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Practical Tips for Combating the Side Effects of High THC Cannabis

A recent Leafly article discussed the most common side effects of high THC cannabis strains and some expert tips for how to fight them.  While these tips were helpful, they just seemed to be missing something, practical experience.  Here are a few tried and true tips to fight off these bothersome little buddies of pot smokers everywhere.

Start Slow

The experts will tell you to start with a low dose.  This a great game plan for more than one reason.  First, it is a slower and more controlled way to get high.  Second, it can save a ton of weed and money.  The marijuana available today is if such high quality that it only takes a puff or two of some strains to leave veterans like Snoop Dogg drooling for hours.  Save some money and stay just high enough, by going slow and adjusting as needed.

Edibles are all Different for Everyone

We have all heard about the nightmare experiences that edibles have caused and when we first got to Colorado, my husband and I were both more than a little leery of trying edibles for the first time.  Neither of us are noobs and have had more than one or two pot brownies in the past, but the stories we heard didn’t set very well.  When we finally tried some, it was not at all what we were expecting. 

The first ones we tried came as pills and highly recommended by a budtender who said she used them regularly (and looked very nicely baked).  Although the effects were mildly noticeable after eating several, it was most definitely not what we were expecting after all the warnings.  The second edibles we tried were Americana gummies.  They tasted pretty decent, and oddly enough, made our mouths a little numb as we chewed them.  Even with that immediate effect, it still took at least an hour to feel the full effects, and then it was still only a “one-beer-buzz” feeling after eating 4 each.  Most definitely not any sort of scary or bad trip.  Of course, everyone’s experience is different, just be prepared and don’t plan on operating any dangerous equipment or cooking a soufflé when trying edibles for the first time.   Also look for a dispensary running a deal on edibles because they do tend to cost a good bit more than a regular bag of treats.

Anxiety and Paranoia

The very best tip for this is to be comfortable before you get high.  Being in a situation where you fear getting caught will always intensify feelings of guilt, paranoia and anxiety.  Remember how anxious you got smoking in Mom’s house?  Or how about the paranoia in the school bathroom – knowing you would get expelled if you got caught?  What’s the very best way to combat anxiety and paranoia when smoking cannabis?  Move to a state where it’s legal. I did, and my anxiety and paranoia instantly went down 85 percent.  For most this is not an option, but here are a few tips to try:

  • Use cover scent like incense, automatic air fresheners, or ionizing air cleaners.  Hiding or eliminating the pungent aroma of good pot from intruding neighbors and unexpected visitors will ease fears immensely.
  • Don’t smoke in the main living area during visitor hours.  Save the kicked back TV time for after the kids are in bed.  In most places, the police can’t even visit without reason after 10pm, making the living room a safe and cozy place to enjoy your right to pursue happiness. 
  • Don’t be high around people or situations that make you feel guilty.  Some smokers don’t feel comfortable being high around their kids or family, while others have no problem going to the PTA meeting baked.  If your personal morals or ethics make it feel wrong to be high – then don’t be.  Don’t cave into peer pressure, just save the bowl for when you get home and enjoy it instead of getting freaked out because you find yourself too high at church.

Cottonmouth and Dry Eyes

These side effects are said to be best combated by drinking plenty of water.  Hydration it seems, is the key to everything, including reducing two of the most annoying side effects of smoking cannabis.  In addition to staying well hydrated, be sure to keep a drink nearby when you sit down for smoking sessions.  No matter how well hydrated you may be, some strains of marijuana just cause cottonmouth and that’s that.  Being well hydrated is also said to help with dry eyes.  One thing to remember not to do is rely too heavily on eye drops.  Overuse can actually end up making eyes dryer and reducing natural tear production.  Not to mention, the medicines in certain eye drops can cause diarrhea when used excessively.

The Munchies

The munchies can be a reason to smoke or a bad side effect depending on who you ask, but one thing’s for sure, they do exist and they are hard as heck to stay away from once they show up at the party.  Short of eating everything in the kitchen or inventing really strange recipes, there is one certain way to keep the munchies at bay.

Any veteran pot smoker knows that there is one sure fire way to kill a good buzz – eat.  So many long time smokers simply use will power, and their dedication to stay high, as their number one weapon in the war against the munchies.  Don’t give in and eat, and stay higher longer.  Smoke a little and eat a pizza, and an hour later you will find yourself repeating the process -  and the calories start to add up.  But smoke and wait it out, and the munchies will pass sooner or later and save 500 calories or more as well as a great buzz.

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CannaSaver Blog

Is Higher % THC Better?

