Friday, August 23, 2019

what is the endocannabinoid system

Understanding the endocannabinoid system is critical to understanding the effects of cannabis on the body and mind. After all, the endocannabinoid system isn’t just used to regulate key parts of the body, it’s also how cannabinoids interact with our bodies. First, the system signals other cells so you can think of it like a big communications network. “Endo” is short for endogenous, and of course cannabinoids include compounds found in cannabis. The endogenous part means “within the body,” essentially, which means the endocannabinoid system is optimally tuned to send and receive messages with cannabinoids that exist within the body — or outside. But why does all this exist? In a word: Homeostasis.

The body’s job is really to keep everything together, physically and chemically. That is, keeping the human engine working within specifications. Too hot and you have a fever, too cold and you can go into shock. Homeostasis is maintaining normalcy. If something goes awry, maybe it’s hot outside or you get hungry, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) will send the signals through the body so it can react accordingly. This is why cannabinoids from cannabis are so effective. The classic example is stimulating hunger through smoking cannabis when your body is disrupted through extensive chemotherapy.

endocannabionid system

The ECS plays a part in regulating many functions of the body, including sleep, memory, appetite, reproduction and mood. There are two types of ECS receptors, lovingly named CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system while the CB2 receptors are found around immune cells and the peripheral nervous system. Also, scientists know of two primary endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These are the ones produced by your body to send signals. Obviously, cannabinoids from elsewhere will affect these systems. Then, metabolic enzymes break down these compounds after they are no longer needed.

The thing is, scientists didn’t discover the ECS until the 1990’s, and are still understanding how it works within the body. Similarly, the interaction of cannabinoids and the ECS is now finally being studied in earnest. Here’s how we think smoking cannabis interacts with the body:

  • Smoking puts the cannabinoids in your bloodstream, which attach to CB1 receptors, and if it’s THC it’ll create the feeling of being high.
  • But another cannabinoid, which comes from your body, binds to these receptors as well. It’s called anandamide and it won’t get you high.
  • Anandamide won’t get you high like THC because an enzyme, FAAH, breaks it down quickly, whereas it works more slowly on THC.
  • This allows THC to have an effect while anandamide doesn’t.

As you can see, different cannabinoids will not only bind to different receptors, but enzymes and naturally-produced cannabinoids all contribute to the impact within the body. That’s why there’s so much intriguing research in this area, to determine the whys and hows of each strain’s effects and potential. The body’s messaging system is a powerful tool, and it would seem purpose-built to interact in novel ways with cannabinoids that exist elsewhere in nature. With time, we may unlock even more uses for cannabis.

best-methods-taking-cbd

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the latest rage, with good reason. There have been numerous health benefits shown in studies, and the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD products across the country. Innovative companies had already started hemp crops to supply the CBD product explosion, with many states seeing a tripling — or more — of requests for permission to grow the plants. Also, new companies refining and producing all sorts of things with CBD in them have lent a bit of a fad mystique to consumption. It’s understandable for people to be skeptical when you see hair pomade with CBD in it. Which brings us to the question: What’s the best way to take CBD? You can smoke it, eat it, rub it on your temples, or put it in your bath. 

There are also different types of CBD, of course. There’s raw vs pure, full spectrum, activated, and so on, but we’re going to focus on how you’re getting any of these into your body. The key here is how easy it is for your body to use the CBD, and that’s called “bioavailability.” As you might imagine, getting a compound into your bloodstream — where your body can use it — is easiest when simply injected into your bloodstream. But no one is running around “shooting up” CBD, so we’re left with a few other alternatives. 

Ingestion

Eating CBD is one of the more direct ways to get it into your body, but the process involves your stomach, which contains compounds that break down your food, and your intestines, which contain gut bacteria also designed to break things down. After being metabolized by the liver, CBD can get into your bloodstream. This all takes a bit longer than some other methods, but tends to be the preferred method for some people. Dosages can be hard to measure with edibles, just like with THC edibles, so while it’s easy it’s perhaps not the best method for bioavailability. Better would be capsules with measured dosages, but they’ll go the same route as a cookie. Eating CBD allows it to stick around longer in the body, but can take longer to have an effect.

Tinctures

Similar to eating CBD, tinctures are a staple of health stores that have previously sold nutritional supplements in this form. A few drops go under the tongue, and after 30 seconds or so you swallow what hasn’t been absorbed. Obviously this is a fairly direct way to get compounds into the bloodstream, but effects can vary due to our individual chemistry and the type of CBD you’re using. 

