Dear CannaCurious: I’ve used CBD with success for about a year but I’ve heard it works better with THC. But I’m worried about getting high. What is it like to be high? Signed, Comfortable on the Ground
Dear Grounded: What you are referring to is called the “entourage effect.” Studied by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam, the entourage effect shows that non-psychoactive CBD and pychoactive THC work better in tandem to battle pain, inflammation, sleeplessness, and other issues. A great example of this is for children with epilepsy; their medicine often has low-dose THC along with a strong dose of CBD to battle seizures.
Many factors can impact the experience of being high, including product, place and people.
All legal cannabis is labeled with its levels of CBD and TCH, which is listed as a percentage or expressed as a ratio of CBD to THC, like 10:1. Ask your budtender to explain if you don’t understand it.
Your experience can also be impacted by how you choose to consume. Smoking a joint, pipe or bong is the most popular method as it takes effect quickly (usually within 5-10 minutes) and roughly lasts two hours. The smoke enters the lungs and then THC goes into the bloodstream almost immediately.
Vaping, the second most popular method, interacts with the bloodstream in the same way, but the user inhales infused steam rather than smoke.
If you decide to eat cannabis-infused food or drinks, keep in mind that edibles can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect, and may last up to 8 hours.
Another factor to consider is place. Choose a place where you feel comfortable to examine your personal experience. Time may seem to pass more slowly or quickly than usual. For some, there is also a third factor: people. Using cannabis can be social, personal, or everything in between. For users early in their experience, a friend with know-how can be a helpful guide.
Perhaps you have heard that cannabis makes you “paranoid.” THC can produce an effect that others will recognize that you are high, leading to anxiety and unease. Not everyone has this feeling and with repeated use, this feeling will often dissipate.
A few more common experiences you may have: You may feel happy and get chatty or giggly. Or you might have a more reflective experience and get lost in your own thoughts. Some find it stimulates creativity or increases their energy.
The “munchies” are real. Cannabis stimulates appetite and makes food taste better. Have a supply of healthy, non-infused treats and plenty of water on hand.
While some consumers may experience a few uncomfortable side effects like red eyes or dry mouth, the overall effect for many is pain relief and an improved attitude.
One final caution: getting high can impair concentration and coordination, so avoid driving or operating machinery in this altered state. And, although the direct effects may wear off within hours, cannabis may remain in your body for a month.
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