Posted by CANNASaver on Sunday, 03 January 2021 in Canna Blog

Flower, waxes, and edibles, oh my! With the legalization of marijuana, many different strains and types of cannabis have become available to the public. Everyone’s looking for something unique, something different. Some people want to blast off while others just take a little edge off. Is higher % THC better? Here’s what we say...

high % THC

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical responsible for the psychological effects of marijuana. THC acts like the cannabinoid chemicals that your body creates.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that marijuana is the most commonly used psychotropic drug. THC is the component responsible for its effect.

THC attaches itself to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. These are the parts of the brain associated with such perceptions as thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination, and time.

THC Concentrations

THC concentration is measured in weight compared to the product. THC concentration depends on several factors. Exposure to air degrades THC. Its concentration also is affected by the cultivation of the marijuana plant, the soil, and the plants.

The hemp plant has a minimal amount of THC. It is used for industrial and medical purposes—not for recreational use. Hemp THC could be only 0.5 percent. 

Some cannabis strains can have as little as 0.3 percent THC by weight. Other strains may have as high as 20 percent THC by the weight in a sample. Some unusual varieties have tested over 30 percent THC!

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average % THC concentration in marijuana is between one and five percent. THC in recreational marijuana is widely variable.

How Has % THC Increased?

A new study by Alice Walton sheds light on changes in THC concentration.

Part of this increased THC concentration is the result of a shift in the production of cannabis plant material away from marijuana to sinsemilla. Sinsemilla is the female cannabis plant that has not been pollinated. Sinsemilla plants are grown from cuttings or seed. 

is higher % THC better

The History of % THC Rise

Marijuana plants have been around for the past several hundred years. They were first grown in Asia in 500 BC for medicinal purposes. The THC percentage wasn’t even a consideration in those days. However, some ancient cultures knew about the psychoactive properties of cannabis. They grew these specific varieties because of their higher levels of THC. These were used in both religious ceremonies and healing rituals.

The cultivation of marijuana in America dates back to the early colonists. They grew hemp for ropes, sails, and clothing. Early hemp plants had low levels of THC. The psychotropic properties of the plant were not a consideration in the cultivation of hemp.

By the early 1900s, scientists discovered that THC was what gave cannabis its medicinal properties. Researchers learned that THC interacted with areas of the brain to lessen nausea and promote appetite.

Between 1960 and 1980, marijuana’s THC content was less than 2%. There were no clear governmental guidelines or regulations over the cannabis industry. So, producers took a page from the tobacco and alcohol industries. Through improved production and plant generation, they developed strains of marijuana with a significantly higher concentration of THC.

As American Mary notes there has been a concerted effort to increase the THC percentage. Since the early 1980s, the average THC content has shown an increase from a modest two percent to between ten and twelve percent. Some even tested as high as twenty to thirty percent THC by weight! 

Is Higher % THC Better?

Is a higher concentration of THC in marijuana better? Some would argue that the more potent the product the better value for your expenditure. Others disagree.

Pros

Those who use marijuana with a higher concentration of THC are convinced that they get a greater rush with a smaller amount of products. They also argue that they need less to get the desired effect. Hence, they think they get better value for their cannabis dollar.

Cons

But, the writers of American Mary disagree. Their point is that it doesn’t take much THC to get most people feeling high. So why seek marijuana with astronomical amounts of THC? It’s like bringing a cannon to a duel. 

Others contend that THC isn’t the only consideration. When you purchase wine, you look for one whose taste you like. You don’t shop for the one with the highest alcohol content. Writer Mike Pizzo suggests that is how marijuana purchasers should choose the product they want.

Researcher Dr. Elizabeth Stuyt points out the dangers of high potency marijuana. Her study indicates that the psychoactive component of marijuana with higher concentrations of THC causes higher levels of addiction. The higher potency of any drug raises the possibility of addiction. It also increases return buyer frequency and his purchasing amounts.

higher % THC

Why Some Prefer a Lesser % THC

Substance contends that not all buyers make high THC a priority. For some, looking only at high THC overlooks other important factors. Searching for high THC fails to take into consideration other traits that enhance the experience.

Further, the writer contends that higher THC concentration does not translate to the most potent experience. He cites smoking Jamaican marijuana with a concentration of only 12% as being his ultimate euphoria. The THC content alone cannot explain the experience.

Other factors are worth considering! Writers of American Mary encourage buyers to try different strains of cannabis with a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. In doing so, buyers will discover the flavor profiles and experiences they will enjoy the most.

 Just like with fine Scotch, choosing the best product for you is a matter of trial and error. There are over four hundred and thirty compounds in a cannabis plant. The way in which these components interact will result in a wide range of reactions from the user. Add to that the wide range of user traits and the number of expected reactions is mind-boggling.

So how do you choose? Like with any other product, consider THC as only one of the many factors in your favorite cannabis. 

It’s not just the THC content that’s important. Rather, it is how the THC combines with other characteristics of the whole plant.

So, is higher % THC better?

The answer is not necessarily.

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