Topicals

There are now hundreds of CBD-infused beauty products designed to help the skin. There are also plenty that are applied to the skin, but claim to be absorbed. It’s really difficult to go from skin to bloodstream (for very good reasons), so that’s not a great way to get CBD into your body. On the skin it actually works pretty well, in part due to the ability to reduce inflammation. This could help with puffy eyes, rosacea, and other skin concerns, but may only relieve tension if combined with essential oils as well to help permeate the skin itself.

Smoking

There are two ways to smoke CBD: either by burning the flowers (joints, bongs, pipes) or by vaping oil or concentrates of some kind. For some, the traditional grinding and smoking method is both comforting and useful. Smoking will absolutely get CBD into your bloodstream quickly, as the lungs are made for this purpose. Vaping will do the same, and has the added benefit of removing additional chemicals that can occur when smoking buds. Carcinogens in regular smoking may not be a good idea for some, but it’s still an effective way to get CBD in your system. Vaping is likely the safest, most effective and convenient way of consuming CBD.

Image credit: Flickr

cbg cannabinoid

There are a bunch of cannabinoids in cannabis, but not all of them have the same effect on our endocannabinoid system. Obviously THC has a psychoactive effect, while CBD does not. Some cannabinoids exist in live plants, and later convert into another form of cannabinoid. This is the case with CBG, or cannabigerol. This is typically converted to THC or CBD as a plant matures, leaving a given plant 1% or less of the substance. However, as lab testing has become more prevalent, cannabis purveyors and scientists alike are beginning to look at the potential uses of minor cannabinoids like CBG. What therapeutic uses could it have? How can we isolate and increase the potency to unlock its potential? Here’s a rundown on the potential uses of this minor star in the cannabis constellation.

Cannabis plants are unique in their ability to create cannabigerolic acid. CBGA is the precursor to the three main branches of cannabinoids: THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. The plant creates enzymes that break down CBGA into these major cannabinoids, which are then converted with heat or UV light. Then they become the “neutral” forms we know and love: THC, CBD, and CBC (learn more about CBC here). Interestingly, CBGA can also be directly converted to CBG by smoking it, for example. Plus, industrial hemp shows higher amounts of CBG which has led to breeders working to create strains with higher concentrations. One can also extract CBG at a specific point in the plant’s maturation process, which has led to medicinal strains like Bediol which have higher-than-normal amounts of CBG in them. 

What effect does CBG have on the body? There’s still research needing to be done, but what we know is promising. From anxiety to bone growth to cancer, the list of potential uses is pretty long. Let’s start with the immediate effect on the body, which is similar to CBD. In fact, CBG is not psychoactive and appears to counter paranoia from “heady” THC highs. Also, like CBD, CBG is a GABA uptake inhibitor, which means it can work on tension and anxiety. 

Cannabigerol appears to have a number of potential medical uses, but research has been limited due to the peculiar nature of its role in converting cannabinoids. There has been much hay about anti-cancer effects of cannabis, but leukemia cells targeted by CBG, CBD, and even CBGV all appeared to perform about as well as THC. The same study showed that combining cannabinoids could outright destroy cancer cells. Its anti-inflammatory effects can help people with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and its vasodilation also impacts those with glaucoma. And while scientists don’t exactly know why, cannabis appears to show antibacterial properties that could help with combating staph infections. CBG is one of the more promising candidates there, but appears to work best in concert with other cannabinoids.

So think of CBG is a sort of mysterious cousin to CBD, because the body treats it similarly. There are no psychoactive effects, it seems to calm anxiety, and works best when combined with other cannabinoids. It’s a more elusive cannabinoid, but there are new strains and extractions making it easier to find and see if it works for you.

thcv cannabinoid

Cannabis has over 100 cannabinoids that scientists have been able to isolate from the plant. The two most people are aware of, THC and CBD, have different specific effects on the human body. What about the other cannabinoids? Well, let’s take a look at THCV, or Tetrahydrocannabivarin, a very interesting one indeed. It’s important to note that THCV is found in trace amounts in most cannabis strains, but of course can be isolated chemically or boosted with breeding techniques. Also, THCV boils at a higher temperature than THC, so if you’re using a vape you’ll need to turn up the heat to access its properties. All that said, there are promising effects shown from THCV which we’ll look at here, as well as where you’re more likely to find the cannabinoid in practice.

