. Terpenes aren’t just found in cannabis, all foods have them. Terpenes are what make Granddaddy Purple taste like grape, Super Sour Diesel smell like fuel, Strawberry Cough like strawberries.
Terpenes don’t just give cannabis amazing tastes and smells, but they are thought to also play a role in the high. This is one of the most researched areas of cannabis right now and studies are showing very interesting discoveries.
A potential effect of limonene (the terpene that smells like lemons) is said to be stress relief. Linalool (terpene that smells like lavender) may provide relaxed mood enhancement.
Many older people talk about how cannabis has changed a lot since they were younger. Overwhelmingly they claim that cannabis is too strong now and they can’t tolerate it. It just happens that age may have a surprising role to play in enjoying a cannabis high.
A 2007 study on rats spotted a link between age and the effects of cannabis. Younger rats were reported to tolerate the effects of weed much better than their adult counterparts. Older rats showed more signs of stress, anxiety and suppressed movement.
With this study in mind it might be wise to begin with a small dose if you are older and new to cannabis.
Everyone has an internal system waiting for the consumption of cannabis - the endocannabinoid system. It comprises of a series of receptors found all over the body that become stimulated upon the consumption of cannabis.
Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different and has a large role to play in cannabis tolerance.
Factors that affect tolerance include age, frequency of consumption, body chemistry, and how long you’ve been smoking.
Tolerance is something worth understanding on a personal level. Begin with small doses and slowly increase them to reach your best effects.