The cannabis universe in contact with the human body can be a mystery. It can vary from the famous “Bad Trip” to a magical and intense trip, or even that cannabis that does not hit in any way: everyone has lived this situation, or at least knows someone who has been through it. While everyone is enjoying the trip, it is impossible not to think if there is something wrong with the grass or even with yourself. But don’t be afraid: this is just nature’s way of saying, like any other mother, that you are not everyone.
Each subject has unique characteristics, something that in combination with cannabis can make their consumption hit in a different way. In addition, there are several other issues that we must take into account, such as the set and setting, when smoking or consuming our plant.
Here, we will explain to you, with the help of science, some of the main factors that make cannabis have a different effect from user to user. Are you curious about it? Come dive with is in this subject on this post.
Main factors for the right trip
When you smoke or ingest cannabis, there are several factors that will play an important role on the way your body will react. Some, like genetics, you cannot control. But others, yes!!! It is important to say that the way cannabis affects our body is very unique. We will explain them to you:
Your genes play a key role in how cannabis will you, and that has a lot to do with our endocannabinoid system. This system is nothing more than a neuromodulator system that produces substances very similar to THC and CBD, and their receptors. The endocannabinoid system is spread throughout our body, in the nervous system, and are some of the main players in vital functions, such as sleep, mood, appetite, stress, liver function, metabolism, chronic pain, skin, nerve function, among others.
According to American research, about 20% of the adult population in the USA has a unique genetic mutation, which results in increased levels of the body’s endocannabinoids. Because of this, these people are less likely to experience the effects of THC and CBD in general; because their bodies already produce high concentrations of cannabinoids.
Those with below average endocannabinoid levels are more inclined to experience psychoactive effects of THC.
Your biological sex
There, girls, good news for us: female individuals tend to be more sensitive to cannabis! In other words: women need less weed than men to take advantage of its effects, such as pain and stress relief. Men, however, are more prone to munchies – that damn hunger after taking a few hits.
A very curious thing: if you are in PMS, cannabis is even more likely to have stronger effects even in small quantities. That’s because THC works together with estrogen, the main female hormone. The higher its concentration in the body, the larger the effect.
We’ve talked a lot here about the magic that happens when we combine cannabis with women – and it’s really amazing!
Your body’s biochemistry
People have different tolerances for all types of substances. Some will drink liters of coffee without feeling anything, while others are ready to run a marathon with one espresso. This is due to your body’s biochemistry – which is almost like a fingerprint, it is unique and varies from individual to individual.
Here, the endocannabinoid system also plays an important role. Your endocannabinoids depend on several factors, but mainly on your diet, your stress levels and your lifestyle in general. Speaking specifically of food: endocannabinoids come from fatty acids, especially the famous omega-3. If your diet is low in fatty acids, your endocannabinoid system will be out of control.
In other words: if consuming cannabis is too intense for you right now, it might be time to eat a salmon (if you’re not a vegetarian) and some nuts every now and then. Just a tip!
Your tolerance to the herb
In fact, it is a known fact that, with time and continued use, people will create a tolerance to substances. If you use strains with a high THC content regularly, you will eventually need higher doses to have the same effect.
The good thing is that, to recalibrate your tolerance, a week without cannabis is enough to get you back to square one.
If you are a medicinal patient and cannot stop consuming, the ideal is to try different forms of use. Vaporizing, for example, makes you absorb more cannabinoids at a time!
Your health (physical and mental)
If you have a pre-existing condition, it is common to experience the trip in a different way. As we’ve talked about here, there are people who are more likely to develop symptoms like paranoia and anxiety due to their mental state – and this should be taken into account when choosing what to use. Normally, a more balanced strain, with less THC, can be ideal. People with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, for example, may be calmer with more THC.
Even a cold can make cannabis “hit” differently. We need to remember that the endocannabinoid system is part of our nervous system, and can be less balanced by immunological issues.
About the things you CAN change
Well, above, we cite many conditions that are difficult (or even impossible) to change. But other factors are controllable! For example:
- What you smoke: a strain with more THC, more CBD or more balanced will have different effects. As we know, THC is the most psychoactive substance, while CBD is more relaxing and therapeutic. Therefore, your experience can be very different depending on the cannabinoid and terpene profile of each strain!
- The set and setting: this group of factors is very interesting, and has to do with the environment where you are and your thoughts at the time of use. If you are calm and relaxed, listening to a song you love, the possibility of having a relaxing and nice trip is high! But in an environment with many external stimuli, such as loud noises, lights and conversations, the result is not always so incredible. The same goes for your internal state, if you are on a bad day, experiencing a difficult process internally, or even not feeling very well, it is good to feel if this is the right time to consume this special plant.
Basically, even the same strain can hit differently depending on your health, your mood, the environment you are in… The important thing, in this context, is that you know yourself and experiment, little by little, to find out what works best with your unique characteristics (like it or not, inside, we are all like a little snowflake)!
Cannabinoids act in the same passageways as endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters naturally occurring in the body. Though all brains use these common chemical transmitters, the ways our brains interact with them are unique to each individual brain, determined by genetics. Many brains handle neurotransmitters similarly, and this is what allows for generalizations. However, poor communication regarding cannabis has led to many people not realizing that the effects discussed aregeneralizations, and should not be treated as definitive.
Studies confirm what cannabis consumers have long suspected – genetics play a large role in how an individual is affected by cannabis. In 2013, a group of researchers tested this theory, and were able to find that certain genetic polymorphisms were linked to variations in cognitive function during testing.
Though our genes play the largest role in determining how we react to cannabis, they are not the only factor. As far back as 1971, researchers have been noting that setting and state of mind can have a profound effect on how our bodies react to cannabis and other psychedelic substances.