Tolerance Woes, Vegan Products, and the Cost of Different Strains

by Sir Blaze Ridcully and DGO Pufnstuf

This is a dumb question, but I’m a 48-year-old lady and I’ve been smoking for 32 years now. I smoke more than three times a day — like it never leaves my hand. How can I get high now that I’ve been smoking for so long? I can get relaxed a bit but no more than that. I need help on what to do!

Puf: Well, first of all, that isn’t a dumb question. I have had this question for myself many times over the last few years. Tolerance is a bitch, ain’t it.

I’m going to insert the obligatory “I’m not a doctor so this is not medical advice” here, but I think I can help with some anecdotal information.

So first of all, I’m guessing it’s been a while since you switched up your intake methods, right? Like, maybe you’re a habitual joint smoker or like to get relaxedbut- not-high by smoking out of a bong? Yeah, that happens to me, too.

We’re all creatures of habit, and part of the problem I’ve had is that I really like to stick to what I know. That sounds borderline ridiculous, but if I’m not reviewing a product, I have my favorite two or three rigs or batteries I use. In other words, I’m lazy and don’t like to have to make changes to my stoned routine.

That can lead to ruts like the one you’re having. My body has become super tolerant of certain concentrates, for example. I find it super effing easy to grab a
vape and cart when I’m laying around being super productive (i.e. watching junk on TV). The more I use that vape and cart, the less I notice the high.
I’ve noticed, however, that when I am LESS lazy, like when I switch it up between concentrates, flower, and edibles, I am noticeably more aware of the high.
Rather than getting relaxed, I get stoned like I used to.

You can also take a break from THC, but honestly, that sounds like shit to me. If you decide to do this, you can essentially reset your THC clock. In fact, research shows that while THC can deplete your CB1 receptors, they can recover over time and return to their previous levels if you take breaks.

And, you don’t even have to take them for that long. Two weeks is enough to get the job done. I’m not going to do it with you in solidarity, but that’s an easy way to start over — even after decades of smoking.

You can also try adding some CBD to the mix. I’ve found that flower with CBD and THC gets me a lot higher than just high-THC bud. That is purely anecdotal, mind you, but I swear that the entourage effect is real as hell. It’s worth a try anyway. And there are lots of good flower options with CBD and THC.

It may also be worth trying a new strain or six, or switching to another type of product in between old faithful. It may be less about the amount of THC and more about the mechanism. If you aren’t an edibles fan, try those. Or, you could choke down a tincture. You never know what will hit. Hell, a dry herb vape instead of a joint or pipe may be the key. In other words, switch it up and don’t just focus on the THC component. Swap your products, change your habits, and treat it like an experiment. And, if you find something that works, you better email us back. We need to know the results.

Blaze: OOF. First of all, my condolences. I, too, have had that issue but with flower and found that if I took breaks or switched up my intake method (edibles in my case) I was back to that sweet, sweet high. Still, not a fun position to be in, especially if you already know what you like and you have a routine you’re comfortable with.

If you’re smoking a specific strain, you may have built up a strain tolerance. Try a different type of strain, THC content, and method of smoking it. If you usually smoke sativas, try indicas, and so on and so forth. One of the beauties about the cannabis industry is that it’s so diverse. You could go weeks, even months without using the same product twice should you choose.

If nothing else, however, you could go on a tolerance fast, as much as a bummer as that sounds. Some people report feeling much more clear headed after taking a break from weed, though it still doesn’t sound worth it to me. I’ll keep my vape and my fog brain, thank you very much.

I’m vegan but love edibles! How do I know which ones to get when I go to a dispensary?

Puf: Well, first of all, thank you for not berating us with a bunch of pro-vegan information. We love your people, and we love your love for animals and living things, but the vegan crusades are not the way.

That said, you’d be surprised at how many edibles are vegan. Dude or dudette, you have so many freaking choices for your lifestyle! Cannabis manufacturers love to put out vegan products!