So what is it, really? THCV is known as an analogue of THC, just a few carbon atoms away from everyone’s favorite psychoactive cannabinoid. The first thing that might come to mind is, “does it get you high?” but the science is a little more complicated here. Yes, it can activate the CB1 receptors that cause you to get high, but only in high doses. In lower doses it seems to inhibit those receptors and act more like CBD, which doesn’t get you high. Weird, right? If you do get buzzed from THCV it’s supposed to be more clear-headed and last a shorter time. But the psychoactive effects aren’t what makes this cannabinoid so interesting.

Here are a few things that research shows THCV could help with:

  • Weight loss. Yep, you may have heard of “skinny weed” or strains that don’t give you the munchies? THCV appears to work more as an appetite suppressant than its big sister THC.
  • Diabetes. Perhaps related, THCV seems to help with insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Panic! Similar to CBD, THCV can dull the anxiety some feel when they partake in high-THC concentration strains.

There is promising research indicating therapy for Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis, but so far the science is still in progress on these.

As we said earlier, THCV is only found in trace amounts in most strains, but there are some with higher concentrations than others. And of course, it’s quite likely that with more knowledge of the power of this cannabinoid that breeders may introduce newer strains to better emphasize it. African sativas seem to have the most THCV right now. You can also ask your budtender for lab-tested strains to ensure what you’re getting has as much THCV as you can get. Until then, here are a few strains we know have higher-than-normal amounts of THCV:

  • Doug’s Varin. This was specifically bred to have more THCV than others.
  • Pineapple Purps was also bred to have more THCV.
  • Durban Poison is probably the most commonly found high-THCV strain around, and it has been cross-bred with other strains, like Cherry Pie, to impart more of the cannabinoid.
  • Red Congolese is another African sativa worth a look.
  • Willie Nelson is notable due to the legend that Nelson himself bought an entire crop once. It’s supposed to be great for mornings, helping with anxiety and depression.

Again, ask your budtender if there are any new strains worth looking at that contain elevated THCV levels, or any new products that emphasize this fascinating and complex cannabinoid. It’s just another one of the many useful and different compounds being used for therapeutic uses.

entourage effect

As CBD (cannabidiol) products have exploded onto markets across the U.S., there’s naturally a heaping amount of skepticism about its legitimate medical uses. CBD products are seemingly everywhere, and now that hemp has been legalized there’s a growing misconception that CBD is for medicine and THC is for “fun.” But part of the reason CBD is now available is because a number of patients who had legitimate uses pushed to raise awareness of its benefits, and argued that ultra-low THC amounts in hemp products wouldn’t have the recreational uses high-concentration THC products do. In fact, cannabis used to have very little THC until breeders started creating strains with ever-higher concentrations (no pun intended). What we’re finding is that there’s a sort of middle ground, or “sweet spot” where THC and CBD can combine to become even more effective for treating certain disorders. This combination is known as “the entourage effect” because the THC and CBD are greater than the sum of their parts.

Project CBD has a great reference for the skeptics out there who have maybe seen CBD products in stores and called them “snake oil” or something similar.  What’s interesting about this list is it explains how THC and CBD work together, like a power couple. The entourage effect looks not at individual compounds and how they work alone — long the practice of pharmaceutical companies and government regulators — but how the many chemicals in cannabis can combine to provide specific benefits. If you like fruit punch, wouldn’t fruit punch soda be tastier? OK, it’s not quite that simple. But the synergistic effect of multiple compounds used together is hard to deny.

In fact, cannabis strains contain hundreds of compounds from terpenes to cannabinoids and the many combinations in different quantities can have different effects on different people. The FDA and big pharmaceutical companies tend to look at individual compounds, not their synergistic effects. That’s why doctors have to be extra careful when prescribing pills to avoid drugs having a detrimental effect on patients. If one drug causes a patient’s kidneys to work less effectively and another causes calcium to leach out of the bones, that patient could wind up with horrible kidney stones. With cannabis, it’s a completely different story. So far no one has found a detrimental combination of the cannabinoids and terpenes and other compounds. No one has suffered complications from mixing THC and CBD — quite the opposite, in fact.

