Why Does Cannabis Affect People Differently?
Have you ever wondered why your friend gets paranoid AF after you smoke the same amount of the same strain? It all boils down to the wonders of the endocannabinoid system and the human body.
Even though cannabis use and legalization is at an all-time high in the United States, there’s still a lot of missing chapters when it comes to what we know scientifically about how the plant really works because it still remains illegal at the federal level.
One thing we know for sure is that it affects people differently. With hundreds of cannabis strains out there, even if Blue Dream works perfectly for you, the same strain can give someone else a headache or anxiety. We can all work with suggested strains and recommended doses, but there is still no one-size-fits-all solution or explanation to how some people will react with cannabis. And there probably never will be.
Studies prove that cannabis affects men and women differently. Men tend to experience more significant pain relief than women and have an increased tolerance to pain from cannabis compared, but other studies also find the opposite to be true. While more research is needed to verify this, current available data tells us that there are varying levels that affect how men and women respond to cannabis. Additionally, when women have their periods, this also has an impact on the effect of cannabis on the female’s body. Because THC interacts with this hormone, women are more susceptible to feeling higher a few days before ovulation because this is when estrogen levels begin to fall after it peaks. Another interesting finding is that men tend to get the munchies more than women.
To put it simply, some people are just more sensitive to certain things than others. Remember that an individual may be allergic to cannabis just like how a person can be allergic to alcohol or certain food. In the same vein, a few sips of coffee can send one person palpitating while the next person can consume up to three cups a day with no physical changes whatsoever. Some individuals are more biologically adept at absorbing the drug into their bloodstream as well. There are physiological factors, such as lung volume and surface area, lung capacity, heart rate, breath duration, pH levels, and vascularity which can affect how cannabis is absorbed in the human body. Additionally, the method one uses to ingest cannabis will also impact the absorption process.
Clearly, a more experienced cannabis consumer will experience a high drastically differently from someone who’s only toked up a few times. The more cannabis you’ve consumed in your lifetime, the more recently, and the more frequently will all have an impact on your tolerance. Over time your body will get used to the cannabinoids and terpenes, which will make you less sensitive to the effect of cannabis.
It’s estimated that around 20% of the American adult population have a specific genetic mutation that results in increased levels of endocannabinoids, thereby making them less susceptible to anxiety and less prone to the effects of THC and CBD because the body already produces enough of these similar reactions naturally. While we do know more now about how cannabis interacts with the body, there’s still a significant amount of questions that we don’t know about especially when it comes to the field of genetics.
A person who uses cannabis recreationally will have a completely different experience from someone who is using cannabis to treat an ailment or disease. If you are suffering from a condition whether serious or not, it will have an impact on your endocannabinoid system, the receptors, and how your body will respond to cannabis.
How much cannabis arrives at the site of action is largely based on the distribution processes, which will differ from one person to another. Some of these factors will include absorption combined with other variable such as body fat index, body mass, and gender.
These are just some of the reasons we understand today why cannabis affects people differently, although certainly more studies need to be done to better understand it. Finding the right method of administration, dosage, and cannabis strain that’s perfectly suited to your recreational or medical needs requires a lot of patience, trial, and error.