If you’re not sure where to start, I’m going to go basic here and tell you to ask a budtender. They know what’s up with their edibles. You can also keep certain
product lines in mind, too. For example, I’m pretty sure most, if not all, of Wana’s Sour Gummies are 100 percent free of gelatin. That makes them vegan by default. So you have one ally right there, homie.

Keef Sparkling is also vegan, and it’s freaking healthy, too! This THC-infused sparkling water has zero sugar, zero animal byproducts and no calories. You healthy fools will love it.

CannaPunch also offers a ton of drink options that are vegan as well as options in their line of gummies, which are sold under the brand Highly Edible.
There are probably a million others I’m forgetting, but that’s where the dang budtender is more useful than I am. The good news is that there are plenty of options and your local dispensary gurus can tell you what is or isn’t vegan. They won’t steer you wrong. Promise.

Now go forth with your animal-loving self and get high on some vegan edibles. They’re undoubtedly going to taste better than that quinoa you ate for dinner last night.

Blaze: Come to think of it, it seems like there’s more vegan-edible options than non-vegan these days. Puf is on the money with this one though. A GOOD budtender will help you navigate the shelves, especially if you have specific dietary needs. Puf has already touched on a lot of really great, common brands but I’ll add a few more here as well.

In 2019, Incredibles, who has been a big cannabis player since it became legalized in Colorado, came out with a vegan fruit tart option.

If you’re looking for something with awards, SuckIT Edibles by Canyon Cultivation are friggin delicious and they come in flavors like Boysenberry, Sour Watermelon, and Fruit Punch.

There are also lots of companies that make solely vegan cannabis products, so not to worry! The world is your (very high) vegan oyster.

I see hemp products in a lot of stores, including in places where weed isn’t legal. Isn’t hemp the same thing as marijuana?

Blaze: Ah, hemp is actually not the same thing as marijuana! This is where a lot of people get confused. Hemp and marijuana both come from the cannabis plant. However, hemp does not contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gets you stoned, while marijuana does. But they do both contain CBD (which
will not make you high). The federal government legalized hemp back in 2018, but has yet to legalize marijuana on a national level.

Puf: I cannot tell you how many times over the years that I’ve heard this comparison, so if you’re feeling a little, umm, shocked at Blaze’s answer, don’t be. It’s a common misconception that hemp and cannabis are interchangeable plants, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the deal. Hemp, like actual hemp, basically has less THC in it than the dirt outside of your front door. I’m being dramatic, but it’s borderline true. The hemp plant is often conflated with the marijuana plant because they’re both from the same species, but only one has enough active THC in it to get you high. Can you guess which one that is?

Interestingly, though, both can be used to derive CBD, the cannabinoid that can help with seizure disorders and other medical issues. That makes it even more confusing for people to navigate, since both THC and CBD are cannabinoids. It causes the illusion that both are active in producing a large amount of
THC, but they aren’t. Marijuana contains more than 0.3 percent THC, while hemp has less than that 0.3 percent cutoff.

And that’s not the only cause of the confusion, either. There is evidence of a conspiracy that caused a bunch of disinformation around hemp back in the day, too. Here’s what a growing number of researchers hypothesize happened.

So, the theory is that some idiots way back in the day decided that hemp, which is a strong plant fiber that can grow anywhere and in almost any conditions, was too much of a competition to cotton and other textile farmers. So you know what they did? They started a freaking disinformation campaign to get it outlawed under the guise of the whole “reefer madness” junk. Hemp became a Schedule 1 drug despite not having enough THC in it to get you high (you’d have to smoke literal pounds to get stoned, and like, that’s probably not the greatest idea, you know?) — and it wasn’t until very recently that it became legal in the U.S.

I’ll spare you my rant over this whole thing, but there was no reason for hemp to be illegal for decades, other than it threatened the livelihood of some dudes who were partially responsible for a lot of not-nice historical stuff.

So, short answer: They ain’t the same. They’re basically the cannabis plant version of two types of lettuce. Or arugula. Or something cool and metaphorical.
I don’t know. Just know they aren’t the same plant, OK?

