Just One Puff of Low-THC Weed Can Help Ease Sadness, Study Finds
It might take just one puff of cannabis to quickly if temporarily dull depression, depending on the strain, suggests a new study published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders. But smoking weed for too long might also make you sadder over time, the researchers found.
Researchers at Washington State University looked at the responses of over 500 medical weed users who regularly logged onto an app called Strainprint . Users of Strainprint, which is available in Canada, can record what strain and dose of cannabis they’re smoking, as well as how their personal symptoms change after taking it. In total, they looked at over 11,000 recorded toking sessions that included symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.
On average, they found, people’s ratings (on a one to 10 scale) of their depression, anxiety, and stress dropped by at least 50 percent within four hours of inhaling cannabis.
“Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety, and stress are very rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory,” said lead author Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at WSU, in a statement. “What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory.”
They also looked more in-depth at the type of pot smoked and how it correlated to specific improvements of the three symptoms. The biggest spike in reducing depression was seen after only one puff of pot that was low in THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis that causes its mind-altering high, and high in cannabidiol (CBD), the other main ingredient. With anxiety, two puffs from any strain was enough for the effect to reach its peak. For stress, the largest reduction was seen after at least 10 puffs from a strain high in both THC and CBD.
Those findings in particular might upturn a common narrative about pot, the authors believe.
“A lot of consumers seem to be under the false assumption that more THC is always better,” Cuttler said. “Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC.”
Not everything they found was good news, though. Users’ baseline ratings of their anxiety and stress didn’t change the more sessions they logged in, but their ratings of depression did take a slight drop. And coupled with other research showing a similar effect, the findings suggest that “chronic use of cannabis to cope with symptoms of depression may increase susceptibility for depression by altering the endocannabinoid system,” they wrote. On the bright side, other research has shown that these chemical changes seem to reverse within two days of abstaining from weed.
Aside from giving users a more practical shorthand for knowing how much weed they should take to wind down, the authors also say their findings highlight that cannabis isn’t a miracle fixer-upper either.
“Importantly, while acute cannabis intoxication temporarily alleviates perceived states of depression, anxiety, and stress, the repeated use of cannabis does not appear to lead to any longer-term reductions in these symptoms,” they wrote.
Studies have estimated that over 50 percent of medical cannabis users take it to help with anxiety and depression, yet relatively few of the 29 US states that now allow medical weed explicitly consider anxiety and depression to be qualifying conditions for its use, according to the researchers.It might take just one puff of cannabis to quickly if temporarily dull depression, depending on the strain, suggests a new study published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders. But smoking weed for too long might also make you sadder over time, the researchers found.
One Puff Too Many | What To Do About Too Much Cannabis
Tuesday 24 December
As the Dutch capital’s official Coffeeshop Information Centre, we’re taking our position seriously. That includes making sure we keep smokers up to date on the ins and outs of responsible weed consumption. We keep you up to date about the latest trends in the world of weed, scientific background stories about cannabinoids, and we share some fascinating smoking trivia every now and then. This time, however, we want to treat you to some useful knowledge in the marijuana first aid category. Read on to discover some useful tips about what to do when you’ve taken too much of a good thing. That’s right – read on. Even if you’re only an occasional smoker, you never know when this may come in handy: even if it’s just ‘for a friend’…
Overdosing On Cannabis – Really?
Let’s start by giving you some reassuring info. Technically speaking, it’s impossible to overdose on marijuana. Sure, you can take too much and feel terrible or even pass out, but it is physically impossible to kill yourself by overconsumption. Technically speaking, you could get into a life-threatening situation by being (too) high and driving a car or operating heavy machinery, but if that would count as an overdose, you could also overdose on ‘not paying attention’ or ‘wearing headphones’. No medical records exist on anyone dying from smoking too many joints in one go. Still, you can make yourself feel pretty miserable if you don’t know your limits.
