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Why Cannabis Affects Everyone Differently

April 28, 2024

Are you curious why your friend gets the giggles with a single puff, and you feel more mellow and relaxed?

Individual reactions and cannabis effects vary, but science can explain why this happens.

In the following post, we dive deep into the fascinating science behind why cannabis effects vary from person to person. We’ll explore the role of the endocannabinoid system, the power of genetics, and even how your mood can influence your experience.

Individual Reactions to Cannabis

No two people experience cannabis the same way. Let’s look at why individual reactions to cannabis, according to science.

Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system that helps your body regulate functions such as sleep and mood.

Science has identified two endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG). These are responsible for keeping your body functioning normally.

The two primary endocannabinoid receptors are CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 is found in the central nervous system, and CB2 is found mainly in your peripheral nervous system.

Cannabinoids & Their Effects

There are over 100 different types of cannabinoids, but only about 60 of them have been identified. For cannabis consumers, however, the most widely known are:

THC–Psychoactive effects in the body; can impair memory and coordination.
CBD–Non-psychoactive; doesn’t produce a high and can alleviate anxiety and pain.
THCV–Psychoactive; more energetic high than THC.
CDVNonpsychoactive; could potentially help with epilepsy.
CBC–Non-psychoactive; doesn’t produce a high on its own, has anti-inflammatory properties.
CBN–Mild psychoactive effects; potential to help with sleep and pain relief.
CBGV–Limited research is available.

The vast number of cannabinoids in each plant can lead to various experiences for cannabis use. Where one person may experience an extreme high when consuming cannabis, another might not feel the same effect. The strain and type of cannabis used matter.

Genetic Variations

Our genes play a role in how we experience cannabis.

For example, the CB1 receptor is the primary target for THC in the brain. Genetic variations in the CB1 receptor gene can impact how strongly THC binds to it. This can influence the intensity and duration of the psychoactive affects you experience.

Also, our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, like those found in cannabis. Genes regulate the enzymes and break down these endocannabinoids. Your gene variability can affect how long the cannabinoids stay active, with the potential to influence how external cannabinoids from cannabis work.

Metabolism Matters

Genes also code for enzymes responsible for metabolizing cannabinoids in the liver. Variations in these genes can determine how quickly your body breaks down THC and other cannabinoids, impacting the duration and intensity of the effects.

Other factors like body weight and gut bacteria can impact the duration and intensity of cannabis effects.

Beyond Biology–Additional Factors Influencing Effects

Outside biology, there are three other influencing factors you could encounter:

Mindset & Expectations–Your mood and expectations before consuming cannabis can influence various cannabis effects.
Tolerance and Regular Use–Regular cannabis use can lead to tolerance, meaning you need more to feel the same effects.
Cannabis Product & Consumption Methods–Edibles take longer to feel but can feel more intense. Smoking cannabis is immediate, but the effects don’t last as long.

Find Out How Cannabis Effects You

Because cannabis research is underfunded, it’s difficult to know precisely how cannabis might affect you personally. However, your weight, gender, genes, and consumption methods all affect how you experience cannabis.

As always, we recommend you start your cannabis journey with a low dose and go slowly. Don’t rush it; experience the strains for yourself to find the perfect fit for your body and mindset. The result is a more enjoyable experience with one of life’s most enjoyable plants. Learn more by visiting us in person or by staying updated with the blog!

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