While for some individuals, a 10-milligram THC gummy can set them back on the couch for a good night’s rest that may last well into the next day, for other people, it takes a much higher concentration of THC to provide the same effects. For this reason, many people who have a high tolerance ask themselves, “Is it possible to increase my high?” While there is always the option of taking a tolerance break, for some people, this isn’t optimal. For those who depend on THC for medical purposes, oftentimes, this isn’t even an option.
One of the most natural ways that consumers and patients have found to increase the intensity as well as longevity of the effects of cannabis is found in food. If you have ever been curious about what foods can get you high, this isn’t the article for you. If you’re curious about foods that help to amplify the benefits of cannabis, you are in the right place!
Mangoes have become the center of the conversation regarding foods that can increase your cannabis high. Unfortunately, scientific evidence supporting this is not available. Mangoes are highly concentrated in a terpene known as myrcene. This terpene has been found to offer a wide variety of benefits. Myrcene is widely recognized for its euphoric, relaxing, and often joyful effects. When consumed in conjunction with THC, it is believed that these effects are heightened, allowing for a more intense high.
While some anecdotal reports state that myrcene is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, there is no sound scientific evidence to support this. A terpene, however, that does not receive credit for having this exact ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier is borneol. What has been proven regarding myrcene is that it can help to relieve pain, it can work as a sedative, and it offers anti-inflammatory as well as antibiotic properties. Because of these medical benefits proven to be found in myrcene, it could be interpreted that the cannabis effects have been increased; however, it is likely just a direct effect of this terpene—which is not only found in cannabis but also in high concentration within mangoes. It is suggested that if you are looking to utilize mangoes to intensify your high that you consume mangoes or mango juice at least 45 minutes prior to cannabis consumption.
Chocolate is another food that is thought to increase the effects of marijuana. This is because chocolate has been found to contain a neurotransmitter and endocannabinoid known as anandamide. This same endocannabinoid is also produced naturally by the body’s endocannabinoid system. Anandamide is commonly referred to as the “bliss molecule” because it binds to the CB (cannabinoid) receptors in the body, stimulating a sense of joy and happiness.
Ironically enough, anandamide could be considered the endogenous analog to cannabis’ most psychoactive cannabinoid, THC. By consuming chocolate before consuming cannabis, you would be increasing your anandamide levels as well as providing stimulation to the CB receptors that THC binds to. The result of this is naturally more intense and long-lasting feelings of euphoria and well-being. This neurotransmitter is known for creating new brain cells, relieving pain, regulating your mood, boosting your memory, providing appetite control, fighting off anxiety and depression, as well as its anti-nausea and vomiting effects.
Broccoli is also high on the list of foods that have been shown to help increase the effects of medical marijuana. I bet you’re really wishing you would have started to love this stuff as a kid because broccoli is packed with a terpene known as beta-caryophyllene that has been shown to enhance the effects of marijuana. Similar to cannabinoids, this terpene also works with receptors found in the endocannabinoid system within the brain to provide a wide variety of effects. Beta-caryophyllene has been proven to reduce pain and inflammation, and many anecdotal reports claim that this terpene provides an overwhelming sense of relaxation when consumed along with THC.
Sweet potatoes may just be a side dish for many people on Thanksgiving, but these scrumptious root vegetables have a lot to offer. Sweet potatoes are packed full of vitamins, including vitamin E and vitamin B. These sweet treats also trigger the production of a feel-good chemical in the brain known as serotonin. The vitamin B6 content of sweet potatoes also helps regulate emotions. When consumed together, the effects of these vitamins, minerals, and the production of serotonin can increase the feelings of relaxation and euphoria that are associated with cannabis.
Nuts and Eggs
Nuts and eggs are both high in omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3 fatty acids have been found to bind to cannabinoid receptors and help cannabinoids such as CBD and THC move through the body at a faster rate. Research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. When combining the consumption of cannabis with nuts or eggs, it is believed that omega-3 fatty acids help to increase the effects of the plant as well as extend its longevity. So the next time you’re experiencing the munchies, reach for one of the foods mentioned above. To learn more about how cannabis impacts appetite, check out our article here.
Drinks That Can Enhance Your High
Foods aren’t the only thing that can increase the effectiveness of cannabis. There are also several beverages that can assist in this process as well. Many of these beverages are already consumed by the masses on a daily basis. Let’s take a closer look.
When it comes to tea, many wonder if green tea makes you higher. Green tea, as well as black tea, contain a high concentration of a compound known as catechin. This compound is widely known and embraced for its relaxing and sedating effects. It is believed that when you drink tea, especially green tea before consuming cannabis, it may help to create a more balanced experience as the compounds within the beverage may help to counteract any feelings of anxiousness or paranoia that can sometimes occur in cannabis consumers. The relaxing effects of this compound, when combined with the euphoric and sedating effects of cannabis, can lead to increased effects from both.
Ever heard of Amsterdam’s famous cannabis coffee shops? While there have been no direct studies on drinking coffee prior to cannabis consumption and its leading to increased effects, there are a lot of relations between coffee and the endocannabinoid system.
For one, caffeine is an active ingredient in coffee and tea that promotes reinforcing interactions between adenosine and CB receptors at high doses. Preclinical research has also shown that caffeine can worsen the short-term memory deficits of a THC high through these receptor interactions with cognitive impacts too. Since caffeine and THC both increase heart rate, people sensitive to that should take note.
One study found that over a hundred metabolites are correlated with caffeine intake, including some that map to the endocannabinoid system. For these reasons, it is believed that coffee could be a modulator of the ECS. With this in consideration, it is easy to see how it is believed that drinking coffee prior to marijuana consumption could lead to increased effects.
