5 reasons why cannabis has a different effect on everyone




How come you’re sitting on the couch as stoned as a canary bird and your fellow smoker says he thinks it’s a weak weed? How can two people’s cannabis experiences be so different when they smoke the exact same thing? That has a lot to do with our biochemistry – which is as unique as your fingerprint. But there are even more factors at play. This article contains 5 reasons why (the same) weed can have different effects on everyone!

It’s not just the weed that does it

So cannabis experiences are basically like snowflakes: no two are the same. And that is certainly not just a matter of taste. Genetics, hormones, and more all play a role in how you feel after puffing on your joint.

In the 1960s, Israeli chemist Rafael Mechoulam hosted a party and gave his friends 10 mg of pure THC. What happened next? Chaos. Some giggled uncontrollably, others went into a paranoid frenzy, and one poor soul felt like her “psychological guards were breaking down.”

Mechoulam realized that cannabis affects everyone differently, but it took us until now to find out why.

It turns out that genetics, gender, and even your menstrual cycle can all play a role in how you respond to cannabis. So the next time you and your friends pass around the joint, don’t be surprised if you end up on different planets. Here are 5 reasons why cannabis & high can be so mysterious.

#1 Genetics (human, not plant)

Who would have thought that your genes could determine how you handle weed? Recent studies have shown that some of us have a genetic mutation that makes us more likely to feel anxious and paranoid after a few puffs. It’s as if our body is saying, “Hey, thanks for the buzz, but I’m feeling a little too tense right now.”

And let’s not forget the cognitive effects of cannabis. Your genes may make you more forgetful than your smoking buddy, so don’t feel bad if you don’t remember where you left your lighter.

But it’s not all bad news for geneticists. Some lucky ones have a mutation that increases their natural levels of endocannabinoids – the body’s own version of THC and CBD. These endocannabinoids are, as it were, your personal supply of feel-good molecules.

And having more of it means less anxiety and less chance of withdrawal symptoms. It’s like winning the genetic lottery! So if you’re one of the lucky 20% with this mutation, skip the joint altogether and just enjoy your natural high (just kidding).

#2 Sex

It seems Mother Nature has a few surprises in store when it comes to cannabis and gender. Men may have a larger appetite, but women rule when it comes to sensitivity to the herb.

Ladies, if you’re feeling pain, cannabis might be your new BFF. Sorry guys, you might have to take twice as much weed for the same relief.

But there’s more! It turns out that even menstrual cycles can influence the way weed is experienced. THC and estrogen are like two drops of water and the most powerful effects of cannabis only kick in when estrogen levels start to drop. Who knew hormones and herbs could be such a dynamic duo?

READ ALSO: Research • Why cannabis works differently in women

#3 Individual body chemistry

When it comes to cannabis, we are all a little different. It’s like a game of chance – you roll a 6 and have a great high, or you roll a 1 and feel a little underwhelmed. Just as some people can’t handle coffee or booze, some of us are more sensitive to weed than others.

But don’t be afraid. You trusted endocannabinoid system is there to save the day once again. It turns out that genetics, diet, stress and lifestyle can all affect your ECS and therefore your high.

So if you’re not feeling the magic of the sacred herb, it might be time to eat some omega-3 rich foods and give your endocannabinoid system the boost it craves. Remember, we are all unique – and that’s what makes the cannabis experience so wonderfully diverse.

READ ALSO: 5 tips to boost the endocannabinoid system

#4 General well-being

For people with PTSD or fibromyalgia, cannabis is like a superhero helper, who helps them fight their nemesis pain and fear. With a little magic from Cannabis Sativa L., they finally feel like normal people again, ready to take on the world.

It’s all about that endocannabinoid note. Cannabis comes to the rescue and ensures that these superheroes’ endocannabinoid systems are in tip-top condition. So when it comes to combating chronic conditions, cannabis is the answer Robin of your endocannabinoids Batman.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the endocannabinoid system (ECS)

#5 Tolerance

Let’s take a look at these. It’s no secret that the more cannabis you smoke, the less you feel like you’re floating on a cloud. Your tolerance for weed increases and you (always) need a little more to get the same buzz.

But if you’re a rookie in the weed world, pay attention! The plant’s powerful effects can have you floating to Mars faster than Elon Musk if your body isn’t used to the THC bliss yet.

READ ALSO: 5 tips for a low(er) THC tolerance + 3 myths debunked


Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a curious beginner, the way you experience cannabis depends on your unique factors. Your health, genetics, and lifestyle all play a role in how hard weed will hit you.

So don’t be surprised if you and your buddy react differently to the same strain. Blame it on your biochemistry…

[beeld: Shutterstock]



The article is in Dutch

Tags: reasons cannabis effect


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