Have you noticed that sometimes you get not the reaction you expect from a particular strain? Though it might seem like your budtender deceived you, weed really affects everyone differently, and even science cannot explain why that happens. Researchers have already discovered five reasons why your high can be different than your friend's even if you smoke the same cannabis strain.
After Rafael Mechoulam, a discoverer of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), offered his friends to consume pure THC, he noticed that they were affected in different ways. Some appeared to be in a completely different world, while others felt nothing but suddenly became sociable or giggling without any reason.
Today, THC affects consumers in the same ways, but some users may also experience groundless anxiety. Though Mechoulam discovered the THC effect on people in the 1960s, it was only recently that scientists have revealed why weed users have different reactions to THC.
People who did not use weed previously respond to marijuana differently than those who have already tried it. The reason is that the more you consume cannabis, the greater tolerance you have to weed. Your body becomes less sensitive to the herb's effects with each next use.
Newbies or people who have never consumed marijuana have a more visible reaction and need a smaller dose of THC or CBD than seasoned users because their body is not used to the influx of the potent cannabinoids yet.
Though researchers rarely pay attention to the biological sex of cannabis users, women appear to be more susceptible to marijuana's influence. One of the few female studies was conducted by Rebecca Craft, a psychology professor at Washington State University.
The study surprisingly revealed that women were 30% more sensitive to the pain-relieving qualities of THC than men as the latter have a lower estrogen level in their bodies. Moreover, females might develop tolerance to THC more quickly than males who need an increased dose of cannabis to achieve the same effect over a period of time.
As for males, cannabis tends to increase their appetite and testosterone level for a short period of time. In addition, a study carried out last year discovered that men were twice as sensitive to the psychotic downsides of THC as women. Although weed users rarely experience psychosis, it seems that males are more genetically susceptible to this condition.
Interestingly enough, your response to cannabis may be predetermined by your genes. According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter and University College London, people who have mutations in the AKT1 gene are more likely to experience such side effects of THC as anxiety, psychotic behavior, or paranoia.
Moreover, an additional study has found that genetics can moderate the cognitive effects of cannabis when people are high. In simple words, your memory impairment after smoking a THC strain may be determined by your genes.
In contrast, other genetic mutations can also result in more endocannabinoids in some people, another study discovered. These endocannabinoids play a communicational role in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) responsible for various psychological processes in the body from mood to appetite to memory.
People with this lucky mutation can naturally synthesize endocannabinoids that are similar to THC and CBD. However, if you are not a lucky one, you can replenish these chemical compounds with cannabis ones by smoking a pipe with your favorite strain. Moreover, this genetic mutation makes people less sensitive to the side effects of THC than other weed users.
Unique biochemistry also plays a role in people's sensitivity to any substances. Perhaps you know someone who can become roaring drunk after just two beers, or another person who can stay active for the whole day after just one cup of coffee. Everyone has different reactions to all kinds of things, including marijuana.
The ECS is also responsible for your unique chemistry, which depends on many factors including lifestyle, diet, and stress each individual experiences every day.
For instance, your diet determines the level of fatty acids, like Omega-3 and others, necessary for generating endocannabinoids. If your system does not receive enough fatty acids from your daily diet, you will have problems with your ECS. Cannabis compounds feel good to people with lack of endocannabinoids, while marijuana may be excessive for those who do not need a boost.
Your high is dependent on your chemistry, which is unique and changeable. So, although weed producers ensure you will have common effects, your experience will always be individual.
People with health problems like fibromyalgia, depression, or PTSD will obviously experience different effect of cannabis than someone without any diseases. When you suffer from any illness, your biochemistry is changed in some way. Moreover, you will also alter your chemistry by consuming marijuana because this substance produces a chain of chemical interactions in your body.
Fortunately, this alteration will bring the desired effect for medical marijuana patients. Diseases like the ones mentioned above are linked to reducing the endocannabinoid level in the human body. But when these patients take cannabis as a medicine, their endocannabinoid system fills the gap of important chemical compounds.
Thus, people with fibromyalgia or depression will not become completely high but just feel normal. Moreover, they can forget about lack of motivation or anti-social mood, as marijuana will boost their energy to carry the ball.
If you have noticed that cannabis affects you differently than your friends, share your story with us in the comments below.