Too much of anything is too bad, and like everything else, this adage applies to cannabis too. You will encounter side effects even if you drink too much water, so THC is not an exception. Like other medicines, there are side effects of THC and you’re better off knowing more about it so that you can reduce the effects. Of course, not everyone experiences side effects of THC as it differs from one person to another, but if you want to reduce the effects, there are several ways to do so.
The side effects of THC
1) Anxiety and Paranoia
We all have that friend who acts weird after a few puffs of marijuana. You might find that funny, but it could be a serious condition. There are several reasons as to why some cannabis users experience paranoia and anxiety, which are some of the worst side effects of THC.
Firstly, the user could have consumed high amounts of THC. THC is great for your body, but with high doses, the side effects multiply. Small amounts of THC actually help you relieve anxiety and paranoia but big doses can wreak havoc on your system especially if you’re a new user. The effects are so exaggerated that you might even think that you’re dying!
Secondly, some people may experience more side effects of THC because of their genetics. As mentioned already, THC doesn’t affect everyone, but if you are allergic to cannabis, you might not enjoy it at all. Remember that high doses of THC also make your mouth dry, but that’s only because of the cannabinoid receptors found in your saliva glands.
THC is very similar to Anandamide – a chemical produced naturally by the human brain – and when it binds to the receptors in the saliva glands, it exaggerates the feeling of a dry mouth, making it worse for some people. While some people are used to these side effects of THC, others may avoid smoking/consuming marijuana.
2) Red Eyes
This is perhaps one of the most common side effects of THC. No matter how little you smoke, your eyes are bound to turn red – a classic giveaway that you’re stoned. But, what causes red eyes? Well, one reason could be the smoke irritating your eyes, but your eyes can turn red even if you consume cannabis. So, what gives?
THC reduces blood pressure and dilates the blood vessels of the eyes, which further leads to redness. Some users can develop redness simply because they are allergic to cannabis, but that’s really rare.
3) Lack of motivation
Lack of motivation is not really a side effect of THC but we have included this here because people believe that cannabis kills your motivation. While it’s true that you might feel less motivated because of cannabis, it’s only because you’re smoking Indica strains that are meant to make you relax and sleep well. Cannabis does not zap your motivation, but if you still feel so, you’re welcome to try Sativa strains that may help you focus on your work. It’s a myth that cannabis reduces motivation and is more likely a psychological side effect than anything else.
4) Laziness and Sleepiness
Have you ever passed out on the couch after smoking a good blunt? Well, that can happen to anybody because some cannabis strains are meant to make you sleep. As mentioned already, Indica strains can induce sleepiness, and cannabis users can perceive that as laziness. But, you can’t blame marijuana because of this, can you? It’s akin to consuming sleeping pills and later complaining that you’re sleepy! Sleeping pills are meant to make you sleep just like Indica strains are meant to help you calm down and relax.
While some people may complain of sleepiness as a side effect of THC, others don’t perceive this as a negative effect at all. Think of patients suffering from a myriad of diseases that keep them awake all night. In such cases, sleepiness can be a boon. THC is known to promote rest and fight off insomnia, so it’s just doing its job. You cannot expect to be active especially if you’re smoking Indica strains, so the solution is to switch to high-CBD or Sativa strains that induce creativity. Another instant solution is to drink coffee after smoking to reduce the effects.
5) Memory Issues
Almost everybody experiences memory problems after smoking marijuana. Don’t worry, though, because this side effect of THC is only temporary. Many people struggle to communicate and forget words immediately after smoking cannabis, but with time, it appears to be a minimal issue. Again, you can counteract this by ingesting supplements like B vitamins and Gingko Biloba extracts to improve your memory. Also, high-CBD strains don’t have a great impact on memory, unlike strains that are high in THC. You can also reduce your dosage to reduce memory problems.
Other side effects of THC include dizziness, headaches, respiratory issues and the dreaded munchies but they are unlikely to occur if you’re a seasoned smoker. Smoking cannabis makes you hungrier than ever and while this may be a problem for you, it could be the best solution for people with a reduced appetite. Most diseases reduce the appetite of patients and such people can benefit enormously from smoking cannabis.
If you’re still worried about the side effects of THC, consulting your doctor may be a good idea if he supports cannabis. This will also help your doctor assess the situation if you’re taking other medicines. The best way to tackle a problem is to understand the risks and your doctor can also help you find alternative solutions.
How to avoid the side effects of THC?
Now that you’re familiar with all the side effects, it’s time to find solutions.
- Adjust the dosage – If you’re repeatedly experiencing several side effects, you might want to take a good look at your dosage. Perhaps you’re smoking/consuming way more than your body can take, and that’s really a bad idea. So, simply cut down on the number of grams you’re toking and you’re good to go.
- Try high-CBD or Sativa strains – If you’re constantly feeling lazy or sleepy after smoking marijuana, you can switch to Sativa strains like Green Crack, Sour Diesel, etc or high-CBD strains like Harlequin or Sour Tsunami to reduce the side effects.
- Switch to alternatives – If you’ve tried every possible method but have failed to reduce the side effects of THC, maybe it’s time to change the way you’re ingesting cannabis. Try vaping if you can’t handle smoking or consuming cannabis. With so many vape pens flooding the market, you will be spoiled for choices. Vape pens not only help you adjust the dosage but you will also cut down the bad effects of smoking too.
- Drink up – Whether you’re smoking, dabbing, vaping or simply consuming cannabis edibles, you can feel dehydrated more often than ever. To reduce the feeling of a dry mouth, drink more water so that you’re always hydrated.
What’s bad for you might be fantastic for someone else. Similarly, these side effects of THC that irritate you might not affect others at all. However, if you’re still worried about some side effects, you can reduce smoking and make your life easier.