When I go into a dispensary, I notice that some weed strains are far more expensive than others. What makes some weed strains more expensive than others?

Puf: Um, the amazingness levels of the different strains? Duh? I kid. Mostly.

This is a complicated answer that requires a lot more business acumen than I possess, but in general, weed is a lot like any other product. Booze, food, or clothing all come in different price points and with different qualifiers for the cost.

With weed, you have your high end strains, which are either specialty strains that are hard to find, possess awesome qualities, or have some other weed superpower I don’t know about,

And then you have your everyday strains, which are still awesome, bros, but aren’t as marketable or unusual.

There’s a lot more that goes into it, like the method of cultivation, the genetics, the lineage, the quality, and who grew the stuff, but know this: you can’t go wrong with either one. High end or low end, they’re both going to do your body some good, and you shouldn’t discount a strain because it’s five times cheaper than another one.

You should also consider doing some of your own scientific research (read: smoke some of both the high end and budget bud) to see if you can tell a difference. I freaking LOVE high end strains and can sometimes tell the difference, but I also freaking LOVE budget strains, so I’m not a good judge in this category.

Maybe Blaze will be more helpful. I’m off my game these days when it comes to educational topics. Blame it on the never-ending isolation and too much of a good-good thing.

Blaze: Oh man, that’s a complicated question, my dude! There’s a lot of factors that go into marijuana pricing structures and what makes a connoisseur shelf strain. First off, how it’s grown and who grew it plays a big role in that.
Some growers, like Durango Cannabis Company and The Green House Pagosa, have established notorious reputations in the marijuana community for growing some excellent bud. Cultivation and packaging also play a role. Are you buying whole bud or are you purchasing popcorn, shake, or trim? An ounce of whole bud is going to cost you much more than an ounce of popcorn.

And, finally, we get to genetics. While all weed is great, let’s be real here. Some strains have a much more widely appreciated lineage, like OG Kush and
Durban Poison. You’re going to pay more for quality strains like that because, well, everyone wants them!

I’m a big-time pothead, but it’s time I lose all the weight I gained from COVID-19 (and the munchies). Are there certain weed items I should avoid if I want to do this?

Puf: Umm, if you find them, please let us know what they are. Last night I woke up at 11 p.m. after passing out on edibles and ate an entire second dinner.
No shame in my munchie game, I guess. I don’t even know anymore.

I guess the only real advice I can give you is that you should probably stay away from heavy indicas. I say that from personal experience and NOT from scientific reasoning. All I know is that anecdotally, I tend to eat a lot — like so many gummy bears — after smoking an indica. When I smoke a hybrid or a sativa I tend to get much less hungry.

That said, I freaking love indicas so you can pry them out of my cold, dead, bloated-with-gummy-bear hands, I guess. Let me live my damn fluffy life already, shit.

Also, I’m being pretty unfair to indicas with my answer. There are plenty of indicas that probably won’t give you the munchies, but what they are, I don’t know.
The thing about weed is that it affects everyone differently, and what gives me the munchies may not give you the munchies. Anything with THC in it runs the risk of giving you a serious case of hunger, so know that before you imbibe. It’s really trial and error for every person. So try different strains, different percentages of THC, and different edibles and tinctures if you’re into that. Find what makes you less hungry and stick with it. That’s the only way to really get the right answer to this question.

One other thing you may want to try is to choose a strain with high CBD and less THC. The cannabinoid CBD typically doesn’t induce the munchies the way that a high dose of THC typically does, but it also won’t make you as high. If you can handle that, you may have some success going that route.

Now go out and try it. And don’t forget to report back, thanks. Our fluffy butts could use it.

Blaze: When you figure out how to drop a bunch of weight while still being a stoner, let me know. Please. Because I need to do this as well, though I’m not too sure I can do both at the moment. See, when we ingest cannabis, it attaches itself to then activates our bodies’ CB1 receptors. These can be found in the brain AND stomach, which is why marijuana gives us the munchies or, as I like to say, turns our stomachs into black holes in which no amount of chips or brownies can quench.

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