All Things Cannabis: Potential Negative Effects, What to Do if You Get Too High, and More
Cannabis, or marijuana, has had nothing if not a very controversial history in the United States. Even though this plant has been used for centuries for its medicinal and physical properties, cannabis has been categorized as a controlled substance and for a long time was considered a felony to be in possession of.
As has been seen in national headlines over the last several years, restrictions on both medical and recreational use of cannabis and cannabis-based products have been loosening. In fact, in some states like Colorado and California, both medical and recreational cannabis has been fully legalized. In these states, dispensaries have become commonplace where people can purchase cannabis and cannabis-based products at retail prices.
Dispensaries, like the San Diego dispensary, in Southern California, are a great place for people to visit who are curious about cannabis and have possibly never tried it. Cannabis itself is an all-natural product that contains a chemical compound known as THC which is responsible for the hallucinogenic qualities of the drug. While cannabis is often touted as a safe, all-natural, and even organic recreational drug, there are still considerations that need to be taken seriously.
How Does THC Interact With the Human Body?
The active chemical cannabis, THC, is a natural cannabinoid that interacts with the human ECS. The ECS system represents a wide array of chemical signals and cellular receptors that are located in the human brain as well as throughout the body. ECS stands for Endocannabinoid System, and it plays an important role in cell signaling and the body’s natural ability to achieve homeostasis.
Cannabinoids are the chemical signals that the body naturally creates to activate the ECS for its various uses. THC represents a naturally occurring cannabinoid that can be ingested and it can cause a disturbance in the ECS system. This influx of THC is what causes the ‘high’ feeling that is associated with cannabis, and too much can lead to impairment of normal functions like driving, or clear cognitive thought.
While cannabis has been shown to have powerful medicinal properties and be particularly useful in areas like pain mitigation, it is also considered a safe recreational drug. Like any altering drug, there are limitations to what a person can do while under its influence, and like any kind of influencing compound, there are negative effects.
Cannabis Can Have Negative Effects
While cannabis can be safely enjoyed, it does take a level of responsibility as this substance can have negative effects. Using cannabis responsibly is a big part of learning how to enjoy its properties without taking on any unnecessary negative effects. Just like enjoying alcohol, there are potential risks if not handled wisely and with care.
According to a branch of the United States Department of Health, SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, here are some possible risks of cannabis abuse:
- Brain Health: a decrease in IQ for underage users
- Mental Health: chronic abuse has linked marijuana and depression, anxiety, and even suicidal planning
- Athletic Performance Impairment
- Natal Development: Marijuana use during pregnancy could cause serious development problems and should be avoided at all costs
What Should You Do if You Get Too High?
If you have never used cannabis products, chances are you might have to play around a little bit to find out what your limit is. Everyone has a unique relationship to the way that their body processes cannabis and everyone will have a different tolerance. When you are first finding you how much cannabis you can use, it can be common to overdo it.
The good news is that if you feel like you just got ‘too high’, here are some easy steps to follow.
If you have ever overdone it with alcohol, then you know as well as anyone – you just gotta let it ride out. Yes, especially if it’s your first time, this will be a new sensation, but don’t panic. As much as you may not enjoy the feeling of being too inebriated, just sit back, relax, and wait for it to wear off.
Drink Some Water
Another thing that can help you feel grounded when you think you are too high, is to drink water.
Stretch Your Legs and Do Some Gentle Exercise
If you feel like you can get up and walk around with relative ease, without panicking, then get some movement in. This could look like stretching your legs a little and just walking around the house a bit.
Have a Snack
Lastly, having a carby snack is always a good idea. This can help you start to feel a little more grounded and sober you up.
Cannabis can have a lot of great medicinal benefits as well as be a great recreational drug, however, you need to use it responsibly. With moderate and controlled use, you should be able to enjoy cannabis without experiencing its negative effects.