An increasing number of states these days have decriminalized marijuana use, and some states even officially allow for recreational use of marijuana. In other words, in these places, you can enjoy getting high on marijuana without the risk of getting arrested for it.
This makes a lot of sense, especially when compared to legal substances such as cigarettes and alcohol. Smoking marijuana is certainly less of a danger to your health than cigarette smoking. You can end up in a hospital if you drink too much, or end in a violent encounter due to the alcohol in your system. These things don’t happen as often with marijuana.
With marijuana, you can feel relaxed or enervated, get the giggles or end with a huge craving for food (the “munchies”). But you can also just end up vegetating on the couch, or even just feel sleepy. Some even have “bad trips”, including the decidedly unpleasant paranoia that sometimes results.
To help you control these effects, here are some of the factors you need to consider when you’re consuming marijuana recreationally:
Some marijuana users stick to a particular strain of cannabis in the expectation that the same product will produce the same effects as before. That’s not necessarily true, especially when you take the same strain but in different circumstances and settings.
Are you taking marijuana in a different place than before? That can lead to a different type of high, because you may not be as easy as you were in a previous setting. When you had a pleasant high when you took marijuana as you were relaxed and comfy, you may not get the same pleasant results when you take the marijuana as you’re stressed and anxious. If you’re used to taking marijuana alone, doing so among other people (especially strangers) can make you feel uneasy and that can lead to rather unpleasant effects.
It’s best that you try to make yourself as comfortable as possible when you take marijuana recreationally, as various reports indicate that a relaxed setting often leads to more pleasant results. Once you figure out the best circumstances and environment for your marijuana use, stick to such a setting instead.
How Much You’re Absorbing
Obviously, it also matters how much marijuana you consume. It’s just like with alcohol. For most drinkers, a single bottle of beer doesn’t really make you too drunk. But drinking a dozen bottles through the night can certainly make you a lot drunk.
With marijuana, one of the problems is that it’s not always easy trying to figure out how much cannabis compounds you’re getting into your bloodstream. Some flowers are stronger than others, and then with edibles, you have a low absorption rate. With cannabis-infused edibles, you’re not even sure the label information regarding the THC percentage is accurate.
This means that you may have to start with some trial and error attempts at first. It’s best that you start low and then you can continue to increase the dosage gradually. Eventually, you’ll find the “sweet spot”, when you consume too much and become too intoxicated for your liking. Keep to the amount that makes you happy, and you should get the kind of buzz you like more consistently.
How You Consume the Marijuana
Your choice of the delivery system can also affect your cannabis high. It makes a difference whether you’re eating food infused with marijuana or you’re smoking a joint. There’s even a difference between using a vaping machine for marijuana compared to smoking marijuana.
Edibles laced with marijuana, in general, take a longer time to produce results. It can take at least 30 minutes, and it’s normal to wait for almost 2 hours to feel the buzz. This can lead to overindulgence, since you may end up eating too many cannabis-infused edibles while you’re waiting. Smoking a joint gets the cannabis compounds faster into your bloodstream since the process bypasses the digestive system.
Take note that digesting the cannabis compounds can be rather inefficient because it’s estimated that you only end up with 5% of the absorbable chemical compounds entering your bloodstream. You can get a lot more of the cannabis compounds through other methods, such as sublingual (under the tongue) or through smoking or vaping.
This means you may have very different tolerance levels when it comes to different delivery methods. You may be able to eat a lot of marijuana edibles and end up with a slight buzz, while only a few puffs from a joint can lead to a deep sleep right away.
The way you also take pleasure in the experience can affect the kind of buzz you get. If you’re a cigarette smoker, smoking joints should be second nature for you. In fact, if you’re a reformed former smoker then the act of smoking a joint can bring along a certain sense of illicit pleasure. It’s a bit like smoking a cigarette, after all.
But if you’ve never smoked cigarettes and you hate smoke, then smoking may not be as pleasurable. It can be a rather off-putting activity to inhale smoke into your lungs when you’re not a smoker. It can be a miserable experience, and if you’re miserable while consuming marijuana then you may not feel a pleasant buzz. Instead, you may have a negative intoxicated effect.
It’s for this reason why some people like marijuana edibles. It can be an adventure shared with friends when you try various different food items laced with marijuana. It’s basically a party as each one of you enjoys each other’s company with marijuana food and drinks.
You do want to take the taste of the food and drinks into account. Some food edibles have the grassy taste of marijuana front and center, just as some scotch drinks are very peaty. But if you don’t like the taste (and you’re not alone with this preference), you may want to get edibles and drinks with ingredients designed to mask the taste of the marijuana.
