It seems that there are two types of people in the world – those who can smoke weed, and those who can’t.
Hear us out, okay… for the vast majority of people, smoking weed brings about feelings of euphoria, floatiness, and a general attitude of “yeah, dude, everything’s totally chill” in response to any given question.
But for the rest of the population, there seems to be one defining feature of weed-smoking that makes it nearly impossible to enjoy. Yeah, that’s right. We’ve all seen it happen. Anxiety.
There’s always one, isn’t there?
Now, we aren’t judging – in fact, the number of people experiencing weed-induced episodes of intense anxiety and acute paranoia isn’t far off the percentage of those having what seems like the time of their lives.
Though genetic predisposition definitely plays a part in deciding whether you’re a “yeah, dude” or a “no, oh my god, where am I” kind of weed smoker, there’s usually a more obvious reason for your apparent freak-out.
Just give me a reason…
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. It’s responsible for the more ‘trippy’ feelings that weed can give users. After your first toke, heart rate increases and blood pressure lowers, and you may begin to feel ‘out of balance’.
Now, because THC is an endocannabinoid, it will stimulate an increase in Anandamide – this is a fatty acid neurotransmitter that can increase feelings of joy or “delight”. More physically, however, it causes blood vessels to dilate.
Because of this, the body becomes alarmed at the sudden decrease in oxygen uptake and tells the heart to start pumping faster to make up for it.
At this point, you’re probably feeling sweaty, dizzy, and a little regretful. It’s not fair, you think.
How come everyone else is enjoying it?
The higher the THC concentration in your weed, the more likely it is that you’ll experience a less “chill” high. In fact, repeated ingestion of high-THC strains has been shown to increase the risk of long-term memory problems, prolonged anxiety and paranoia, and even psychosis.
So, why switch from THC to CBD?
First, it’s important to understand how THC and CBD (cannabidiol) differ. Cannabis contains hundreds of cannabinoids, and THC and CBD are the most prominent. THC is psychoactive (we explained this above), while CBD is not.
Why is this?
Well, research has shown that CBD can act as a THC antagonist – it can bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system and reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. This is why weed-smokers that prefer low-THC, high-CBD strains tend to experience a far less psychedelic high.
Now, there’s the interesting bit: CBD is legal in the UK. Yes, we know – awesome, right? Because CBD isn’t going to get you high, it’s legal for sale as a food or health supplement. This doesn’t mean smoking weed is legal, though, even if the strain is low-THC.
CBD offers numerous health benefits, and essentially works like you’re taking painkillers for a headache, but it’s for your feelings. Honestly, give it a Google. Ask around and see if you know anyone who takes it. You can ingest it under the tongue, in food, in water or juice, and even apply it to your skin.
What’s the point?
CBD won’t get you high, but it could help you sleep better, regulate your appetite, reduce the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, reduce inflammation, control stress and anxiety, and even offer antioxidant properties.
So, if you’re willing to take the leap and leave your anxiety-ridden highs behind, we recommend starting with a low dose of full-spectrum CBD oil. The taste isn’t particularly pleasant, but hey – neither was the feeling of smoke filling your lungs when you first hit that blunt, was it?
SmartCBD offers a great starting range of oils, balms, and pastes, so you can choose the right dose for you. And who knows? Maybe CBD will convince you that you don’t need to get high to feel great. We hope so.