The Most Important Thing To Know
Always, always keep in mind that however shitty you feel after smoking too much, the feeling will pass. This is the most important thing to remember if you’re having a bad cannabis experience. We have seen many people convinced that they were going to die on the spot after taking one too many joints or hash brownies – and every single one of them survived. It really helps if you have someone you know and trust nearby to tell you it’s going to be okay, though. That’s an extra tip right off the bat, in fact. If possible, use cannabis in good company, surrounded by friendly people that you can rely on.
Knowing Your Limits
This one is all about prevention, rather than a cure for after you’ve taken too much. Don’t be too reckless: start slowly. If you’re visiting Amsterdam, you may discover too late that there’s some pretty potent cannabis strains for sale around town. When you visit a Dutch coffeeshop, take your time to check out the menu and don’t go for the most expensive type of weed straight away. The staff at the counter should be able to give you some advice on mellow strains. If they don’t want to help you pick your best match, just walk away and find a better shop. Once you’ve made your purchase, roll your joint gently so you can try a light smoke first. If you like it, you can always roll a fatter spliff later. Roll up, light up, and have a few puffs. Then, put your reefer in the ashtray and wait for a few minutes. Being cautious really helps prevent you taking too much, which you won’t discover until it’s already in your bloodstream…
Antidotes And Remedies
Okay, now let’s tackle some remedies for occasions where you – sorry, we mean your friend – already smoked too much. As long as you don’t lose your cool (see above), here are some tricks you may want to try.
sugary snack as remedy
1. Sugar Rush
Grab a sugary snack. A cookie or two can work wonders, as can a peanut butter sandwich. In fact, any food you like can do the trick, as long as it’s got a bit of substance and some sweetness in it. Of course, if you have a handful of nuts or some fruit ready, then that’s a healthy alternative. This is comfort food at its best, so always make sure you have some treats handy when you smoke up.
2. Drink Water, My Friend
The stoner’s take on Bruce Lee’s infinite words of wisdom: “Be water, my friend”. A drink of good old-fashioned water can work wonders when you’re feeling faint after one puff too many. This can be combined with tip number one by drinking a sugary fruit juice. You may want to avoid anything containing mango juice, though, because mangos are known to contain terpenes that can intensify your high. Whatever you drink, though, stay away from alcoholic beverages. Alcohol interacts with the effects of THC, which can aggravate your problems instead of watering them down.
3. Chill, Bruh!
As the Britons say, “keep calm and carry on”. Try to get away from overly stimulating environments like rooms full of strangers (i.e., a coffeeshop) or crowded public spaces like a busy street. If you’re at home or at a friend’s place, head for the nearest bedroom. Ask someone you trust to sit with you for a while. Just lay down on a bed or sofa and chill. Meditation techniques can help here, although these are pretty hard to master on the spot when you’re stoned. Try to take long, deep breaths and focus on breathing in through your nose, out through your mouth. If you’re getting sleepy, don’t worry. Just doze off for a bit and you’ll feel better when you wake up.
4. Head For The Showers
Taking a nice hot shower can be a big relief too. Of course, this may involve getting naked, so a bit of tact is in place here. If you’re lucky enough to have a bathtub nearby, go for it if you can wait for a few minutes until the tub is filled up.
5. Have A Change Of Scenery
Another useful tip is to just change your surroundings by taking a bit of a walk around the block. This may not be an option if you’re in a busy neighbourhood in view of tip nr. 3, however. Still, if you happen to have a quiet area such as a park nearby, just go for a relaxed stroll and let the open space and a bit of birdsong work their magic. The fresh air will do you good. If possible, ask a friend to accompany you for that extra bit of reassurance.
Well, there you have it. With these simple gems of weedy wisdom safely tucked away in the back of your mind, you’re all set to up your responsible smoking game. Do remember that prevention is better than any medicine, though. Knowing your limits and taking it easy is always the safest way to go. Don’t give in to peer pressure, be moderate in all that you do, and you should be okay. If you have any questions remaining, you’re always welcome at our Coffeeshop Info Centre in downtown Amsterdam. Otherwise, just ask away at your favourite Amsterdam coffeeshop, because a good vendor will always aim to make your cannabis experience a happy occasion!This time we want to treat you to some useful knowledge in the marijuana first aid category. Read on to discover some useful tips! ]]>