On the other hand, you may be the impatient sort who would rather have a no-fuss method of delivery which offers quick results. If you’re this sort, you can try the sublingual method and put in a few drops of cannabis oil under your tongue. The cannabis compounds will go through the mucous system very quickly and then get to your bloodstream. The effects can be felt in 15 minutes or so, which can be better for impatient people.
THC and CBD Ratio
One of trying to gauge the buzz you’ll get is to take a look at the cannabinoid profile of the strain you’re consuming. Cannabinoids are the main chemical compounds in marijuana. It’s long been known that it is the THC cannabinoid that’s responsible for the marijuana high. The higher the THC content you get, the stronger your buzz will end up with.
Some medical marijuana products have mainly CBD, which offers medical benefits without causing any intoxicating effects. Low-THC CBD oil is preferred by those who don’t like to get high, and some types of CBD oil have very little (up to just 0.3%) THC. However, some studies indicate that medical marijuana can be more effective in treating health conditions when the CBD works along with THC, which means CBD with low THC isn’t as good.
It’s true that having THC in high levels can lead to a more powerful (or quick-setting) buzz. But in the same way, you can’t just get check the THC levels without also ascertaining the CBD levels. The levels of CBD and other cannabinoids can affect how the THC works in your body.
When you check the chemical profile of the strain of marijuana you’re taking, you may want to take a look at the info regarding the terpenes. The terpenes are the compounds that basically determine how something smells and tastes. The taste and smell of marijuana will certainly affect the cannabis experience, just as it does for the varieties of scotch, bourbon, and wines.
The problem with terpenes is that very little is known about its real effects besides smell and taste. Quite a few anecdotal reports indicate that it can also have an effect on the kind of buzz you get. There are even reports about certain types of terpenes having specific therapeutic properties. One good example of this is the terpene known as linalool, which is also the terpene that makes lavender smell like lavender. Lavender oil is known to be a very relaxing scent, and some initial studies indicate that marijuana strains with linalool among its terpenes can also offer a very soothing buzz.
Another terpene is called limonene, and it’s said to offer stress relief too. More research into the subject can shed more light on the true effects of various terpenes, but you may want to do your own research by checking which terpenes are present (and absent) when you get the kind of high you like.
Your Tolerance Level
Just as some people can drink 12 bottles of beer while others can hardly finish a single bottle without getting dizzy, each person’s tolerance level towards marijuana is different. Your genetics can play a part here, but also how long you’ve been consuming marijuana and how often you indulge.
It’s very much like drinking these days. If you’ve been drinking since your teens and you drink every other day, it can take a while for you to get drunk and you probably can control yourself enough not to get too drunk. But if you only have been drinking for the last few months and only once a week, then you may end up drinking a little and then waking up the next morning with no idea of what happened the night before.
It’s similar to marijuana. Become a more frequent user and you end up getting more consistent results though you may need a bit more each time. When you get more used to marijuana, your tolerance level simply rises.
Do younger adults enjoy a different kind of buzz than senior citizens? That may be true in a cultural sense—older adults don’t really care about what’s “cool” these days—it may also have a physiological foundation.
One study tested the link between age and cannabis effects using lab rats. The results were quite astonishing since the younger rats were able to tolerate cannabis much better than the older rats. The older test subjects were more prone to exhibit signs of anxiety and stress.
What this means for you in the practical sense is that the strains and types of marijuana you enjoyed as a teenager many years ago may not have the same pleasant effects now that you’re in your middle years. It’s just like being a teenager and enjoying rotgut alcohol. When you’ve gotten older, you probably are more appreciative of different wines and smoother single malt scotch instead.
What you have to understand first of all is that people change in many ways as the years pass. As you get older perhaps your metabolism isn’t as fast, and your health and the immune system aren’t as good. The rougher and stronger strains you were able to take when you were young maybe too much for you now that you’re older.
Your brain and your own psychological makeup have changed as well. Perhaps as a young adult, you tried marijuana for excitement and with a sense of adventure. Today you may be a little bit more jaded, and aside from the buzz, you may also be looking for pain relief for your aching back and joints.
All these factors can affect the kind of buzz you get and also determine how long you experience these effects. But there’s no real way to be sure what kind of high you’re going to get. To optimize your chances of having a great high, it’s best that you take the marijuana in a place where you feel most relaxed, and with friends that you really trust. Take just enough, and you can have a great time!