In fact, while CBD products are effective, and THC products are effective, the two together work even better. Whole plant products are optimal, as they can address a range of symptoms by combining with our natural cannabinoid receptors in novel ways. Perhaps the best example of this entourage effect is from this 2012 study that shows patients who tended to get paranoid with THC products felt far less so when CBD was also in the mix. Even this highly skeptical Scientific American article buries a valid indicator of the entourage effect in its lengthy takedown, noting that the short-term memory impact of THC can be lessened if the terpene pinene is added to the mix. The ultimate problem is that there hasn’t been enough scientific study thanks to continuing federal narcotics scheduling that makes it impossible for most universities and even private researchers to do more studies.

Still, the notion that combining multiple compounds for specific therapeutic use isn’t unknown to medicine, it just happens to be less accepted in Western medicine. Some argue a better term would be “therapeutic ensemble” to indicate that specific formulations will have specific effects. That’s the middle ground between “throw the whole plant at it” and “isolate just this one compound” and there’s hope that further study will show exactly how doctors can harness all the therapeutic uses of cannabis in the future.

cannabis addiction increasing

Before one can answer the very important question asking whether or not marijuana addiction is currently on the rise, the whole idea of “addiction,” needs to be clearly defined. When someone most commonly thinks of addiction or an addict, they picture a person who is so obsessed with something that they are unable to stop. Others will argue that in order for something to be addictive, it has to be harmful. This gets complicated when it comes to a possible marijuana addiction, because there are little to no negative health consequences to using cannabis.

Many people who have used marijuana in the past will testify that they quit their smoking habit with no struggle. Since there is typically not a painful “detox” or “withdrawal” period that is usually associated with other drug addictions, it can be argued that an excessive use of marijuana does not qualify for an actual addiction. Typically when someone is trying to halt the use of harmful drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and even alcohol, there are many negative physical and mental side effects that can hinder the process or even force a person to relapse and go back to their addictive state. When a person is attempting to stop using marijuana they most typically experience moodiness and irritability.

On the other hand, there are people that will claim they have or currently do suffer from marijuana addiction. Despite the low health risks, some individuals do experience negative mental and emotional side effects. There have been instances where a person has felt that they truly could not stop using marijuana no matter how hard they try. The public opinion on whether or not marijuana addiction is considered an actual addiction varies greatly.

Related content: Why we’re wrong about addiction

So before becoming informed on whether or not marijuana addiction is on the rise, is it important to break down what that really means and how you personally define addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is a part of the National Institute of Health, calls it, “Marijuana Use Disorder,” and says that 30 percent of people who use marijuana develop some level of this. The NIDA classifies marijuana use disorder as a dependence on the drug rather than an addiction to the drug due to the lack of a withdrawal period.

Denver has reported that marijuana addiction is not only real, it is getting worse. Patrick Fehling, an addiction therapist in Colorado told the Denver Post that one out of every eleven people that uses marijuana becomes addicted. CBS News reports that around 15 percent of Colorado residents use marijuana, coming in third place behind Vermont at almost 16 percent and Alaska at over 16 percent.

Despite the evidence that does show that small numbers of marijuana users do become at least dependent on the drug, its popularity is only growing. Over half of the States in the U.S. already allow for the legal consumption of medical marijuana, and eleven states (including D.C.) allow the use of marijuana for recreational purposes as well. When more substantial research is done, maybe there will be a larger discussion on the issue of marijuana addiction.

can cannabis motivate you to exercise

There’s a stereotype around cannabis use that implies it will make you lazy, or at least demotivated to enjoy physical exercise. Of course, phenomena like couchlock are real, and Indica strains are indeed bred to relax the body and mind. But there’s now evidence that shows the default assumption that cannabis makes you less likely to enjoy some exercise is just that: An assumption. This new research shows that cannabis may make exercise more enjoyable.

The study, published in the medical journal Frontiers in Medical Health, used an online survey to ask hundreds of cannabis users about their use and athletic activity. Over 80% of the respondents noted an improved experience while exercising. The respondents who reported having a more enjoyable workout tended to be young men, according to the survey.

This doesn’t necessarily mean cannabis will motivate you to begin to exercise, of course. Instead, it shows that if you’re inclined to exercise, cannabis can improve the overall experience of doing so. The survey also indicates that those who partook were more likely to exercise more, and that it helped their post-workout recovery. Yes, there’s a motivational aspect to this because if you do exercise on cannabis you may enjoy it more, which could lead to more exercise. In fact, half of the respondents say it did increase their motivation to exercise more.

