It's happened to the best of us. Sometimes a smoke session ends up a very different experience than planned. That I'm-so-high-I can't-move feeling is what we like to call couch lock. The sedative effect the couch lock sensation brings on makes it feel hard to break out of this cycle. Feels a little like this:
Certain cannabis strains may be more likely to induce this sensation. An understanding of the strain purchased can help you prepare for the side effects it may bring and consume appropriately, whether that's munchies, cottonmouth or drowsiness.
Here are some tips and tricks for dealing with this common mistake:
Couch Lock Explained
Certain marijuana strains have more sedative properties than others. People who struggle with anxiety or restlessness often use these as a method for rest and relaxation. However, if not used in moderation they can cause a bout of unproductivity and motionlessness.
There is no consensus of the exact chemicals that cause couch lock, but most people believe Indica strains with terpenes like myrcene cause this effect. Terpenes are the compounds responsible for the way that plants smell. They're found in cannabis and other plants, fruits and herbs. Myrcene is a terpene that can be found in cannabis, thyme, lemongrass, and hops. Sedative in high concentrations, myrcene is a contributing factor to the entourage effect. Other sedative-informing terpenes include Linalool and Terpinolene.
When combined with THC and CBD, terpenes produce what is known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect is what happens when the different compounds found in cannabis work together to produce an enhanced effect. It describes the way in which THC acts synergistically with other cannabinoids, including CBN, CBD, CBC, CBG and the aforementioned terpenes. The entourage effect gives a compelling, enjoyable, and therapeutic experience.
What Strains Contribute to Couch Lock?
It's really important to do your research on different strains because some are more likely to induce couch lock effect than others. While the chemical profile of cannabis will change from one strain to the next, generally indica strains produce this effect more than sativa strains.
- Northern Lights - This famed relaxant is a relatively popular cannabis strain. Northern Lights is a cross between the Afghani Indica and Thai Sativa strains. Because it is such a great relaxant, it's commonly used by people with chronic pain or anxiety.
- Master Kush - This strain is incredibly potent. Cannabis users often experience happy, uplifting effects. Earning praise from Snoop Dogg, Master Kush has won several Cannabis Cup awards in the Indica category.
- Gorilla Glue - Gorilla Glue is known for its high levels of THC and sedative qualities. Look for GG#1 at your local dispensary and you'll enjoy a clear-headed and euphoric high with relaxing effects.
There are several other couch lock strains that produce a similar effect, use this as a starting point for your research.
Tips to Avoid Couch Lock
While sometimes it's nice to sink in and enjoy your high, it's not always practical when you have a lot to accomplish in a day. If you aren't quite ready to melt onto the couch, consider implementing a few of the following tips to beat couch lock the next time that it strikes!
- Understand Your Limitations - Keep your doses low until you get used to the effects. Start slow and work your way up to your level of comfort. Limiting the THC content Also, keep in mind that sometimes it takes a little while for the full effects to kick in so stay patient during the process. It's easy to over consume if you don't wait until the peak of your high.
- Grab a Sugary Drink - If you are finding yourself nodding off on the couch, consider grabbing a sugary soft drink, energy drink or sweet snack. Sugar-loaded treats are brimming with glucose, which will give you a boost of insulin and energy.
- CBD - CBD can help bring you back to a more functional level. CBD is thought to block the CB1 receptors located in our brain which allows it to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. This explains why many users say it gives them the sensation of coming down after a smoke session.
- Eat Food Before Getting High - You can have a much more enjoyable and experiential smoke session if you opt to eat before you settle down with your weed. Food will help stave off some of the most ardent impacts of couch lock. Food helps the body as it processes and absorbs the chemicals that you've ingested.
- Don't Stay in the Same Spot - Couch lock comes for the person who waits for it. Don't let your body get too comfortable if you want to avoid succumbing to the more sedative qualities of weed. A quick walk or moving around the house can make a bigger impact than you might think. Try and keep yourself sharp and focused with some fresh air. You'll be shocked by the difference a small walk can make.
- Conversation - Avoid the zoned-out state by socializing with others, whether that's a phone call or gathered around some of your good buddies. It's hard not to zone out when you're high, but some stimulus and engaging activity can help minimize this.
Ultimately, couch lock is sometimes unavoidable. Some experimenting will help you find the strains that impact you the most. Find what works best for you and keep these tips in mind for the best results.