A guide to enhancing the effects of weed

Published Apr 16, 2019 10:03 a.m. ET

If you are a veteran cannabis consumer than chances are you don't get quite the same high as you once did from the same marijuana strains. This happens over a period of time where constant exposure to pot slowly adjusts how your body interacts with the THC and CBD within the plant. Eventually, you might find yourself requiring nearly twice the amount to feel as good. That’s fine unless you are concerned about the possible adverse effects of consuming so much be it your health or your wallet. Either way, it can be frustrating to feel like you always want just a little bit more than you are getting. Luckily, there are more than a few different ways to enhance the felt effects from marijuana use, but the most effective will always be to lower consumption.

Smoke less

Though many of us are quite happy with continuing with our regular cannabis rituals, a lot of us would benefit quite a bit from cutting back for a little while. This is for a few reasons, but the most significant is due to the way that cannabinoids interact with the consumer’s brain. When marijuana is taken orally, smoked, or eaten, it is ingested and almost immediately injects itself into the bloodstream which is why the effects can usually be felt so quickly. Every single time you ingest weed, it interacts with your brain to release chemicals that help to regulate mood and other sensations like dopamine. The more you smoke, the less that your body will create those chemicals on its own, because the release is being stimulated through other means, so it becomes dependent on them for it. This is only a fraction of what building tolerance is like, but it’s how your body adjusts to regular consumption in an attempt to regulate those essential levels. After a few days of not smoking, these effects seem to wear off, and the high will be much more intense.

High THC and low CBD weed strains

For those who are buying cannabis from a less than reputable dealer, and don’t want to slow down or quit short term, there is the option of selecting higher quality marijuana strains that will produce a higher level of both THC and CBD. Though it was long believed that THC was the only psychoactive component of cannabis, we now know that the two cannabinoids complement each other quite nicely in the right proportions. Cannabis research shows that a marijuana plant that contains high levels of THC and low amounts of CBD will have a noticeably stronger effect, especially when compared to others with either high amountsor no CBD present. The key is to find the perfect balance that will produce the most potent sensations.

Terpenes

Do you know that tingly sensation that you get when you smell something that you enjoy? Especially stronger scents like pine or mint. That is called the aromatic effects and believe it or not, the smell alone can have a significant impact on the high you feel after consuming cannabis. If you don’t already know what kinds of scents you might like, then check out the terpene profile of the marijuana strains you have to choose from and find an essential oils shop to give them a test run. Terpenes are oils that are naturally produced by marijuana plants. Though this most often leads to a more sedative effect since people tend to find calming and relaxing smells more enjoyable, scents like lemon or citrus can be incredibly invigorating and uplifting which can enhance the experience.

Consumption method

Sometimes all that’s needed is a new device for consuming cannabis products. The kinds you might consider will very much depend on your personal preference, and there is a lot out there to choose from. For example, if joints are your typical method of marijuana consumption, then you may want to try something a little more direct like a weed pipe or bong. Ever notice how much smoke raises into the air with a joint? That’s a whole lot of wasted smoke that isn’t making it into your lungs. Devices with larger bowls and chambers allow you to smoke the same amount of cannabis as you normally would in a joint, in one hit. Marijuana vaporizers also work on a similar idea, with an entire bud being vaped into one or two hits which results in a much more effective buzz. Then there are other more exotic options like inhalers which come pre-loaded with an easy to dose hit of cannabinoids that began to work instantly. For those who already use glass bowled devices might benefit from a more intense hit like a gravity bong would provide. Much of the deal device will also depend on your lung capacity, so don’t upgrade too quickly if you cough easily.

Concentrates

Concentrates are an upgrade to regular marijuana flower which can take many different forms including; tinctures, oils, hash, budder, BHO, WAX, shatter, and more. A typical cannabis product will likely contain somewhere around 5mg of THC per packed bowl and measure around 20% THC on average. Concentrates can range dramatically depending on your method of consumption and generally contain anywhere from 50%-99% THC. Since THC is the psychoactive element in marijuana plants, consuming more is likely to induce a much more intoxicating sensation which is an easy way to enhance the effects of weed.

Edibles

Another option for those looking for an intensified experience is marijuana edibles. Edibles can take almost any form that you can imagine and can be infused using a number of different techniques. All of which require a process called decarboxylation active the THC. In its unaltered form THC is actually THCA and does not convert to a psychoactive substance until it has been heated to extreme temperatures which s why smoking it get you high but eating a whole quarter of bud will have absolutely no effect. Cannabis must be heated to 22F for 30-35 minutes the decarboxylate. From there it can be added whole, or combined with a solvent like butter, tincture or oil. When marijuana edibles are consumed orally, they aren’t tested right away which makes the effects take a little while to be felt, but once they do kick in, they are much more intense and long lasting than other methods of consumption. Smoking cannabis is felt immediately and begins to fade as soon as 20 minutes after it’s been ingested. Marijuana edibles can take up to two full hours to be felt and last for up to 12 hours after that. The effects of marijuana edibles will depend on the potency, but in general, a cannabis infused dish will get you way more stoned than smoking the bud flower ever could.

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