Nevertheless, the factors that motivate someone to exercise at all are extremely varied and beyond the scope of this study. It could be a doctor warning someone of dire consequences if they don’t get to the gym, for instance. Or, it could simply be someone who has maybe “let themselves go” and now wants to get fit. Further study is needed to understand if cannabis can motivate people to exercise given the many reasons why someone may start — or stop.

This study does help erode the notion that cannabis is inherently demotivational, however. It also shows that cannabis use can improve the experience of a great many activities in life, including exercise. If that news spreads, it could very well motivate more people to exercise. The researchers involved with the story admit that even though it’s possible that increased enjoyment of exercise due to cannabis use could lead to more exercise overall, there’s more research to be done to confirm that theory. As with much cannabis research taking place in states where legalization has taken hold, we’re only beginning to discover all the benefits that result when citizens are allowed to choose cannabis for recreation or medication.

The researchers say: “This study represents an important step in clarifying cannabis use with exercise among adult users in states with legal cannabis markets, and provides guidance for future research directions.”

microdosing weed

There was a time when microdosing weed would have been unthinkable. Back in the days of peak prohibition, “getting high” for the first time often meant overindulging. Movies portrayed characters who handled large amounts of marijuana, with perhaps one of the most notable moments being a giant joint smoked onscreen in “Up In Smoke” from 1978. Today cannabis users are a bit more sophisticated. OK, a lot more sophisticated. Never mind the wide range of ways to ingest cannabis, what we’re seeing now is increasing sophistication in the dosages, too. That’s where microdosing comes in. It’s a term you may have heard in relation to psychedelics, but what does it mean for marijuana?

The fact is that THC concentrations have been trending upwards for a generation or more. But as therapeutic uses for cannabis continue to grow, there’s a trend to be more aware of just how much the body needs to cause certain effects. This trend towards smaller quantities of cannabis taken over time is called microdosing, and it can help reap medical benefits without the resulting “high” commonly associated with many modern strains. It makes sense, really. A potent strain may have specific benefits for certain medical issues, but instead of a strong dose at the beginning of the day which could leave the imbiber slightly incapacitated, the lesser dosage throughout the day helps even things out. The classic example involves smoking so much you become anxious, when you’re trying to reduce anxiety.

Technically a microdose is the lowest dosage you can get that will create an effect, but that effect is so subtle it’s hard to perceive. Chemotherapy comes close to this idea, in that the drugs and radiation treatments from chemo could, in larger amounts, kill a person. But they are carefully controlled so as to kill only the cancer, not the patient (although the patient can get sick from the chemo). The goal with microdosing is to benefit from the therapy without causing issues with side effects — like the feeling of being high.

You might also compare microdosing weed to a time-release capsule. Aspirin and many other drugs are available in time-release formulas because the dosage may be so strong as to cause adverse effects. With aspirin, too much can cause upset stomach and heartburn. A time-released dosage of aspirin over several hours is less likely to cause these issues but still provides the pain relief needed. While microdosing cannabis is relatively new, the idea is quite old.

Does it work? Leafly details the experience of a few people who have tried microdosing cannabis with great benefit. However, the article notes that individuals vary in tolerances and receptiveness to various strains, which means the best idea is to start with low doses to begin with, and work your way up from there. It has been suggested that you start with 5mg, then going up from there. Some say 10mg, but it’s quite variable. Either way, the advice is pretty simple: start low and steadily work your way to where you need to be. If you end up “feeling high” you know you’ve hit a threshold.

Of course the other big question isn’t just how much, but HOW you actually ingest the cannabis. Smoking is harder to measure than other methods, like taking edibles. Even so, only a few companies are creating edibles with microdose-levels of THC. That could change as the practice becomes more widely known. Right now there’s a bit of a lack of product when it comes to microdosing marijuana, but that could change as more patients seek therapeutic uses over recreational uses.

cannabis sleep

Although there are strains of cannabis that will have a greater or lesser effect on how easily you get to sleep, there’s some debate about how it affects your sleep itself. There have been studies that show smoking can help you get to sleep faster, and honestly the plant has been used as a sleep aid for centuries. So we know cannabis can make you sleepy, but does it help you sleep better?

There are two components in rating the effectiveness of sleep: the duration and the quality. You’ve no doubt heard everyone recommend eight full hours of sleep, although science shows there is some variation here. There’s a small percentage of the population that can truly skip an hour or two, but that’s about it. Sleep is utterly essential to our survival and mental well-being, as Randy Gardner found out years ago when he stayed awake for 11 days straight — a record he never fully recovered from. The good news is, cannabis can prolong sleep and help you get to sleep faster.

