After a long day of work, you head home knowing you have more tasks (and stress) ahead of you. You are sore, tired, anxious, and unsure about how you can carry on.
To improve your perspective, you decide to dose with your favorite cannabis strain. Right on; we’re right there with you. Who doesn’t love to unwind with a little THC after work? (Nobody, that’s who.)
A bowl or two of that good ol’ fashioned bud and it’s a completely different story—and mood. Your bud is cashed, but your head is in the clouds and your mood has drastically improved. And then you notice a few other effects kick in—and those aren’t so welcome.
You overdid it, and now your head and limbs feel heavy and the idea of pulling yourself off the couch feels downright impossible. So, instead of achieving everything you had hoped, you melt into the couch and finish
your day in a warm and cozy bliss.
This phenomenon has been colloquially dubbed as “couch-lock” and is one of the many side effects of using marijuana.
THC can be used as a mild sedative, and this effect has led it to be a great option for treating insomnia, pain, nausea, and many other of life’s discomforts. However, many cannabis users want to be able to use without worrying about throwing in the towel for the day.
In an attempt to avoid this, many users will switch from Indica strains, which are associated with that heavy body high that puts you to sleep, to Sativa strains, which are more associated with a mental high that keeps you energized. However, experienced users can often relate to suddenly finding themselves couch-locked, even when using a Sativa strain. This is due to the fact that no matter the strain, THC will always have that slight sedative effect.
So is it hopeless? Are cannabis users doomed to melt into that couch from time to time? Not necessarily. There are a few ways to avoid this, and other negative effects of THC.
First, take it easy. Overindulging is one guaranteed way to end up with the unwanted effects of THC such as nausea, paranoia, and couch-lock. Especially if you are using new strains, start small, and build from there. This will help you establish an understanding of what you need and help you repeat positive cannabis experiences down the road.
Another option is to use strains with a higher CBD percentage content. This advice may make users who are looking for that cerebral or psychoactive high nervous, as CBD tends to counteract these effects.
However, CBD counteracts not only the high caused by THC but the unwanted effects as well. As long as a strain contains THC and the CBD content is not too much higher, a slight psychoactive effect will still be felt by many users, so it may be worth a try.
A popular example of these high CBD strains is Harlequin, which has a THC/ CBD ratio of 5:2. While this strain and others like it are focused more on the medical applications of cannabis than the recreational, you can still think of it like that glass of wine after dinner; a slight buzz, with an overall relaxing effect.
While many cannabis users have resigned themselves to the side effects of cannabis use, the development of new and more need-specific strains is opening a world of new options.
If you are tired of getting stuck in couch-lock, it may be time to switch up your cannabis routine. An adjustment to dosage or a complete strain switch may be all you need for a more productive experience.