There are many factors that can affect how you’ll feel after using cannabis. So it’s not always easy to predict how you’ll feel after smoking, vaping, or taking an edible. This is especially true when you’re trying a new strain or product. You can also get surprising effects from a strain or product you’ve used before. That’s because the effects you get from cannabis are the result of a complex interaction between the cannabis you use and your unique body. The type and amount of cannabis you use factors into your effects, but so does your unique nervous system and how you may be feeling on any given day.
While predicting how you’ll feel after using cannabis can sometimes be challenging. This is absolutely something you can get better at over time. If you understand the factors that affect your cannabis experience, you can note how you react when these factors vary. Then, you can optimize your cannabis experience by figuring out exactly what works best for you. So, what are the factors that affect your cannabis experience? We’re going over the six most important ones below.
Your Consumption Method
There are many ways to consume cannabis, like vaping, smoking, eating an edible, or taking a cannabis tincture. And all of these various delivery methods can affect you differently since your body processes them differently. For example, you’ll have a different experience when you smoke or vape versus when you take an edible. That’s because when you smoke or vape cannabis, your body processes it through your lungs, which generally provides a faster-acting effect that lasts for a shorter amount of time. But when you eat a cannabis edible, your body processes it through your digestive system, which generally provides a slower onset but stronger, longer-lasting effects.
While we don’t think that any consumption method is inherently better than any other. There might be a better method for you. You may prefer the feeling you get from smoking over the feeling you get from taking an edible, or vice-versa. Or you may find that you can more accurately control your dose with one method versus another, which provides a better, more consistent experience for you. The type of cannabis product that works best for you is very personal since your body and desired results are unique to you.
Cannabis contains organic compounds called cannabinoids. There can be hundreds of cannabinoids within cannabis, including the well-known cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). When you use cannabis, the cannabinoids within it interact with your endocannabinoid system. This naturally occurring system within the body helps to regulate things like your mood, your appetite, your stress levels, and much more. So cannabis can alter your mood, your appetite, your stress levels, and more when its cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system. However, different strains of cannabis have distinct cannabinoid profiles. So they can interact with your endocannabinoid system differently, providing unique effects.
If you want to know which types of cannabis strains you prefer, note the cannabinoid profiles of the strains you try. It can take some experimentation to figure out the cannabinoid profiles you like in a strain. Once you know what works best for you, your cannabis experience can get much better. Of course, there are many cannabinoids within cannabis. So, it can be a bit overwhelming to look at a strain’s full cannabinoid profile if you’re new to cannabinoids. But if you want a good starting point, we recommend first considering a strain’s CBD to THC ratio.
A strain’s CBD to THC ratio can have a major impact on its effects. Both THC and CBD have effects of their own. THC is famously responsible for the psychoactive effects you get from using cannabis. Then, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s thought to have a number of effects, including anxiety relief and pain relief. In addition to having effects of its own, however, CBD dampens the effects of THC. So, for example, a strain with a low CBD to THC ratio will have much stronger psychoactive effects than a strain with a high CBD to THC ratio, which may have little psychoactive effects. Then, to give another example, a strain with a balanced CBD to THC ratio will have balanced effects. By paying attention to the effects you get from strains with various CBD to THC ratios, you can determine which ratio provides the effects you want.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are found in many plants, including cannabis. Even if you’ve never heard of terpenes before, you’ve noticed them in your cannabis, since terpenes are what give each strain its aroma. For example, the terpene limonene has a citrusy smell and the terpene myrcene has an herbal smell.
In addition to providing lovely aromas to cannabis, it’s thought that terpenes can change the effects of cannabis. While there currently isn’t much scientific research on cannabis terpenes, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests terpenes can affect how a strain performs. For example, many cannabis users find strains that are high in linalool (a terpene that’s also found in lavender) very relaxing. Then, limonene is thought to be stress-relieving. Terpinolene is thought to be uplifting, myrcene is thought to be calming, and so on.
If you’re looking for a certain effect from your cannabis, consider thinking about the terpenes in your cannabis. And if you like the effects of a particular strain, you may want to note its top terpenes. Consider trying other strains with similar terpene profiles.
Your Environment and Mood
A critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of your cannabis experience is your environment. And, more importantly, how you feel in that environment. You can smoke your favorite strain of flower one day, then have a completely different experience smoking that same strain the next day if your mood is different. Cannabis works by interacting with your body. So, if something is different within your body due to your mood, you may get different effects from your cannabis, since it’s interacting with new variables.
If you notice that a strain or dose affects you differently on one day versus another, think about what your environment and mood were like on both days. Where were you when you used cannabis? Were you by yourself, around friends, around new people? And how did you feel in that environment? Were you happy and relaxed, or perhaps anxious and stressed?
Understanding how cannabis may affect you when you’re in different environments or moods can greatly improve your overall cannabis experience. Once you know how cannabis affects you under different circumstances, you can choose to use cannabis when and where it works best for you.
It’s easy to understand why your dose changes your cannabis experience. Higher doses of cannabis lead to stronger, longer-lasting effects, for obvious reasons. However, while dosage is easy to understand conceptually, finding your perfect dose can be a bit tricky in practice. You don’t want to consume too little cannabis and feel nothing. You also don’t want to consume too much cannabis, since that “too much” feeling is something no one enjoys. So, for your dosage, you want to find that sweet spot, the spot where you get the effects you want without going overboard, and getting unwanted side effects.
To figure out your perfect cannabis dosage, we recommend going low and slow. Start with a smaller amount of cannabis than you think you need, then go up just a bit next time if you want stronger effects. Figuring out your dosage sweet spot can make a world of difference in your cannabis experience. But you don’t want to rush the process. Accidentally using too much cannabis is not fun. So, take it low and slow if you’re a beginner or if you’re trying out a new type of cannabis.
Your Cannabis Tolerance
Tolerance, a very important factor in your cannabis experience. It is something that’s completely different from person to person. There are a lot of things that can affect your unique tolerance to cannabis. An example could be your frequency of consumption, how long you’ve been consuming cannabis, and your body chemistry. Your age can also affect your tolerance since your body chemistry can change with age.
It’s important to understand your tolerance level so you can gauge how much or how little cannabis you need to consume to get your desired effect. It’s also important to remember that your tolerance level is 100% unique to you. If you’re consuming with someone else, remember that the dose that works for them may not be a good dose for you, since you could have very different tolerance levels.
Final Thoughts on Factors That Affect Your Cannabis High
How you’ll feel after using cannabis can vary based on so many factors. But we hope that this guide has helped you better understand these factors. So you can make your cannabis experience the best it can be.
If you have any questions that aren’t answered in this guide, please feel free to reach out to us. One of our friendly, knowledgeable team members would be happy to answer your cannabis questions or give you a specific product recommendation based on your unique personal preferences and experiences. You can contact Essence Dispensary through our website by clicking here or speak to one of our expert team members over the phone by calling your closest Essence Dispensary location.