7 Ways To Boost The Intensity Of Your High
Cannabis delivers a powerful psychoactive high. But sometimes, this effect can become diminished or not feel as potent. Here are our 7 tips for boosting the intensity of your high.
You had everything prepared so well. You got your weed, you had your favourite snacks and fresh water standing by. You had your comfy clothes in your comfy place to sit, ready to revisit your favourite music, movie, or YouTube channel. But when you light up, you don’t feel the high you were hoping for. Maybe it creeps up on you. No. This is more mellow and diminished than you expected. This is a frustrating problem to encounter. Whether the quality of your stash is subpar or your tolerance is through the roof, here are 7 ways to boost the intensity of your high.
1. CHOOSE STRAINS WISELY
Hopefully, you really do have a good source for your weed. This will of course be easier if it’s legal through a dispensary or cannabis club where you live. If you live somewhere where your choices are limited, it may still be possible to at least know the name of the strain you’re offered.
This is enough for you to research the cultivar on our site for some general advice. Here, you can also learn about the unique effects of each strain caused by its unique phytochemical profile, including dominant cannabinoids and terpenes. Varying ratios of these molecules induce anything from light and airy highs to deep body stones. You can even get figures on what THC levels to expect. Of course, these traits will vary depending on who grew the strain, and from which seeds. The best thing to do is to experiment until you find the strain that provides the sensations you desire.
2. STORE WEED WELL
When you get your weed home, where do you store it? If you use a plastic container or the baggy you got the weed in, this may spoil the herb’s potency. Plastic can conduct an electric charge, which will fry the THC-rich trichomes on your flowers. Avoid this with a good glass or steel jar.
There are ones with humidity controls built in, as well as ones with removable humidity packs. If you lack these, a simple solution for curing is to leave a peel of orange, lemon, or lime sealed in with your weed for 2 or 3 hours. This will stop your supply from becoming dry, crumbly, and less potent as a result. A dark, cool place is recommended for preserving the quality of your stash.
3. CHANGE UP YOUR ROUTINE
Maybe you’ve got a good stash and you’re taking care of it. So why is there still a sense of diminishing returns from your weed? By definition, taking anything in excess is bad. If you’re smoking too much cannabis, that can spoil the treat of it. As your body adjusts to having more cannabinoids in its system, your cannabis tolerance improves.
Consider how you can change things up in terms of your cannabis use. Are you in the habit of smoking first thing in the morning? Try abstaining until evening, or at least 4:20pm. Smoke earlier in the day if you smoke too much at night. Don’t smoke with every meal. Observe when you’re smoking and see how you might catch your brain off-guard by changing up the schedule a bit.
4. CHANGE UP YOUR METHODS
Another thing you can adjust is the method by which you’re getting high. Some people like to smoke, but will experience a different sensation when trying different methods. You may prefer the feeling of a high from vaping or a bong hit. This may also be something you dislike. It depends on the individual constitution of each person.
Avoid using your lungs altogether by experimenting with edibles. In general, edibles and dabs are considered two of the most high-potency cannabis products. Proceed with caution.
5. EAT THE RIGHT FOODS
There are a number of pleasant accompaniments to marijuana that will boost its potent impact. A simple cup of black or green tea contains catechin, an antioxidant that binds with your brain’s CB1 receptors. This will help the soothing effects of cannabinoids come on much more efficiently.
Dark chocolate has a similar effect when containing 72% or more cacao. This will not only act as an antioxidant, it will slow down the breakdown of anandamide, the brain chemical named after the Sanskrit word for “bliss”. This will sustain the length of your high.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids will also efficiently synthesise endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Also, look out for foods with terpenes in them, like THC-boosting myrcene or high-enhancing pinene. Pinene can be found in sage, thyme, and other herbs, while myrcene can be found in mangoes, broccoli, and nuts. If all else fails, a multivitamin is good for you anyway, and improves cellular absorption and the flow of the circulatory system. That will be very helpful for the flow of THC.
You should be looking at how healthy your habits are in general. Your diet can be tweaked to improve the quality of your high. Body fat is where a lot of THC is absorbed and stored. Sometimes this can be slow to release, diminishing the quality of your high. So, a diet and exercise routine that reduces your overall amount of body fat is advisable.
It may mean switching from ice cream to aforementioned dark chocolate. The exercise component is also highly relevant. Not only is exercise good for your overall health, studies suggest it impacts the brain in similar ways to cannabis. It doesn’t just elevate mood, it can actually trigger the release of THC from stored body fat. A 2013 study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that a cardio session raises blood-THC levels by 15%.
7. TAKE A TOLERANCE BREAK
If you have tried all of this and you’re still not getting high, we feel for you. You’ve optimised your circumstances for intensifying that high and it’s still not happening for you. You should start to consider why you’re chasing the high. Cannabis can enhance our lives in many ways, but it won’t resolve a deep-seated emotional issue. Be honest with yourself about your consumption levels. If you have been over-indulging, maybe over-exposure to cannabis is creating diminishing returns.
