CBD and THC have attracted more attention than any other chemical compounds in recent history. And that’s no surprise—whether we’re trying to learn more about how cannabinoids work or checking out the CBD to THC ratio of a new strain, the two terms are on our minds. A lot.
While CBD is largely in the spotlight for its many wellness properties, THC is a focal point in the legal recreational market. Why? Because it’s the one component of the cannabis plant that has the most potent psychoactive properties. As such, how much THC is in a strain or product will impact the type of high you experience. For those that are still learning how to choose the right THC products, we’ve put together a short guide to help you do just that.
The effects of THC—explained
THC—or tetrahydrocannabinol—is one of 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. As the primary psychoactive compound, it interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system to stimulate the release of dopamine, leading to feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Since this process relies on how the compound engages with our body (and all bodies are different), how two people experience a high from the same product can vary significantly. This means that you might have to do a bit of work to find the recreational product that gives you the effects that you’re looking for.
Landing on a high
While your endocannabinoid system is a crucial part of determining the type of high you might get from a THC-based product, there are other contributing factors that you can control.
How you feel before you take a hit can significantly impact how you feel after. For instance, the same strain might energize you when you’re in a social scenario or help you relax when you’re in the comfort of your own bed. Again, this comes down to trial and error—but be sure to keep your surroundings in mind as you try a new strain.
THC to CBD ratio
For insight into how much of an effect a product might have on you, you should check the THC:CBD on the product description. With strains that have a higher THC ratio, you’re more likely to feel the effects of euphoria and relaxation tied to the compound. Take too much, though, and you could face side effects like anxiety or couch lock.
Meanwhile, if you opt for a more balanced or CBD-dominant strain, the CBD can counteract some of the side effects while also providing its own wellness benefits. This happens in part due to the entourage effect—which speaks to how THC and CBD work together to enhance their effects. For those new to the scene, we recommend you start with a more balanced THC to CBD ratio.
How you consume cannabis plays a big role in how you experience its effects. With smoking or vaping, for instance, it can kick in relatively quickly as the cannabinoids access your bloodstream through the lungs. With edibles, however, the effects take longer as they have to go through your digestive system before being processed by the liver and entering your bloodstream — but the high is also likely to last longer. These are all things to factor in as you pick the right cannabis product for you.
Finding the right THC product
Feeling informed enough? Ready to get started? Great. Consider taking these steps as you make your foray into THC-based products.
1. Ask for advice
Start with someone you trust. A great high is something people love to share, and the same is true for cannabis knowledge. Talk to a friend about what they use cannabis for and and see if that aligns with how it might fit into your lifestyle. Once you have a better idea of what you might want, you can check in with your neighbourhood cannabis store. At Eden, our cannabis professionals are always keen to chat through our product selection and work with you to find the right strain—whether you’re brand new to the scene or a long-time cannabis enthusiast.
2. Start off in familiar surroundings
Start by sampling a strain at home. That way, if the effects of THC feel overwhelming, you can ride it out in the comfort of your couch.
3. Build up to the right high
We mean it when we say “start low, go slow.” Sure, the first few doses you might not feel much, but that’s better than being taken out of commission for a few hours by a strain that you just weren’t ready for. As part of this process, consider keeping a strain journal. With each strain you try, document how it makes you feel (consider mind and body sensations), how long the high lasts, how the flower burns, and how it tastes. This will help you figure out the patterns and commonalities in the strains and products that work for you.
In short, listen to your body, take our insights into account, and build up to a high that makes sense for you.
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