However, researchers have found that cannabis can disrupt REM sleep. There are essentially two phases of sleep that account for the restful sleep your mind and body require to keep going every day. One phase is deep sleep, which cannabis promotes. Deep sleep helps the brain sort and store all the stuff it encountered through the day. This is why cannabis is great if you have insomnia, as sufferers only sleep a few hours and the brain has a harder time with memory recall (among other issues) as a result.

Now, REM sleep comes from the “rapid eye movements” seen under the eyelids during this phase. We’re still unlocking the mysteries of sleep, but REM sleep is usually when we dream. Since cannabis can shorten the amount we’re in the REM phase, it can also reduce dreaming. There are actually four phases of REM sleep, but scientists believe overall it’s needed to help regulate the body’s temperature and neurotransmitter levels. All the chemicals that are used during the day to help you make decisions need replenishing and something that can happen is it can become harder to make decisions later in the day. This is called “decision fatigue” and you can imagine it gets much worse with less REM sleep.

The good news here is that your body can “catch up” on REM sleep provided you eventually get a full night’s rest and your brain goes through all the necessary phases. Cannabis isn’t the only compound to deter REM, as nicotine and alcohol will do the same, as will some medicines.

Speaking of medicine, it’s the complex nature of the cannabinoids and their interaction in our bodies that makes this research a little uneven so far. For example, since cannabis is prescribed for PTSD, at what level is it aiding sleep versus the effects of the trauma? Trauma can induce insomnia, as can chemical interactions and a dozen other factors. Figuring out which cannabinoids work best with sleep is what researchers are starting to figure out.

What you need to know is the three well-known cannabinoids in cannabis will impact your rest in different ways. CBD is often used to help with alertness, but it can help relax the body enough to become restful. Cannabinol (CBN) appears to have a strong sedative effect. When combined with THC, CBN may even multiply this effect. But CBN is found in aged cannabis, whereas THC is more prevalent. THC reduces dreaming and REM, as mentioned above, even though it  may offer sleep-inducing effects.

Finally, the terpenes in cannabis that give each strain its particular smell and taste also play a role in sleep. Perhaps the most promising is Linalool, also found in lavender, a plant well-known for its calming properties. Linalool increases adenosine, which is a sedating hormone that helps guide our body into restful sleep.

The effects of cannabis on your sleep are still being understood, but sleep itself is a bit of a mystery to us. We can’t live without sleep, however, and it seems cannabis can help those who have trouble getting enough.

couchlock causes effects

What is couchlock? It’s pretty simple: You’re too stoned to get off the couch. Or the bed, or wherever you’re enjoying cannabis that hits you so hard you feel like a wet weighted blanket just landed on you. Couchlock occurs when you’ve either ingested too much cannabis at once and the effects are a bit overpowering, or a particular strain hits you particularly hard one day. Let’s look at some of the specifics as to why you get couchlock, and what you can do about it.

Indica strains are particularly noted for their “sinking into the couch” feeling. That’s why the mnemonic device for remembering the overall effect of these strains is “indica couch.” But there are sativa strains that can be potent enough to sedate you to the point of knocking you off your feet. Some people want this, of course, but it can also be a surprise effect of especially potent strains that take a little bit to impact your system. That creeping effect can cause you to overindulge that session, causing you to be drowsier than intended.

While there isn’t a consensus on what causes couchlock, there are indications the terpene myrcene causes the sedative effect in your body. Some say lower levels of myrcene will give you a feeling of euphoria and energy, but at levels higher than .04% will begin to have a sedative effect.

Now, if you feel couchlock coming, one way to avoid it is to make some coffee or a sugary drink, or get some food in your system. Rest for about 15 minutes or so and try to enjoy it! Many people actually enjoy couchlock as a way to reset, or force their body to rest when sick.

A good CBD strain can also counteract the effects of couchlock, so if you have some handy try smoking your way out of the sluggishness. Why? Research shows CBD blocks the CB1 receptors in the brain, which reduces the effects of some other cannabinoids — like THC.

After some rest, maybe a little CBD, get up and stretch or even take a walk out in the sunshine to get your energy levels back. It’s possible you might still have to “ride it out” for a bit, but take note of what triggered the occurrence. It could be a strain in particular that just hits you especially hard. It’s good to know, whether you want to avoid the feeling of couchlock in the future, or embrace it.