It is okay to decide to take a tolerance break from cannabis. See if you can last a month, or several, without any cannabis. The longer you leave it, the stronger your next high will hit you. It is estimated that a month is needed for cannabinoids to completely leave your system. If a tolerance break sounds unpleasant, you can find supports to get you through it. See what your life is like without cannabis. If there’s still a responsible place for it in your life, get back in and feel a more powerful high than before.
Users desiring the most potent psychoactive high from cannabis can follow our 7-step guide to making your high more intense.
How to Reset Your Cannabis Tolerance
Feel like cannabis isn’t working for you the way it used to? You might be dealing with a high tolerance.
Tolerance refers to your body’s process of getting used to cannabis, which can result in weaker effects.
In other words, you need to ingest more to get the same effects you once did. This can be particularly problematic if you’re using cannabis for medical reasons.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to reset your tolerance.
Cannabis tolerance develops when you use it regularly.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. It works by affecting the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain.
If you ingest THC often, your CB1 receptors are reduced over time. This means the same amount of THC won’t affect the CB1 receptors in the same way, resulting in reduced effects.
There’s no strict timeline for how tolerance develops. It depends on a range of factors, including:
- how often you use cannabis
- how strong the cannabis is
- your personal biology
One of the most common ways to lower your cannabis tolerance is to take a break from using cannabis. These are often called “T breaks.”
Research shows that, while THC can deplete your CB1 receptors, they can recover over time and return to their previous levels.
The length of your T break is up to you. There’s no solid data on exactly how long it takes for CB1 receptors to recover, so you’ll have to experiment a bit.
Some people find that a few days does the trick. Most online forums advise that 2 weeks is the ideal time frame.
If you’re using cannabis for medical reasons, taking a T break might not be feasible. There are a few other strategies you can try.
Use cannabis products with a higher CBD-to-THC ratio
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another chemical found in cannabis. It doesn’t seem to lead to depletion of CB1 receptors, meaning it doesn’t cause you to develop tolerance the way THC does.
CBD won’t give you a “high,” but it does seem to have several potential health benefits, such as reducing pain and inflammation.
At many dispensaries, you can find products ranging from a 1-to-1 ratio to as high as 16-to-1.
Tightly control your doses
The less cannabis you use, the less likely you are to develop a tolerance. Use the minimum you need to feel comfortable, and try not to overindulge.
Use cannabis less often
If possible, use cannabis less frequently. This can help to both reset your tolerance and prevent it from coming back again in the future.
Many people who have developed a high tolerance do go through cannabis withdrawal when taking a T break or using less cannabis than usual.
Cannabis withdrawal isn’t necessarily as intense as withdrawal from alcohol or other substances, but it can still be quite uncomfortable.
You might experience:
- mood swings
- cognitive impairment
- diminished appetite
- stomach problems, including nausea
- intense, vivid dreams
To help with these symptoms, make sure to get plenty of hydration and rest. You can also try using over-the-counter medications to deal with headaches and nausea.
Exercise and fresh air can help you feel alert and reduce any slumps in your mood.
The withdrawal symptoms might make it tempting to continue using cannabis. To keep yourself accountable, tell your loved ones that you’re taking a break.
While the symptoms are uncomfortable, the good news is that cannabis withdrawal symptoms usually only last for 72 hours.
Once you’ve reset your tolerance, keep the following in mind to keep your tolerance in check moving forward:
- Use lower-THC products. Since it’s THC that leads to the depletion of your CB1 receptors, it’s wise to opt for products that are a bit lower in THC.
- Don’t use cannabis too often. The more you use it, the higher your tolerance will be, so try to only use it occasionally or as needed.
- Use a lower dosage. Try consuming less cannabis at a time, and try to wait a bit longer before re-dosing.
- Use CBD instead. You may want to consider giving CBD-only products a try if you’re looking to reap the potential health benefits of cannabis. However, THC does have some benefits that CBD doesn’t seem to have, so this switch isn’t viable for everyone.
Keep in mind that tolerance might be unavoidable for some folks. If you find that you’re prone to developing a high tolerance, consider coming up with a plan to take regular T breaks as needed.
It’s pretty normal to develop a tolerance to cannabis if you use it often. In most cases, taking a T break for a week or two will reset your tolerance.
If that’s not an option, consider switching to products that are lower in THC or reducing your cannabis consumption.
Keep in mind that cannabis tolerance can sometimes be a sign of cannabis use disorder. If you’re concerned about your cannabis use, you have options:
- Have an open and honest conversation with your healthcare provider.
- Call SAMHSA’s national helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357), or use their online treatment locater.
- Find a support group through the Support Group Project.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. Her writing covers issues relating to social justice, cannabis, and health. You can reach out to her on Twitter.
If you've been consuming weed for a while, you've probably developed a high tolerance along the way. Here's how to reset it and keep it from happening again.