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No one knows for sure how they’re going to feel after they’ve used cannabis. You could feel relaxed, energized, tired or you could even have a serious case of the giggles. Cannabis doesn’t effect everyone the same way, what makes you feel one way may make your friends feel another way. The way cannabis affects you isn’t determined by the plant itself, it’s actually a complex interaction between your DNA and the plant. Here are 5 key factors that determine the way marijuana effects your body.

1. The strain

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People often turn to a specific strain, such as “Indica”, in order to receive a certain type of high. However, just because the strain may be known to relax you or give you a ton of energy, it doesn’t mean it will have the same effects on your body every time. Merry Jane’s Roni Stetter noted that the cross-breeding technique has led to an increase in the number of “hybrids” on the market, which means the side effects are unpredictable and are not consistent. To put it simply, don’t get your hopes up that your favorite strain will give you the effect your looking for every time.

2. Sensitivity to terpenes

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Terpenes, or terpenoids, are the compounds that are found in an abundance of plants, including cannabis. They are what gives the plant its own unique smell and taste. If you have problems with allergies, these compounds could effect you differently than someone else that isn’t prone to allergies. They can actually cause differences in your pulse, blood pressure, movement of air in your lungs, and so on. If you find yourself sneezing or turning a bit red after a bake session, meanwhile, your friends are feeling fine, it could be due to your reaction to terpenes.

3. Tolerance and experience

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It’s common sense that experienced smokers tend to have a higher tolerance than those who may not smoke as often. However, not many are aware that your smoking tolerance doesn’t automatically give you a tolerance for edibles. User Giddy Up told The Cannabist that the reason you get an intense high from edibles is because of the minimum amount of membranes that pass through the stomach. It’s absorbed differently than when you smoke. For edibles, it’s recommended that you begin with a dose of 10 milligrams. After about 90 minutes of waiting to see how you feel, you can work your way up. When you smoke or vaporize, you can tell more easily how high you are going to be.

4. Mixing with alcohol

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When drinking alcohol is mixed with smoking cannabis, it’s called “cross-fading“. People often do it because it gives them a particular high that they enjoy. Certain individuals may not be so lucky, though. When someone mixes alcohol with smoking, they could experience some serious dizziness and may even feel nauseous. Alcohol can potentially give you an uncomfortable high due to the fact that it can cause the body to absorb THC faster. Again, each person is different and some can comfortably enjoy alcohol and a joint, or ten.

5. Mood and expectations

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Your mood effects everything you do in life, including your high. If you spark up while you’re sad or dealing with high amounts of stress, the feeling will only become more intense. Also, don’t have high expectations for each product you buy, it may not effect you the way you want and from there you will probably blame it on the product itself. The authors of a study that was published in 2005 in the journal, Addiction and Research Theory, couldn’t have said it better:

“Being knowledgeable, thoughtful and well-prepared for using drugs, pretty well any drug, minimizes the risks and dangerousness of the experience, and maximizes positive aspects of the experience”.

Were you aware that these 5 factors dictate how marijuana effects your body? Do you know of any other contributing factors? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.

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Brittney Sanger

Writer at HERB
I am a free spirit located in a small college town. Most of the time I am busy working towards my degree in Healthcare Management. During my spare time, I enjoy writing, reading, shopping, music and board games. Most of all, I like Cannabis. I am a firm believer in Cannabis and the good it does for people. Marijuana is my motivator, my medicine for when I'm sick, and my most favored pick-me-up. Meeting and connecting with other Cannabis lovers is a passion of mine. It's a nice feeling to know that so many people feel the same way I do on the subject.
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