Kombucha has risen in popularity over the last decade. Many people are starting to learn that when combining it with the benefits of medical marijuana, it offers therapeutic properties for our overall well-being.
This sweetened fermented tea is packed full of probiotics as well as enzymes and B vitamins. When combined with the beneficial compounds in cannabis, such as terpenes and cannabinoids, the combination of the two creates an energetic powerhouse beverage—a combo beverage that could benefit the body in many ways due to the high concentration of antioxidants, plus the antibacterial and anti-cancer properties these two substances possess.
While it is always good to be cautious when consuming alcohol with cannabis, it is believed that the two could boost the euphoric effects of each other when consumed together in small amounts. Alcohol, in general, is known to slow down the enzyme that also breaks down THC, thus boosting the intensity and duration of both in your system. Effects like sedation and drowsiness may be amplified by taking both and further increased by certain medications (e.g., benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, barbiturates).
Additionally, beer is made utilizing hops, which contain a substantial concentration of terpenes, including myrcene. This means that consuming beer alongside a joint or bowl of your favorite strain could have similar effects to consuming mangoes prior to cannabis. You may be surprised to learn that infused cannabis beverages made with coffee, tea, kombucha, or even alcoholic drinks are becoming more popular and mainstream.
How to Make Your High Last Longer
Now that we know about some of the foods and beverages that could increase the effects of cannabis, you may be asking yourself, “How can those effects last longer?” If so, check out the tips below.
Smoke After a Workout
One of the best ways to make your high last longer is to time when you consume. Many cannabis users choose to consume before or after a workout for longer effects. Ever heard of “runner’s high”? Anandamide is actually responsible for the blissful feeling and pain relief felt while exercising. Just imagine that feeling of euphoria combined with that of cannabis!
A study published in 2013 examined THC blood levels in 14 cannabis users following 35 minutes of exercise on a stationary bike. The results demonstrated that “exercise enhances plasma THC levels in regular cannabis users” and suggest that “exercise may elevate blood THC levels by releasing dormant THC from fat stores.” So the next time you visit the gym and do some cardio, reward yourself with your favorite strain.
Change Your Cannabis
While many budtenders will point you in the direction of high THC strains, these are not always the strains that will produce the bigger highs. There is a prevailing theory known as the entourage effect. It describes the synergistic effects that happen when you combine the phytonutrients, plant compounds, and cannabinoids together with terpenes.
These effects lead to a more balanced and optimal experience! With this in mind, the next time you are shopping for cannabis, try to find a strain or product with a varied cannabinoid and terpene profile rather than just one high in THC. Remember that terpene profiles are the actual source of diversity among cannabis plants, according to recent research.
Change Your Consumption Methods
If you have been smoking cannabis and just not getting the effects that you are after—or noticing that it is taking much more for you to achieve the same results—it may be time to change it up. Let’s look at a few of the ways in which you can change your consumption methods to potentially increase the effects of your use.
Cannabis that is ingested must be processed by the liver. This means that it takes much longer for effects to be felt. However, when the THC is broken down by the body, it is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, which has been proven to offer substantially longer-lasting and more intense effects. To learn how to make homemade edibles, check out our guides on infusing cannabutter and coconut oil.
If you’ve been smoking bowls or joints, it may be time to switch to a bong. Not only do bongs help you conserve your weed, but they also pack a much harder hit than taking a draw off of a joint or a bowl. Sometimes people find that by simply changing what they are smoking out of they can get a little more out of their experience. Bongs are a great way to still enjoy a sesh by smoking but with a little harder hit than what most bowls have to offer.
Vaporizers are another way to change your consumption method. If you like to smoke joints and aren’t really a fan of vaping dry flower, perhaps it is time to try a concentrate vaporizer. There are many different vape pen options available on the market today that are designed to work with cannabis concentrates, also known as dabs, shatter, wax, etc.
Some vapes can handle both flower and concentrate with minor adjustments, though not at the same time. These extracts are highly concentrated in THC content, meaning that just a small puff or two can deliver the same amount of cannabinoids as what an entire joint provides. Just keep in mind that regularly using concentrate can skyrocket your tolerance levels!
Change Your Routine
Sometimes, simply changing your routine and scenery can also be beneficial. If you wake up first thing in the morning and reach for a joint (no judgment here), perhaps having your coffee and making your bed first and prolonging those first hits just a little while longer in the mornings could make that first session of the day that much sweeter. Simply enjoying cannabis in outdoor settings, camping, or while traveling (safely and legally) can also help elevate your mood and keep things fresh.
Some people have also found that if they can abstain from consuming marijuana throughout the day, then when they consume in the evenings, the effects are much more intense. This is similar to taking a small tolerance break, but without actually having to not consume for a few days. If microdosing interests you, check out some tips here.
It happens to almost all of us. We wake up one day, and the cannabis just stops working the way it used to. It still provides us with many benefits, but the effects just don’t seem to be quite as magical.
Luckily, through the combination of scenery, timing, eating or drinking certain foods and beverages prior to consumption or through different consumption methods and techniques, there are ways in which you can get back to the effects you’re used to feeling. Do you have tips and tricks on how to make your cannabis work better? Let us know in the comments below!
Note: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.
This article was originally published on 10/5/21. Updated on 5/9/23.
Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist that fights to end prohibition globally for a better future for all. Ashley has a passion for sharing education pertaining to the goddess plant known as cannabis. She believes that a single seed can tip the scales and that together through education we can end the stigma that is preventing cannabis from flowering to its full potential globally.
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